austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You try to get the prizes while avoiding the old hawk

We got back to our AirBnB home in the early evening and feeling grouchy. The weather was much colder and rainier than we had been ready for, and while being at Santa's Workshop distracted us from that, mostly, it was a couple hours since we had been there. And we'd had the weird, failed attempt to meet my friend. And now we didn't have anything to look to except going home the next day. The length of our trip was an arbitrary choice; it could've been a day longer easily, and the pressure to get everything we wanted done done be less. Or if we hadn't napped so long on arriving Thursday. It's a bad spot to be in, regretting the end of something you haven't finished doing yet.

Still, the day wasn't done yet. After rallying our spirits we went back out again. This confirmed that Lakeside Park was closed up tight in a cool, rainy night. But there was still something else we could do. We set out again and got onto US 40. I pointed out the road was an old friend of bunny_hugger's. US 40 --- the National Road --- runs right through the town where she went to college. And we drove towards downtown Denver. On a Sunday night. For what possible purpose? As if you didn't know us.

Of course: it was to discover that every single street in Denver is currently torn up for repairs or something. My poor satellite navigator kept crying out in pain as it tried to guide us somewhere, anywhere, and we had to keep diverting one more block away from everything that looked like anything. At one point I saw the signs for the Denver Mint and I realized: oh yeah, we're right by the Denver Mint. That is so up my nerd alleys, and apparently, up the three remaining open streets in Denver.

What we were looking for was the 1-Up barcade. And once we got past enough torn-up streets we found it! Also we found the entire population of Colorado Springs was parked on the streets around 1-Up. I was driving, and I'm not particularly afraid of parallel parking, but there weren't any parallels to park on. We kept getting farther and farther and found no evidence that it was possible to leave a car on the streets, not with everyone else having had the same idea first. Finally we got something, about six blocks away. And it was raining, encouraging more angry thoughts that we didn't bring something to cover us.

We got through anyway, and found the barcade to be ... really quite nice. There's the bar, naturally. And a couple of rooms of arcade games, most of them 80s classics being played only slightly ironically. (In fairness, there's a lot of 80s arcade games it's hard to play ironically because they are fun, especially when they're weird, which so many of them were.) And then another huge room of pinball games. Nearly all DMD and modern Stern games, although they did have a Doctor Dude, a welcome late-solid-state game. Also they had the Pabst Can Crusher. This is --- remember a couple years ago some boutique manufacturer came out with Whoa Nelly? It was a breast-themed game that had classic, 1960s-style table layout and scoring and play. Can Crusher is a reskin of that, in which instead of farmer's daughter talking about their melons DO YOU GET IT because not all the jokes are that subtle, the theme is having a campout with, like, Bigfoot and zombies and all, deep in the woods, with plenty of Pabst Blue Ribbon. This was the first time we'd seen a Can Crusher. I liked it, a good bit better than Whoa Nelly, and that's another case of a less obnoxious theme making for a better game. The one reservation is that the game was quiet enough, and the barcade loud enough, that we couldn't hear any of the game's audio. They might have been calling out something troublesome.

It's a nice place, good layout, good mix of games, including an on-location Baby Pac-Man hybrid video/pinball game. Also to play enough Rollergames that we started to understand what to do. It's not just wait for the game's repeated sound clip of ``rock, rock, rock-and-rollergames'' to drive you mad. It's a good spot to have a pinball tournament. Indeed, had we been in town one more day, we could have gone to a tournament there. HWH, who beat bunny_hugger in the first round of the Women's World Pinball Championships in 2017, and went on to win the whole thing, lives in Denver now. She runs tournaments, including the one we missed that Monday, there. (She also runs a Belles and Chimes league there, one of the things that keeps HWH highly positioned in the women's world rankings.) While we were there, we ran across a league results sheet just sitting on an empty table. It wasn't a league night; we checked. But there it was, apparently, four people playing a round of Royal Rumble, Terminator 3, and Doctor Dude. We have no explanation for this phenomenon.

We spent a couple hours there, long enough to dry out and wonder if the rain would let up already. It didn't. But after midnight we figured we had to get back to bed sooner or later, and so braved the rush back through not-quite-so-crowded streets. And turned the heater in the car up full and left it there the whole drive back to our temporary home.

There we did as much packing as we could, and took quiet photographs of our home for half a week, and hoped that we would get enough sleep for travelling home.

Trivia: Rhode Island passed a law prohibiting the enslaving of Indians in 1674. After King Philip's War (1675-76) settlers would not obey the law. Source: Rhode Island: A History, William G McLoughlin.

Currently Reading: The Long Space Age: The Economic Origins of Space Exploration from Colonial America to the Cold War, Alexander MacDonald.

PS: Let's overlook Gillian's some more.


Coming back to the loading station (upper left) while looking inside the Gillian's Wonderland Pier castle. That's a long inclined ramp to get up to the trains.


Coin-operated monkey band that's located near the base of the ramp leading up to the monorail, actually. The big glass box in the upper left corner of the previous picture is ... not it, but adjacent to it.


Wonder Sub, a something hidden in the corner by (I think) the Musik Express when we visited. Of course it caught my eye.

Tags: denver dash, fifth anniversary trip, gillian's wonderland pier, pinball

Posts from This Journal “gillian's wonderland pier” Tag

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