Boulder, Co: Mile High Travels

Good morning! As I am writing this post, I am sitting in the JFK airport – Jet Blue terminal. I just got off a 3.5 hour flight from Denver… the red eye flight (1am!). If you ever wondered why they call it the “red eye” flight, wonder no longer. I look like a hot mess, and yes, my eyes are red. I got an eye cover up masky thing on the flight and boy did that come in handy! – Until I realized I slept through snacks! – pretty much the best part about flying. Then I realized I normally sleep at that time so probably a good thing I didn’t have a snack.

Analysis of my state of being: tried? – exhausted, hair? – static mess, eyes? – burning, breakfast? – it’s only 5am in Colorado so I think I’ll wait a little, head? – ouch, Starbucks? – nowhere to be found (I asked)….. HA yes, I’m sorry anyone who makes eye contact with me, this is true jet lag.

boulder road tripHowever, I’m remembering the last 5 days of my life and thinking… man I am lucky! I might be completely exhausted but it was-so-worth-it!!! I spent the last 5 days in Colorado. Colorado in the “summer.” Who cares about the exhaustion, headaches from altitude and red eyes that look like I’ve experienced all the mile high city has to offer. I mean, I got to spend the past few days visiting my step sister and traveling all around one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, the Colorado Rockies!!

boulder activities bike YThe adventures began in Boulder, Co. If you’ve been catching the new lately, you’ve probably heard about the Boulder County Flood that happened last week. The damage from the insane rain was, well, insane, for lack of a better word this early in the morning.

All trails were closed, streets destroyed and houses completely evacuated because they were under water. Luckily, Susan’s house (my step sister) was fine but not all units in her complex made it out unscathed.

Something really awesome was how the community was reacting to this tragedy. Bakeries, like Piece, Love & Chocolate, had special “flood relief cupcakes” where a portion of the “mudslide” dessert went to the relief efforts. Stores were having round-up days where you can round your purchase to the nearest dollar and that goes to the relief. Sprouts Farmer;s Market was doing this.

I also got to visit the Y in Boulder Valley which was also aiding in the relief efforts. The Y has partnered with the American Red Cross to be a shelter! So many people came in and out of the Y with supplies and smiles on their faces. Volunteers were actively engaged and everything was so organized. Without people and organizations like the Y and the American Red Cross, the flood victims would have nowhere to go.

Here’s a few pictures I snagged after my workout. — Note: working out in over a mile above sea level was tough!

boulder ymca

Colorado is absolutely beautiful!! If you read my Chicago post, you know that’s one of my top fav cities. Well, Colorado is definitely one of my top fav states (in the summer).

I arrived Thursday afternoon and adventured through downtown Boulder where I saw the really cool biking system in the picture above. EVERYONE bikes. I know that’s a generalization, but I think it’s appropriate. I think everyone owns at least 1 bike and people are biking all day long. It’s wonderful!

Friday morning, Susan and I hit a HOT YOGA class. Yes, Florida girl here goes to cooler weather, freaks out about the cold and finds herself in a hot yoga class… Floridian problems…

boulder red rocksThen it was off to ASPEN for the weekend!!! We loaded the car with my overstuffed suitcase and 2 of Susan’s friends, Jen and Erin, and hit the road. Susan and Erin were doing a half marathon trail ride and Jen and I were along for the ride. We stopped by the Red Rock Amphitheatre!! This was absolutely amazing. The views were breathtaking, if you didn’t already lose your breath from the hike and altitude combo. πŸ™‚

Then we passed though Independence Pass which is a really pretty road that is only open in the summer.

Let me side note here and say I have been to Colorado a few times. In the COLD-FREEZING-TONS-OF-LAYERS-REQUIRED-WINTER. It was so refreshing to visit in September, see the leaves starting to change and wear shorts (well only one day).

boulder foodI can’t forget about the food. I ate too much. But it was-so-worth-it. There are so many healthy choices, local, fresh choices. Frozen yogurt from the Boom Bar Yogurt was yummy and dessert from Whole Foods was a fun treat too. I had pizza from Pizzeria Locale and it was AMAZING. Definitely a must visit place in downtown Boulder.

In the little town of Basalt, I ate the yummy eggs, potatoes and sausage you see here. The place was called Bernard’s Cafe and guess what, Bernard was a cute little old guy! Sorry I don’t have a ton of food pictures. In the moment of all the goodness, the camera was the last thing on my mind!

Friday-Sunday we spent in Aspen, then Monday I had a chance to explore Boulder. I went to the Y, to yoga (again) and just enjoyed the weather before my 1am flight to JFK!

I must say, Colorado exceeded all expectations and I can’t wait to go back and explore more, in the summer/warmer than cold seasons, of course!

I land in Jax around 11am and vaca is officially over! Until next time Colorado!

Thank you so much Susan for making my trip awesome!!

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