I was headed home when I got the ‘ping’ about two blocks from our place. The “pin” showed the pick up near the Boat House at Washington Park. As I pulled up I saw four folk standing out on the corner staring at a smart phone. That is almost always a sign that they are my future passengers. It was a Mom and three young kids, who I soon found out were 14 (daughter),12 (son), and 10 (daughter). They were no more in my car than I knew by their very proper British accent they were not from Texas. Their energy was contagious as they began to ask me lots of Colorado questions. Mum told me this was day 33 of a 40-day trip to the States. When I asked where they had been so far here was their short list: Yellowstone Park, Grand Tetons, Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and now Denver.
We were headed to their airbnb in the heart of historic Capital Hill. “We think Denver is our favorite city we have ever been to”. “Well, I am a huge fan of London “!!! So we began a mutual admiration society. It’s special to view your home 🏡 through the eyes 👀 of visitors, especially when they are so observant. “We think Denver is the most beautiful and clean city we have ever seen” said the oldest girl. “You have so many lovely parks” said Mum as we drove by a flower garden on Speer. “I love Cherry Creek Mall” said the youngest. “Are you a Bronco fan”? asked the young boy who was sporting a brand new Broncos ball cap. It was now time to roll out my Orange and Blue pedigree. “I went to my first game when I was a year younger than you are. I am now 68. You do the math”. “57 years!!! Sir that is quite an accomplishment”. “So, do you follow the Broncos in England”? “Honestly, not until now, but I plan to”.
I asked them if we could take a short detour and drive by my old church building on Lincoln Street. They all voted “Yes”!!! You would have thought that folk that live around Westminster Abby might be underwhelmed. Well, if they were, they fooled me. I then told them the story of the benefactor “Uncle John Sutton” who gave the money for the building of the church in honor of his wife who died tragically. “He took the founding minister to England to get the architectural building plans”. “So our contributions are more than the Beatles”? “As much as I enjoy the Beatles I had 18 great years in that wonderful space”.
I marveled at a mom who loaded up these kids and gave them a summer in the USA. (Dad is a physician and as she said “He is working so we can play”.) We then went up Lincoln by our state capital. Mum said it a second time, “Denver is the most livable big city I have ever been to. I have never seen so many parks and public spaces”. It helps to be reminded how fortunate I am.
When I was asked by the youngest daughter what my favorite city in the world is my answer was “London…but to quote that famous girl from Kansas ‘there is no place like home’.”
Onward and Upward,