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Posts Tagged ‘fun’

This flawless autumn day in Boulder had us seeking as much outdoor time as possible. Claire and I took advantage at Scott Carpenter Park (which recently made news when astronaut Scott Carpenter visited for a rededication ceremony). We ran around on the playground, walked along the Boulder Creek path and ran up and down the still-vibrant green hills. The ice cream truck made a call, probably the last we’ll see this year, so we dashed across the sprawling lawn to make sure we didn’t miss out. Claire’s pick: a Spongebob Squarepants popsicle, loaded with yellow and red dye #20. Wheee!
Scott Carpenter Park, Boulder, Colorado

Scott Carpenter Park, Boulder, Colorado

Scott Carpenter Park, Boulder, Colorado

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In light of National Geographic Traveler naming Boulder one of the world’s Top 10 Winter Towns, I thought I’d put together my list of favorite ways to enjoy Boulder in the wintertime:

1. Glide Around the Ice Rink at One Boulder Plaza

Each winter, the little courtyard at One Boulder Plaza becomes a delightfully old-timey ice rink, complete with music, twinkling lights and an oval shape. Okay, it’s no Rockefeller Center, but it’s usually not very crowded and is fun to hook arms with your sweetie and take a leisurely spin. On Tuesdays, if you bring a can of food to donate, you’ll get discounted admission!

2. Sip a Steaming Cup of Tea at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Boulder’s lovely teahouse, located downtown (very near the Ice Rink at One Boulder Plaza), was a gift from our sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It was shipped here in pieces and assembled in the late 90s. Inside, trickling fountains, leafy plants and intricately carved and painted walls and ceilings make an exotic winter escape. Order a little pot of tea from the menu of more than 80 flavors, sit back and warm up as you admire the artwork that is this unique building.

3. Get Cozy Inside a Warm Brewpub

Much to the dismay of my waistline, wintertime always has me craving hearty fare. Maybe a big basket of onion rings, a batch of warm, freshly baked pretzels or a cup of cheesy soup. Boulder’s brewpubs are the place to go for this kind of stick-to-your-ribs sustenance. And best of all, you can wash it all down with a handcrafted beer. Perhaps a pint of Buff Gold at The Walnut Brewery, Java Porter at Mountain Sun or Feisty Fiddler IPA at the Boulder Draft House. Or you might opt to go on the Boulder Brew Bus tour to experience Boulder’s legendary microbreweries on a deeper level.

4. Stretch to New Limits with Hot Yoga

Boulder might just have as many yoga studios as Seattle has coffee shops. There’s one on every corner. And one winter-friendly trend among them is Birkram and hot yoga classes, where the room is typically heated to over 100 degrees. The warmth allows muscles to really stretch and your body to detoxify through sweat — which feels surprisingly wonderful in the middle of winter. Yoga Pod and CorePower Yoga are two Boulder studios that offer hot yoga.

5. Take Advantage of Sunny Days with Winter Hiking

Okay, let’s face it. Even though it can be a bit chilly here, Boulder’s average temperature during the heart of winter is somewhere around 46-49 — not exactly arctic conditions. There are enough mild days to make it possible to get out and hike or snowshoe just about anytime of year. One of my favorite winter trails is the Shanahan Trail, starting at the Cragmoor Road trailhead. A relatively easy loop takes you through open meadows and pine forests, with beautiful views of the Flatirons.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Boulder in wintertime?

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When someone invites you to a party with the words “Naked Ladies” in the subject line and the venue is the home of someone named Cher, you automatically RSVP “yes,” right?

I got such an e-mail from my friend Josie recently. Five seconds into the e-mail, I realized that, while it wouldn’t be as gossip-worthy as I’d thought, this so-called Naked Ladies party was a very cool, very eco- and budget-friendly idea. The concept is this: All the invitees clean out their closets and come to the party to swap unwanted, gently worn clothes with like-minded ladies who are all eager to do a little shopping — without spending a dime.

Here’s how it went down:

Josie, I and our lovely friend Lisa, threw a few bags of our old clothes into Josie’s car and carpooled to Cher’s apartment. We walked up to the adorable little Mapleton Hill house and dodged the wheel of a mountain bike, which was blocking a good third of the doorway, to get inside (can’t get more Boulder than that; love it).

Inside, clothes covered every available surface. The method to this madness was promptly explained to us: Tops and accessories were spread out in the living room, while bottoms were in a room off the kitchen. The kitchen itself was full of the delicious food that everyone had brought — freshly baked gluten-free bread, a simmering pot of squash soup, spinach-and-cheese fritters — and plenty of wine.

I began adding my clothes to the piles when a pale, leggy figure enter my peripheral vision — dressed only in her skivvies. “May as well make this as efficient as possible,” she said, trying on a hip little floral dress that ended up being a crowd favorite.

Once we all had a chance to peruse and try things on — with widely varying levels of modesty — each person drew a number from a hat. Number one (which just happened to be our lucky pal Josie) got first pick from the most-coveted items. She chose an adorable gray cardigan that had silver threads woven into it — one of the items that had everyone asking, “Why would anyone get rid of that?”

I managed to patiently endure the wait through numbers 2-16 and then quickly nabbed my (miraculously still-unclaimed) favorite item, this cute and comfy cotton fleece zip jacket:

Boulder Naked Ladies party

After everyone’s number had been called, it was free-for-all time. We all started grabbing what we wanted out of the remaining items, being courteous if other ladies were eying the same thing. I got a swimsuit that I’d almost purchased this summer (can you say “meant to be”?), a super-soft basic white long-sleeve Gap tee, a beautiful merino wool scarf (with the tag still on!) and a sweet, pointelle-knit cami.

Once the shopping frenzy died down, we basically drank wine, nibbled food and admired each others’ treasures.

Maybe the most rewarding part of the evening? Anything that wasn’t claimed was bagged up to be donated. And it turned out to be a enormous pile of really nice clothes. Hooray!

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