Colorado trip, Part 2: Boulder and Longmont

We divided our Colorado vacation between Colorado Springs, where my brother lives, and Longmont/Boulder, where my friend Emily lives. Emily and I met over a decade ago, when we both worked in the R&D Lab at Rosetta Stone. I used to say that one thing Rosetta Stone did ridiculously well was hiring interesting people for the sole purpose of being my friends, and Emily is one of the best examples.

We hadn’t seen each other in person since Silas was a baby, but we’ve stayed in touch over the years with phone calls and emails. She’s a fascinating person, who is doing some deep thinking about leadership, technology, and feminism. If there was ever anyone who could shift systems, it’s Emily. I was thrilled to have my kids meet her, and to meet her partner, Kendall.

Alex drove us to Boulder to meet up with them. There was a ton of traffic on the highway and we couldn’t figure out why, until he remembered that Taylor Swift was in Denver that day. I hadn’t truly clocked the impact of the Eras tour until he showed me the stadium where she would perform. It held 70K people!

We weren’t on our way to see Taylor, though. We were headed for some legitimate theater: The Winter’s Tale at Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Before the show, we explored an art festival downtown, and the kids found “the original Boulder.”

Silas and Petra pose with the original Boulder of Boulder.

We also checked out Into the Wind, a truly bonkers toy/kite store, Liberty Puzzles, which Petra is now entirely obsessed with, and a great wine/tapas bar with a crazy rollerskate

After a beautiful walk through parks and the university campus, we enjoyed Winter’s Tale. It was the kids’ first production of it (and their 14th play in their canon completion quest overall!), and it’s one of my top 5 Shakespeare plays. Kendall asked us if we were crazy—CSF has an incredible outdoor space, and WT was in their indoor space. But if we went to the outdoor one, the show would be Much Ado, which I love, but the kids have seen at least three times. Three Muches Ado before age 10 is a lot for anybody. We’ll go to the outdoor space next time.

This production was really solid; there were some great choices involving movement work, especially for the representation of “Time.” Also fun, Josh Innerst, who we’ve seen on stage closer to home at the American Shakespeare Center, played Leontes. He did a fantastic job with it. The kids both very much enjoyed it. Interestingly, Silas was able to parse out what he liked about the production vs the text—he said, “Some plays, you can tell it’s good because of the design and the directing and the acting. But this story was so good. I know I would like to see it again.”

Program for Colorado Shakespeare Festival 2023

Over the next couple of days, Emily and Kendall took us all around Longmont, showing us their favorite haunts, from the bulk organic store, to the craft store to the river, to the parks. We had a great time just relaxing with them, playing games and doing puzzles, chatting about the state of the world.

One evening, they took us to the park where Teddy Roosevelt visited Longmont on his Whistle Stop Tour in 1900. There’s a fascinating trail of artifacts “left behind” by “Manilda G. Raffe” after she went to join the crowd cheering Roosevelt on. My favorite was her glove, which is people-hand-shaped…

On our last day, we went back into Boulder. We visited the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which was very cool—it has a science museum section, with interactive exhibits for kids, but it’s also a functioning research center. We were able to wander into the research library, overheard folks discussing their projects in the corridors, and even spotted the server room where lots of weather data gets processed. There was also an incredible view of the whole city from up there.

Afterward, we went to the Dushanbe Tea House for lunch. It’s an incredible building that was constructed in Tajikistan and then sent to Boulder. The tea menu was the size of a phone book.

And after that, we went back to Colorado Shakespeare Festival where some of my colleagues who work there took us on a tour of their spaces. The outdoor space is indeed very cool—I can’t wait to go back! It’s also right next to an interesting natural history museum, which we explored at length.

We had a great time exploring Colorado! We can hardly wait to go back (although we might try to go in a cooler season!).


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