For purple mountain majesties, Above the fruited plain!

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I’ve just spent the last 15 minutes attempting to figure out how to begin my blog post about my trip to Colorado. No dice. Nothing has come to mind that isn’t cheesy or lame.

Colorado is anything by cheesy and lame. Well ok, maybe it can be a BIT cheesy, but its definitely not lame. Well, OK unless you like clubbing and nothing by clubbing then maybe Boulder would be lame for you.

Colorado is beautiful, clean, fun, crisp, fresh, majestic, splendid, friendly, healthy, and a slew of other words that are generally good words.

Colorado is perfect.

Just look at it!

Foothills of the Rockies

I went to visit my two friends from Semester at Sea along with two of our other friends from the trip. It was a reunion! A much needed reunion. We all hn’t been in the same room together since our voyage the summer of 2009. Two years! Flying in to Denver was interesting. I had a window seat and clear skys for almost the entire flight so I had the chance to see the great plains from the air. I have no idea what I was thinking, but I didn’t actually realize that the cities of Denver and Boulder are actually right on the edge of the foothills and the plains. Quite a site it is to see flat and then all of a sudden BAM! MOUNTAINS! Very unlike the Appalachians which have rolling hills leading to their peaks.

We all flew in Thursday evening and spent that night playing cards, sipping wine, and catching up. We all stayed up until around 3 am (5am for the two of us from the east coast). The next day we had plans to go into the mountains and hike. Unfortunately we had to post pone the hike for a friend to finish work at 2. We did however have the opportunity to go to this AMAZING breakfast/lunch place called Tangerine. Delicious! I lied. Super delicious. They have an incredible menu. Nothing is really plane, they ‘fancy’ everything up, but in combination that all sound appetizing. The two times that we went to this place for breakfast, we needed about 20 minutes to decide what we wanted! The first meal I had was a classic eggs benedict and the second was steak and eggs, though they served it with polenta, avecado, and carmelized onions and peppers.

We did a short mile and a half hike called ‘snowshoe’. At least I think that is what it was called. Maybe it was Sugarloaf? I think it was the same name as a ski resort on the east coast. It was short, but a good first hike in the mountains. Let me tell you, hiking while dehydrated in that elevation is not the best. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling the elevation before we even reached the top.

We wanted to catch the sunset while at the top, but managed to time it poorly and arrived about an hour early. It was cool and we had some evening plans, so we did not stay. I definitely drank a tad too much water at the top and had to practice the art of relieving myself outside without getting anything on me. Success! I think growing up in the country definitely trained me for this moment. Gold medal for me!

Before heading up the mountain on Friday, we walked around downtown Boulder and checked out a few stores in between bouts of rain. We had the chance to stop at the beautiful tea house that was donated to Boulder in 1987 by their sister city –  Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I had this delicious iced herbal tea of the day with lemonade, club soda, and the tea which was a sweet strawberry. The tea house was gorgeous. Artisans created the tea house over two years and then the whole thing was taken apart and then reassembled once it reached Boulder, Colorado.

Exterior panel of the Tea House

They had a really great fair trade artisan shop which we stopped into as well as some interesting thrift stores. That area of Boulder is extremely cute. It reminded me a lot like Charlottesville, VA, except with crisper and cleaner air. Oh the mountain air. If I could package it up and bring it with me, I would.

Nothing really of note happened on Saturday. We had some delicious Thai food and then hung out at my friend’s again playing cards and drinking more of said wine. OH! OH! I lied! I read on the weather report that there was heavy snow in the mountains, so we took a snow drive after breakfasting at this amazing Louisiana style restaurant – Lucile’s Creole Cafe. The restaurant was cute. We all split some beignets and then ordered delicious breakfasts. I chose a stack of New Orleans style french toast with a buttery maple syrup, New Orleans style sausage, one egg, and fresh fruit. Delicious. Anyway, the snow! It will be one of the few times I have the chance to see snow falling from the sky. We stopped at a few scenic overlooks and had snowball fights. We built a snowman at the one. Well it was a snow woman…. It was fun. I loved seeing the snowy evergreens and the snow covered mountains with the random patches of golden Aspen trees splattered here and there over the mountains. Beautiful. Definitely inspiring some art work.

Sunday we took a trip into Denver. Our first stop was the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Walking through the space exhibit and going to the planetarium presentation of Journey To The Stars (narrated by Whoopie Goldberg) made me think about how I do miss doing things involving science and made me think about how my life would be different if I had pursued my dream of being an astronomer. Oh well, I’m incredibly happy (now that I’ve moved to San Francisco!). There was an amazing view of Denver from the top of the museum. I loved the way they set up the wildlife displays. I know that the Smithsonian has a huge number of visitors and displays and has a large collection so it is hard for them to set up displays such as those found at the Denver museum. They had the animals sectioned off in their respective habitats and had glass displays with images of their natural habitats so you could get a good idea of what kind of are they live in. I loved it. Sorry DC, another minus for you. They even had a section of the crystal caves in Mexico! Definitely a place to go if you’re ever in Denver…. and love sciencey stuff.

We wandered around the city at night and sat a mile high on the steps of the mint. Exciting night!

Monday was a sad day since we were all preparing to go. We went to tangerine one last time and then hopped into the car and headed to the airport.

Colorado is beautiful. I loved every minute I was there. The atmosphere is amazing. The people are friendly. I love all of the flannel! I have decided that it is my destination for Thanksgiving. My friends that are there, their significant others and roommates, and I will all cook our thanksgiving feast and hopefully will have the opportunity to go skiing!

Colorado, I’m not done with you yet!

 

View of Denver from the Museum

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