It finally feels like summer is here, and I could not be more excited. I never have many travel plans in the summer outside of Idaho, because Sun Valley summers are simply the best. Here’s what I’ve been loving these past couple weeks:
1. Summer Flowers. It’s finally a safe bet that it won’t dip below freezing for at least a couple months…a.k.a. flower time. It’s actually absurd how happy these little things make me. The pops of color that greet we whenever I come home never fail to put a smile on my face. Thanks to my mom and Lisa for lending helping hands and encouraging my novice green thumb!
2. Maleficent. Anyone who knows me knows I have a thing for fairy tales… I love the recent outburst of postmodern versions (think Snow White and the Huntsman, and even Frozen on some level) compared to the traditional patriarchal, antiquated, and frankly ridiculous versions of my childhood. Maleficent added complexity and depth to Sleeping Beauty, and Angelina Jolie was amazing… I even roped a good guy friend into seeing it with me (along with promises of wine and popcorn), and he really enjoyed it. See it!
3. Girly “Green” Meals for One. The boy has been chasing bugs (brown drakes) at Silver Creek all week in pursuit of the elusive — and giant — brown trout, so I’ve been enjoying The Bachelorette, Shakespeare in Love, and foods he hates like Brussels sprouts, polenta, kale, and quinoa. Stay tuned for this yummy dinner recipe I had the other night that included Brussels sprouts, pancetta, shallots, crispy polenta, goat cheese and chicken breast.
4. Exploring Boulder. For Memorial Day Weekend, I visited one of my very best friends, Kacie Femling. She is the best friend a girl could ask for, and I had a blast finally seeing Boulder — it was about time! Thank you to Tag and Kacie for being such amazing hosts!
If you’ve never been to Boulder, you should fix that. It’s a great small college city set against the backdrop of the magnificent Flatirons. There are dogs everywhere, hippies, hipsters, college students and even dispensaries…although that last one was not a part of our weekend agenda.
I’m sure there’s much more to discover — which I can’t wait to do on my next visit — but here’s what we ate, drank, saw and heard:
Eats & Drinks:
- Med — Delicious tapas style food. Kacie and I ordered about seven tapas plates between the two of us, and it was perfect!
- Bitter Bar — Cool hipster bar with creative cocktails. They have homemade tonic that’s delicious! And pink…
- Bohemian Biergarten — Lots of beer and even cider (yay) on tap, along with a full bar. We also enjoyed 80s cover band The Goonies.
- Salinas Brewery Tap Room & McDevitt Taco Supply — I enjoyed a root beer because I was over my gluten quota for the day, but I did enjoy a taste of their beer, and I can see why it’s so popular. This tap room was in a random spot in the industrial area, but the space is really cool and right by the train tracks. They had corn hole, board games (Kacie and I kicked ass in some Scrabble), and best of all, a delicious taco truck on the property.
- No Name Bar — This place is literally a hole in the wall on “The Hill.” You would have no idea it’s there, because there’s no signage. It’s worth knowing about though…They had great infused booze, live bands, and they even let you order and eat pizza from Cosmo’s next door (apparently they sell their homemade spicy ranch in large quantities due to popular demand).
- Snooze, and A.M. Eatery — Snooze was worth the wait (more than an hour), even while our group was seriously struggling. I don’t even like pancakes, but we had this delicious banana Nutella pancake for the table, and my cheesy potatoes were all a girl could ever ask for….that and a mimosa, some coffee, and a water…
- Big City Burrito — A longtime favorite of Taggart’s (also a CU Boulder grad), Big City Burrito did not disappoint. Maybe not the most logical choice of meal prior to a hike in the hot sun, but delicious all the same!
Sights & Shopping:
- Wonderland Lake Park — This mellow loop was perfect for a lazy morning. It took us about 40 minutes to walk around the lake, and it was beautiful, quiet, and a perfect opportunity to catch up.
- Boulder Creek Festival — There must have been more than 1,000 tents with vendors, art, food, booze and music. It was super fun and included some fantastic people watching and some relaxing time by the creek. Kacie and I discovered two jewelry designers that we loved — see below.
- Makeshift Accessories — Kacie and I both bought a gold/brass ring from this booth, which featured men’s and women’s industrial machine age jewelry made from 100% upcycled materials and artifacts for very reasonable prices. I purchased a ring made out of a key, which I love, and Kacie got one made out of some part of a trumpet…
- Inga Creations — The price point for this jewelry was a little out of my comfort zone, but I wish I’d bought something, because I can’t stop thinking about it! The jewelry combined feminine details with non-traditional materials like antler, bullet shells and leather.
- Red Rocks Amphitheater — This was by far my favorite part of the trip, despite the fact that it was about 40 degrees and our cute dresses lasted about 45 seconds before we changed into pants and layers. Red Rocks Ampitheater is 45 minutes outside of Boulder, but it’s so worth the drive. It is absolutely stunning, and I was so blown away. I would have gone just to see the venue, but one of my favorite country bands, Randy Rogers Band, played (Turnpike Troubadors and Casey Donahew were openers, also awesome). Thank you, Kacie, for buying my ticket!
- Chautauqua Park — We intended to go on a more intense hike along the Flatirons, but we just hiked for as long as we had time, as I had to catch a flight. It was still really beautiful, and I even met an adorable 3-month-old French bulldog named Sheriff, which confirmed that I will one day be a French bulldog owner.
I had such a great time in Boulder! It was a great opportunity to spend time with old friends, best friends, and make new friends. I even checked a couple things off of my bucket list — I won’t explain further for now….
I can’t wait to go back!