A Colorado Thanksgiving

November 25, 2012
No one likes to get up at zero-dark-thirty, but we did it to beat the crowds 
out of San Jose International on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, on
a 7:15 am flight that made our trip to Colorado a breeze.
A quick two-hour flight and we were at Denver baggage
claim, then got our car and drove 45 minutes
to Niwot, where my friend, J, lives
with her partner, her dog, cat and several horses.
But we stayed a half-mile away at
a charming little inn.

Niwot is a charming little town about 10 miles from Boulder with one hotel: the tiny Niwot Inn. 
The Niwot Inn has found the secret to fabulous accommodations offered at a reasonable rate. 
Start with a nice little wood-burning fireplace. 
Supply the wood and kindling.
A comfortable, rustic bed. The rustic only refers to the aesthetics, thankfully.
A stereo system and a huge tub.
A comfortable sitting area’s appreciated for a long stay, 
especially one with a leather loveseat and a flatscreen TV.
A plush leather armchair near the fireplace that’s perfect for reading.

More appreciated seating. A heated toilet seat.
My first, ever.
Hubby said it reminded him too much of Death Row.

After we settled in, we took the short drive to Boulder 
and stopped in for eye-wateringly spicy shrimp at The Boulder Cafe. 
Boulder is the perfect YUPPIE city.
Does anyone even use that term anymore?
Maybe we’re old news.
More like RUPPIES. 
Retired urban professionals.
Or SRUPPIES: semi-retired… well, you get it.
My Boulder happy place– a happy frog greeting us at the big Boulder Bookstore


Three floors of books. I would hate to see
bookstores disappear, even though I’m a Kindle user.
(I also have this month’s book group book with me, in hardcover.)

 Outside the bookstore, this poet clacked away on an old manual typewriter.

How I knew he was a poet.
I may go back and buy a custom poem.

She sat by herself, banging her drum and hollering out some discordant song.

He kept his tune within his hood.

The Pearl Street Mall is a pedestrian shopping area
just made for buskers. That’s where we were, by the way.

Crocs were born here. Say what you will, they’re the most comfortable shoes ever. 
Ugly, but these baby Crocs are darling.
Still, I do not like the little pebbly sole on regular Crocs,
although I have two pair.
So I also have two pairs of imitation Crocs that I can wear without socks.
I suppose the theory is that the bumps massage your feet,
but really, they’re irritating.

Crocs boots would be just the ticket in a rainy or snowy area.
Utilitarian and cute.
Ok, I draw the line here. Or do I?
I’d consider them for summer flats if they had smooth insoles.
Nothing like the iconic real thing, though.
Loved this card and had to take a photo of it.
And yes, I still want an ass like this.

Which I’ll never have if I continue to eat carbs,
like this potato dish we prepared the day before Thanksgiving.
The recipe called for thinly sliced potatoes 
placed on top of this: parchment paper with thyme and butter. 
J. bought a mandoline for that paper-thin slice.

A lengthy discussion ensued about which one of us was LEAST likely 
to slice off our finger with the super-sharp mandoline. 
It turned out that would be J’s partner, also a J. 
He sliced the potatoes. 
While he was doing so, J burned her finger on a spoon. 
At the point, I simply stepped away from the kitchen to take photos of:
Dex is three years old. So loving.
On my way, I tripped over her feed bowls.
It seemed best to step away from the house for a bit.
So we decided to go have some lunch.

We brought Dex with us.
It’s refreshing to have a normal dog around.
(Our dogs are not normal.)

Later, hubby wanted to see Skyfall.
Those are 2.5 hours of my life I’ll never get back.
Shooting, explosions, cliff-hanging,
murder, repetitive and boring.

After that, we thought we’d drop in at the King Soopers
grocery store, which I assumed would be packed.
Nope. Practically empty.
But I did score:

I always wanted a People of Walmart moment
and I got one. He was greeted cordially by
the woman at the deli counter so I think he’s a local figure.
The hat was just priceless.

And then, Thanksgiving.

Aussies love to play frisbee, so dog-loving hubby obliged.
I caught a quick video.

But since Joy lives on a small ranch…

Had to go over to the barn and greet Lily,
the miniature horse. I haven’t seen her since the Fourth of July
parade a few years back, when she and Riley marched together.
It was a sight.

Back inside, things were warm and cozy.

Joy outdid herself in setting the Thanskgiving table.

Hank, the ragdoll cat, thought so, too.
“When’s the turkey coming out?”

The turkey was succulent.

Everyone ate their fill. And more.

Good conversation flowed.

What the plate of a dietitian looks like.
Lots of green, I noticed,
and everything artfully placed.

Coffee and pumpkin pie by the fire.
More good conversation and much laughter.

And then, Nina arrived.

120 lbs of woooof!

Sweet, huge, Bernese Mountain dog.

Biggest paw in the world.
I love a dog you can hug.

A good time was had by all, right, Dex?

Good food, good friends, good dogs: a lot to be thankful for.

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