Boulder, Colorado, USA 2000
The 8th and final stop on my second 2000 Round-The-World trip
This Travelogue is Incomplete
This stop in Boulder is an unusual one for me. I actually have an agenda for this visit: to decide if Boulder is a place that I would like to move to. I am very tired of Seattle, the incredible growth the city has experienced, the traffic, and especially the rain. Everything I have heard about Boulder is amazing, so it is time to check it out.
[For those of you that are keeping track, I have jumped directly from Thailand, stop #4 on my round the world trip, to Boulder, Colorado, USA, stop #8 with nothing in between. In the middle I stopped in Washington D.C., Boston, and Pittsburgh to visit with family and friends, so I have not reported on those trips.]
Sunday May 28, 2000
A delayed flight getting out of Pittsburgh meant a missed connection in Chicago. Nonetheless, I was able to make it to Denver International Airport, and there rent a car to drive to Boulder. As usual, I'm renting from National Car Rental because they are the cheapest of the big rental firms. Usually I find that National's cars are very good and very inexpensive, but that the people who work there are unbearable. This time they were extremely nice and helpful. What a marvelous change! A half hour drive got me to Boulder and the Hotel Bolderado, smack dab in the middle of the oldest, most central part of Boulder. <history>. I finally got to sleep around 2am Boulder time, which is 4am east coast time.
Monday May 29, 2000
I tried to sleep as late as I could to catch up from the late night and get onto local time. It worked halfway; I stayed in bed a long time, but the last couple hours were very fitful.
>> Beautiful, clear skies, sunny and hot.
>>Buy books at the Boulder Bookstore on the pedestrian mall of Pearl St., the heart of Boulder, then coffee and an excellent scone at the Book End Café, next door.
>> Walk up and down Pearl, then over to the Boulder Creek Fair. Fun time at the fair.
>> Back to the hotel for a bit, change room to quieter room that is not right on the street.
>> Drive around town a bit
>> back to the fair, watching live music. Small world: one of the head-liners is a woman that I had seen performing in Byron Bay, Australia in February!
>> Dinner at the Boulder Café. 1247 Pearl St (303-444-4884)
>> Watching street performers on Pearl St.
>> Exhausted, crash out at 9pm.
Tuesday May 30, 2000
Breakfast: Mountain Joe's Café, 1410 Pearl St
Laundry at corner of Boulder & University
Lunch: Zolo Grill, 2525 Arapahoe St - Mediocre
Drive to 2 places
Dinner: Sushi Zanmai, 1221 Spruce St, next to Hotel Bolderado. Very good.
Wednesday May 31, 2000
Breakfast: Bookend Café, bagel and coffee
Rent bike at Dooby's 1505 Pearl St. Really nice guy, very new shop, not much choice or inventory.
Lunch at Canyon Creek farmers market
Ride bike up creek
Ride Historic walking tour
Find really cool bike shop: University Bike Shop
Drive to Denver, leave at the peak of rush hour, 5:30pm. Downtown Boulder to Downtown Denver, 45 minutes. Unthinkable to drive Tacoma to Seattle at 5:30.
Walk around 16th street mall & Larimar square area
Leo Kottke and Cowboy Junkees at the Fillmore
Thursday June 1, 2000
Breakfast: Bookend Café, cherry oatmeal and coffee
I feel lousy, I think it is altitude sickness
Sit and read book for a long time at the Bookend
Drive to NCAR
Very interesting. Great views
To U District, lunch at fun & popular La Iguana restaurant. Taquitos, yummy
Walk around U District. Fun area. Pretty unpopulated since school is out.
Sit on lawn at CU and read
Drive to Chautauqua park. Sit and read
Dinner at Chautauqua Dining Hall, a local institution (900 Baseline Road). Excellent. Walnut encrusted goat cheese salad followed by nice lamb dish.
Free concert at the Fox theatre on 13th in the U District. Very fun crowd, nice space.
Friday June 2, 2000
Breakfast at the Bookend café.
Drive to Estes Park. Estes Park Info Center has the nicest, most helpful information people ever (except that they are not allowed to recommend a restaurant.)
Lunch at The Mountaineer, 505 S St. Vrain Rd, Estes Park. Club sandwich, good.
Drive through beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park (entrance fee $10). Amazing drive on Trail Ridge Road, including crossing the continental divide. 50 miles along the highest continuous highway in the United States, ended at Grand Lake. Turned around and went back. Total time, about 6 hours. A long day of driving
Dinner at Sawaddee Restaurant (1630 B 30th St). Quite expensive and not at all good. I am a serious critic of Thai food, and this was not good. The wall is covered with "Best of Boulder" awards. This is not a good sign for my moving to Boulder if the best Thai restaurant in town is bad.
Saturday June 3, 2000
Rented a bike at University Bicycles, 839 Pearl St. A fantastic bike shop with huge selection of things to buy and much better bikes for rent. Really helpful and friendly staff. Went on an awesome bike ride, first up to the university and around the campus, then down to the Canyon Creek bike path and out to the west edge of town. Prairie dogs.
Lunch at the Dushanbe Teahouse; cold ginger soba noodles with chicken.
Hang out at Rhumba (950 Pearl St), a really cool, fun, funky bar. Had an amazing drink made from rum (of course) crushed limes, crushed fresh mint, sugar and soda water. Yum. Also had an excellent appetizer of seared tuna.
Dinner at Redfish (2027 13th St, 303-440-5858). Creole shrimp and crawfish etouffe combo. Very good, though the shrimp did not taste super-fresh and overall it was not spicy enough. Had a really good Angry Monk Belgian style Ale.
Did a pub crawl, the Catacombs in the basement of the Hotel Boulderado (has separate closed off areas for smokers), Conor O'Neill's, the West End Tavern with a cool rooftop patio.
Sunday June 4, 2000
Breakfast: Lucile's, 2124 14th St (303-442-4743). An interesting take on eggs benedict: poached eggs on top of pan seared trout with bernaise sauce. Served with grits, hash browns, and a huge piece of some kind of biscuit. Yum
Drive to Eldorado Canyon State Park. Full up. Drove to Golden, lunch at Woody's Wood Fired Pizza. V Good.
Hike Gold Gate Canyon State Park
Dinner at Q's, in the hotel. Attractive place, very highly reviewed. 3 appetizers. Gazpacho with shrimp dumplings. Not very good, shrimp tasted fishy. Seared Fois Gras on a bed of dried cherries. Not good. Fusisli pasta with morel mushrooms, scallops and lobster tossed in a lobster infused butter sauce. Just OK. A very expensive meal in a "fine" restaurant, extremely disappointing and not recommended.
Monday June 5, 2000
Breakfast: Bookend café
Sit around, read book. A lovely day to do absolutely nothing. Boulder is an excellent place to enjoy a day of rest.
Dinner: Hapa Sushi Grill (303-473-4730) Fun, funky, happening place with mod music. Very stylish. Unfortunately, the sushi is just OK, and does not hold a candle to Sushi Zanmai.
Tuesday June 6, 2000
Met Dave "the Zipcode Man". Went for great hike just 4 minutes outside of town. Beautiful views down over the town
Dinner: Panasia Noodle, 1175 Walnut St.
Watched Dave do his amazing Zipcode memory act on the Pearl St. mall.
Wednesday June 7, 2000
Packed up and headed out to the airport. Unfortunately, serious road construction on route 36 created a 5 mile traffic jam, and used up all of my margin of error getting to the airport. I made my flight, but it was closer than I would have liked.
Well, this is the end of another two months of travel, circumnavigating the globe. It is good to be going home, but I am less and less convinced that Seattle is where I want to live.