Boulder, We Love You

Downtown Boulder During our stay in Colorado, we made Broomfield our home-base due to its central location between Boulder and Denver. Plus, it's where Loren’s friend from middle school, Jordan, lives in a spacious apartment. A few hours after we arrived, the air mattress was beckoning to us, partially owing to our climbing extravaganza a few hours earlier. And once we started sleeping it was hard to stop! We woke around 11am, still feeling like it had to be 8ish, and quickly got movin’.

Our mission for the day was to see as much of Boulder as possible and to scope out potential areas where we might want to live. Checking out Trulia searches (for rentals) in every neighborhood we drove through, we quickly realized that Boulder is a pricy place to live. Makes sense, because it seems like one of the best places in the country.

We also wanted to check out a nearby town called Longmont, which is about 15 minutes northeast of Boulder. While in our opinion Longmont is a tad in the wrong direction (um, hello? the mountains and outdoor Meccas are to the west!), we totally fell in love with the quaint and historic-looking neighborhoods that are WAY more affordable than their Boulder equivalents. Paying a visit to a bulk foods store on the main strip in Longmont, we again stocked up with some roadtrip-friendly noshing foods, and then made our way back to Boulder.

Bulk food store in Longmont, Colorado Bulk food store in Longmont, CO

Any visit to Boulder is not complete without a stroll down Pearl Street, which is dotted with hip restaurants, bars, outdoor outfitters, knick knack stores, and performing street musicians. By then, we were ready for lunch and our timing couldn’t have been more perfect - it was happy hour! Grabbing seats outside at a restaurant called Hapa Sushi, we enjoyed a few appetizers and some fruity sake in the warm afternoon sun. We normally love raw fish, but instead opted to save some dough by ordering the half-priced happy hour fare, which was nonetheless delicious.

chicken skewers at Hapa Sushi Chicken skewers

grilled shrimp at Hapa Sushi Grilled shrimp

Pork wraps at Hapa Sushi Pork wraps

Afterward, we continued down the strip and landed in a Fro-yo and mochi shop called Smooch, but ended up ordering a delicious homemade coconut lemongrass popsicle. Gotta try that recipe someday with our popsicle molds! Next, we found a European market called Bayleaf that was a wonderland of chocolates, specialty foods, and beautiful books, among other things. We instantly noticed a huge display of our favorite brand of chocolate, Chocolove, which is made just a few miles away in Boulder. For a couple years we have been buying their almond and sea salt dark chocolate. But, this shop boasted a flavor we'd never seen - we found out the chocolate bar is named after the store (the only place it's sold), and that it's almost the same as our favorite bar but with the addition of toffee. Of course we picked up a bar to try later.

Chocolove Tons of Chocolove!

For dinner, we met up with our host at Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery, a microbrewery on Pearl Street. The beers are made here and only served in-house. They were fantastic, and so were the burgers we ate to soak it up!

Mountain Sun Brewery soup and sandwich Grub at the pub

We had a great stay in Boulder, which confirmed our previous ideas that we could (and should) live here. Awesome mountains that offer climbing by summer and snowboarding by winter, a great food scene with emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients, a small-town feel supplanted by the University... what more could one want?

Boulder Sunset