I was mistaken... for a dad?Posted on September 12th, 2007 after 4492 miles by Dean Croshere.
Greeley, Colorado. The first stop on this trip where the only way I knew the person was through the Internet.
I've been posting to Forumopolis for several years now. I simply posted a thread saying I was going on a road trip and I needed couches to crash on. Plenty of people, including MsFrisby (her username on the forum), responded.
I usually try to arrive at my hosts locations in the evening. No later than 8 or 9. To show up later is rude. Unfortunately, I did not expect the drive to take me so long and I didn't arrive at MsFrisby's place until after midnight.
In the morning, after she made breakfast, we packed her kids in the car and took a quick tour of Greeley, including the libraries where MsFrisby works. Greeley has the most impressive public library system I've seen.
Shortly after this quick tour, we headed to Estes park. I started off the trip with the kids addressing me as "sir," then "mr." then, simply and with all the familiarity in the world, "guest."
First order of business in Estes: silence the kids and our stomachs. We headed to the Smiling Elk restuarant.
I had a very tasty jalepeno and bell pepper burger served with "elk lumpies" (mashed potatoes). She had some nachos that were unsurprising save for the chicken, which had a strange sweet flavor.
The kids suggested we ask for the recipe. After laughing because the chef would never give us the recipe, we asked anyway. Sure enough, he told us the secret ingredient. Margarita mix. Good idea, really. Margarita mix, a little paprika and an herb or two and you'd have some delicious chicken for nachos.
Here was the strange part. It was me, MsFrisby, and two kids. A perfect little family to anyone who cared to guess. The waitress certainly did. She handed me the bill directly. I paid it.
The kids were wonderful. Well, annoying, but wonderful. I've never really spent much time with kids before, they were 7 and 9. The opportunities for missed sexual humor leads to endless moments of grownups being "weird."
Did I just describe myself as a grownup?
Huh. Funky. Anyway...
While cooped up in the car, the kids got loud and played dumb games.
"Lets find a car!"
We were on a highway, next to a car dealership.
"There's one. Another one. Anotherone. Anotherone. Anotherone. Anothernothnothernothernotherone!"
The suggestibility of kids is great too. How easy it is to make them think something is a good idea.
"How about this instead." I suggested, "Lets find the numbers on car license plates."
"No," they said.
"That sounds dumb," they said.
"I see a 1" I said.
"I see a 2" they cried, "and a 3!"
"Let's find a 4!"
The trip to Estes complete, we ditched the kids with a sitter and headed to Boulder to meet another "forumite" and tour the bars.
Boulder has some awesome bars and restaurants. Apparently there is the highest ratio of restaurants per capita in the nation. 1 restaurant to 4 people or something like that. We started off at a microbrew that had floor seating. I mean literally, you could sit on the floor. It was quite the comfy carpet. Or you could stand at the bar, or sit at the long table with everyone else. Throughout the short time we were there, we took all of our options. When we were at the table, the waiter sat next to us, asked "what's up?" and chatted for a moment before asking what we were going to order. He did it like he was trying to decide what to order himself.
We were on a liquid diet. I had a couple of beers that used nitro in the tap instead of co2. It came out very smooth, kind of like Guinness.
After our beers, we headed to this loft place where the bartender actually admitted he didn't know how to make the drinks we ordered, but did an excellent job of mixing the ingredients once told.
We also ordered the basic nachos. What we got was a masterpiece only a college town with 1 restaurant for every 4 people could master. You'll have to forgive the cameraphone in a bar picture:
They were quite tasty. Since they were basic, there was no meat. We couldn't compare with the nachos from earlier that day.
We left the bar because there was a free Irish session playing at another bar, they were going to be done soon. They played some authentic music, though it was a practice session, so they were playing for themselves and we were just listening in. Apparently we could have bought them drinks if we wanted to. We didn't even buy ourselves drinks. We just sat and listened for a while.
Last, we went to a bar with a live band. It had the poorest whiskey selection I'd ever seen. I asked the bartender if he had any bourbon. He picked up a bottle of Irish Whiskey. I went with a 7 and 7.
I would describe the band, but I would fail. I think it was Indian pop rock or something. There was a guitar, a bass, and a few other instruments. At one point, the lead singer, dressed in a wifebeater and tie, was playing the triangle furiously. All the while some people were dancing in the middle of the bar which had no dance floor. They were quite talented. The ladies knew how to show off their assets and the guys, well, the guy, knew how to show off the ladies assets.
I was a little toasted by this point, and I was now realizing I would have to be up early to make it to Sioux Falls the next day (remember, this all happened before the "So Tired" and "Alone" posts). What better to do while slightly drunk and tired than take Boxer up to the town overlook and walk around the safety fence for a better shot. I didn't have a tripod and the battery on my phone (which I've used for every picture so far) died the minute I pressed the camera button. I borrowed MsFrisby's camera, asked her to hold my flashlight on Boxer, and took a million pictures. The low light meant a slow shutter speed and I only had my knee to steady the shot. I held my breath and tried to steady the camera. One of the shots actually came out.
We got in the car and headed home. I passed out minutes after leaving boulder, letting MsFrisby drive the hour back home.