Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 1

We just got back from vacationing in Colorado. We left Tuesday around 4:30 in the afternoon and made it all the way into New Mexico (and cool weather) that night. Wednesday we woke up and drove into Boulder around lunch time, where we checked into a B&B just off of Pearl Street.

(Now, as an aside, we are not B&B people. I don't like doilies or dusty pink or artificial ivy climbing around my canopy bed. Additionally, Hub doesn't like talking to strangers... especially at the breakfast table. Who does? Maybe we're antisocial, but I don't want to have to make conversation with Maude and her tan, new husband from Tucson or whoever that early in the morning. I'm sure Maude is really nice, but I'm lazy and like my space.)

With all that said, this B&B allowed you your privacy. It was simple, with a rustic Colorado-flavored lobby, and it was perfect for us. It was close to everything we wanted to do, so we pretty much walked everywhere.

That's a hand-carved wooden cat nestled at the foot of our bed! I tried to convince Carter to snuggle with it for the picture, but this is as close as he would get. Oh! and they had fresh cookies and cake out all the time. Yum.
Later that afternoon, we went down to Avery Brewery, where we briefly visited last summer, but this time around, we were hooked up with a friend of a friend, Rob, who gave us a "VIP Tour" as Hub was calling it. We met brewers and bottlers and engineers. We saw fermenting tanks and brightening tanks and big machines and hops, and I can't remember everything. There is a lot more manual labor involved in microbrewery than I think either one of us knew.
We drank a Karma that had been bottled less than 30 minutes previously.

This was the best thing we did. Rob took us into their barrel room, where they've brought in barrels from rum and whiskey distilleries and wine makers, and Avery experiments with aging various brews in various barrels to see what happens to the flavor. Each barrel had a little nail in it, and Rob would take his pliers and pull out the nail and stick our glasses under the stream, and we got to taste the results of their experimentation. The highlights were a sour cherry beer and an oatmeal stout in 1) a whiskey barrel and also 2) a rum barrel. After all our tasting, we went into their public tap room and sat with some of the brewers and talked about how everyone ended up working for Avery and their big biking trip and how beer is as much escapism as football. Whatever that debate was, Carter won.
Last interesting fact, Rob's wife used to be a professional figure skater and used to train with Tonya Harding. She saw her a few years ago in an airport bar, and Tonya has put on a little weight. Just in case you were wondering.

I watch Top Chef on Bravo, and last season, Hosea was quite the contender. His restaurant is in Boulder on Pearl Street, and we just happened by. I said, "Isn't Jax the name of Hosea's restaurant?" Hub was doubtful. I said, "Yes, yes, I think it is!" And it was. If they're closed, why not just take a picture of the menu?

Pearl Street also has professional street performers that have to be approved by a city council or something, like this fire juggling unicycling guy. He definitely made the cut. He had jokes, too.
We ate at The Kitchen Upstairs for dinner. We had mussels, french fries with sea salt, and mac & cheese. Our first meal was sort of a harbinger for the greasy food kick that would be our norm for the rest of the trip. We ate like fatties the whole time. And loved it.

1 comment:

Beer Svenjolly said...

is it just me or do we look really good hanging out in the brewery? must be the dank and yeasty air...