“I don’t want to take a bath!’
“You must. You’re filthy, and you haven’t had a bath in two weeks.”
“I’m fine. Run me through some puddles on the way to Kansas.”
“You have bugs in your teeth.”
“I do not!”
“You must take a bath. Think how much better you’ll look.”
Today started, after the quick bath, with a trip to Boulder to check out some new coffee shops and to browse and walk and people watch. The drive to town out of Denver was stunning, with the early morning sunshine hitting the snow-capped tops of the Rockies as if it was focused there on purpose. Boulder is home to the University of Colorado Boulder, and is a thriving, bustling, pretty little college town with a cosmopolitan feel.
I first visited Boxcar Coffee Roasters.
This little shop, shared with a deli and wine shop in the same physical building, is quirky, has an excellent atmosphere, was filled with patrons, and served up a great cup of coffee and biscotti.
The baristas were wearing matching clothing, very smart looking, and were knowledgeable and friendly. I enjoyed some time in the back room there drinking coffee and writing a bit.
Next, just down the street toward the busy retail section of town, was The Cup-Espresso Cafe.
This little place was bustling in the front section, spilling out on the sidewalk, with music, conversation and studying going on at a torrid pace. The nice thing about this coffee shop was that there is a quiet room in the back for those who want to read, work on their computers or just have a more toned-down area to enjoy their time there. I sent some time at the bar in that area, nursing an Americano and working on more notes for this post. An interesting little “cell phone booth” was reminiscent of the old days when one had to enter a phone booth to make a call any time you were away from home.
After visiting these two coffee shops in the morning, I spent another hour or so walking the main streets of Boulder, looking at all the wonderful little upscale shops, restaurants, and other coffee shops that went on for several blocks. The day was lovely, the sky blue and the sun bright and warm. I could not have ordered better weather to explore a more lovely little town.
Later, after getting back to Boulder and meeting up with my daughter Chelsea, we drove a few miles outside the city to hike the Chimney Gulch Trail, about a three hour round trip. Kaya the wonder dog accompanied us and never faltered! Here are some shots of us on the trail, some pictures looking back at Golden, CO, and the Coors plant there, and some looking way back out in the valley towards Denver. It was a great little hike, moderate in intensity and a lot of fun for all of us.
Dinner tonight was at the very fine Sushihai near downtown Denver. We came upon this little gem quite by accident, as we were headed to another restaurant and found that it had been closed even though it had an active review on Yelp. It was a serendipitous event, as the meal was lovely and we enjoyed it very much indeed. I feasted on duck and we shared a dessert of mango and green tea ice cream.
So, I’ve traveled 4550 miles so far, seen many sights and been in many states. What are some of my rants and raves so far for this trip?
Chicago has too many toll roads and the construction on many highways and at many major intersections makes it very hard to drive around that city and its environs.
North Dakota was much too windy and already too cold for me even in October. I simply could not live there, though I enjoyed my visit. (Sorry, Julie!)
Montana lived up to its Big Sky Country nickname. It was very beautiful and fun to drive through when the roads opened up for miles and miles ahead.
Seattle has been the most fun city so far. The Pike Place Market, the many shops and coffee stops downtown, the beauty of the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, and the views of fog, mountains and water from the parks all made my time there very special.
Portland was a nice city to visit and learn about but like my pictures, everything there seemed to be so GRAY.
For sheer beauty, openness, many things to do, and opportunities to get outdoors and participate, Colorado has been the best so far. Denver, Boulder and Golden were all beautiful and fun to explore today, and I look forward to more adventures here tomorrow.
I found myself thinking “I wish I could do this at home!” today. What I realized was that I can recreate this fun traveling vacation and all the activities that have been so much fun so far. I just need to realize that the trips will be shorter, the time spent will be limited and the geographical areas will be closer to home. There are many wonderful things to be seen in my adopted home state of South Carolina.
The intention to get out and see them will be key.
Good night, my friends, from Denver, Colorado.