Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The adventure begins

...where we last left off -- with visitors from out of state arriving two hours early and finding the grinning pair camped on my front porch.

They fooled me. They did. They arrived empty-handed, except for the requisite purse and laptop case and made their way slowly up the narrow Victorian stairs to the second floor. My apartment is #1 but it's on the second floor. Don't ask me why. Even the landlady doesn't know. It's something to do with how they wired the utility meters. Anyway...

We tested each other's defenses, talked and ventured a laugh or a giggle here and there and then Lynn lowered the boom. She sent hubs, who was at that point checking his computer to see whose WiFi he could piggyback to check his email (a true pixellated, information highway geek of the first electron), downstairs to bring up the bags they brought. My apartment is rather small and I knew my friend had brought me a blanket for my brand new bed, but I didn't expect what arrived in two separate trips: bags and a box. My first thought was Chinese, but the greasy smell of pork fried rice and MSG and jasmine tea did not permeate the breeze wafting through my windows. There was no discernible scent, but the mischievous gleam in Lynn's eyes foretold shock, amazement and surprises to come.

And come they did.

Bags full of Kansas City, MO BBQ rubs and sauces (I knew about those), a huge jar of sugar free apple butter (grandma would have smacked her lips in anticipation) and a big jar of kosher dill pickles. And the loot did not stop there. The pine green open weave cotton blanket was tailor made for my queen size bed with some overhang to boot. Then Santa-ette dg into her seemingly bottomless box and came up with a scrap book with a shadow box on the front and beautiful textured paper inside, another shadow box with a hinged cover that contained note cards and envelopes and a picture frame and journal I didn't find until they left here Sunday night. There was also a beautiful unassembled, which Santa-ette assembled before my amazed and stunned eyes, Victorian rose Tiffany-style lamp with crystal beads in a delicate waterfall around the lamp shade with brass accents and pedestal base that came with its own little bulb. It was Xmas here at the old Victorian haunted casa and it outshone many of the Xmases past.

My guests wanted to get something to eat and I suggested The Mason Jar on Colorado Blvd, so that is where we went. The food was good and the company delightfully funny and interesting. After eating we checked a couple of motels on Colorado Blvd. and found the Amarillo, which boasted collectibles, buy/sell/trade coins and antiques, guns, WW II armaments and a whole host of other cheese for the tourist trap. Luckily, the room rate was inexpensive and the lock was being changed as we waited for hubs to pay and collect the brand new freshly minted key. At least they got the blood out of the carpet before my guests moved in and cleaned the insects out of the clean and tidy kitchenette.

From there we wended our way to Manitou Springs to check out witch central and I showed them the cottage I considered before my landlady chose me. We found the cog train that goes up to Pikes Peak, turned around where we weren't supposed to turn around and headed back toward town with Margaret the Garman GPS with the irritating habit of reminding us that we goofed. She told us, "off course, recalculating," and I have never wanted to throw an electronic device into the side of a solid granite rock face before I met Margaret. We managed to find Garden of the Gods via a route I had never taken before and drove through and around the park among the tourists clambering on the red rocks and filming and clicking their way through the park.

We headed back toward my place, by way of the motel so someone could use the facilities and check out the lay of the land (make sure the lock had been changed), then back to my place to drop me off. They had been up since Oh My God o'clock and needed to get some rest before our marathon trip to the other side of the Divide in the morning and we fixed on 0700 (a more reasonable time) in the morning to summit Pikes Peak and travel a few points west.

I was just slipping into bed with Stephen King when the phone rang and Lynn was on the other end of the phone (she just couldn't get enough of me) promising not to arrive two hours early in the morning and to chit chat for a moment before dropping into bed and dying for the night.

None of us knew what the morning held for us.

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