Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Denver. And more Denver.

So we have almost two hours on the ground in Denver, and it’s lunchtime, more or less. What to eat?

The central area of the United terminal at Denver International has a mix of restaurants, but one catches our eyes: Wolfgang Puck Express.

There’s a bit of a backstory to this choice, involving some silliness from our 2005 Walt Disney World vacation. We were in Downtown Disney, again looking for a place to eat, calling out different eateries we noticed to see if anyone else would be interested. I was a short distance away and only heard about this second-hand, but Linda spotted the Wolfgang Puck Express and announced it by saying, “There’s Wolfgang Puck” – which of course our funny family intentionally misinterpreted as if the person, Chef Puck, was nearby. And then Bob, not having heard this, walked up and said, “There’s Wolfgang Puck!” which set everyone off even more.

Yes, it’s kind of a “you had to be there” thing, but it’s fondly remembered enough that it influences our decision on where to eat today, over four years later.

Brandon and Benjamin share a pizza, but I like the looks of the roast chicken after Bob and Linda order that. It’s good – a generous serving of slow-roasted chicken with some kind of (tasty) sauce and a side of herbed mashed potatoes. Yum.

We’re able to take our time over lunch, but of course the boys get restless before long and want to walk around, so we let them go explore as long as they don’t go too far. Brandon goes downstairs and, while there, looks at the information screens again. He then comes back and reports that our flight is now delayed until 5:55 p.m.

Wow – another hour here? Okay, I know we didn’t particularly enjoy our rushed transition from plane to plane on our way to California, but really, we didn’t need to have the time made up on our way back!

So, now we have an additional hour to wait. Can’t be helped, I guess.

We finish up our meal and start meandering down to our gate, hoping to get a few seats in the waiting area. As we approach, though, it looks like our gate area is packed with travelers – the chairs are full, and many people are sitting on the floor and even out in the walkways. I look around and spot a few empty seats on the other side of the terminal, though. We’re checked in for the flight, and we’ll be in view of our actual gate, so this should be an okay place to begin our wait. We can move across when the mob clears out.

It’s a nice wait. I can look at the planes out the windows, or even the mountains in the distance. Pike’s Peak to the south is just barely visible in the haze.

I pull out a Reader’s Digest, one of a handful of magazines and books I always bring on these trips and never end up having the time to read. The others alternate between sitting and reading or working puzzles, and walking around. After an hour or so, the boys are asking for dessert, so they and Becky go back to the central area for a raid on the Haagan-Daz store. They bring me back a scoop of something very chocolatey. Nice people – I think I’ll keep them around.

They’ve also found that our flight, while not being delayed further, has been moved to another gate. The good news is that it is the gate right next to where we are sitting. We’ll be able to stay here until boarding time. Yay!

The wait doesn’t seem nearly as long as I feared it might, and our plane soon arrives. Time to board for the last leg of our journey.

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