Saturday, February 21, 2009

Denver - Day 1

Thus begins a series of blogs on my 8 nights in scenic Denver, Colorado.  I'm here primarily to officiate for the US National Curling Championship / Olympic Trials.  I worked the day today then caught a 6:45pm flight, which departed a few minutes late, but other than that was relatively uneventful.  

Arriving in Denver, I was greeted with sub-freezing temperatures.  All indications were that it had snowed earlier in the evening.  So after my luggage finally coming out, I headed outside to catch the shuttle to the rental car place (which is not so conveniently nowhere near the actual terminal).  After waiting outside in the 22-degree or so cold for about 15 minutes, the shuttle finally came and we made our way to the cars.  I ended up with a red Prius hybrid, at least that's what I think I unearthed when I froze my hand brushing off the layer of snow and then scraping the ice off the windshield and ungluing the wipers.  10 minutes later, I figured out how to turn on the silly car and how to use the 50 bazillion buttons and knobs.  I swear, I think this thing is more complicated than the space shuttle, and at night it looks like mission control, with the actual dashboard, plus the whole touchscreen that controls all of the audio/climate control/engine status, and then my life-saving GPS that I threw up on the dash next to it.  Finally we had liftoff, and I zipped out of the parking lot and on my way (getting something on the order of 40 mpg).  So then I had about 35 miles to get to Broomfield, not realizing that the shortest distance between two points involved toll roads.  $13 in tolls later, just after midnight local time I managed to made it to the hotel.  

Now the hotel I got on Hotwire.  If I was going to be here 8 nights, I wasn't going to pay a whole lot a night.  So with my luck, I ended up with an inn just a mile away from the ice arena where the competition would be.  The front desk closes at 10, but they had left an envelope with my room key out front (there are only 16 rooms here) and I made my way into the nice warm room without any problem.  This room is about as nice as some studio apartments.  King-sized bed, sink, microwave, minifridge, couch, gas fireplace, internet... can't complain too much for the $45/night I'm paying when the going rate for the room is about $129.  I'll take some pictures later.  

Well, at this, I need to get up in just over 7 hours.  Day 2 will continue tomorrow with the opening ceremony and first day of competition.  It should be interesting to see the arena all set up for curling.  

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