Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cherney Journey 2013: Rocky Mountain, Hi!

Blogger's note: The following events occurred two weeks prior to the flooding in Colorado. My heart goes out you guys.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation
by Little Scotty Cherney
Age: Nunya

This year of our Lord, 2013, we-being the wife and me-ventured forth for another faboo vacay made possible, yet again, by a generous grant from the L & C Foundation. Our destination? Deutchendorf, Colorado. My apologies. I forgot it was changed to Denver. My stepdaughter Lindsay and son-in-law Chris (famed for their debut roles in my book PLEASE HOLD THUMBS: A NOT SO ROUND TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA) moved to Colo's state capitol from New York City last year, quite a change of pace and scenery, eh, wot? So this sojourn became a family vacation in every sense of the word since we were spending mucho quality time with our beauteous granddaughter Aefa.

After a blissfully trouble-free and uneventful air travel experience-with the exception of the hot mess in first class who began bawling because she had to use the bathroom in coach and a pilot who seemed to riding the clutch the entire way from LAX- we landed at the Cirque de Soleil-like structure known as Denver International Airport.

It took us awhile to get a feel for the Southwestern nature of this area since the first week we spent in glorious grandparenthood at the kids' home in Stapleton, a neighborhood built over the previous airport grounds. We cared, fed, played and generally just fell in love with the latest member of the clan, an incredibly bright and verbose two year old whose every whim I didn't hesitate to cater to because I am a mushpot of the highest order. This meant seemingly endless tunes from the Raffi catalog and multiple viewings of an Animal Planet video on demand of potty training sloths.

"I want sloffs!" Aefa would demand and of course, her wish was my command. I'm a sucker for a pretty face.

However, we did begin to get a bit stir crazy in Stapleton since we were MOV (mit out vehicle). Stapleton is pleasant and clean and all that, but other than a couple of parks, the only nearby attraction of note was the 7/11 (shades of New York corner bodegas!) It's not like we were sequestered in a safe house out in Snotrag County. Our accommodations were more than ducky in our own virtual wing, not to mention eating and drinking like royalty. It's just that we wanted to see the sights and something more than vague silhouettes of mountains in the distance. I know I was getting a little stir-crazy in suburbia.

Of course, a lot of this psychosomatic feeling of claustrophobia stemmed from the deep-rooted prejudices I hoard in the filthy attic of my soul, . Stapleton is indeed a yuppie heaven, therefore Hell on earth to someone like me. Knowing from the outset that Colorado is reported to be the fittest state in the union set my heart aflutter as well amidst all the zero body fat individuals we seemed to encounter everywhere we turned. Everyone was fit and into being fit that I started to have a fit myself. Even the flies were fit, tauting me as I attempted to swat them.

"C'mon, ya Oregonian doughboy! Whatsa matter? Too much craft beer and bacon?"

When Lindsay and Chris generously offered us the use of their RAV-4 in exchange for some rides to work, we snatched it up like a loaf of bread with a file inside because this meant FREEDOM!

With Aefa in tow-scratch that-with Aefa towing us, our reprieve from Stapleton initially translated into kid-related activities such as The Children's Museum, two trips to the Denver Zoo which we found to be sloth-less but still managed to score a lot of quality animal for young and old alike and a grand tour of Tiny Town. No, not the Tiny Town from the first all midget western THE TERROR OF TINY TOWN. This Tiny Town a miniature village that a father built for his daughter back in 1915 then opened to the public a few years later adding a mini-railroad along the way. It was pretty damn precious especially when we rode the train with Aefa. Yes, I said precious. I told you I was a mushpot.

For the most part, Aefa sat in quiet contemplation, two fingers in her mouth, taking it all in wherever we went. At times, we thought she might be bored of it all since she didn't make a peep even afterward as we tried to get her to recap her experiences. Nope. She saved that commentary for her folks. The fingers popped forth and her enthusiasm flowed like champagne as she extolled the glories of the adventures she live through to Mommy and Papa.

"I saw a monkey climbing to the sky! The kitty was sleeping! I waved at the 'ductor!"

(Translation for those who don't speak Toddler: The monkey was part of the zoo menagerie with the kitty in question being a jaguar. As for the 'ductor, the Tiny Town train conductor.)

And as much as it meant to Aefa, it meant even more to us. To see the world once again through a new set of eyes makes it all worthwhile. She and her parents were the real reasons we came to Denver. Everything else takes a back seat.

Thanks to Aefa, all was good in the grandparenthood.

 Next Up: Some Scenery At Last!
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