After the Deluge

Just before Christmas in 2014, my family and I awoke to a strange and disturbing sight. On our kitchen floor, extending from the front of our dishwasher, was what I guess I’d call a pond. It seems that the dishwasher (which runs overnight) had flooded, and the resulting water had covered our floor and hung out there all night. So, much of that day was spent soaking up water, googling “how to fix leaky dishwasher” articles, trying to follow the advice in said articles, and having that advice not result in a fixed dishwasher. We did learn enough to determine that it was time to get a new one. Our old one was original to the house (so 13 years old now), and it didn’t make a lot of sense to pour significant resources into fixing it. So, hey, we got a new dishwasher, after wrangling a bit with Sears on the delivery time.

There was a corollary effect, here. The planks of our wooden kitchen floor, formerly nice and flat, had been turned by the standing water into little ocean waves, so that you’d get kind of a corduroy feeling as you ran your feet across them. Well, a new dishwasher is one thing, but a new floor is a much bigger proposition. So, we called our insurance company. They established that yep, that loss was covered (after our hefty deductible, mind you), and that fixing it would be a 3-4 day endeavor, which we could choose to do anytime in 2015 (basically we had a year from the time we made the claim.) Moreover, during that time we wouldn’t really be able to live in our house, due to everything being ripped up, replaced, and then coated in heavy chemical sealants. Because of this, they offered to pay hotel and cat boarding costs for us during the procedure.

Nimbus exploring the wood planks of our floor-to-be.

There were a couple of ways we could go about this. One, they could find us a place to stay nearby, make the reservation, pay it off, etc. — basically take care of everything so that we’d just be able to go. Two, they could determine how much the place they’d find would cost, and then let us make our own arrangements, as long as we kept under that number (or agreed to cover the difference.) We opted for the second choice, because we are somewhat finicky people, and wanted to have control over what kind of place we’d spend a week in. As it turned out, the number that they named allowed us a fair amount of latitude, and they didn’t care where we stayed since it wouldn’t affect their payout.

So we found a nice condo via VRBO, and in the first week of July, we took a vacation in Keystone, Colorado! It was a lovely trip – a great balance of resting and activity. Resting time meant reading: a temporary subscription to Marvel Unlimited for me, Patricia McKillip’s Moon-Flash for Laura, and various Star Wars, Dork Diaries, and Ken Jennings Junior Genius Guides for Dante. Dante and I also spent time with a vintage IF game called The Pawn. I found it pretty frustrating, and after a while switched to walkthrough mode, but Dante was fascinated with it, and had a great time wandering around and trying different commands, as well as solving the occasional puzzle.

There were plenty of options for going out, too. Keystone is mainly a ski resort, but there’s plenty to do in the summer as well. Here are some photographic highlights from our trip:

There was a giant chessboard in the little village (meaning stores and restaurants) outside our condo. Dante and I played a game, and I emerged victorious, somewhat salving my ego after the massive trouncing I received on the nearby giant checkerboard.
Dante with giant chess pieces.

Dante with big checkers.

The three of us rode a ski lift up and down the mountain a few times.
View of the mountain from the lift

The place we were staying had a cool pool table in a common area, so Dante got his first billiards experience.
Dante shooting pool

They also had an awesome actual pool, complete with hot tubs.
Pool view in daylight

It was quite magical at night, when the lights came on.
Pool view at night

We also had a mini-golf outing, at the kind of mini-golf course that can be loaded in and out of a big truck.
Dante at mini-golf course

There’s a little lake in one area of Keystone (just a bit bigger than the one in front of our dishwasher that morning), and we rented a paddleboat to ride on it.
Dante paddling and steering the paddleboat

Laura also took a morning and rented a kayak to explore the much larger Lake Dillon, down the road from Keystone.

We returned home to a flat floor and a strong smell. The overall experience with contractors and insurance was fairly frustrating, but it sure was nice to be able to all get away together, and not have to pay for lodging!

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