Going to Canada or the Voyage to Denver*


So…I was planning on attending the Berkshire Choral Festival during its residency in Montreal at the beginning of July as a young artist apprentice. I was totes excited for this, as I haven’t done a YAP** since 2007, when I went to Italy [in the beautiful little city of Nova Feltria] & London for 6 weeks. Anyway…

After everything regarding my flights was all decided [about 5 days before departure], I told my parents, who are the holders of all important documents, that I needed my passport, and if they could get it, I would be greatly obliged. So, the next day, my dear mother went to the safe deposit box at the bank, where all of the passports live, and couldn’t find mine. Found everyone elses, but not mine. So, we turned the house upside down trying to find this little bit of important paper. We even went back to the bank and looked through everything. Sadly, it was, and continues to be, lost. What is so weird is that in my old travel belt deal, I still had my boarding passes for my flight back from London (and the remaining drink tickets), but no passport. Sigh.

So, with that plan’s awesome swiftly sucked out, I decided that I would go to my aunt & uncle’s in Denver with my parents for the 4th. Ever since I started college, the only time I usually get to go to Denver to see my mom’s family is at Christmas, as I am usually a) working or b) out of the country, thus putting a cramp in my ability to be in Denver [and since we have yet to perfect the ability to be in 2 places at once…]. So, we left on July 3, making the painful trek that is I-80 through Wyoming. Unless you have made this trip, you do not understand – it is worse than driving through Kansas or any of the mid-western states. The only drive that may be worse is driving to west Texas from, well, anywhere, but specifically the eastern part of the state. Anyway, we get to Denver in one piece, and everything is all hunky-dory…for now [cue suspense filled music]! (but only for now)*** Every summer, without fail, my uncle has a project that is very conveniently timed to the arrival of my parents. In years past, it has been laying sod, remodeling the kitchen, putting in a chain link fence, you know. all that fun stuff. Well, this year’s project was a doozy: hardwood floors for the downstairs hallway AND the living room upstairs. Being the type of gay that I am (read: opera singing/Martha Stewart cooking, decorating, etc), I knew that I should keep a low profile during this “delightful” activity. Not because I am lazy, but because when you say “hand me a screwdriver”, I immediately think to ask: “Absolut, Grey Goose or Belvedere?” So I stayed out-of-the-way during this process, only being called in to do work when they needed carpet to be rolled up and taken out, which is totally doable. It eventually got done, without anyone getting hurt (which is no small miracle), but the kicker was that the “wood” that they were getting for the living room was supposed to get there on the 7th, so my family extended our stay through the weekend, as to be helpful (read: father is helpful). Well, we call on Thursday morning, and, lo and behold, it wasn’t ordered on Monday like they said it would. whoops *facepalm* Even with that news, we still ended up staying, as we see them rather infrequently, even if on a regular basis. So, one of the added nights, it was determined that I would be cooking dinner (a favorite pastime of mine – cooking for a large family meal). The meal was delicious:
Pre-Entrée
Oven roasted tomato balsamic vinaigrette on a salad with feta, oven roasted tomatoes, pine nuts & bacon
Entrée:
Six cheese filled tortellini with pesto & mozzarella cheese
Garlic & white wine seared asparagus
Grilled pork chops
corn, bacon & scallion saute [my favorite]
Desert (I sadly forgot to take a picture) was an orange [heavy] creme filled angel food cake with an orange cream sauce & ice cream.

yummy

a close up of the asparagus

One of my favorite aspects of going to Denver (beyond seeing my dear, dear family) is the wonderful food that I eat whilst there. Our friends that we stay with used to own a Mexican restaurant and still have most of the supplies from it, so, when we eat at the house, that food is full of the wonderful goodness. Example a: breakfast burrito smothered in green chili with real chunks of pork. It is delicious and wonderful.

Example b: As a result of owning a Mexican joint, you get to know other places that do, and, this is one of our friends’ favorite haunts: Tia Maria’s (in North Denver). Pictured below is a chicken chimichanga that was. so. yummy. And just for a second, look at the amount of guacamole given to you. boom baby. boom.

I don’t even have words to describe how good this was.

So, on Friday (July 9)[the day before we were planning on leaving], we are having a b-day party for one of our friends, and it was decided, that since they liked the corn saute, I would make it again. The party went well, and everyone was happy…or were they?! Later that night I wasn’t feeling so hot, so I went to the bathroom and promptly threw up. (Objection, your honor! Counselor? I promise I’m going somewhere with this, your honor. OK, proceed) [this happens again with the added bonus of “the runs” later in the evening/early morning] The next morning I come to find out that one of our friends (female) was up through the night getting sick too. When I go in to see my parents, I see that my father had a bucket by his side of the bed. oi vey The only people to not feel like crap that morning was my mom and our friends’ daughter & fiance. At this point (around noon), we decided that today was a loss, so we would leave on Sunday. Well, later in the day my mom ends up getting sick, so the entire family is down. Adding to this, my father doesn’t leave his bed until around 5 that evening. By about 1, I felt back to normal, but a little short on energy. Originally, I thought that it could have been my food, since that was the only common factor for us, and it may have contributed in a very small manner, as I didn’t cook it as long as I did the first time, as I was rushed, and therefore, there was more grease in it. But we realized that that wouldn’t make all of us sick or at least sick like that, and the culprit was finally determined to be a bug that granddaughter brought home from California. We ended up leaving just on time on Sunday, wrapping up a much lower-key 4th of July visit than last year (which involved fights over abortion, gay marriage, Prop 8, politics, anti-christ Obama and the like which ended up with people vowing to never talk again and craziness).

Thanks for bearing with me as I wrote this, it has been rather crazy since my return from London (and I meant to get all of this posted before that, but it got WAY crazy before I left. but that’s a different post)

ciao

*If you are familiar with Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, you will get what I am doing here. If not, don’t worry.

** Young Artist Program

*** You get extra bonus points for knowing that musical cue.      —>Avenue Q<—

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One response to “Going to Canada or the Voyage to Denver*

  1. Ok, there was stuff in there about family, and travel, and a young artist’s program…

    And I got totally and completely sucked in by the amazing pictures of food.

    In my defense, it is almost lunch-time here.

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