2002 Colorado: LAX -> DEN

    2002 Colorado: LAX -> DEN

    LAX -> DEN


    Wednesday July 2002, continued

    Yeah! We’re at LAX. It’s nice and warm outside, the gentle breezes a pleasure. We stretch our legs, enjoy the pause, and take a picture. I probably should have asked a passer-by to include me in the snapshop, but I was just a bit too frazzled to think about it.

    I always book my flights so that I have a good bit of time between each leg. I hate having to rush to a connecting flight and I love exploring airports. Since we have time, we stroll from our arrival terminal through the international terminal (always an interesting stop) towards our departure terminal.

    Behind us is the main section of the international terminal, including the check-in areas and the food court. Less than twenty-four hours after this picture was taken an Egyptian stormed the El Al Israeli Airlines area and was shot and killed by a security guard. [At least that’s the story I’ve heard so far, I’m on vacation and not reading newspapers or surfing the ‘net, even if I have access and am uploading this mostly daily.]

    Today it’s a bit more peaceful, thankfully. We’re in the company of monks, who lend a festive air to the goings-on. (We meet up with them again a few days later, far underground.)

    Thunderstorms in the Denver area have shut down the airport. Our plane hasn’t left DEN yet, much less arrived to pick us up for the return. Every fifteen minutes a twenty-minute delay is added. That’s okay, though, because we’ve filled up with happy calories at the local Chili’s franchise (mmmm, spicy buffalo wings) and have a good place around which to run.

    Lila is fussy, and won’t go to sleep on Rose, so I take her and stroll her around the area, saying “Lila, look up, lights!” She loves lights, and this, plus a song or three, distracts her long enough to fall asleep in my arms. I return to our gate and swap children with Rose. Isaac is all used up, and I do a similar trick with him. Once he’s down I arrange my jacket so he can sleep, use some of Lila’s clothes as a makeshift pillow, and cover him with the other part of the jacket. He sleeps next to the luggage cart.

    The delays mount, and Denver has just called to tell us that it’ll be another hour before they’ll be ready to make a decision. The airline hands out food vouchers, good only at LAX, good only for a day. All the passengers clog up the three restaurants in our gate area. Of course, five minutes later Denver calls to say they’re ready, we should board and fly. Ummmm, all the passengers are gone. The staff runs around asking everyone to get the food to go as soon as it arrives. I have three vouchers, each for $15. What to do? I walk into the Starbucks, get a cappuccino for me, a coconut drink for Rose, and fifteen huge chocolate chip cookies for our family gathering. I would have settled for a bag of coffee, but they won’t let us buy merchandise with the vouchers.

    Soon enough we’re full of caffiene, airborne, and playing with our toy airplanes. Things are all right.

    Arrival at Denver is easy, and the people-mover to the baggage claim is lots of fun. Isaac doesn’t want to leave it. But we do, picking up our bags and a car. I got a good deal on a full-size nondescript rental car, and was going to eschew the scandalously costly upgrade to a Chrysler Sebring convertible (mentioned all over these web pages as our travelling car of choice), but the guy at the counter was an ex-electrical engineer. Seeing my geek tee-shirt he says “oh, I’ll take care of you”, chats up his boss, and negotiates something reasonable. We’re off!

    It takes us about an hour or so to get from DEN to Colorado Springs, and only a few minutes to get to our hotel, the . Near to our destination I double-check my driving plans by jumping out of the car into a 24-hour convenience store with my Titanium

    in hand. I show the following map on the screen, never having actually printed it out. Luckily the guy at the counter is a geek making extra money. He laughs, and confirms that we’re on the right path.

    We unload the cars and the kids, unpack, and put everyone to bed. I realize that I’m really hungry, the LAX food having been all used up. Eschewing a visit to the local Safeway supermarket I head out for something local. But at midnight? The Sonic drive-in, well, that was local. But it closed an hour ago. I drive through Colorado Springs and find nothing at all. Heading to Manitou Springs I see less. Just when I’m ready to give up I see a lighted venue. There’s even a ponytail-wearing musician wielding a guitar on a sidewalk table.

    I dive in, and realize I’m in an all-night new age café. I order up a maté (a tea from South America) and a BBQ turkey and eat and sip in bliss. I pick up some food for Rose and head back. From the menu:

    A Common Ground Café

    966 Manitou Avenue

    Manitou Springs, CO 80829


    Open 24 hours weekdays

    Closed Friday 3 pm to Saturday 6 pm

    Delivering my food payload to Rose, I’m lie in bed, happy to fall to sleep, perchance to dream, ready to celebrate

    in the morrow.

    Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me an . Thanks!









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