Well, it’s been a minute! My blog has been silent for quite some time now, and I have so much to share! A big life update post is soon to come, but for now, how about a recent look at my weekend trip to Boulder, CO?
I am a flatlander for life. Born in Illinois. Raised in Wisconsin, and now back in Illinois. Besides a 6 month study abroad experience in Telemark, Norway, I am not accustomed to altitude! Last week, a work event brought me to Denver, CO, and I decided to extend my stay in the “Centennial State” for the weekend. While I had no plans for skiing (my body is not conditioned for that yet), I did hope to enjoy the beautiful Colorado scenery.
Breakfast in Denver
The day before I flew to Denver, I got an abdominal/pelvic CT scan (that’s another story). In preparation for that scan, I had to drink over 60 Oz of “Berry Smoothie” barium as well as have contrast dye injected intravenously. The result? I was up all night in my Denver hotel room with some of the worst stomach cramps of my life. The next morning, I needed some stomach settling grub. While I am sure there was plenty of greasy breakfast food to be had in Denver, all I wanted was toast. And an acai bowl because, well, duh. Enter Etai’s Café. Etai’s hooked me up with delicious griddled sourdough and an acai bowl with strawberries, banana, greek yogurt, and mint. I passed on the dairy, but the rest was just what my aching stomach needed to start the day. After breakfast, I spent most of the day working, and eventually we piled in the rental car for a quick 30 minute drive to Boulder.
Briar Rose B&B
When we arrived in Boulder, we were welcomed at our lovely Bed and Breakfast, the Briar Rose. My love of bed and breakfasts began last year when I booked an adorably small room at a B&B near Loch Lomond in Scotland. Since then, I’ve stayed at 3 different B&B’s, and I always enjoy the experience. At a B&B, you always meet new people, and you experience the place you are visiting in a much more intimate way than you would staying at a chain hotel (I’m looking at you, Marriott). The Briar Rose serves all organic breakfast (they’ll accommodate almost any dietary restriction), and they offer tea and coffee service throughout the day. I’m telling you. The tea service was ADORABLE. Look. Tell me I’m wrong.
The other unique aspect of the Briar Rose is that it shares an owner with the Dharma Sangha Boulder Zen Center. They have daily guided zazen meditation, but they also open up the meditation room (located on the first floor of the B&B’s carriage house) to all of the Briar Rose guests. This is an incredibly peaceful place to meditate, think, or just sit.
I skipped lunch on our first day in Boulder – a true rarity for me (that barium though), so after a short rest, we headed to the Pearl Street Mall for some window shopping. It seems all great college towns have a Pearl Street Mall equivalent. In my alma mater’s college town, Madison, WI, we had the infamous State Street. Like State Street, Pearl Street Mall is filled with gift shops, alternative pharmacies, and great places to eat. That evening, we grabbed tacos at BarTaco (a chain, but a good one), and went to an extremely interesting oxygen bar called Tonic.
Walking and Hiking
The next morning, we took advantage of the nature around us and enjoyed a walk at both the Chautauqua Park and the trail that follows the Boulder Creek.
The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse was build by hand in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and sent to Boulder as a gift (Boulder and Dushanbe are sister cities). The Teahouse boasts a diverse breakfast, lunch, and brunch menu, and an expansive selection of teas. This is a gorgeous and unique restaurant, and they also serve afternoon tea (with the works – think finger sandwiches). If you plan on an afternoon tea service, they request you to make a reservation 24 hours in advance. Try the house chai with almond milk and the Korean pan fried noodles. We also tried the Persian Chickpea Kufteh which was also delicious.
Overall, we really enjoyed Boulder, and I hope to be back!