history_gurl: (canadian)
[personal profile] history_gurl
Well, I have been to Colorado and returned safely. Bet some of ya didn't even know I was gone. *bg*

The majority of this post is behind an lj-cut for your own protection. The story of my trip is interesting to me, but likely only to one or two of you, so I have hidden it away so as to be easily ignored. For those of you who just want the short version ...

There was a long trip like thing, and Colorado is incredibly beautiful, and [livejournal.com profile] aithine and [livejournal.com profile] lyrstzha are awesome, and I am disturbingly obsessed by things fannish and giraffes, and I work with idiots, and now I'm home.

For those of you willing to wade through the long version, click on the cut and enjoy the tale of my rambles ...



So, I have returned from my much anticipated trip to see [personal profile] aithine in Colorado Springs. And, I must say, it was a truly fantastic trip. I completely fell in love with Colorado; the mountains, the red rocks, the pretty marines at the airport, what's not to love? Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] aithine is nice too. *snicker* But oh, the things I had to go through to get there …

First, you must understand that I had to drive four hours just to get to the damned airport to begin my journey. Did I mention that was after having to go in to work? You know, work, the place with the idiots. They were reassuringly idiotic before I left, thank heavens, else I would fear for the structure of the universe. The pipefitters' superintendent even told me that gloves were not part of safety. Of course, he was then stumped when I asked if he intended to treat the frostbite they'd get if they didn't wear the proper gloves. I somehow managed not to hit any of them before I left. For that, I deserved candy. Instead, I got traffic.

Four hours, and a slight detour (no, I was not lost, I was merely taking the scenic route), later … I arrived at airport parking. Airport … parking … 'nuff said, really. All checked in, I moved forward to brave security and customs. They love me in Toronto. Never a problem, never an issue. Wish I could say the same for major American airports.

Right on schedule, I settled into my seat, tucked my little pillow between my head and the fuselage, pulled the window shade down, and began to doze. Hell, I'd been up for almost 12 hours at that point, I deserved a nap. The fact that I felt undernourished and dehydrated might have contributed to my exhaustion, but hey, I was traveling. With those conditions in mind, I managed to wake myself for the "snack" that Continental now serves in lieu of food on their flights. It was interesting, to say the least. Cream crackers, cream cheese (parmesan peppercorn flavour, yet somehow, it worked), little pseudo-pepperonies that should have probably made me nervous, and cheddar snax (a low rent version of Chex Mix that has never passed within miles of real cheddar), all in all a fairly substantial snack. But really, damn good thing I'm not a vegetarian.

All snacked up, I returned to my interrupted sleep. Landing at George Bush International Airport in Houston, I giggled at how wrong it was for me to be there. Then, the beautiful and talented [personal profile] lyrstzha swooped down (after circling the airport a few times, but she wasn't lost either) to bear me off to a food place. Note the careful use of food place. No decisions had been made, we just knew she was gonna feed me. *g* So, there was a diner, and the best homefries ever, and a fried egg sandwich to die for, and much giggling and talk of socialism, religion and Texas. Can't ask for a better meal than that, can you?

So, talking and eating accomplished, she dropped me back at the airport (with less of the not being lost). I rushed through security, dashed to the gate, found out I was late(ish) and then wondered aloud why no one else was on the plane yet. Turns out the plane was broken. Like, an extra hour waiting in the airport broken.

I finally stumbled into Colorado Springs at about 11:45 Mountain Time. For those of you playing the home game, that made three time zones in one day, and … I had started my day at 6 am Eastern. I figured I was verging on a 22 hour day, and I was grateful for the sleep on the plane, lemme tell ya. But man, it was sooooo worth it.

Day one was intended to be giraffe day. I have a slight giraffe fixation. Really, come one, you gotta admit they are fantastic. They are like an evolutionary experiment gone wrong, and yet they still work. Those knobs on their heads? What are they for? Anyway, I was planning to see the elusive mountain giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Yay! Stargate giraffes! Two somewhat disturbing obsessions for the price of one! Alas, it was not to be. The weather refused to cooperate, so we decided to stay in where it was not grey, dull and sorta cold. We watched DVDs that had pretty boys on them and neither of us complained.

