Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a glorious weekend involving tacos and/or fancy hats. This was the first year since 2007 (except one ill-timed vacation) I haven’t attended my friends’ Derby party, and it made my heart hurt. To drown out the lonely ache, I accompanied a couple of friends to the Cinco de Mayo parade and fiesta in downtown Denver on Saturday.
To get downtown, I tried out the light rail, which is easily accessible from my new place. After an initial moment of panic and frustration when trying to buy a ticket (I was mortified to look like a tourist after a mostly successful 6-year stint riding the NYC subway), I noticed the touch screen button saying “buy a ticket to Downtown Denver stations,” and I regained my cool.
The light rail is, not surprisingly, much nicer than the subway for a couple of reasons: the train cars are clean, and you’re above ground with a view of the Rockies. Also – no joke – there were two foxes on an embankment next to the track. However, I bet it almost never happens that the electricity gets shut off because the cops are chasing someone on the tracks, while some lady shouts about her own experience throwing herself onto the tracks, prompting some teenagers to ask if she was suicidal and is now on medication. So you just have to ask yourself which you like better – physical and emotional comfort or a good story?
Anyway, I once again missed the parade, only seeing a few low riders bounce along the street while some old white dude waved enthusiastically. After meeting my friends, we proceeded to Civic Center Park for the festivities, which included live music and dancing, booths selling cheap toys and airbrushed t-shirts, and food – so much food (including a whole tent devoted to cookie dough). There was also a public Zumba class, and all I’ll say is I’ve only taken one Zumba class, and it was an epic fail. If I ever had any doubts about my Caucasian heritage, they were put to rest that cold January day. So while it was tempting to laugh, we had to admire these folks who were brave enough to dance it out in public.
This guy, however, did not escape my giggles:
Then, while we were housing some steak tacos, this guy cruised by:
Just around the bend from the Zumba class, the cars from the parade were lined up. They tended towards the “boat” variety, and they were all pretty sharp. The owner of this beauty even took a photo with my friend and me – I am curious/afraid of where that might end up.
Across from the cars was the petting zoo. There was an enclosure with some bedraggled ponies hooked to a stake, offering slow circular rides, and a pen containing a disturbing variety of species. In addition to about fifty rowdy goats, there was a llama, a donkey and a Shetland pony (both frozen in either fear or boredom…possibly both), some ducks, a potbelly pig, a tortoise, and the largest rabbit I’ve ever seen. This poor rabbit spent most of its day hiding under a bench to escape the rough grip of excited children. As we were gawking at it, a carnie woman came over to the fence. “Flemish giant,” she rasped. “They get even bigger. We had one got up to almost fifty pounds.” She raised her eyebrows and stared at the rabbit for a moment and walked away.
We wandered around for hours, sampling chips and green chili, seeing adorable little dark-haired girls in their traditional dresses, and enjoying another perfect sunny spring day. In fact, we enjoyed the sunshine so much that the thought briefly crossed my mind, I wonder if I should have put on some sunscreen?
I apologize in advance for the image you’re about to see (unless you have a foot fetish, in which case, you’re welcome), but I can’t resist…
YES, I should have worn some sunscreen. Regardless of this minor mishap, it was a truly lovely day, made even better by sharing it with fun friends. I hope you all made some great weekend memories to carry you through your Monday!