Swingin’ tourist times with Mom and Dad
Being a tourist around here can be a real adventure.
My mom and dad can attest to that.
I had the chance to see the valley through a tourist’s eyes this past week while my parents were in town. Honestly, the experience left me a little mystified.
Posing as a tourist for a few days was much like riding on that Swing Shot ride at the Caverns. There were several high points, and a few low ones. At times I was left with my stomach feeling a little queasy, but mostly I had a fun ride.
Sounds like my wedding night.
We went all over the area, starting in Glenwood and working our way upvalley. The trip began with a bang, so to speak, when I decided to show my parents a little Glenwood nightlife after Summer of Jazz. They never sing karaoke, but they certainly were up for people watching.
Turns out a few people were up for watching them.
My parents enjoyed meeting all my new friends, especially one in particular who thought it would be really funny to tell them I’m out partying every night. See why my mother worries?
About halfway through the night, I stepped away from the table for a few minutes. I came back to my mom sitting there with a really weird look on her face. She was hesitant to give me the scoop, but I teased it out of her like any diligent, fact-seeking reporter would.
Actually, I slid a pint of Fat Tire in front of her and let the magic happen. Truth serum is bottled right here in Colorado, and it works wonders on honest mothers with low tolerances.
I should preface this part of the story with a little background on my mom. She’s been described to me as “an absolute angel,” “the nicest person in the world,” “the sweetest woman on the planet” ” you get the picture. She was super shy throughout school, so much so she entered me in tap dance lessons as a young girl so I wouldn’t turn out the same way.
That master plan may have worked a little too well. (Yes, that’s me on the Carnival Cruise video doing the Macarena and the Electric Slide with the ship’s red, white and blue mascot last year. They don’t call it Funky Nassau for nothin’.)
After pressing my mom for a couple of minutes, I found out that in the short time I was absent from the table, my parents were basically invited to play around and smoke. And I’m not talking about a game of Parcheesi and lighting up a couple Marlboro Reds for a quick head rush, either.
All of sudden 50 is the new 30, at least at karaoke night in Glenwood. The AARP will agree ” it’s never been a better time to be a baby boomer.
Dave and Dian had a great time on their trip, but I could tell they weren’t too sure about this crazy place I call home. They’d never seen anything like the Women’s Arm Wrestling Death Match in Carbondale ” but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t go back. They got a real kick out of the competition. They also had fun at Summer of Jazz, Carbondale’s Summer of Music concert and the Fairy Caves. Riding the tram up Iron Mountain and braving the Swing Shot over Glenwood Canyon were certainly a rush.
Mom is so not a screamer like me.
My parents nearly forgot their tourist label until they were taking the pedestrian bridge and some unfriendly woman, apparently a local, walked by with some guy, hissing under her breath, “Tourists.”
That’s real nice.
Whatever problem people have with tourists around here, I just wish they wouldn’t be so nasty about it. A little Hoosier Hospitality in this neck of the woods never hurt anybody ” although offers for kinky sex and wacky tobaccy might be a bit much.
I’d talk about our experience in Aspen, but that’s a whole other column. All those Lamborghinis, Porsches and Land Rovers parked around town have obviously gone to people’s heads. There are still starving kids in Africa, for heaven’s sakes.
My advice for tourists visiting the playground for the rich and famous: Don’t even think about stepping into some of the designer stores wearing a pair of Chacos, a cotton tank top and khaki shorts. I’d go back to middle school cheerleading tryouts if I wanted to be treated that bad by a bunch of stuck-up girls.
I can’t believe I wasn’t asked if I could be helped by some of the wait staff ” and I call them that because that’s what they are.
The Devil wears Dior, too.
We did have awesome service at the Glenwood and Carbondale restaurants we patronized, especially Juicy Lucy’s for lunch on my parent’s 33rd wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, there was one bad apple in the bunch. I won’t mention the restaurant because I think the particular hostess was having a really bad afternoon ” at least I hope so.
Maybe a night out at Cajun Karaoke would make her day.
I know it certainly made my parents’ trip.
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