Brisk in Denver

One's standards change in hurry. Even though it was in the low thirties today in Denver, I still found it too brisk to take a walk. Instead, I went to Barnes and Noble. It was too crowded to enjoy for very long as all the cushy seats were taken. I had forgotten that it is Saturday.

While driving around Aurora, CO this morning trying to find a breakfast place, Lance and I came across three major accidents. One had just happened. The fire truck arrived while were were waiting for the light to change. Another was in the final stages of clean-up. A third involved three cars and had some injuries. All these accidents were within about a mile of each other.

I have been in and through Denver dozens of times, but the traffic seemed more intimidating this time. And the exits are counter-intuitive. That is, if you are going to get on a road going east, you can bet that the exit will head west first. You can't go by your gut here, you have to trust the signs. I should get GPS, I guess!

Last night was quite an experience. After having a nice evening out with cousin Shawna and her husband Tom, Lance and I returned to the hotel. Even though business is slow for hotels between Christmas and New Year, the hotel parking lot, which is huge, was absolutely packed. Turns out, there was a huge hip-hop party downstairs. Boom, boom, boom.

Well, it didn't last long. Pretty soon the sirens went. Between sixty and seventy police cars roared around the cloverleafs. We're on the tenth floor, so we could watch the entire scene. The parking lot emptied in what had to be record time. I went down to look around. Apparently a brawl had broken out at the party. I saw three guys hauled off in handcuffs. By the time I arrived, the legions of cops--pretty much a SWAT team, to judge by their weapons--were joking around and having fun. I have never seen so many cop cars in one place. In fact, the scene was a little like the end of a movie when the monster/villian/terminator is finally arrested, defeated or killed, and, with hundreds of police lights twirling silently in the background, the hero finally wins the girl and the credits roll.

After running across the three accidents this morning, we finally found a Waffle House. It must be policy for the employees to yell, "Hello!" or "Good morning!" when you come through the door. The idea is to have a homey atmosphere, I suppose, but it sort of jolted me. And it soon became clear that things were a little stressful behind the counter. They had to throw our first waffles. Somebody burnt them. Then the coffee maker overflowed. What a mess.

To add to the stress, at least as far as I was concerned, there was a juke box playing loud hip-hop music. More boom, boom, boom. Kenny Chesney was next on the docket, but with the bass turned up so high, even Chesney was a bit jarring.

Even with the urban stress, it is fun to be in a lively city for a few days. Today was shiny and clear. The Rocky Mountains to the west shone in the sunshine.