Sunday, December 29, 2013

Another Boulder Christmas

With a late Thanksgiving and busy weekends between that holiday and Christmas, it seemed that this break took us totally unawares.  We don't normally decorate extravagantly at home, but we try to hang up ornaments and pull out a nativity scene or two (my favorite is our Andean influenced scene with llamas rather than sheep).  This year, we had NADA out and Michael commented that we were leaning pretty hard to being total atheists.  Even with the 25th rapidly approaching, we prepared minimally for our trip to Boulder, and for Christmas in general.  Fortunately, we had already planned on a low-key Christmas with few presents.  This was a bit less fun than the usual gift exchange, especially since we didn't even give any joke gifts, but it did streamline our preparations (meaning - we had almost zero).

My last week of school put me in a total Scrooge mood and I felt like I was holding on by my fingernails, just making it to Friday without losing my shit completely.  Once 12:30 pm on the 20th rolled around, I was at home, and it finally hit me that we would be leaving for Colorado on Saturday morning - woo hoo!  I felt a mix of relief and major excitement, especially since we started our holiday with margaritas with friends on Friday night.  The perfect way to celebrate a two-week break.

Our Christmas trips the past few years have followed a similar pattern so I can't say that they are exciting road trips - which is fine because "excitement" at Christmas might indicate a bit more stress than I would embrace.  We stick to the southern route via major interstates, but even that is an amazing trip through northern Arizona and New Mexico.  We always break up the trip in Flagstaff, AZ, grabbing a drink at Beaver Street Brewery when we roll into town and leaving bright and early after a morning cup of coffee at Macy's Coffee House (not related to the department store!).  While it's a long drive, we're both happy to truck across the Arizona and New Mexico landscape.  The trip doesn't ever feel long until we hit Colorado Springs and at that point the final two hours or so into Boulder seem to stretch on and on, especially after the previous ten hours or so.

Once in Boulder, we enjoy a bit too much good food and drink.  This time, our very first stop, even before seeing family, was the Southern Sun, to get a drink and fill up our growler.  Not a bad way for Boulder to welcome us - or vice versa!  We've migrated to a few other places this year, stopping by Salt for drinks on Christmas Eve afternoon.  To balance out such indulgences, I've stayed somewhat active, going for a morning or afternoon run several times, an early swim at the North Boulder Rec Center twice (once I packed two swimsuits and a towel, taking up valuable real estate in our packed car, I promised myself that I'd make good use of the gear!), and plenty of short walks with our dogs.  It's been relatively warm and we've regretted, somewhat, that we did not strap our bikes to the car.  But with skis already in tow, it seemed like overkill to bring bikes too.  

Warm temperatures are, of course, relative, and we have enjoyed a bit of snow in Boulder - on our first full day here and also this morning a nice dusting of snow greeted us.  Today, I managed to rouse Michael and we hit Chautauqua Park for an early morning walk with the doggies who were very excited about snow!

Not a great photo of me or the dogs, but the Flatirons are so pretty with the snow!

Meta photo - I'm taking a photo of Michael taking a photo; and Milo is grumpy because he just wants to GO, goddamnit!

These photos definitely do not do much justice to the morning which was gorgeous - but a bit cold!  With temperatures in the teens, I was ready for hot coffee after our walk.

Tomorrow, we plan to ski and then we'll soon pack the car to return to CA and 'real life'.  In the meantime, we have an exciting afternoon of football and I'm going to squeeze in a long, slow run.  While none of this is new to us at this point, the comfort of being here and spending time with friends and family is certainly one of the best presents that we could ever have at this time of the year.


Molly said...

Next year, I am definitely staying in Boulder for Christmas!!!! So glad you are having fun - I LOVE Salt (went there on my interview here and drag every out of town visitor back there as an excuse). And the tiny bit of snow overnight was perfect!!! Enjoy the rest of your trip! said...

Wow- looks and sounds like a great break! It sounds like a nice drive, too!
Glad you guys are enjoying yourself and the beautiful outdoors there!

Kristina said...

Molly - I'm not a native Boulderite, but it's pretty chill in addition to being gorgeous. We rarely get food at Salt but split the veggie platter which was amazing. So, yes, huge fans of Salt. Hope that you are having a great break!

Angela - We are really lucky to be able to enjoy the outdoors here. California is a beautiful part of the world, but we love how easy it is to hit amazing trails here.

erin said...

How fun to spend Christmas in Colorado! Glad you're having a wonderful time! Though biking can't be beat there, hiking, swimming and skiing are all pretty awesome, too :) Your dogs are super cute!

Kristina said...

Erin - we do feel fortunate to be able to visit Colorado and to take advantage of so many activities! As for the doggies - of course WE think that they are cute, so thanks for that.