Driving the Boulder Turnpike Our last day of 2013 turned out to be an... interesting one. For us, that is, not necessarily interesting...

Coping with Boulder on New Year's Eve

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 , , ,

I Dislike Boulder
Driving the Boulder Turnpike
Our last day of 2013 turned out to be an...interesting one. For us, that is, not necessarily interesting for you as you read this, you may find yourself leaving...out of boredom. Or irritation. I warn you now, a senseless rant ensues.

So Justin often makes, like, 1/5 or 1/6 of his annual salary in January, due to Christmas sales and craziness of living on commission. He was able to meet a sales goal for the month--on this the last day of 2013--by delivering a trunk load of products to a really nice customer in Boulder.

It was his day off, there was some lovely weather for this time of year, and we had nothing better to do. So we all piled into the Volvo along with $16,000 worth of audio equipment and made the drive up the Boulder turnpike to the land of hippies, college students, and those who think chocolate milk should be banned from all schools {and they succeeded in that ban, by the way...because it's Boulder}.

Have I mentioned, I hate Boulder? I've never liked Boulder, but after today, I feel like I can really say it: hate.

I know some people find Boulder charming and fun and all that. But me? Hate. Not the people, just the town in general. Can you hate an entire town while not hating people? Um...I think so. Maybe. I don't know.

If you're from Denver, or are familiar with my great hometown, you will understand me when I put it this way: Boulder is like a HUGE, over-sized version of the disorderly Cherry Creek shopping district. Over crowded, with hoity-toity wealth and snobby shops and curvy, confusing streets that are filled to the brim with pedestrians and bicyclists and so, SO much traffic. Yes, take the chaos of the Cherry Creek area and turn it into a full sized city, complete with a crazy party school, tea-making hippies and a cluster of overly-privileged football players smack dab in the middle: that's Boulder.

Oh, but it's charming! All nestled up against the hogbacks like that! There's so many beautiful views and so much fun shopping on Pearl street, blah blah blah--HOLD ON. Cut it out. Boulder--are you getting me here?--it stinks. Even with it's fancy mint room, it stinks. I dislike it. Strongly. You get the idea.

{It's also home to one of the worst late-term abortion clinics in the country, just another black mark in my eyes. Of course Boulder would be home to that sort of place. No chocolate milk, though! We care about our children! BOO!}

So anyway, we should have known better than to pack a car full of three post-Christmas-kids for what was really a business trip up to stupid BOULDER.

Justin had promised the girls we'd take the mountain roads home, through Nederland and Central City and Blackhawk, finally down into Golden and back to Denver. {I love you, Denver! Kiss noise.}

So, of course, alllllll the way up the Boulder turnpike allllllll we heard about was the mountains, mountains, mountains, mountains, mountains...

Except not like that, but in shrill little 5 and 2-year-old voices.


We got to Boulder, drove around their crazy streets {this is part of what growing up in Denver's lovely grid system has done to me, I don't do well with non-grid style city layouts} admiring their views {yes, they're pretty, but so is the rest of Colorado} and their fire hydrants {Boulder paints them seafoam green, but this is really the only good thing about Boulder, if you ask me} and finally found his client's house.

It wasn't as grand as I'd expected--many of Justin's clients are mega-rich and the neighborhood we drove through led me to expect a grand Victorian. It was a cute, tiny house. It was empty; they were still moving in. The owner wasn't home but had instructed Justin to go in the side door and lock it behind him when we left.
I Dislike Boulder

The real highlight of our day was Justin finding a very kind thank you note with a bottle of wine to take with us on the kitchen counter.
I Dislike Boulder

Except Justin got what felt like 50 business calls [Justin would like to note that it was one call from a customer, but whatever] while he was dropping off his products, leaving me in the car with two already wound-up, fighting kids, and Mr. Paxton, who was beginning to get hungry. I yelled at them to quiet down but then stopped when I realized that one of Justin's client's neighbors might call the client to warn him that, "A man with a car full of babies and a screaming woman is burglarizing your house. It looks like all he's stealing is a bottle of wine, though. Oh, and he left a bunch of speakers and expensive things in your hou--wait, is this like SANTA for adults?!"

It took forever and when we finally pulled away from the house I realized I'd missed today's Vine newsletter. By 7 minutes. Sigh...

So, when in Rome, you know...you hit up Rome's thrift stores. A Goodwill and Savers both very close to each other...across town so we made our way allllll the way over there via Boulder's stupid, non-grid streets which are full of rush hour traffic from 24/7 to 24/7.

It was a total thrift bust. Nothing good. Boulder, even your thrift stores stink. Okay, so we came home with a cute seafoam {what's with you and seafoam, Boulder???}  tricycle for Violet. There was no tag, but the Goodwill staff said, "It's been sitting here for a few weeks going for $85... but...it hasn't sold so...I guess we'll mark it down to...$9.99?"...


...Huh?! You were trying to sell a cheap used tricycle for EIGHTY-FIVE DOLLARS??? Then finally, as if that weren't already a bad idea, you mark it down--not a just little, but to $10?! Boulder...go home. You drunk.

I fed Paxton in the car.

By this point, the rest of us are starving so we figure we might as well grab a bite to eat. There are tons of places to eat in Boulder. But you know, when in Rome...so we went to our favorite Colorado eatery: Illegal Pete's.

