Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Being Boulder

It might be hard to tell from this picture of me sporting an astronaut helmet, courtesy of the Aerospace Museum at the University of Colorado in Boulder, but I'm happy.

I'm happy.
And I'm sad.
First things first.

Last weekend my wife, my daughter and I sojourned across the continental divide to the hamlet of Boulder, CO, nestled at the base of the Flat Iron Mountains. To describe the place as beautiful is to do it a terrible disservice. It is stunning in every sense of the word.

Even the homeless people on the street have a certain rugged Robert Redford/Patagonia/western chic vibe about them. Unlike the hobos -- my daughter's words -- in Seattle, who are, also in my daughter's words, sketch.

Everything about the place is disgustingly perfect. The streets were clean. There was no traffic. And the food, including the many flavors of local microbrew beers, was amazing. Of course, I like any restaurant that can seat me immediately. Or even, as one truthful hostess said, "I'll have a table for you in 35 seconds."

And she did.

Fuck you, Los Angeles.

The University was no less impressive. Sprawling, spotless and lively. I got in a snowball fight with a bunch of football players, who were taken aback by this 44 year old's strong throwing arm.

Next to the football stadium, there is a recreational center, the likes of which I have never seen.

In addition to the indoor rock climbing wall, the indoor skating rink, the state of the art weight machines, and the two floors of basketball courts, there was a diving arena and an 8-lane indoor swimming pool. I so wanted to challenge those lunkhead football players to a race in the pool and clean their youthful clocks, but my daughter begged me not to.

Apart from being embarrassed by her father on an hourly basis, Abby also loved the place. She wouldn't give us the satisfaction of saying it out loud, but my wife and I know her better than she knows herself.

If there is one drawback to Boulder it's the people.

Don't get me wrong, they were incredibly cheery, friendly and downright outgoing. Their skin glowed. It might have been the reflecting off the white snow that blanketed the town. But was more likely their overbearing Caucasianness.

The place is exceedingly white. And my daughter, who counts among her closest friends, Persians, Hispanics and even a half-black/half-Jewish girl, gave the University a few demerits on the lack of demographics. On the plus side, Abby does not have the swarthy Mediterranean appearance of her parents and is blessed with clear blue eyes and blond-ish hair.

In other words, she'll blend right in.

All in all, I think we have a sale. Which might make you wonder why I'm also sad.

The truth is, I love doing these college campus tours. And now it appears I won't be doing any more of them. For a good long time. Perhaps with my future grandchildren. And that can't come fast enough.

To that end, I've asked my wife to replace our daughter's birth control pills with Tic-Tacs.

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