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Electerik

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Electerik last won the day on December 3 2021

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About Electerik

  • Birthday 03/11/1970

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  1. Well, here it is: the final (and most disappointing) chapter of our tale.... Not Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Probably the biggest single thing that attracted us to Denver isn't actually in Denver, but a 2.5 hour drive west of Denver. So important to the trip was it, that we planned to go on Day 1, with the possibility of Day 2 being dedicated to it as well. However, shortly before our arrival in Denver, mudslides took out I-70--the one direct connection between Denver and Glenwood Springs. This left 2 possibilities: a 4.5 hour winding southern route, or an almost 8 hour winding northern route. We opted for the southern route, since it was theoretically shorter. But after 6 hours of driving, detour after detour, roads that were closed when we got to them and directed us somewhere else (that was also inevitable closed) and still being told that we were 4.5 hours away from the park, with no clear way to get there, we crawled back to Denver with our tails between our legs. Which then left us having wasted most of Day 1, and no guarantee that the supposedly 8-hour northern route would treat us any better. Best case scenario: 16 more hours of driving, likely sacrificing an additional day's worth of planned activities whether we succeeded or failed. So, we shuffled what we could forward and tried to save a day for the end of the trip, just in case they were able to clear I-70 before we had to head home. (Spoiler: they didn't.) This update therefore will not be Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, but rather all the other things we did in and around Denver that didn't merit their own update. So wash that rotten orange juice taste out of your mouth with some minty toothpaste and put your random-oddventuring veil on, because here we go! The Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel, which is easily accessible while wasting your time trying to get to Glenwood Springs. Not that it was all bad. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science Kicking rocks. A temporary mirror maze--which was not much to write home about, but still cool that it was there, even if it was part of an exhibit celebrating the golden ratio, which is kind of science related, in that the ratio can be expressed with math, but which is otherwise pretty questionable in terms of claims made about it. Anyway...yay, a mirror maze! A view of City Park and the smoke-choked Denver skyline from the museum's super-secret not-that-secret outdoor viewing deck. Village Inn! Maybe you have these near you. We did when we lived in Orlando, but haven't for a while now, and really miss them because we're weird. One of our hotel's four elevators. The others depicted a ski lift, the cockpit of a jumbo jet, and a spaceship. But I think I know my audience well enough to confidently go with this one. Our hotel's 13th floor. The Curtis Denver, if you're curious. The good news is that our hotel had a view of an amusement park. The bad news is that it was Elitch Gardens. (I used that joke on Instagram, but I'm just going to assume that you've forgotten it by now, even if you do follow me there.) Colorodeos really love their flag. Coloridiots? Coloradicals? Ice cream was had. The first permanent structure in Denver was a saloon. They are a hardy people. Sakura House (not too far from Coors Field) was unassuming and kind of hard to find, but amazing. Denver Botanic Garden just missed getting its own update, but I figured y'all only wanted to look at so many pictures of flowers. Flower photo. If you wanted more of this, just keep scrolling back up to here every once in a while. This Dale Chihuly glass work is entitled "Colorado." I mean, not to brag or anything, but Seattle has an entire museum-type attraction dedicated to his work and we're weirdly competitive about it. I really enjoy Brutalist architecture. I've phrased that in such a way so that if someone tells me this is actually an example of some other type of architecture I can say, "Yeah, I know. I wish it *were* brutalism because then I would like it." I don't like to lose. [*takes bite of apple*] Really enjoyed this art exhibit by Yoshitomo Saito. The Denver Botanic Gardens also had an exhibit of Salvador DalĂ­. But I'm pretty sure these things change with the seasons, so they might not be there when you visit. But hey that's life you know? Change. We didn't get to experience as much of Casa Bonita as we wanted, since they were mostly closed except for a small gift shop and occasional tours. But this place is fascinating. Between when this photo was taken and when it was posted, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have bought the place with the promise to "change nothing and improve everything." But since we couldn't eat at Casa Bonita, we hit up Culver's again! We've never actually lived close to one of these, but we wish we did. Adventure Golf & Raceway has three 18-hole courses, one of which is really nice and two of which