Phoenix - Day 2
I woke up today at 6:30 a.m., still feeling sick from the cold-that-would-not-die. I actually thought it was a good thing, waking up this early, since Dan said he was going in early to work. I figured I could just go with him. But when I walked around the house, everyone seemed to be sleeping.
So I went back to bed.
I didn't wake up until 8:30 or so, when Kim came in to get Preston's shoes. She told me Dan got up at 5:30 and went into work.
Once Kim and Preston left, it was a strange feeling to be alone in a house with no kids, no adults, and no plans (for at least a few hours anyway). It felt kind of like... vacation! I called Dan and told him I was up, and then I just lounged around, surfing the Internet, eating peanut butter toast, and watching TV.
A visit to renderTHIS!
Dan owns a company called renderTHIS!, which creates 3D renderings of buildings before they're built. Check out this amazing work they do:
I'd never seen his new office, so he took me over to check it out. The office was dark (the shades pulled tight against the Phoenix sun), and it evoked a creative, modern mood. My favorite part of the office was a preview room, complete with high-definition projector, screen, chairs, and 5.1 sound system. Dan played me the beginning of No Country for Old Men so I could see this preview room in action.
After the renderTHIS! office, we picked up Kim and drove to P.F. Chang's. I don't know if it's because I live in Seattle, which has a crazy highway system, but the grid system of Phoenix and surrounding area always confuses me. Everything looks the same to me with miles of sub-highways that only connect at right angles to other highways. And it always seems like people are driving way too fast.
We had to wait 15 minutes at P.F. Chang's to get seated. The topic of the lunch conversation was the challenge of raising kids. Between Dan and Kim, they have four kids (including one teen). We mostly talked about the challenges of having a teen in your house, which I'm not looking forward to.
A movie before Rush
Dan thought it would be a good idea to drive out to the Cricket Pavilion area early, which is in Glendale. Even at 3:00 p.m., we encountered heavy traffic. Sadly, I was right at home again.
When we got out to Glendale, we still had a few hours to kill -- so we decided to see a movie. We stopped at WestGate City Center, a beautiful outdoor mall, with one of the biggest AMC movie theater I've ever seen. We wanted to see Iron Man, but it didn't start until 7:00 p.m. Instead, we opted to see 21. Dan enjoys playing poker, and I enjoy watching Dan play, so we thought it would be a good choice.
We were the only ones in the theater until a couple joined us right before start time. (I must admit, it's always a little strange to have a semi-private showing of a movie in a theater.) The movie was just OK (two stars out of four), but it was still fun to see a flick with Dan -- something we haven't done together since Star Trek: First Contact.
On the way out to the car, we stopped at McFarlane, which is a company that Todd McFarlane started in Phoenix that makes detailed models of characters from movies, comics, musicians, and more. Todd McFarlane is the creator of Spawn and has one of the largest sports memorabilia collections. Dan had never heard of McFarlane, and I'd only seen a few of his toy creations (the Predator alien). One thing's for sure: the craftsmanship of these toys is amazing. They even had some figures from Lost, the TV series. We didn't buy anything, but we made a note to try and visit one of the McFarlane stores before I went back to Seattle.
After that, we drove to Cricket Pavilion to see Rush.