Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in Boulder

Yes, I'm back in sunny CA where it should hit 78 or 80 degrees today.  Perfect weather for the Rose Parade which ruined my morning outing to the Pasadena farmers' market.  Cancelled today even though things (Parade, Game...) don't happen until Monday.  Totally unfair.
I should, however, back up and wax poetically about the white Christmas that we spent in Boulder, CO.  We arrived last Wednesday night, snow just starting to fall in the early evening.  By the time we woke up Thursday morning, about 12 inches had accumulated.  Exciting!  It was the lightest, fluffiest snow that I've ever experienced.  I tried to make a snowball to throw at a certain person, but the snow didn't even stick together.  Crazy!  We depended on the kindness of a brother-in-law to chauffeur us around town since our awesome Toyota Camry wasn't quite up to the task.  I spent most of the first few days oohing and aahing over the snow and also complaining about the cold!  Still, we did brave the elements several times with the pups who LOVE the snow:

(Gus is too busy eating snow in the second photo to pose for the camera.  As I look at these photos now, I wish that I had spent more time in the snow!  Agh - I hate those regrets.)

We seemed to celebrate Christmas for several days, a non-stop eating, drinking, and present-opening fest.  The best present that I received, hands-down, were a bunch of socks from one of my in-laws.  I realize that socks don't necessarily scream "Awesome present!", but these do!  THREE pair of awesome SmartWool socks and a pair of cycling socks with "Colorado" stitched on them - I hit the motherlode with that present, and my brother-in-law may now be my favorite family member ever.
Given the snowfall in Boulder and our aborted ski efforts in Taos, Michael and I were pretty determined to go skiing while in Boulder.  Nothing crazy, like Breckenridge or Keystone, but we figured that a nice day at Eldora, a local ski place, would be perfect.  We went up last year to Nordic ski, but we both wanted to try out our downhill legs, despite years and years away from the slopes.  So, we (and half of Boulder) geared up on Tuesday and headed up the mountain.  By 10:00 am, we'd already gotten in two runs - success on the green runs at least!
Not to sound like one of my students, but I felt like yelling "OMG! This is so FUN!".  I was really nervous about trying to downhill ski again, since my last run, on March 23, 2003 (I found the tag on my ski pants which I hadn't worn since that day) ended with a torn meniscus.  Well, we started out on the easy runs and didn't challenge ourselves with anything beyond a blue slope, but as we spent more time on skis, we both relaxed into the movement and had a spectacular time.  I think that I had forced myself to forget how much PURE fun skiing is because I thought that I'd never ski again.  Thank you again, Dr. Hatch, for my new ACL (and thanks to the cadaver who gave up his ligament).
By noon-ish, we were tired and hungry, so we settled into a relaxing lunch in the lodge.  The food was so-so, but the Bloody Marys were damn good and strong!  After that, we were pretty much toast - tired and relaxed.  So, we did two more runs before calling it a day.  It was the perfect way to end our time in Boulder!  We are also jonesing to ski again soon - maybe here in SoCal?!

Ah, the post-Bloody Mary relaxed state!

Heading back out to ski - yes, I look like an alien with the goggles on!

No trip to Boulder is complete without lots of good food and drink.  We skipped some of our standards (Snarfs, a great sandwich shop, and Lucilles, a rockin' brunch place), but discovered a few new favorites.  One place, Bitter Bar, replaced a great Asian restaurant.  We were disappointed that the Happy Noodle had closed its doors, but Bitter Bar served up good food and drinks and had an awesome happy hour!  I have also continued my love with Avery Brewery.  I almost fell OUT of love with Avery on Christmas Eve afternoon because it was closed (in fact, most bars in Boulder were closed on Saturday afternoon which was an outrage!).  However, we made it back on Monday night, and it was worth the wait.  I discovered a crazy-strong beer called "The Beast" which has 16.83% alcohol.  It is definitely a might fine sipping beer.
All-in-all, a stand-out trip to Boulder, CO and a great way to enjoy the Christmas break. Now we just need to toast both the old year and the new year, and our celebration will be complete!


kilax said...

The snow is so beautiful! I am happy the downhill skiing was a success :)

And I love that brand of sock! I would geek out over them too :)

mindful mule said...

I love Boulder in the snow – Boulder Rocks! (no pun/redundancy intended.) Happy New Year to you two! Run far in 2012…

Kristina said...

Glad that other people geek out over socks! They really are the best socks ever though!

Boulder is always beautiful, but it had an even greater sense of enchantment with the snow, especially on the Flatirons.
Happy New year - hope to get in some great runs!