are good but obviously older. They also have go karts, a ropes course, and a maze. We did the maze, which we paid for but seemed to be run on the honor system, and perhaps unsurprisingly had some maintenance issues. If you miss, it sprays water. But kind of late. Like, when the next player is about to putt. So that's fun. Garden of the Gods It's like a bite-sized national park. Inside the visitor's center. It won't take you all day, but well worth checking out. Back on our mini golf BS. This one is called Colorado Journey and might be run by the city...? Each hole is themed to a local landmark. So kind of like Urban Putt, but more traditional. Do not look directly at the sun. No, wait, it's fine. Blucifer surveys his sulfuric kingdom. Thus endeth the disappointment. Though obviously that was mostly a just framing device. We always have fun on vacation. Even to Hell on Earth
  2. Not all of our time in Denver was spent in Denver. Some of it was spent in Colorado Springs. And thus this update isn't going to have much in the way of disappointment. Oh, but just you wait until the next and final one! For now, though, it's time for the second zoo credit of the trip: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (& Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun) Because why wouldn't there be a zoo on top of the North American Aerospace Defense Command? So, the zoo is quite, well, mountainous. Which makes a chair lift to the top, so that you can then walk downhill through the zoo, a pretty great idea. Unfortunately, they didn't think of that. Instead, the chairlift goes to the highest point of the zoo, which is not connected to the rest of it. So you have to take the chairlift back down and then walk up the mountain again on foot. There's not much where the chairlift takes you either. Just a restroom and a couple of yurts. So I'm going to pretend that this jungle gym for goats is at the top instead, because that would be way cooler. And back down we go. Nice view, too. Would probably be extraordinary on a proper clear, non-wildfire-smoky day. If god had wanted us to live at this elevation, he would've made us out of water. Pelinguins These animals are called Guinea pigs, and both parts of their name are a lie. Adventure path! I think he just liked my shirt. Almost all of the eateries are clumped together in one area. I'm not taking a stand for or against it. I just think it's interesting and unusual. I touch clown. Various food items. Hey, some days I'm funny and some days I'm not. Tough luck today. "My Big Backyard" has a little cabin with reptiles and such. Dirty skink. Big water hose in "My Big Backyard." On a side note, I've seen that movie. It wasn't what I thought it would be, I'll tell you that much. Smisty's favorite animal to see at a zoo is the moose. I know she's weird. There's a road that cuts through the middle of the zoo. But more on that oddness later. This seems unusual. There's a building with reptiles and such and cool decorations that are quite different from what you'd expect which while perhaps less natural-looking make it far easier to spot the animals although you maybe wouldn't realize it from this photo which does in fact have sloths in it and this sentence probably needs more punctuation but here we are. No "where is the snake at" here. Standard beastiality golden shower simulator. The elephant on the left just pooped. The two on the right are all like, "Dude." Not a joke. That really seemed to be what was happening. Bridge over elephants to the elephant barn (by way of the sky). Do you say "zee-bra" or zeh-bra"? I'm American, so I say "stripey horse." But I also say "anti-clockwise" so you can't go by me. Root beer is temporarily Dr. Pepper. The closest I've ever been to an okapi. The gift shop, though not quite the exit, and certainly not the end. Your admission to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo also includes admission to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, accessed exclusively in your own vehicle via the road the cuts through the middle of the zoo. And what is the WIll Rogers Shrine of the Sun? It's an observation tower! Why does it exist? To look at things from slightly higher up! (Never mind that it's built halfway up a mountain that you could just go higher up on.) Why is it named after Will Rogers? Because he died in a plane crash while it was being built. (Actually, the plane crash might not have anything to do with it.) Look man, I visited the place but I don't have the answers you're looking for, okay? I spent five minutes googling Will Rogers quotes about religion, hoping he had something atheistic to say that I could put here below this photo of a little chapel in the bottom level of the tower, but no such luck. You win this round, sincerity. "You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is." The inside has quite a few interesting paintings, as well as various small rooms full of artifacts, old photos, and newspaper clippings. Some of it is Will Rogers oriented, and some of it just murals of people fighting trees, and buffalo descending stairs. Truly something for everyone. The view from the top. Note that the zoo is bottom right. And back down the road we go. This was all very weird. So, obviously, we loved it.
