The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Denver Airport

Of all the airports I have flown in/out of, the Denver Airport is my least favorite. I much prefer our airport here, or O'Hare, or Reagan, or even Hong Kong to the thing that Denver puts its name to.

One reason I don't like it is that it is far away from Denver. It should be called the Almost-In-Kansas Airport because it is so far east that the terrain and weather are more like Kansas than like Denver. Ok, I exaggerate, but it's in tornado alley. There are tornado shelters in the airport. (Personally, I think that there is no such thing as a tornado shelter unless it is underground. The airport shelters are not underground. They are fooling people.)

When we landed in Almost-In-Kansas, we had 3 hours to wait until our shuttle took us to Keystone. We thought it might be a good idea to take a cab to Denver and see some of the sights. There's an air & space museum called Wings Over the Rockies that looked interesting, a yummy Jewish Deli that I saw on FoodTV that was close to that museum, and Denver has the Molly Brown Museum which tells about the life of Johnny (made his fortune in silver) and Molly (survived the Titanic) Brown. We thought one or more of those choices would be fun so we inquired at the information desk at the airport. The guy there looked at us as if we were crazy. Then he gave us the bad news... we were so far away from Denver that a cab ride would have cost us over $100. And- a bus ride would cost us over two hours. There are no trains to the airport- those are coming in 2014.

Argh. Whose idea was it to move a perfectly good airport (Stapleton) out to the middle of nowhere? I've heard different reasons for the new airport- they were expecting urban sprawl, they didn't like that Stapleton was too close to the mountains and therefore turbulent, yadda, yadda, yadda... I've flown into Stapleton about a dozen times. I don't remember any turbulence. (Maybe the pilots complained about it, but this post isn't about pilots, it's about me.)

Any-hoo, with three hours to kill, Kevin and I started by having lunch. After that, we wandered around and looked in the shops. Same as most other airports. Yawn. We took pictures of silly things and decided that we would make a slide show titled, "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" to present to our colleagues before the start of school in September.
We couldn't get to Denver, so we faked it.

Some people we met.


Airport art.

Kevin's last name is Smith. That's why this picture is funny.

Kid with squid hat.

The one bright spot in the airport was an art installation titled, "America, Why I Love Her" by Gary Sweeney. Here's a few shots of Kevin and I enjoying the work:

Other than that, the airport is rather dull. The roof is sort of interesting except that it appears to be made of some sort of industrial canvas which doesn't inspire much confidence in the building process (or the tornado "shelters"). Maybe they ran out of money to build a real roof. Maybe the fabric is stretched so taut that a plane would not crash into it, but merely bounce off of it. Hard to say.
From the outside, it looks like a cow's udder. Maybe Almost-Kansans have a thing about cows.

So, if you have to fly through the "Denver" airport, pray that your lay-over is not long. If you have to actually travel to Denver, bring lots of money to get anywhere from the airport. (Unless you are going to Kansas...)

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