Day two we were smiled upon by the weather gods. Sunshine, balmy temperatures (hey, it was freezing when I left home) and the lure of red rocks, mountains and giraffes. The Garden of the Gods was spectacular. I ran out of adjectives (which, considering the length of this ramble should surprise most of you). I was reduced to saying "wow" and taking a lot of pictures (which will get posted or something soon, honest). The drive up Ute Pass to the base of Pike's Peak road was the coolness, ear popping and all. Almost 7000 feet above sea level and just amazing. Manitou Springs is all cute and old westy, and the historian in me was all thrilled. Oh, and I broke Starbucks. I did, really. All we wanted was a pumpkin muffin and something to drink. Oops, no pumpkin muffins left. Want pumpkin bread instead? Oops, only one of those left. Want apple? I'm surprised we got out alive. Damn Starbucks!

Having fed and watered (or chai tea latted) ourselves, it was off to see the giraffes. Excitement was high, or maybe it was just me. We were gonna get a real treat, the zoo was staying open late for "Boo at the Zoo", their yearly Hallowe'en party. So, we drove over, and as we got closer, it got more exciting, I was sure I could feel time slowing down. Heck, it seemed we were just sitting there. And then, I realized we were … just sitting there, I mean. The cute boys in uniform who were directing traffic told us that we'd have another few minutes before we even reached the parking lot, and then it would be another 45 minute wait after that. Hiding my crushing disappointment, we decided we should just watch the giraffes on the webcam that the site has. Once again, we were forced, forced I tell you, to go watch pretty boys on the television. Oh, the sacrifices I make.

I was sorely tempted to book a later flight on Sunday. I was having all kindsa fun, and I didn't want to go. (What's that? No, it had nothing to do with trying to avoid work). But, being the conscientious girl I am, we headed out at stupid o'clock to get me to the airport. I boarded my flight in the grey, drizzly weather with a pouty face on. Then, the plane broke the clouds and I looked out my window. The sun was shining on a sea of fluffy, white clouds, and rising out of them were the snow capped peaks of the Rockies. Expect to see that scene in a fic sometime in the near future, it was too incredible not to use.

I tried to sleep on that flight, I really did. But my seatmate had personal space issues. Every time he nodded off and his leg touched mine, he jerked awake, thus causing me to wake up too. (Anyone who has ever flown an ExpressJet will understand that there isn't enough room to change your mind in those seats). Thus, my rest was disturbed, and I landed in Houston somewhat out of sorts. Spending money in an overpriced airport restaurant to eat prepackaged plastic food did not improve my mood any, but I figured it would soon be over. I was wrong. Once again, I spent extra quality time in George Bush International Airport. Lotsa quality time. Seems they misplaced our plane somewhere between the maintenance hanger and the gate. Yeah, it worried me too. Then, when it finally showed up, we spent another 45 minutes on the tarmac while they fixed the oxygen masks in the cockpit. Finally, we got all airborne, and that's when I realized I had the polar opposite for a seat mate this time. Long story short, our legs are now betrothed. Don't send a gift, send money.

Arriving in Toronto much later than anticipated, I bailed on the driving home thing. Four more hours? I think not. A lovely hotel room, some wireless internet, a leisurely drive home in the morning. What could be better? Well, how about NOT getting a call from work when I was 2/3 of the way home? I went directly to work and dealt with the idiots again. *le sigh*

Still … totally worth it. I had a great time, I can't wait to go back, and hey, the idiots just make me appreciate it more.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-10-25 02:18 am (UTC)
aithine: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aithine
*pout* You just love me for my mountains, admit it.

*snicker*

So glad you got to come--I wish it could've been longer!

(no subject)

Date: 2005-10-25 07:29 pm (UTC)
ext_1026: made by lanning (Default)
From: [identity profile] lyrstzha.livejournal.com
after circling the airport a few times, but she wasn't lost either

Absolutely not! I'm never lost. I just sometimes choose to explore my destination options in a creative and unconventional non-linear manner.

Can't ask for a better meal than that, can you?

Wish you'd been here long enough to feed you some decent fajitas, but at least we got you some hashbrowns. And I suspect I babbled inanely at least part of the time, because I think I may have gotten so used to talking to people I've known for years that I may be rusty at talking to new folks. Sorry!

I have a slight giraffe fixation.

Oh, me too! Platypi might be slightly cooler---duck bills!---but it'a a close one.

I'm glad you made it home safe and sound!

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