Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Out of the "Boulder Bubble"

And back to "La-la-land". Safely, at least. We drove the same route - I-25 and I-40, mainlygaping at the sites and colors of New Mexico again. Last night, we continued through Gallup and made it to Flagstaff, AZ, where we ate pizza, drank beer and watched football before crashing and waking up early. Michael told me that I was the ideal college girlfriend, which I took as a compliment. Whether he meant it as such is entirely unimportant.
Leaving Boulder was, as usually is the case, difficult. Much of his family lives there, and at times it feels more like "home" than California. At other times, however, it seems far too young, hip, and outdoorsy for us. As much as I like all of the gear that we have and count Patagonia and REI as my favorite stores, I definitely consider myself to be somewhat of an impostor. I am not a hard-core ANYTHING, especially when it comes to outdoor adventure experiences or physical endurance. Also, my commitment to green living is lukewarm; I probably come out more environmentally friendly than some people, but I eat meat, probably don't recycle enough and I have yet to garden (although I would like to plant a garden one of these days and actually harvest what we grow).
Maybe part of the 'bubble' aspect for me is that we go to Boulder to VISIT, and we are not visiting my family or where I grew up (that's a different matter). So, the experience differs dramatically from life in LA - the scenery is different, cyclists can actually bike on the road without fearing for their lives, there is such an abundance of green, open space. We take walks almost every day, we buy lattes and scones and don't worry about our waistlines, we shop at Whole Foods and don't wince at the prices, we stop for mid-afternoon beers... What isn't to like about that?
On this visit, we also ate eggnog pancakes with a bourbon sauce at Lucile's, a Creole-style restaurant. After which, I swore that I would eat greens for my next meal, but then the night rolled around and we had happy hour and appetizers at Salt, a bistro that specializes in seasonal and local fare. We quaffed down a few glasses of Colorado red wine which surprised us both and accompanied the meal quite nicely. Right before our return trip, we stopped by Savory, our favorite spice shop. Yes, there are spice shops in LA, but we happen to *love* this one. We did learn that they just opened up a shop in Newport Beach which is another reason to visit the OC!
But reality eventually does set in, and we recognize obligations and constraints that pull us back to California. Maybe ONE day Boulder will no longer take on these mythical proportions to me; Mt. Olympus will shrink, and a mere mortal such as I will actually be able to live there?*
In the meantime, we are back to the rain in Southern CA! Our house is still standing and has suffered no damage, so that is all good news. I also thoroughly enjoyed our TJ's run this afternoon. At some point, we'll eat some dirt cheap Mexican food - or make some of our own. Home sweet home!
**I couldn't help that silly reference; I just finished the book "I, Claudius", and it inspired me a bit.

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