We went to Park Meadows mall to the Cheesecake Factory, since it was Debbie's birthday the day before--over the hill! So there was a group of 10 of us-six of which were doctors! But to catorize in a general manner, seven are in the health industry and three are in computers, so we got on pretty well. And just like in St. Louis, Debbie's friends in Denver also love playing games, so we did that after dinner. We went to her friends Erin and Arnuth's house to play Taboo. They have a five month old girl (Maya), who entertained us pretty well for about an hour by trying to turn over onto her stomach from her back. She didn't quite make it while we were there, but it was exciting nonethless. It was girls vs. boys for Taboo, and while we had some pretty good points, we ended up losing. It's such a funny game, though--you never know what people are trying to describe so you just start shouting random things.
Today we got up a little early (but not quite as early as you'd think with the two hour time difference! I think I am in a constant state of fatigue with this job now) and took a walk around our hotel. We ended up at the Super Target, which is crazy. A Target grocery store is almost too good to be a true! Anyway, after that, we met up with Debbie and Derek and drove out to Boulder. We went to the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory and took the free tour. After we cleaned our sinuses out on the tour (that peppermint/spearmint room is insane!), we sat around sampling tea before going to brunch at the Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse, which was so good! Unlike some places that try to make all sorts of food and don't succeeed at any of it, this place had breakfast burritos, Thai peanut noodles, omelettes, all sorts of things--and it was delicious. I had the house Chai, which was excellent. Then we walked around the pedestrian mall in downtown Boulder. Lots of cute stores, but I didn't want to shop around too much since I'd just have to cart it all back to Columbus and some of the stuff I'm sure I could find in Ohio. Plus, I didn't want to drag Debbie and Derek to places they've seen a million times already. Usually there are lots of street performers there, including a guy that can identify any zip code in the United States (and some abroad!), but there wasn't much going on today. A bunch of little kids playing violins and a bagpip group were about all. Then we drove to a couple of the scenic points in the mountains right by Boulder. Gorgeous views--as Debbie pointed out, people probably have a hard time concentrating on school when you're in a place so amazing--and close to skiing! Debbie and Derek then took us to a couple of the scenic view places like Flagstaff and some other place that I can't spell. It was late afternoon by then and I was getting pretty tired, but I think car sickness and perhaps even some altitude/dehydration issues were starting to catch up with me, so I felt pretty nauseated by the time we got back to Denver. Luckily, D&D (ha!) made me drink a lot of water back at their place and it helped wake me up and not want to vomit everywhere. After a quick rest at the hotel, my mom and I went to see Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was extremely cute--especially with the fun 3-D glasses we got. Then we ate an authentic ramen noodle place a couple miles from our hotel (definitely better than Maruchan!).
So now we're back at the hotel. I think I'm going to have to bring Ryan out here. The plane ride wasn't too bad, since we were in a small plane, so maybe his ears wouldn't hurt to badly. It's just such a fun place and he loves to ski, so this would be perfect. Not to mention that Breckenridge is only about two hours from here, and even though he's never been there, I'm sure it's probably his favorite place in Colorado already! There are also a lot of trails to hike in the summer, as well as lots of micro-brewery places that would be fun to see. I'm still trying to decide what to do about Holiday Valley. I really really want to go, but I guess it will come down to whether I want to ask permission or forgiveness. I guess I'll try to figure it out in January.
I love having a computer here! Maybe it's not so good to be reliant on so much technology (internet to look up stuff, GPS to find our way places), but it makes it so much easier than when I was randomly driving around Miami in that swanky minivan! I'm still using some map-reading skills, I guess.