| News |

What I did during my summer staycation

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

I've just returned from two weeks away from my job -- but that doesn't mean I spent that time jetting to exotic locations. My family and I had already decided against that kind of an adventure due to the economic downturn you may have read about. After all, I work in a profession so unstable that I hold my breath every time I flip on my office light switch. Instead, we planned to drive back east to visit my son, who's attending college in Washington D.C. (and taking summer classes). But that jaunt got the kibosh when my daughter, Ellie, tore her ACL during a basketball game, necessitating surgery that would have made untold hours in a car even more torturous than it would have been under ordinary circumstances. So we stuck around in Colorado -- and the results were mostly pleasant. Emphasis on "mostly."

For week one, we headed over to the Western Slope in order to attend the thirtieth reunion of my wife's and my graduating class at Grand Junction High School. My beloved thoroughly enjoyed the festivities, while I suffered from awkwardness and intense discomfort -- appropriate, since that's how I spent most of my years in high school the first time around. From there, we headed up to my wife's family cabin on the Grand Mesa, one of the true natural wonders our state has to offer. This bucolic experience was enhanced, not marred, by repeated appearances from a mid-size bear whose light brown face and dangerous-looking paws earned him the nickname Sandy Claws. He seemed entirely benign to us -- but, of course, we didn't try to give him a hug.

Our second week was supposed to be spent taking day trips around the state. Unfortunately, this scheme was canceled when our 2002 Chevy Venture van was given its last rites by our longtime mechanic, forcing us to stick close to home. So I spent most of my remaining vacation days reading (finished five books over the two-week span, and started a sixth), went to five movies (the best one, by far, was the charming/hilarious [500] Days of Summer), painting (here's hoping our spiffy garage doors will convince the covenant folks in our subdivision not to send us a letter demanding that we slather the rest of the house, too), alphabetizing more than 5,000 CDs (don't ask), and dealing with an exploding toilet. Turns out a piece in the toilet's tank broke, literally blowing the lid off the top -- and had I not been present to turn off the water, the entire basement would likely have been flooded, costing us untold thousands of dollars to set right.

Guess that staycation paid off after all.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.