When we finally located IP's by driving the maze around CU Boulder, we found that we had to pay for metered parking in a lot behind the building. We got all three kids out of the car, paid for a voucher, walked around the building while a nearby pair of homeless men were sharing a joint and yelling at everyone who passed by. Lovely.

We got to the front doors of Illegal Pete's, realized Violet had no shoes on, and also that Illegal Pete's had closed at 2 p.m. due to the holiday. It was 2:15.

We went back to the car, homeless men yelling at us again, packed the kids back into the car, and drove alllll the way back across town to Q-doba. Because, what else? We just needed to sit down and eat.

Now, this post is a total rant already so I'm just going to continue on here and tell you what happened in Q-doba. Not a huge deal, no, but one of my major pet peeves occurred today. I generally try to avoid rant posts. You rant too much and people just start to want to slap you in the face, I get it, I do. I've avoided posting the here's-my-witty-annoying-list-of-pet-peeve posts I've written for you all to enjoy while banging your head against the wall, but here goes...

We're in line ordering our lunch at Q-doba when other patrons start to line-up behind us. Of course, my pet peeve: the middle aged lady behind me decides she'd like to spoon with me in line.

I HATE THIS! When someone in line gets so close to you, you can feel their breath on your neck, you feel their toes at your heels, you basically feel violated. I try, people, I really do, when this happens I try and handle it like an adult. I usually take a step back, hoping that will make them notice just how close they are to me when I can move a mere millimeter and bump into them. Then, if that doesn't work, I re-adjust my huge mom-bag, swinging it back over my shoulder so it hits them {their own fault since they're so close}. Then, finally, if that doesn't work, I'll turn slowly, make eye contact, smile--but look them up and down all like, um hi...I can count your pores right now.

ALL of the above did not get through to this lady. Finally, I stormed up to Justin {with my new parasite following close behind}, he noticed {and folks, this means something when Justin notices, it does}, and so he said, "Why don't you go pick a spot to sit, honey? I'll take care of paying."

Bless him.

"I can't stand when people invade my personal space!" I said, not not loudly, as I walked off with the kids. {I still had to get that in.}

So now you know: major pet peeve, don't stand too close to me. Especially if we've never met. The only person I let that close to the nape of my neck is my husband and my cat.

I suppose when you live in BOULDER you get used to people being packed in next to you like sardines. Over crowded hippie town...grumble grumble, snark, whine, grumble...huff.
I Dislike Boulder
So we ate our lunch and left. Finally, time to get out of there. Look, I know some people just adore Boulder, but me and Boulder...we don't get along. And that's fine. And I'll avoid going back so that I can avoid these rants in the future. I'm sorry. I'm done.
I Dislike Boulder
From there, we moved the girls into the third-row, just since we can't hear them as well from back there for something different, and headed for the Boulder Canyon. It was lovely! It was a winding, single lane high way into the beautiful Rockies. We saw so many pretty sights. We made it to Nederland, we made it to Blackhawk and Central City, finally to Golden, and back to Denver.
I Dislike Boulder
That moment when you glance in the rear view mirror and...

I Dislike Boulder
...you realize the car seat it tipping over.

I Dislike Boulder
For that lovely, winding drive through the mountains, through two National Forests, we so enjoyed ourselves. It was peaceful up there with gorgeous views.

As soon as we hit the metro area again, the girls cranked up the naughty once more. They whined to go back to the mountains, they cried, they told us they hated us {true story}. They were total brats in the car today. They both got themselves disciplined when we got home.

I blame Boulder.

The bright side--because there is always a bright side--is that they're going to bed early tonight after a long, napless day. Justin and I will stay up and celebrate New Year's with Chinese food {tradition, even though I sort of don't know if I'm up to ordering take-out as I still feel Q-doba-gross} and maybe that bottle of wine.

I Dislike Boulder

Happy New Year's everyone!

Except you, Boulder.


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  1. I get it!! I totally feel the same way about our neighboring city, Eugene. Crowded, snobby people, one way streets, etc.. Even though it is literally 10 minutes away from my town, it is like a whole different world! I think I will just keep my cowboy boots on and enjoy my quiet 2 acres where my son and husband can pee off the back porch (gross, but true story).

    Happy New Year, Friend!


    1. Are you in Oregon, Erica?
      I know what you mean. Those towns can be fun, but the pretentious attitudes get old real quick. Happy New Year!

  2. Ahh! I just wrote up this whole comment and it disappeared. Anyway, thanks for the explanation of All Things Wrong with Boulder. I was asking because I read an article in, I think, Inc. magazine extolling the many virtues of Boulder as an entreprenurial hotbed.

    We have a Boulder here: Gatlinberg, only it's a hotbed of not environmental hippies, but indiscriminate tourists. If they skipped the Ripleys and fudge and Dollywood and went straight to the mountains for a hike we'd all be better off.

    But don't get me started either. :)

    1. I can see why they'd write an article on entrepreneurship and Boulder, they do go together.

      I have no idea what Ripley's and Dollywood--but they sure sound like fun! I should totally go be a tourist there ;-) Meanwhile, you can come start a new business in Boulder. Ha!

      Thanks for the comment. Hope you're well, Gretchen!

  3. Amen to overpriced Boulder thrift stores - where I can buy a used Target-brand shirt for $7 when the new version cost $12. When I see bloggers saying they got items for fifty cents or a dollar at Goodwill, I'm like, "Why can I never find cheap stuff?" Then I remember it's because I live in Boulder.


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