My folks came out to visit. They were supposed to be here on Wednesday, but arrived on Sunday afternoon, having forgotten to call before they left. At the time, I thought it was strange–they were always so fanatical about calling before they left, in case “something happened.”

Cell phones. Social changes. They had three of the things with them.

We did a lot of hanging out; they did a lot of shopping (pre-HS for two daughters and a college freshman son who’d just as soon wear highwater pants, I take it). Thursday we went to the USOTC (US Olympic Training Center) in CS. I’d never been before. “Cinderblock” and “the best training facility in the country” aren’t two phrases I’d use together, but there you go. Those things the sponsors pay for are at least adequate to luxurious; those things the sponsors don’t pay for aren’t. I mean, “be” verb not. We heard lots of stories about the atheletes; the thing that stuck with me the most was that the athletes really are meant to be goodwill ambassadors. After training 10hrs a day, 4 hrs workout, part-time job or school, they still have to do community service. The meeting rooms are open for non-profit organizations to use. Most of the training areas are open to public view, and every half-hour, a guided tour comes through.

Friday we went up to Denver. Started with the zoo. New exhibits. Old favorites. No sunscreen. Three teens. Went well. To sixteenth street mall. Three teenages. Rode up and down on the buses while others shopped. Again, went well, considering got lost and three teenagers. Then Casa Bonita. It was like a continuation of the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, only instead of paying entrance fees you pay for food.

So. All of the kids have now moved past the really-annoying-teen-phase now. I love my family, but this is the first time I’ve seen them in a long time that hasn’t had this undercurrent of whiny viciousness running underneath it. I had a lot of fun.

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