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We have been in our new house for just over a year. One great thing about this house is the basement is the perfect set-up for guests. There is a guest suite and the bar area has a full-sized fridge and even a dishwasher. I’ve put a microwave and toaster oven down there, as well as a coffee maker and electric tea kettle. There is a nice sitting area, so guests don’t have to feel like they have to be around us all the time or hide out in their room. They can get themselves breakfast and just have their own space to hang out.
Shortly after we moved in I told my friend Tessa Brown that she and her husband, Dave, should come visit us. They live in Scarborough, in the UK. We met them at the Iberostar Paraiso Grand. Dave is my co-administrator for the Iberostar Grand Paraiso Fan Group on Facebook. To my delight, they took us up on our offer.
My delight soon turned to panic. They were coming for two weeks. How was I going to keep them entertained for two weeks? Colorado is an awesome state but I wasn’t confident it was two weeks worth of awesome. They had a list of places that they wanted to see in Colorado. We also decided to go to Las Vegas for a few days. Vegas is so unique in the world and it’s a short flight.
I still wanted them to see more of the US. I thought of what was within a reasonable driving distance that was really iconic US. I decided on South Dakota. At that point we had a pretty full schedule. I went from worrying that there wouldn’t be enough to do to worrying that I was going to exhaust them. Their vacations usually involve hanging out by the pool all day at the Grand.
It was a long wait for the day of their arrival. But on August 29th it was finally here.
They arrived at 5:45 pm. Denver International Airport’s main terminal in undergoing a major renovation and it’s complete chaos. We met them as the exited Customs.
As you can see, they brought a lot of suitcases. They had three full-sized and two carry-ons. We did not think all four of us and all of their luggage would fit in my car so Zung and I both brought our cars to the airport. He took Dave and one full sized case and one carry-on and I took Tessa and the rest of the luggage.
Then I got lost as we headed for home. Tessa and I were chatting away. I started paying attention to the unfamiliar looking surroundings. I have a GPS that has voice command, so I asked it to take me home. It confirmed that I had missed an exit somewhere along the way.
We actually weren’t going directly home. Our first stop was DaveCo Liquor store. We not only wanted to stock up on provisions but it is the largest liquor store in the world and only ten minutes from our house! It’s status as the world’s largest is confirmed by Guiness records.
Dave and Zung arrived first because of our unintended detour. That sounds so much better than “because I got lost.”
Dave was surprised to find beer that is made near them, Samuel Smith’s made in North Yorkshire, about 50 miles from where they live.
We got wine for us, Prosecco and cider for Tessa and beer and tonic water for Dave. He had already gotten a bottle of Hendrick’s gin from the duty free shop at Heathrow airport.
We arrived home and showed Dave and Tessa their room and left them to unpack.
I made dinner – chicken parmigiana.
When they came upstairs they presented us with an enormous bag of presents. It felt like Christmas.
There was a pair of sparkly flip-flops for me, a puzzle, a toy for our dog Sophie and one for our cat Lucy. There were chocolates and a bottle of very nice rum. Very nice rum. Zacapa XO.
We ate dinner and spent some time on the porch swing.
My daughter, Susie and her boyfriend, Ben, arrived with their cat, Bella. Susie was having surgery the next day so they were going to be staying with us for awhile. Fortunately we have a second guest room up on the first floor. When we decided to buy the house I thought that room was unnecessary but it has actually gotten quite a bit of use.
It had been a very long travel day for the Brown’s so we did not stay up late.
Their US adventure was off to a good start!