It's been a week since Parker and I returned from our trip to Boulder, Colorado. It was so great to get away and breathe in the crisp mountain air.
Parker turned 24 on January 21, and I had been trying to decide on the perfect vacation for a few weeks. After bouncing ideas off some friends, we knew Boulder was it.
It's a ten hour drive through the worst state ever (Kansas, obviously) but it was worth it. We booked our first Airbnb room, which turned out to be a fantastic, flawless experience.
I highly recommend checking out Airbnb for whatever trip you take next. Locals rent out their entire homes, extra rooms or guest houses.
We rented a guest house from a retired couple, and we had our own kitchen, our own room & bathroom, and our own SAUNA! It was amazing, cleaner than a hotel, and we felt like locals.
Boulder is an amazing city. Initially, I wanted to drive (or fly) somewhere warm, but in such a beautiful city, the cold didn't bother us once.
We were awed by the scenic views, the Rockies, the food, and most of the all, the community who made us feel so at home.
Everyone was shockingly - SHOCKINGLY - nice. We had so many people come up and introduce themselves to us and ask us where we were from and welcome us to their city.
They've warned me before and I didn't listen. Kansas is the absolute number one worst state to drive through. The windmills were the most entertaining part.
The mountains at the end of the drive made it all worth it.
The city of Boulder from the flatirons.
We woke up on Tuesday, January 21st to 60 degrees in Boulder. What a surprise! We hit up the number one place our friends told us to visit: Snooze.
Parker claims that his breakfast tacos from Snooze were better than his Missouri favorite, the "Anonymous Tacos" at Cafe Berlin. That's a bold statement.
Next, we drove through Estes Park and onto the Rocky Mountains. Even though it was 60 degrees in Boulder, it was breathtakingly cold in the Rockies. The wind up there is no joke.
We weren't prepared for any real hiking because some of the more popular destinations around the park in the summer are covered in 40 inches of snow this time of year.
It felt like we had almost the entire park to ourselves, which was very unique, as I can imagine the crowds during the summer months. We saw a few cars, a few people, and a lot of elk.
Me at the highest point we could drive in the Rocky Mountains, shooting with a 45mm tilt shift lens that we rented from ProPhoto in Boulder. Really great rental place if you're in the area.
We bundled up to the best of our Oklahoman abilities, but we still froze. I'd do it again.
A house nestled in the mountains near the Flatirons.
The city of Boulder at night.
Fast forward a day later: 60 degrees again! We loved it so much, we extended our trip another day to enjoy walking around Pearl Street and seeing all of the stores and outdoor eateries.
Loved this kitchen store, Peppercorn on Pearl Street.
We went back to Snooze a second time. Our waiter attempted to change our lives with a speech about why Boulder is the place to be -- not that we needed convincing.
He said that in most places, the first question people ask you is "What do you do for a living?" but in Boulder, no one really cares. It's not about what you do for money,
it's about what you do for fun. What makes you happy? Do you rock climb? What are you doing this weekend?
He said that no one tries to upstage each other with their occupations. It was a refreshing perspective from a local.
He also brought us free pancakes, which was the third time a waiter had brought us free food just because. How could you not fall in love with this place?
I went on Yelp to find the best coffee shop in town for Parker, who claims that his cortado, espresso and latte at Boxcar were the best he's ever had --
even better than his former number one coffee place, La Colombe in SoHo in New York. Boxcar Coffee is on several "best coffee shops in America" lists
because of their consistently perfect espresso AND they roast all of their beans in-house.
They have a subscription you can sign up for on their website, and they'll ship beans to your house, which is definitely happening at our house now that Parker has tried it for himself.
We met so many locals in Boulder who reached out to us to give us advice for the must-sees in town.
One of those was driving up the mountains in the city to get a great view, which we did on our last night.
Because of the recent snowfall and freezing temperatures, the ride up the mountain was an icy one.
I was holding onto my seat for dear life as Parker got a thrill out of driving on the ice.
To Colorado's credit, the roads were amazingly clear and safe almost instantly after the snow fell.
We're not used to that in Oklahoma, and we weren't in Missouri, either.
Now, we've sufficiently been infected with the travel bug, which makes it hard to sit still in Oklahoma. Already planning our next trip. (Austin, Texas?)