  3. We have been to Aquatica in Orlando, and I would say that it's easily our favorite water park, for whatever that's worth. We lived in Orlando for years (pre-Volcano Bay) but could never be arsed to go to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. The difference being that we got into Aqautica for free.
  4. Yeah, no fun house. To be fair, they had only just reopened a couple of weeks earlier, after being closed for all of 2020 and most of 2021. So maybe (what I assume is) their one semi-retired maintenance guy is working as hard as he can!
  5. What follows is one of the most difficult trip reports I've ever compiled. Why? Because of the place itself. Literally every photo Smisty and I took of it is interesting. Not because we're amazing photographers--although, obviously, we are--but because every square inch of the place is a study in joy and decay. So get ready for lots of weird analogies, because we're going to.... Lakeside Amusement Park First, a quick reminder of the weather conditions during our trip to Denver: hot and choked by wildfire smoke such that you could stare directly at the sun without (obvious) eye damage. So some of these photos may seem washed out or oddly colored. But that's just what things looked like at the time. In the background, you can see Lakeside Speedway, which apparently used to be a big moneymaker for them, but then some people died and now sits abandoned. Welcome to Lakeside! It's here, about halfway to the entrance of the park, that you start to wonder if this is maybe a bad idea. The, um, "entrance." Okay, imagine that every park you've ever been to is a person. Some are ugly, some are beautiful, some are tall, some are short, some are trans, and some are in Canada. Now, maybe you've seen photos of, or have even visited, an abandoned amusement park or two. Those are dead people. But Lakeside is none of those things. Lakeside is a zombie. Why is no one riding in the front seat? I didn't ask. I don't want to know. This ride is closed for maintenance, but it's open. Analogy. The wildcat or whatever is closed, the little ferris wheel thing is closed and the truck is a question mark, but the dead end murder path is open. Striking the right tone here is already proving to be difficult. Because I love this place. It's amazing. It's like going back in time but then realizing that everyone you meet is riddled with diseases that will kill them before they make it to 30. It's hard to even describe it. Like, if everything here worked and someone actually cared about "show" this could honestly be one of the best amusement parks in the world. But as it is, I half expected Haley Joel Osment to be waiting for me on my way out to reveal that I was the ghost all along. Let's play, "Was it Open?" No, the answer is no. But at least the Whip looks like we can ride it! Hey, what park is this? This looks beautiful! You probably already know that this park is famous for its Art Deco architecture, signage, and lighting. Of course, we weren't here late enough to see the lighting, but I have no doubt that it is beautiful and also that half of it doesn't work or only partially works. This mirror maze looks a smidge too easy for me. Lakeside features two defunct and completely-stripped full-sized ferris wheels. So that's a thing. There's no ride here. When did it close? Who knows? What was it? Well, Speed Boats, obviously. What does that mean? I have no idea. Only two missing ride vehicles? Attraction of the Month, ladies and gentlemen! You could tell me that this place was themed to The Shining, change nothing, and I would totally buy it. In the background, you can see the Tower of Jewels, which is, obviously, haunted. But also is--or rather was--the park's real entrance. Can you go up there? Ha ha, no. Why do we not use this entrance any longer? I don't know. Maybe we just like the dirty dirt dirt one better. Or maybe it's because there's two flights of stairs between this and the park proper with no visible ADA lift or ramps. I mean, it doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to add one of those things. But then again, Lakeside does very much smack of being out of money in RollerCoaster Tycoon and just sitting there waiting for a new person to come through the gate so that you can build a new bench, so who knows? If you really want to cry, look up the list of rides that used to exist in this park. Did I peek behind a fence to get this shot, or is this just smack dab in the middle of the park, naturally visible from every direction? Based on what you've learned so far, which seems more likely? The park has a couple of eateries and some redemption games, but no traditional fair games (that I recall) and absolutely no gift shops. But seeing as how Lakeside is both the best and worst place we've ever been, we had to have a magnet. So we bought some extra ride tickets and will just create our own. Analogy. This might be a good time to mention that rides don't actually have queues here. Just an entrance gate and an exit gate and people lined up down the pathways wherever they feel like it. This park is like the saddest old dog at the shelter and I just want to take it home and love it but it costs 100 million dollars and it definitely has heart worms. Wild Chipmunk's ride vehicles each hold exactly one preteen Elvis-impersonator. Why did we not come here at night? Oh, right, because we're old and we go to bed super early. My first and last Vettel coaster. Not because it was bad, but because there aren't any more. In fact, this ride is kind of amazing. I mean, there's no airtime or anything. But it's fast and relatively-smooth and it exists in a park with 3 non-functioning ferris wheels and no gift shop. Basically, all of their maintenance budget goes here. Actually, I doubt that anyone here uses budgets. But they keep this ride running, and that presumably keeps the park running. Somehow. And I'm glad it does. I think this photo nicely sums up Lakeside,. And yes, I'm pretty sure that I could've reached over that fence laid my hand on the track with no effort. But I didn't, because I don't want to know which of us is real.
