Aug. 4 -- Wheat Ridge COMonday was our least planned day, but it didn't end up all that quiet. We slept in a bit, but I had to get up to take the dog for a walk in the area around what passed for the hotel pool.
After breakfast, we spent much of the morning, indirectly, working on laundry. The hotel had a small laundry room off the lobby, and we made use of both washers, and later only one of the dryers. In the end, the clothes were still somewhat damp, but we were able to hang them in the room and get them dry.
The major activity for much of the day was, indirectly, getting the dog a bath. I had decided a day or two before that we should take him to a PetCo, if I could find one, for a bath. We found one in Lakewood not too far from our hotel. First thing in the morning I made an appointment for 12:15. We headed out and got him dropped off just before 12, and learned that they'd want him until about 3:00.
This left us with an advantage and a disadvantage. We didn't have to worry about the dog when getting lunch, but we had to stick around for a few hours in the area.
We ended up wandering (driving actually) across Wadsworth to the Belmar development. This is a new "mixed use" area with a number of shops as well as residences. We eventually found a Baker Street Pub where we had lunch, but none of us really had any English pub food. After that we looked around for a while longer until it was time to get the dog.
At PetCo we also picked up a new harness that was supposed to help the dog not pull. We figured that a "large" was the correct size for him, and then headed home.
I wanted to get a hair cut and a beard trim -- I accidentally let the packers get my bead trimming stuff, so don't have access to it for a while. We had also made arrangements to meet graht and his family for dinner in Arvada at 6:00, so I didn't have a lot of time. I left Tara and Derrick and then headed to a different part of Arvada where I found a store for the same chain of barber shops I've been using for the last couple of years (Sport Clips). After getting my hair cut -- the only problem being that my beard ends further from my neck than I'm used to -- I headed back to the hotel.
When I got back, I discovered that the harness was too small for our dog, because he has a very deep chest. However, I was able to take it for a test walk, and it seemed to help.
After that, we met graht for dinner at Beau Joe's pizza (the third pizza place I'd eaten at in 4 days, but each one was different. One nice thing, as a native of New Mexico, is that I could get real green chili on my pizza. In Chicago the closest you can get is bell peppers, which aren't that close.
Aug. 5 -- Wheat Ridge to DenverOn Tuesday, we got moving a bit earlier than hoped, because of a kid who wouldn't go back to sleep. He was hoping to swim in the hotel pool, and ended up blowing his chance to swim in the nicer pool at the Sheraton downtown at least for one day instead.
After breakfast, we worked on packing the cars with a goal of leaving as close to the 12:00 checkout as we could manage. In the end we were successful, checking out about 11:45.
After checking out, we headed back to PetCo to see if we could get a larger harness. They did not have them. We then debated about lunch, not expecting to be able to check in until 2:30 or 3:00. We finally decided to park the cars in the indoor parking garage at Belmar, and have lunch at Ted's Montana Grill. We later decided that this would also serve as our anniversary dinner.
After a lunch where Tara, and we think Derrick, enjoyed some bison meat, and I had a chicken sandwich with avocado and green chili, we headed out to the Sheraton.
On the way up Wadsworth to 6th avenue -- a freeway that is, possibly coincidently also US-6 -- I passed a PetSmart. I decided to double back and see if they had the extra large harness. They did, so I purchased it and then headed towards downtown.
However, I missed the exit for I-25 due to confusion over how the lanes were marked on the exit sign. I then tried heading up Santa Fe towards Colfax, only to turn the wrong way on Colfax and had to double back.
Finally, I found the Sheraton, only to have a sign tell me to drive on the pedestrian mall to get to the parking garage. I ignored the sign and found another garage entrance off of 15th street, which I used. I then found a parking space, and found Tara who had just checked in.
We ended up using a bellman to get the stuff out of my car (except for the dog kennel, which I hauled up myself so we could kennel the dog before loading the room).
After getting settled, I ran out to King's Sooper for some fruit. I ended up taking Tara's car when I discovered I'd left the keys to my car in the room.
Before or after going to the grocery store -- I don't remember when -- I took the dog out for a walk with his new, and better fitting, harness. It works very well (I'd almost say he was a new dog). The only trouble is he needs a size between large and extra large, since large is too small at its largest adjustments, and extra large is almost too bit at its smallest. After dinner, I took him out again, with similar results.
After I got back, and Derrick and been waked from his needed, but not wanted, nap, we headed to the Convention Center to get our badges. We got there just before they closed, and I didn't get my program participant stuff. We then had a light supper a market on the 16th street grill, and returned to the room.
After perusing our program guides and deciding on our programming, Tara and I briefly hit up the Australia in 2010 bid party.