Meetup. We do love them, but they can be rough on organizers. Our recent Sunday one was no exception.
- It was to be Jazz at the Park (the last one of the season) at 5:30.
- Then, it was supposed to rain from 2pm until like the next day or something.
- So, Organizer M moved it to a nearby bar for just a meetup.
- Then, it was gorgeous with no rain in site…and someone new to the US really wanted to hear jazz…and it was the last one of the year…and so M moved it back to the jazz thing.
- This park has very little access for any cars. Thousands of people go there by foot, by scooter, by rideshare, or by bicycle. Additionally, we know the food truck lines will be long, so we plan to eat before; we take scooters to get to a bar we like a few blocks from the park.
- We try to take scooters again from the bar to the park, but are both met with big fails:
- E uses Lyft. He tried three in a row and none of them would throttle. He gave up and walked.
- I used a Lime because I found it first. My scooter was fine until I tried to park it. I followed the instructions of the park officials, but Lime wouldn’t release the scooter. I ended up in a gaggle of strangers all trying to figure out where to park the scooters. I met a guy carrying a 12pack of PBR. I spent $12 on what should have been a $3 ride, and E beat me there. I don’t even get to tell the story to the small start of our group when Mr PBR (MP) shows up and we both start cracking up. Also, it turns out, that most Lyft scooters were having throttle issues that night. Several had the same problem.
- After a big of hide-and-seek to find the group, we settle in. (Note: if you host anything in public, carry something stupid ridiculous like a big inflatable strawberry. Make it easy for people to find you. Poor M. This is his first rodeo and he didn’t even really want the gig; he just wanted to make new childfree friends.)
- For an hour, our group of a dozen semi- and brand-new friends stand around, chat with some friends, make some new ones….and watch the scary cloud headed our way.
- At the first drop of rain, some smarter-than-us people start leaving. I really thought it was going to blow right past us. Dumb-dumb me.
- After a few sprinkles, M says we need to go, and to meet at the bar he had picked out, so we all start gathering our stuff.
- Before we can get 1/3 of the way out of the park, the sprinkles turn into real rain. We are getting soaked and the rain drops feel like tiny needles pricking our skin. MP is giving away all the beer he can so he doesn’t have to carry it. We duck under a tree for a minute to take a little break. (There was no thunder or lightening.) That’s when we lost MP to the barely-dressed hot girl and her bike. I really hope he got more than just her number.
- By the time we get to the edge of the park, it is pouring. The edges of the streets are over ankle deep. I see a woman barefoot and think she looks more stable…but then I realize I can’t see the ground and was afraid I’d step on glass or something.
- As we cross, it starts hailing. It’s teeny tiny hail, so we slog on.
- We cross another street in knee deep water when the hail turns to a little bigger than pea size.
- Everything we are passing is a residence, not a business. Finally, we duck under a balcony overhang and watch another couple pass us. After the hail stoped, we continued on and found them under another balcony a few down from us. #GreatMinds
- We get to the first business and think about heading in when we see the sign for the one next door; it’s our destination. Cue angles singing! We have made it both to safety and to the goal!
- The floor of the whole bar was streaked with water. We find the guy who made it there first and grab a table.
- Thank you, bars, for single-room unisex bathrooms! Thank you, too, for drains in the floor! I went in, stripped down naked, and wrung tons of water from my clothes. I ran them under the hand dryer for a little bit. While we were there, I did this ritual two more times.
- I started digging things out of my bag and putting them on the picture rail by our table so I could dump the water out of the bag. We all looked a fright…but our group ended up being six people. We heard from a few that managed to find a way home from the storm.
- We had a few beers, took turns drying off, and laughed at the absurdity of the weather.
- When we called a rideshare and got up to leave, my chair had a puddle in it.
- When we got home, E and I did all we could to dry all the things. Some went into the laundry immediately. Others were hung, laid/spread out, and turned inside out.
This is the same storm where a hundred-ish people were trapped in water under an Interstate overpass and had to be rescued by Denver Fire. We were fine the whole time, but I’m sure some of those people were terrified. We got lucky.
The next day, a bunch of our stuff was still wet. We shifted things around and got on the road for our big 30-day vacation.
What a sendoff, huh?