29 July 2008

Vacation, Part II

So, turns out Day 2 isn't all that interesting. We went to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory, hung around Boulder, and went to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight. There are no photos of that last one because 1.) I was extremely tired and just didn't care, and 2.) what was there to take photos of, anyway? There were very few people in costume. Maybe I should have taken an action shot of the beach balls people were throwing around.

Mountains on the way from eastern Denver to Boulder

Somehow I managed to leave the two most important high altitude travel necessities at home. I had to buy gum and chapstick at ridiculous hotel gift shop prices.

Dress made out of tea bag wrappers. This is on the way into the Celestial Seasonings factory tour.

Pretty sweet.

The Celestial Seasonings tour is swell. I would suggest making time for it if you ever go to Boulder (or even Denver). You can sample any of the over 100 teas they make for free, you get to see a working production line, and the gift shop is completely awesome (yes, I'm a sucker). However, everyone who goes on the tour must wear the dreaded hairnet. And a lucky few must wear... a beardnet. ("But I don't want t--" "Yes but you must.") You can see why I insisted on a photo of this.

This didn't look like the tastiest thing on the Ben & Jerry's menu (which, by the way, I'd never experienced before, either in one of their shops or from the grocery store), but it was the hippiest, and that's why we were in Boulder, after all. It's called "Visualize Whirled Peace". It had vanilla and caramel ice cream, toffee cookie bits, and -- wait for it -- fudge peace signs. Quite tasty.

It rained briefly that afternoon. At first we didn't mind -- it was light and pleasant and I had my hat. But then it got more insistent. So we ducked into a little alcove, off of which were doors to an upstairs office of some sort and a Tibetan-themed shop. We chose to stand in the alcove watching the rain rather than browse the shop. And I'm okay with that.

Stay tuned for Day 3, which will include various street performers, my new favorite beverage, and the continued adventures of Steve. Get excited, people.

28 July 2008

Vacation, Part I

Norman and I went to Colorado a week and a half ago for vacation. I'd never seen Boulder, and since the drive to San Francisco is too long, we compromised with Hippie Town the Lesser. It was fun, and I like Boulder quite a bit.

I've decided to post about our exploits in four parts -- one for each day of our journey.

Day One: "Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado", or "Where is Everyone?"

Here's Norman trying to look normal for a picture.

And here's Norman trying to look weird. Hmm...

I'm all for alternate energy and such, but the miles and miles of these newfangled windmills was a little creepy.

Eventually Norman got tired of driving. "Oh no!!! A car!!! What do I do???"

OK, not really. I mostly looked like this for the hour or so I spent driving through western Kansas.

Steve's a great navigator. (For more of Steve's adventures, see here.)

We kept passing this bus, pretty much from OKC to Denver. It was a little ridiculous. We still can't figure out where they were going. Maybe they bought it on eBay?

An iPod and some kombucha -- two things you should never road trip without.

And here we have the worst and most monumental failure of "the Code". That would be the Vacation Code. It told us that we were not allowed to do anything on vacation that we could do at home (this mostly applied to chain stores and restaurants). The Code worked out well, on the whole. We ventured outside our comfort zones. We drank beer at random pubs (more on that later), visited the used bookstore instead of the Barnes and Noble, and ate at places we'd never heard of. And usually, that worked out just fine. But in this case...

The name of this eating establishment is apparently "Restaurant". Very original. It was attached to a gas station. The food consisted of a buffet of half Chinese food, half all-American (read MSG-laden) fare. Yeah. Oh well. Steve didn't seem to mind it.

Oh, right... Another perk of Restaurant -- Copies of "The Outhouse Book" at every table. Not my first choice, personally. But again, Steve was content.

Will Norman and Jessie ever reach Boulder? Will they keep to the Code? Is there anything Steve doesn't like?
Find out next time in Day Two: "Hello, Boulder!", or "One Very Long Day"

05 July 2008

I'm back, and I brought produce!

Yes, I've been rather neglecting this blog. My apologies. But you can't be that mad at me, because I have pictures of food! Yay!

(This post is mostly for Jenny, since she gave/sold me the following plants when they were just wee little things.)

Here is my bay tree (yes, as in bay leaves). It is apparently very happy to be outside.

On the right is my basil plant. Dang. It's like a full-blown shrub now. To its left is my strawberry plant. I have two red strawberries! They're tiny, but they are definitely strawberries.

The firstfruits of the strawberry plant. Once again, a dilemma is raised -- am I not supposed to give my firstfruits to God? What's the best way to do that? Putting the strawberry in the offering plate seems a little silly. Giving one or two pieces of produce to one of my ministers also seems odd, considering they both have large families. A new idea that just occurred to me today -- mash the strawberry up and put it in the communion bread when it's my turn to bake it. But then, what if someone at church is highly allergic to strawberries? They would have no reason to suspect that there might be strawberry in the communion bread (after all, it would only be there because I'm crazy). Hmm....