  6. I've not been, but apparently the Landry's Downtown Aquarium Houston has white tigers. (Denver's, for the record, are Sumatran Tigers.)
  7. An aquarium run by a restaurant group sounds like a joke about how we live in a corporate nightmare, but in fact Landry's owns four of these things and we do. Downtown Aquarium Denver So, like a lot a places during the age of Covid, they've gone to timed ticketing. Which means that you have to choose a date and time in advance, pay online, and then you receive an electronic ticket. Unlike a lot of other places though, here, you then have to wait in line at the ticket booth, where a ticket seller will look at your ticket with their eyes, and then print you out a paper ticket that a person inside scans. Because they can't invest in equipment that would allow them to scan an electronic ticket? And it's not like the ticket sellers also still sell tickets. You must buy in advance, and you must then wait in line at the ticket booth. And, sure, maybe they think this is just a temporary thing. But surely an aquarium, which one would presume is in favor of using technology to support conservation, would be able to see the advantage of being able to scan electronic tickets even after the pandemic. You know, like to save trees? Eh, I guess zoos can worry about land stuff. On the other hand, there's a carousel and a 4D theater out front. The actual aquarium is entirely on the second floor of the building, accessible via elevator or this nautilus submarine themed escalator. Okay, I'm alright. I'm looking at fish now and I've calmed down. Overhead fish. This sign raises more questions than it answers. The dry zone is a dead end. No joke. You must go through the wet zone. Wait, this aquarium has air birds. So they do care about things above the water! These are the voices of modern industry. This is a placeholder caption that I intend to change later. If you're reading it, I either forgot to go back and change it or I literally couldn't think of anything better--which is insane because that's terrible and also a reference that only, like, Robb might get, This aquarium has neither leafy nor weedy sea dragons. But it does at least have seahorses. I'm pretty sure you have to have one of these tunnel things to legally be considered an aquarium. A quick internet search reveals that the top 10 names for male pet fish in 2019 were Nemo, Bubbles, Jack, Captain, Finley, Blue, Moby, Bubba, Squirt, and Shadow. No thanks. The top 10 female fish names in 2019 were Dory, Cleo, Cora, Whoopie Goldfish, Tuna Tiner, Simon & Gillfishel, Shrimpy McDumbface, James Pond's Childhood Home of Seafall, Honda Acura, and Whatever Will Smith's Character's Name Was In That DreamWorks Movie Where He Played A Fish. Proud The fact that this implies that you are so gross that if these fish bite you, *they'll* die, makes this my new favorite sign. Holy crap, this aquarium has tigers?! That's so awesome I don't even care how stupid it is. It was a bit crowded on the outside, so they let me go in and take a photo from inside the tiger enclosure, which I thought was pretty nice of them. Please note that I was just kidding. The Downtown Aquarium Denver (sheesh that's an awkward name) did not actually give me permission to enter the tiger enclosure, and in fact were quite insistent that I would not be allowed to do so because, and I quote, "your awesomeness would overshadow the tigers, and we can't have that." A quick internet search for pet tiger names reveals that people are fracking morons. I mean, seriously, "Dave"? I'm...not sure what this is supposed to be. A mid-film plot twist in horror movie? Another "no service animals" warning? An advertisement for the restaurant? The Deep Blue Sea Foundation is dedicated to putting Samuel L. Jackson in more movie franchises. I don't know why I'm being so salty, this aquarium was just fin. A little fishy operationally, but otherwise quite gouda. Wait, that's a cheese. Carp! Downstairs is the gift shop and badly-named Aquarium Restaurant. Wait, is that a roller coaster outside?! Well, yes. But it's an SLC and it's at Elitch. So calm down. Lunch was just okay. But dessert was amazing. So, should you go to this aquarium? I mean, yes, because it's an aquarium. And especially if it's 95-degrees outside and smoky. But it was good. Denver just broke me. More to come! Whee!
