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So where was I? Ah, yes … off to Boulder-Longmont to visit my college friend, Chaz! I arrived to a home that just oozed Chaz: white painted walls, Danish modern furniture, menagerie of succulents, a tall and handsome curly-haired ginger (another Clayton!), and a backyard full of soaring wild flowers, hammocks, dogs, and friends.

I Get Around: Colorado | Longmont Dinner with Friends(photo by Ryan Woodman)

To my surprise, there was a whole crew of Cal Poly alumni! I ran into some people I haven't seen in quite some time, and it was great to catch up over delicious neo-potluck food, all of us at a table sandwiched between the two lovely hosts. 

The next morning, I was treated to another yummy meal (Clayton's homemade bread beneath a healthy pile of arugula, salsa, and an egg over easy to be exact) and headed off to explore Boulder. Turns out I didn’t do much touring as I spent most of the day at the Trident bookstore perusing countless art and fashion books. Are free chai latte refills a thing? Because they really should be when you spend 5 hours in a coffee/book shop. Needless to say, I loved it there.

I made my way to a local art shop where I bought a Moleskine and then briefly explored the University of Colorado Boulder (beautiful campus). I also got a tasty green kale matcha smoothie from Wonder, a juice bar that just happened to be celebrating its first year anniversary (live music was involved, yay!).

Come dinner time, I met up with my friends at a place called The Kitchen Next Door, which is, yes, next door to The Kitchen. How's that for a ba-da-ba chssh visual? After a delicious meal made memorable by my first order of smashers—essentially french fries, smashed, and then re-fried— we continued to explore more of Boulder. Among many places, these two particularly stood out: Two Hands Paperie and Cedar and Hyde (I want so many things in that store).

I Get Around: Colorado | I Get Around: Colorado | Chautauqua Park(photo by Chaz Cole)

The next day, Chaz and I left for a hike in Chautauqua Park to climb the Royal Arch accompanied by her lovable, white, fluffy, mountain mix, big-galoot of a dog, Max! It was a lovely and well-routed hiking trail, and this time I did not get altitude poisoning!

I Get Around: Colorado | Chautauqua ParkI Get Around: Colorado | Chautauqua ParkThe path included some nice streams, airy foliage, and giant (like on steroids) dandelions. At the top of the hike we could see a large portion of the city of Boulder. It was beautiful. It reminded me of a peak us Cal Poly students used to climb in San Luis Obispo called Bishop's Peak.

I Get Around: Colorado | Royal Arch Trail(photo by Chaz Cole)

Asides from going to the same college, both Chaz and I find ourselves in the world of letterpress and stationery! In fact, she has her very own print shop in Longmont called Brylo and debuted her beautiful line of greeting cards at this year’s Stationery Show. I tagged along with her to see the studio and meet her presses. I also meandered around the town, stopping by a cool music store, a record shop, and an awesomely hip Swiss modern general store called Yore. It occurred to me: Longmont is to Boulder as Somerville is to Boston.

Before I knew it, a flight needed catching. Not to mention, a rental car needed returning. So we ate, I said my goodbyes, and drove on my introspective way to Denver. After dropping off the rental car, I took the shuttle back to the airport and contemplatively ate a bag of potato chips thinking with each crunchy bite how much I would miss Colorado and the friends that were in it.

So thank you, friends who hosted me. Thank you, Aspen. Thank you, Telluride. Thank you, Boulder. And thank you, rental car lady!

Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 of Clayton's travels in Colorado!