More Road Tripping

I meant to take some time today and write out a post about game design after visiting a retro arcade in Manitou Springs. Instead, I went on a three-mile hike and celebrated my nephew’s second year birthday. There was beer cake. It was awesome.

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So on day two of our trip, the wife and I went out in search of a haircut. We went with a place that was slightly more expensive than my usual (the beauty college down the street from my house) but I am super happy with my cut. We went to Dapper Barber Shop in Old Colorado City. The barbers were all hilarious. They joked back and forth. Ribbed the clients. Told stories. If I didn’t live nine hours away, I’d be there monthly. Also, it is in the same shopping area as a comic book shop and a tattoo parlor so I might as well get all my vices out at the same time.

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After that, we walked the strip in OCC. There were cute shops, art galleries, taverns, a pizzeria, and a doll museum all in a mile or so long stretch of historic downtown Americana. It was pretty sweet. First, we stopped for pizza. It was an adorable little hole in the wall kind of place with outdoor seating. Their food was phenomenal.
Then we checked out a tiny little loft apartment that had been converted into an antique store. There was just enough room for the proprietor to navigate between the cattle trail of merchandise. So for me, the not so graceful giant, to peruse meant a lot of stooping and dodging. And of course, we ran into a mother and daughter and granddaughter from Guthrie, Oklahoma who were all on vacation themselves.

From there we wandered some. There were a lot of high-end jewelry and art stores. We liked looking but we really can’t afford a $200 handcrafted mosaic lamp right now. While wandering thou, we saw signs for a marionette show. So we stopped in the Simpich Showcase. Turns out they were the family that made those dolls your great aunt brought out at Christmas that wore clothes and were always carolers.

Anyway, the doll section was interesting but just a little scary. Like, that’s the setup for maybe six Tales from the Crypt episodes. Well, anyway, it was really neat. At the end, however, was a section for the younger Simpich who does marionette shows. Turns out we had missed the start of the show but the exhibit featured past puppets and talked about how they were made or what their show was like.

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After that, we also hit the Chavez Gallery. They had original artwork, interactive installations, and a whole host of art to look at. There were things like a doorbell that, when pushed, signaled the curator to bring you a disguise to wear while viewing the art. Then there was a selfie mirror where you make your own art piece and take a picture. You could see the artists’ workspaces and they created.

There was assorted geekery. There was an entire shop just for Magic the Gathering. One shop nearly entirely for collectible toys. And one shop for recent comics and more commercial products. All-in-all it was pretty cool.

After that, we hit up Manitou again. We wanted to visit the local witch for a potion but they were out house hunting and closed for the holiday. So, instead, we went to the arcade and played the penny machines. I learned that I stink at pinball, that user interface is SUPER important for playability, and that twenty-seven tokens will buy you a salt-water taffy and a fake mustache. I want to think more critically about this so I’ll save my thoughts for a later date.

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Then today was the birthday party. We kicked it off with a three-mile hike around Lincoln Memorial Park. The wife was on horseback with her ma and aunt. So my nephew and father-in-law followed from behind. For being two, the little guy kept up really well. His grandpa ended up carrying him for most of it but he did well.

Then we gorged on burgers, brisket, cake, and beer. A good time by all. Anyway, we have more partying to do so I’ll stop here for now. Thanks for reading!

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