colorado dreamin’

So, Colorado! I have so very much to say about it. But first, some general observations. In part because it gives me an excuse to make a list.

Okay, mostly because it gives me an excuse to make a list.

God, I love lists.

  • PEI mussels are to Colorado as tator tots are to Portland, Oregon. That is, ubiquitous. It became a game of sorts between the beau and I: who could find the PEI mussels on the menu first. For the record, I always won, but I think that’s because I never really made it clear to the beau that there was a game going on and he was playing it against me.
  • Everyone in Colorado owns a bicycle. Everyone. I’m actually pretty sure they stop you at the border and in lieu of checking your I.D., they ask to see your pedal-powered two-wheeler. If you don’t have one, they bar you entry into their fine state.
  • You must have your I.D. on you at all other times, though. I learned that lesson the hard way when I forgot my driver’s license in my backpack at the hotel and the restaurant we were having dinner at refused to serve me alcohol. I was forced to surreptitiously sip the beau’s drinks all night! Horrors!
  • Colorado has weather! Every day we were there, it was hot and sunny and clear in the morning, and then by early or midafternoon the clouds would build and a great thunderstorm would be unleashed. It would rain torrentially for a while and then it would stop and the sun would come back out. I loved this. Except for those times we were trapped indoors. noses pressed against the glass, waiting for the pouring rain to end so we could go back outside and explore again. One particular afternoon we were stuck inside a bar for hours. Thank you. We’re just now starting to heal from our ordeal.
  • A lot of people in Colorado are white. Once we took a look around the restaurant we were having lunch in (we spent most of the trip inside restaurants and bars, clearly) and realized that everyone — the patrons, the wait staff, the kitchen staff — were white. Even we were white. It was kind of unsettling, actually.
  • Everyone wears shorts. Shorts. Shorts. Women, in particular, wear jean shorts. Constantly. Like it’s some kind of official state uniform. One day while touring downtown Denver I wore a shirtdress and leggings and people kept doing double takes at me like I was walking around in ski pants and a velvet sparkle cape. Shorts might be some kind of law there, and I got the impression that I had barely escaped arrest. Or maybe everybody in Colorado belongs to some kind of secret religious shorts cult. I don’t know. I need to find out for sure before I move there, though, because it will be a blustery day in hell when I put on any kind of shorts. Coloradans, consider yourselves forewarned.
  • Their mountains are superlative, though. I can almost forgive them their shorts.
  • Outdoor seating! Everywhere! Patios, balconies, decks…. I’ve never eaten outside so much in my life. This is a very good thing.
  • Coloradans get big ups from me for knowing and using the friendly “thank you” traffic wave. Californians seem only to know the other, less tasteful hand signal.
  • Colorado holds the distinction of being one of only two American states that you could accurately sketch in just seconds simply by selecting the rectangle tool in the drawing program of your choice. Or by using paper, pencil, and a ruler. But that sounds like a lot of unnecessary work to me.

Colorado, along with fraternal twin Wyoming, are the boringest-shaped states in the U.S. of A.!

Okay. I’ll be back shortly with more words about our trip, plus pictures. Try not to pee your pants in anticipation.

14 Responses to “colorado dreamin’”

  1. So, Will you be moving to Colorado? I say yes.

  2. Second post I’ve read THIS MORNING about visits to Colorado. And now….I must visit and see these mountains. I grew up in mountains, love ’em (I have all of my teeth, though – Appalachian or not) and always want to see more. So I can be all judge-y and call them names and talk about how ours are clearly far superior, but enough of that.

  3. The ubiquity of PEI mussels kind of freaks me out. It’s over 2500 miles from Prince Edward Island to Denver. That’s a long way for a shellfish that needs to be on ice to live.

    Just sayin.

    However, I’m a huge fan of outdoor eating, the thank you wave, and jorts. Don’t be afraid. They’re not so scary.

    • I’ve heard (I could be wrong) that they’re sustainable, which could be why they’re so hot in sustainability-happy Colorado. On the other hand, like you pointed out… whoa. That’s a long way (and a lot of fuel) to travel.

      Dude, it’s not the jeans part that scares me. It’s shorts in general. Oh my Christ, man. Me + shorts = FRIGHTENING TIMES.

  4. Why? Why are you making me so jealous and homesick? I can’t believe I miss the stupid 3:30 rainstorms.

    If you get to Boulder, must try Pasta Jay’s (are you gluten-intolerant?). If you are gluten-intolerant, go to The Med instead. Uh.mayz.ing. If you make it up to Idaho Springs, there is an awesome inn where you can go in the hot springs in a private room. And there is The Buffalo Restaurant. Yum.

  5. And Tom’s Tavern in Boulder!

    • We tried to go to the Med but it was closed on the 4th of July, along with many of the restaurants we’d so lovingly researched in advance. Wah.

      And as for Tom’s Tavern, I believe it’s been taken over by Salt restaurant. They still have Tom’s Tavern painted on the outside of the building.

  6. An Alaskan Bride July 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Ha! I miss Colorado too. There are running trails everywhere too. Most people sport the nifty running watch tan line too. :)

  7. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Well, then there is nothing for it but for you to drive up to Idaho Springs. I will feel like a failure if I can’t give you ONE good restaurant for the fourteen months I lived there. There’s a good one on Flagstaff Mountain – Flagstaff House, I believe – but expensive. ALSO: if you go to Flagstaff Mountain, go to Artist’s Point. It is unbelievable.

  8. Apparently Idaho Springs is two hours from Boulder. Hunh. The weird thing about living in the mountains, to me, is that stuff always seemed so CLOSE. I never felt like it took that long to get anywhere. Do you think you will go to Estes Park? There is a deli there, DeLeo’s, that is run by the coolest dude ever, and they have prosciutto and provolone that is unmatched anywhere in the US.

    • We were advised to go to Estes, but we didn’t have the time. And we’ve been back in California for a week now (boo), so I’m going to file away your recommendations for the next time we go.

      • I have failed you. I feel like a doofus. But maybe next time the Med won’t be closed! I can recommend LOTS of great bars too. Not that I was boozy as hell at 22…

  9. CO is awesome. Even though the style might leave something to be desired and the racial balance definitely does. I miss the West coast.

  10. Utah is much like CO in the whiteness but minus the mussels add the carding of this 34 year old and bring on the beauty.

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