Does climbing a mountain justify stuffing your face?

I think it does.

Well, it’s my last full day in Boulder. I have to say that I’ve throughly enjoyed this trip – Boulder turned out to be much more interesting than I anticipated, though I think I can also safely say that we’ve pretty much experienced every touristy thing this town has to offer in about a week. I think I might quickly get bored of living here (no offence to the Boulderites) but it’s been a fun visit.

We went for a really gorgeous hike on Sunday. The sun was testing its strength and sending down some 35 degree rays, but a combination of wind, altitude and waterfalls kept us cool on the trail up. We went to Roosevelt National Park and hiked the Hessie trailhead up to Lost Lake, which turned out to be much more of an uphill climb than we were expecting. It soon became very clear that we were climbing a mountain, but the scenery was amazing. I felt like I had wandered into the Sound of Music, and I kept expecting Julie Andrews to come trilling out from behind a nearby bush. My host was awesome and took a ton of photos, which meant I didn’t have to lug my camera and still have stuff to show for it!

The hike made me feel less lazy, though in fairness even if we were home I probably would have failed at going to the gym, given all the late evenings and early mornings we’ve been keeping. The food has been great though, which contributes to the whole feeling-lazy thing. We’ve had amazing French, Mediterranean, Nepalese…I commend Boulder on their eats. Nom. I’m going to tell myself that they’re all vacation calories, which are equivalent to birthday calories, sadness calories and post-and-pre-exam calories: they mean nothing. (You know, I really should be a skeleton with the amount of non-calories I consume).

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“Going to Boulder? Is that a really special rock?”

That’s what my friend said to me right before I left. I mean, as cool as it would be spending a week cuddling up to some interestingly shaped rock, that’s not quite what I meant when I was telling her about this trip.

I’ve been in Boulder for a few days now (I’ll be here until mid next week) and we’ve been pretty busy cramming in both work and play. My time zone is kind of off, so I think I’m accumulating a bit of a sleep debt as I’ll go to bed late and then wake up early to go to the office, but it’s still been pretty fun. I like visiting new places, and Boulder has a very interesting vibe. It seems pretty small, and I kind of get the feeling that you could run out of things to do relatively quickly, but overall it’s very cute. The word that comes to mind is hipster, but in a good way.

We’ve been at the office for most of the weekdays (which has also been really interesting, because it’s so different from the main office back in California) but the weeknights we’ve been going out for dinner with the team here. So far, the food (which had to be mentioned, because I’m an obsessive) has been great. The lunches at the office are delicious, and when you’re having first world problems that consist of being too late to lunch to try the fried rattlesnake, you know life is too good to you. We’ve gone for¬†Ethiopian, continental and pizza so far. Nomming is definitely occurring.

We’ve also explored the downtown area of Boulder, Pearl Street, quite a bit – it’s not too large so it’s easy to walk from one end to the other, but there’s lots of interesting little stores and restaurants along it. Tons of bars, but it’s a university town so that’s understandable. So far we’ve stopped at some bookstores, an art store or two, and a tea store. It’s interesting how the street changes depending on the time of day – for example, at night there’s lots of people wandering around going for dinner and such, but today during the day the amount of buskers and street performers was astounding. It was literally a different person every ten meters or so.

Boulder’s surrounded by mountains (hence the name, I suppose) so yesterday night we drove up to Chautauqua Park/Mountain/Area I can’t remember the name of and walked around a bit. The views at the top were gorgeous! My host took lots of pictures so I got to be lazy and just meander around.

Today we checked out a meadery and brewery and took tours of their facilities. I must say, it’s annoying not being 21 here, especially since I’m legal at home. It’s not that I have a raging urge to go out or anything, but I think I’ve gotten used to having the option and now it’s like someone took away the favourite toy I’ve had for two years. But the tours were cool – did you know that to make a dessert honey wine, they use 800 pounds of honey? That’s roughly seven Shannons. It’s ridiculous.