Things to Do in Denver When You’re….Not Dead


Ah, Denver….where to begin? Hey, how about the beginning?

Well, the beginning is this: the entire first part of the trip, from the time I left Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon till the time I left the hotel room for the concert Tuesday night? It SUCKED. Plain and simple. I didn’t expect it to be a big thrill but it was pretty lousy, to the point I was wondering if the concert would even be good enough to make up for the trouble of going. To that I say: HA!
Why did it suck? Okay, first we start with the flight. It was bumpy in a lot of places. I HATE bumpy flights. I get really freaked out. So that was no fun.
I got to DIA and got out to the bus stop just in time to get on the appropriate bus without having to wait at all. Great, huh? Except, not so much. We got into traffic on the freeway from an accident so the bus ride took probably 20-25 minutes longer than it should’ve, meaning it was dark by the time I got off the bus at the stop I’d predetermined as being closest to my hotel (thereby rendering the cab ride as cheap as possible).
The stop I chose was at a light rail (train) stop. The one thing I had neglected to research, however, was what kind of area this stop was located in. Come to find out, let’s just say it was Not Nice. It was also a mainly residential area so businesses where I could hang out did not abound.
So, here I am, in the dark, in a city I know nothing about, pregnant, by myself, with luggage. Oh, and did I mention, no cell phone? This meant I had to call for a taxi on the pay phone. Lucky me, I discovered I also did not have enough change to make the call so I had to use a prepaid calling card I happened to have leftover from my previous trip. The company charges a 90-cent surcharge for calls made from a pay phone. Therefore I had enough money on the card to make two calls from there, max.
I called the cab company and they said they’d send one. I’m standing there with my stuff and it’s getting scarier and time is going by and no cab ever comes. Probably 40 minutes went by and no one showed. So I decided to call the cab company back. I had just gotten on hold with them when a guy started motioning at me from across the train tracks. He made a motion like he was talking on the phone. I thought he might be the cab driver and was wanting to know if I was the person who called. So I hung up and walked across the tracks….only to find he was some freak who was now walking down the street.
Now I have no money left on the card to call the cab company, the cab still hasn’t shown up, and it’s getting later. I mentioned before that this was a residential area. This was also Halloween night — but I didn’t see anyone trick-or-treating. I don’t know about you but, to me, that constitutes a Bad Sign. This is no joke, I took the concert ticket and my driver’s license out of my backpack and hid them in my sleeve in case someone tried to mug me, then at least I’d still be able to go see Paul and get on the plane home. I figured someone could wire me some cash.
Anyway, I was on the verge of freaking out by then. I decided my best plan of action was to go find a business where I could use the phone and wait for the cab. I remembered seeing some things back down the way the bus came in so I took off in that direction. Thank God, there was a Burger King only a couple of blocks down. I went in and the manager let me use the phone. This time the taxi showed up in about 25 minutes and took me to the hotel. The ONLY thing that went right with this whole plan was I had correctly estimated how much the cab fare would be so the whole deal did end up costing me about what I thought it would. Which totally makes up for the “could’ve been killed in a drive-by” factor.
I had done some research on Mapquest about my hotel and, according to them, there was a McDonald’s next door and a Denny’s right on the property. Upon arriving at the hotel, though, I discovered the Denny’s was out of business. The hotel is kind of off by itself, the nearest eating establishment (I heard someone say) being about a ten-minute walk — way too much for an exhausted, crummy-feeling pregnant person. So I was stuck eating McDonald’s, which, normally, I like — but my tummy is starting to get very picky about what it wants to eat and, right now, McDonald’s is not one of those things.
I went to bed early and woke up pretty early. The hotel had a free breakfast so I was all over that. McD breakfast is even less appealing to me right now than McD lunch. After breakfast I went up to my room and proceeded to feel crummy for a few hours. So far, in this pregnancy, my yuckiness seems to be limited to the first half of the day or so. I was really concerned, though, that it wouldn’t go away and I’d feel like crap at the concert.
It started to get better in the afternoon, though. I called and had a pizza delivered since I couldn’t stomach the thought of more McDonald’s. I started getting ready about 5:30 and that’s when things really turned around.
I got down to the lobby after calling a cab from my room and happened to notice another couple who had just asked the front desk to get them a cab. Overhearing what they were saying to a hotel employee I gathered that they, too, were going to see Paul, so I asked them if they wanted to share a cab. They said sure. As we were driving down we were talking and I happened to mention it was my wedding anniversary but that I’d left my husband home with the kids to come here. So, when we got to the Pepsi Center, I started to get into my purse but the man waved me off and said it was on him, and happy anniversary! I was so happy about that. I was really pinching pennies on this trip so to not have to pay for the cab down there was a big help, moreso, I’m sure, than the man realized.
I got inside with no problems, got some cash at an ATM, got myself an ice cream cone and a water, and then went to my seat. Now, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the 11th row. I’ve never sat on the floor at an arena concert like this before and I really didn’t know how close the 11th row would be. I mean, it sounds good but it depends how far back they start the rows, etc.
