We stop in full-hookup places where the cell phone works partially to catch up on work. So I expected to spend a lot of this week working, but I was not remotely expecting the two days I had Wednesday and Thursday. I am in the middle of a bunch of projects, and they all suddenly intersected at once, unexpectedly. That meant 12 hour days at the computer, thrashing out emails and dealing with all sorts of human interest stories.
By the end of each day, I felt completely fried and anti-social. A couple of guys wandered by in the campground to talk but I was so burnt out I ducked into the bedroom while Eleanor chatted with our guests. On Thursday I even passed up a night out at a local friend’s home, letting E & E go without me while I stayed back to decompress with a shower and a movie.
This is not how most people spend their time in their Airstream, but the life of a working full-timer is somewhat different. Sometimes I envy those folks who only get in their Airstreams for relaxation and recreation. I have to take whatever comes, and sometimes it’s not much fun.
But that only means we have to design fun into our lives. So I got everything in order and we designated Friday as family outing day. We chose the Denver Art Museum as our destination, combining a bit of culture, architecture, and home school field trip. (When she heard of our proposed destination, Emma had the audacity to complain, “My whole life has been a field trip since I was five!” My comment back: “And you’re darned lucky! When I was your age … ” etc. Note to future parents: This is what happens when you let kids grow up to be age ten. She’s lucky she didn’t drop that comment on Thursday — I would have cooked and eaten her liver.)
We can definitely recommend the Denver Art Museum (DAM). The main building (pictured above) is a bizarre slant-sided construction containing mostly contemporary art. It is attached via a 2nd story bridge to the North Building, which has seven floors of all kinds of fabulous art. We managed to spend four hours in the North Building and it was hardly enough. Eleanor and I tried to interpret the displays in a way that Emma would appreciate, and somehow we managed to keep her relatively interested through the entire visit.
If you happen to go downtown for the Mint or the DAM, observe the local parking situation. There are many small parking lots, and they have an interesting pricing structure. One block from the Mint, parking will cost you $10. A block away, it will be $8. Next door, the lot is $7. Across the street from that, it will be $5 or $6. Go another half-block and you can score the same parking for $4. We even found a lot where one entrance said $5 and the other entrance said $4. In cases like this, we will always park the extra block or two away and get the benefits of (a) cheaper price, and (b) a healthy walk. You can’t lose, really.
Our day was broken up by the need to go visit one of my best clients, Timeless Travel Trailers in Wheat Ridge. TTT has, for the past year, underwritten the cost of producing the free Online Edition of Airstream Life magazine, for which I am grateful. Brett Hall runs the place and is always an interesting guy to talk to, so I always make a point of dropping by when we are in the Denver area. If you ever get the chance to visit, you should, because they do some incredible work in the shop. They are also one of the two shops in the world that can buy new Airstream shells for custom conversion.
The main building of DAM stayed open until 10 p.m. tonight, so we were able to go back downtown after our TTT visit and spend another three hours exploring the modern art. There was some minor grumbling from the backseat when this plan was announced, but once we were in the Museum again and appreciating the strangest of the avant-garde works, Emma was riveted again. I tried to encourage her by “warning” her that we were about to see the “really weird stuff, bizarre things that no human should contemplate.” You can’t go wrong telling a kid that things are about to get amusingly weird.
That wraps up our Denver visit. Tomorrow we hit the road, covering the many flat miles of Nebraska along I-80 as we head to our next visit in Iowa. It looks like a long and boring drive, but at least we have good weather ahead — no chance of the Airstream-devastating hailstorms that are common in the midwest this time of year. We will start early so we have time to sniff a few roses along the way, while still covering a solid 400 miles east.