  8. Admittedly, a lot of things have happened in the several years since I've been there, but I absolutely adored Indiana Beach. Interestingly, your trip report looks a lot like my trip report from, like, a dozen years ago.
  9. Cyclone at Lakeside, my first (and it very much looks like last) Vettel coaster.
  10. "If you're watching a parade, don't follow it. It never changes. If the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction. You will fast-forward the parade." - Mitch Hedberg
  11. Well, er, um...it was pretty crowded there...? "Erik & Smisty's Denver Mixed Bag" just doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
  12. We like mini golf. Oftentimes, though, indoor mini golf is...not that great. And this place's main business seemed to be restaurant/bar, so I wasn't expecting much. But, we were walking by, so we poked our heads in. And then we *had* to do it. Apparently this is one of two locations, the other being in San Francisco. And each is themed largely to the history of their respective cities. We didn't eat here, so I can't speak to that. And I assume that you already know if you personally want to drink craft beers while mini golfing. The story I'm telling in my head is that the amount of people who do want to do that keeps the mini golf course well maintained. Urban Putt Denver Urban Putt is located in the historic City Cable Railway Building, which once housed Denver's Old Spaghetti Factory. When you purchase the mini golf, instead of handing you a ball, they give you a token that you use to get the colored ball of your choice from the appropriate gumball machine. It's completely pointless, but fun. So...actually, not pointless, I guess. The actual Denver Airport was disappointing. I mean, I didn't expect to see secret tunnels or lizard people--because the whole point is that those things are secret--but I was hoping to at least see some disquieting artwork or something. The closest we got was seeing (the real) Blucifer from a distance. Anyway, this hole was cool. Denver of course being famous for its duck hunting. Drop the ball into the tube, then use the periscope to shoot the ball at the enemy ship on the screen. If you hit the ship where it suggests, it should go into the hole. Being landlocked has never stopped Denver from having their submarines attacked by octopuses. (Yes, "octopuses." Octopi is acceptable, but less preferred since "octopus" is not a Latin word. In fact, it's a Greek word, so octopodes would actually be a better pluralization than octopi.) Er...I mean, look at that facebutt with his ball stuck in the corner! "You know what the kids are into these days? Video games!" "I knew that! You didn't give me enough time to answer!" "Whatever, it's my idea. You putt a real ball into a video game!" "..." "I call it, TRON." If you putt it underneath the tiny drum set, it goes up the screw-elevator thing on the left and then down through the instruments attached to the (red) rock wall. You might have to zoom in to read the "pro tip," but basically what they're saying here is that Denver cuts every corner. But if that were true, would they really have installed giant windmill blades on their capital building? I think not. It's a table-tilting labyrinth game where you drop your golf balls in and race. Skee-Ball hole with bonus swirly bit (if you're good enough). So there's been a submarine and an octopus, cable cars, alien abduction (not shown), and now a space ship. But how about some REAL Denver history? Oh, yeah...now that's a mini golf hole that Bert would have sex with! The back of the ticket booth is also the last hole for both courses, or the ninth hole, since each is a half course. They're very good half-courses, though. Delphina dropped out of creative writing school to become a fortune teller. Not that I'm in any position to criticize someone else's choices. I went to Denver for vacation.
  13. I've seen at least four parks mentioned in this thread that I absolutely adore. (Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Holiday World, Drievliet, and Enchanted Forest.) Ah well, I guess that's why they make chocolate and vanilla. I'll say, that unless there's a cool new thing or big change, I'm in no hurry to get back to Wonderland in Amarillo, Wild Adventures, Elitch Gardens, or Adventuredome.
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