Well, I’m here to tell you….it was CLOSE. I got sat down in my seat and looked at how close I was to the stage and was in shock. I couldn’t believe that Paul was going to walk out on that stage and I would be that close to him. I thought maybe the stage seemed close because it was so big but that I wouldn’t be able to see faces as well. But then, it started…Paul came out and he was RIGHT THERE! Even closer than he had been in Milwaukee. I just couldn’t believe it. He was definitely within eye-contact range, if he’d just look my way. I really wished I had made up a sign like I had considered doing, because he would’ve read it.
But then came a moment that nearly gave me a heart attack. It was only a few songs into the set, during “Let Me Roll It.” I have to explain that there was a family with kids sitting in front of me, and the kids kept sitting down. So, at times, there was an “empty” row right in front of me, thereby making me a little easier to pick out of the crowd. Anyway, I was rocking out with the song, which is one of my favorites. I was the only one in my section with my hands up in the air. There’s a line in the song that goes, “I want to tell you, and now’s the time.” When that part came I, with my hands above my head, pointed downward to emphasize the NOW part. Well, just at that line, Paul looked at me and smiled. Now, that, in itself, doesn’t mean anything. In a big crowd like that it can look like a person is looking at you when they are not. But, not only did he look at me, and smile, HE TOOK HIS HAND OFF THE BASS AND DID THE EXACT SAME HAND MOTION THAT I WAS DOING!!!!! He looked at me, imitated the hand motion, and smiled. OH MY FREAKING HOLY HELL, PAUL MCCARTNEY INTERACTED WITH ME!!!!
*Ahem* Sorry. I’m better now. Anyway, I actually kept from fainting and just smiled back the hugest smile ever at him. I’m still a little disbelieving that it even happened. I know Paul likes to see people having a good time in his shows and I have seen him before interacting with individuals in the audience. There was a guy seated on the floor in Milwaukee who was totally rocking out and I saw Paul look at him and burst into a really big grin a couple of times. And he will read people’s signs and make faces or smile, or he will give other little reactions to things the people right in front of him are doing. So it’s definitely the norm for him to notice certain people in the audience. I just never thought he’d notice ME!
Anyway, the show was awesome. I, as always when I go to a concert alone, was less inhibited than when I have someone with me, so I was dancing around, singing, waving my arms and having a great time. One of the finale numbers is “Live and Let Die” and I almost did the “let die” part during it. They set off all kinds of pyro and so I was screaming and pumping my fist, and then I decided it was a great idea to jump up and down in time to the music for the entire fast part. I had to sit down after the song was over and drink some of my water! I swear, Paul is more than twice my age and I don’t know how the man does it!
And that brings me to another point — Paul just amazes the hell out of me. For one thing, he looks fab. I can’t believe he’s really as old as he is. And his hair looks awesome this tour. I definitely like it with a bit of length. But his energy is just astounding. There was never even the slightest moment, at either concert, where I felt like he was phoning it in, or that he didn’t really want to be there, or that he wasn’t completely enjoying being there with us. He is truly incredible. His voice is in top form, as well. When he sang, “Helter Skelter” it sounded just like it did when they recorded it in 1968. I have heard him sounding less-than-100% over recent years and I was wondering if maybe it was just impossible for him to do certain things nowadays, but that’s not the case.
So, here I am, amazed, impressed, adoring and blessed to have been able to experience this…and also praying that there’s a way I can see him just one more time, in Dallas. I hope that’s not greedy of me. If it doesn’t happen I will not complain. I know that I have already gotten far more than most people and definitely more than I deserve. But the thought of him being only a couple hundred miles from my house and not being able to go makes me very sad. The only reason I’m not suffering post-concert depression right now is because of the hope that there may still be one more. I just want to see him one more time because, like last tour, you just don’t know if this will be the last opportunity or not.
Oh yeah, and the trip back was much better than the trip going. It occurred to me — hey, STUPID! Look into an airport shuttle service! So I did, and that’s how I got back for my flight. It ended up costing me a whopping $2.50 more than the bus/cab option and was FAR less stressful. I’m such a moron, I walked right past a bunch of shuttles to get to the bus and never thought to ask them how much it would cost. Live and learn, I guess. Now I know what to do if I go somewhere w/o renting a car again.


About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

3 responses

  1. Wow! You interacted with Paul!!! I can totally understand what a big deal that was. And may I say it takes GUTS to go to a concert alone. It took me years to get comfortable even going to a restaurant alone. As for the trip out there being hellish – as the cliche goes, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. You made it, it was ultimately worth it, and what the heck, you got a war story out of it. Oh yeah, and your little peanut has already been to his/her first concert, and what a first concert it was! Glad you had such a good time.

  2. Wow! I wasn’t too sure that this trip was such a good idea, but now I am sooo glad you went. Of course, I thought you had traveled enough to not get in sticky situations. However, I see I can’t stop worry about you traveling around the country! I am happy that my new granddaughter is being inducted into the world of Beatles at such an early age.

  3. O. M. G.!!!!!!! Paul totally gave you a nod and a wink! How cool is that? It makes me want to . . . God, I don’t know. It’s like if we were both guys and you had just, like, nailed Pam Anderson or something, and I would ask to smell your finger. (I know, gross. But that’s the best analogy I can come up with.)
    BTW Mary, check your e-mail . . . you should have something from me. I know, you probably had like 800,000 e-mails waiting for you. If you don’t see it, let me know.
    Welcome back! I missed you.