Eat. Drink. Play. Boulder.
I recently had three friends fly into town from Chicago, Boston, and Delray Beach, and had a chance to show off what I think makes the Boulder community special for a few days. I had a real sense of pride sharing it with them, and it reminded me why I feel so lucky to be living here.
A tradition 18 years strong, the four of us take turns hosting what we now refer to as The Mannual. As this year’s host, I was responsible for choosing a theme, planning the long weekend, and sending a packet of information to the rest of the group. Though it was my third time hosting in Colorado, it was the first feeling like this is home. And it felt good.
I settled on: “Eat. Drink. Play. Boulder.” I arranged to borrow a friend’s vacation rental to make downtown accessible by foot, narrowed my wish list of spots to visit, and decided to use technology as an underlying theme (a facet of Boulder that I appreciate more and more). A week before their arrival they had access to our trip loaded into Gowalla, a Flickr account, and our newly minted website.
Eat: We did plenty of that, as we usually do. The highlights included my favorite lunch spot SALT (especially because they feature a few local ingredients and I love the wood fired oven and stove), Sisters’ Pantry dumplings at the Boulder Farmers’ Market, and an old fashioned barbeque, with plenty of sunshine on the patio and socializing with the neighbors.
Drink: Yes, plenty of that too. We never did make it any of the breweries on my list (Oskar Blues, Boulder Beer, and Upslope), but we did hit Liquor Mart to stock the fridge with their great selection of local stuff. Some of the favorites were Upslope Pale Ale (Friend: “Is this the one I read about in Maxim?” Me: “You read Maxim?”), Left Hand Milk Stout, and Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale.
Play: Some of that, but less than in our younger years. Disc golf was cancelled due to high winds and laziness, but we did manage to squeeze in Whiffle Ball at Chautauqua Park, where my friends were my groomsmen a couple of years ago. We also soaked up plenty of sun playing Cornhole on the patio (insert joke here), and learned a thing or two from neighbors who went to college in the Midwest where the game was born.
Many of the things that I wanted to do and places I wanted to visit never did make the cut, but in the end, it may have been better that way. We had a chance to enjoy the sunshine, have some great food and drink, and really relax – the things that I love to do, here in my home.
The next time your friends fly into town, what will you show them?