Getting Rocky Mountain High

Trip Start Jul 03, 2009
Trip End Aug 16, 2009

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Where I stayed
Holiday Inn Express Alliance Nebraska

Flag of United States  , Nebraska
Sunday, July 12, 2009

First, just wanted to give a shout out to Tracy, today is her birthday. Happy 21st. That's a joke that old people make. She left me a voicemail saying that she was at the Circus Parade in Milwaukee which haunts me to this day. The Wandtke Family and I went in pursuit of a good time. It was hot, there were too many clowns, I had a blue slushee that made me puke, the whole thing smelled like poop, we played Poop Bingo or some sort of odd game like that, it was not a fun day for anyone. She must really love those kids to endure another round of torture that is the Circus Parade.

Joe and I woke up in Boulder Colorado this morning and wandered into a fantastic brunch place called Kitchen, which just won the James Beard Foundation Award for Greenest Restaurant. Believe it or not, we didn’t even do it on purpose. The food was incredible and the atmosphere made us feel like we were back in Brooklyn. Boulder is a quaint little town.  We definitely did not fit in, as I shave my armpits almost daily, neither of us were stoned, and neither of us were wearing Teva Sandals or yoga pants at the time.

We then headed over to Celestial Seasonings to get a tour of the tea factory. I was super excited about our tour. Unfortunately it was a no production day so the factory was empty. BUT, looking on the bright side, we did not have to wear hairnets. The highlight of the tour was the Mint Room which is just what it sounds like. They store all of their peppermint and spearmint in one place. If they kept the door open, the smell would waft for 4 miles! It definitely cleared my sinuses right up. Our tour guide Tim seemed a little grumpy, didn’t really fit the Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time mode… more like Celestial Seasonings Suicide Watch. We were both a little worried that Tim had a gun in his pocket and was about to go postal. He would ask old ladies questions and when they got the answers wrong, he would mock them. It was bizarre but amusing and uncomfortable all at the same time.

Off to Tonic Oxygen Bar. I can see our parents rolling their eyes and slapping their foreheads saying "dummies, oxygen is free!" This is a trend that Joe and I never got around to trying in New York and wanted to give it a whirl. We paid $8.00 for 10 minutes on an oxygen tank…stop laughing. They put an aromatherapy treatment (over 40 choices!) into the tank and hook you up just like at the hospital. Needless to say, this was our first and last visit to an oxygen bar. It felt creepy to have one of those devices on our faces and the slinky bar atmosphere and relaxing vibe of the place didn’t help the distracting feeling that someone would be coming soon to change my bed pan.

On to Denver! Memories of our AP English teacher Carol Billig, flooded our memories because she really looked like John Denver. Downtown is not a vibrant place on the weekends. We didn’t have time for the inside of the art museum, but did see some of the cool sculptures and some construction workers perched high above on the museum’s roof. The Denver State Capital offers one the opportunity to stand a mile high in the air. It took all of five minutes to get our numerous mile high club references and goofy pictures out of the way, and moved on to finding dinner.

We had read a lot about Osteria Marco and were pleased to give it a try. It was delicious. We had pizza with wild mushrooms and truffle oil and homemade ricotta wrapped in homemade mozzerela with sea salt, olive oil and pepper.  I don’t know how, but I will figure out how to make this.

It was then time for a big drive to Alliance Nebraska, which sounds just about as exciting as it was. We have started to see some roadside oddities along the way, including a huge yellow truck with a trailer on the back that said MAGIC KEITH. You have to have testicles of steel to put a huge photo of yourself on a lemon yellow trailer that says MAGIC KEITH. He definitely had a face for the radio that should have been kept on the inside of the truck only.

 The small towns are not as charming as I imagined with Aunt Bea type figures baking pies and selling fruit at roadside stands. These are the kinds of towns that you catch a nasty disease that never lets go. Hotel is clean and comfy for the night.

Tomorrow onto South Dakota!
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