Marnie and I were supposed to present three times at TESOL, which would be in Denver this year, and I am apparently unable to travel without my entourage (husband + baby), so Robert, Marcus, and I made the trek out to Colorado on Monday night March 23rd. We stayed at the Residence Inn (Marriott) on Champa Street, which was only five blocks from the Colorado Convention Center, and which had a comfortable lobby with a fireplace, free wireless, free hot (and varied) breakfasts (Robert went nuts over the make-your-own waffles, of course), and nice suites with a couch, fridge, and microwave in our room.
On Tuesday Robert hung out with Marcus, the baby backpack, and a sippy cup of milk while I presented; they walked so much around LoDo Denver that Robert hurt his foot and limped the rest of the trip. Tuesday night we ate at Vesta Dipping Grill, a nearby place that we had initially hoped for nothing more than fun from, given its gimmicky premise (everything comes with your choice of three of their thirty-odd dipping sauces), but which we actually had a really excellent dinner at--fabulous lamb ribs, a great pork chop, nice sauces, and a very good sticky toffee pudding and fresh ice cream sandwiches (with dipping sauces, of course) for dessert. At right, you see a meat-loving father and son: Robert eats the final lamb rib (Marcus had already gnawed at one of those) while Marcus jealously guards his pork chop. He was so intent on his meat that he wouldn't let us come between him and it to put a bib on him; as a result, he and his clothes were positively bathed in meat juices. Ah, little meat-smelling baby, we love you!
Wednesday I had a free day, and Asma took the day off from work to see us; we went out to lunch, messed around at a little playground, visited her gorgeous pink apartment (a visit which included an exciting encounter with a spraying can of 7-Up), stopped at a Lollicup, visited with her sister Aliya, brother-in-law Rehan, and niece and nephew Farah and Emre, and went out to dinner at Sushi Sasa (run by a former student of Morimoto's) for a great day. Below, you see me with Marcus on a tire swing, me and Asma with Marcus in her living room, Asma with Marcus in the park, and Rehan with Marcus and Emre in their playroom.
On Thursday I presented twice, and Denver was hit by a spring blizzard--sixteen inches of snow!--but Robert and Marcus came to the Convention Center with me anyway in the afternoon and played in a hallway while I gave my last talk. One of the attendees took a picture of them, and everyone gushed about how cute they were together. (Oh, and my presentations went well, too, by the way.) Thursday night we stopped at Los Cabos II, a little Peruvian place right in the path between the Convention Center and our hotel, and had Peruvian arroz con pollo and beef lo mein with a great arequipe-like dessert.
On Friday we took the free 16th Street shuttle bus over to Larimer Square and ate at Osteria Marco, which makes their own bresaola, Italian pulled pork, mozzarella, and burrata; we had an antipasto assortment of tasty things and really enjoyed our (unfashionably early) lunch. The waitress said they usually give "kids" a small piece of pizza dough to play with while waiting for the food, and she offered it to Marcus, so we said sure--at first he was sort of repulsed by the texture (I guess he'd never touched anything this squishy and resilient before), but then he really got into playing with it and getting flour all over himself. At left, you see Robert and Marcus and the dough.
Then Bill and Judy came into town from Steamboat Springs, and we spent the afternoon sitting in the hotel lobby chatting and babygazing (this was the first time Bill had met Marcus, and Judy hadn't seen him since October). For dinner we walked over to Ellway's in the Ritz Carlton and met two of Judy's cousins who live in the greater Denver area; everyone loved our gorgeous table (high-backed chairs, a lazy susan, an elevated area in their wine nook) and the food (a lamb chop appetizer with a cheese fondue was especially good, and I loved my ribeye, sides, and house-made ding-dong dessert). At right, you see me and Marcus with Judy and Bill just in front of the restaurant; below you see Bill holding Marcus and Judy letting him "walk" on her lap.
On Saturday Asma picked us up again and took us out to a European bakery/cafe for lunch, and then we met up with Aliya and Rehan and their kids again and went over to the Cherry Creek Mall just to walk around and visit a little before we had to head out to the airport. Once more, Marcus garnered all sorts of compliments on his cheerfulness on the flights, and we had a great trip. Onward to Italy, little flying boy!
Below, you see three pictures from around the hotel at various points in the week: Robert realizes that Marcus has no depth perception and will gleefully crawl off the bed if not restrained; Robert and Marcus "brush" their "teeth" (ur doin it wrong, little boy!); and Marcus displays his "My dad's a geek" shirt while Robert wears his geeky binary "DAD" shirt.
One short video for you--Marcus going down the slide in the playground:
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Created: 3/29/09. Last Modified: 3/29/09.