We left the snowy cold of Colorado Springs this morning and drove north to Boulder, which was surprisingly free of the snow we had last night and the clouds blanketing the more southern plains. For the first time, we could see the mountains, though one could hardly call it a sunny day. Guess we’ll have to view Pike’s Peak on TV, as we sure didn’t get a good glimpse of it this weekend.
So how to fully experience eco-passionate, highly organic, fair-trade-focused, sustainable-energy-obsessed Boulder in a way that engages all your senses, and helps you to understand the importance of being a friend of earth and in touch with your very being?
No, my friends, you do not light a cigarette. Instead, you take the tour of the home of Celestial Seasonings, born in Boulder in 1969, and now a worldwide brand. It is particularly loved in the U.S., where Sleepytime Tea has been their major seller for almost 40 years. The revolutionary concept of herbal ‘teas’ was embraced by the alternative lifestyle folks of the 70’s and beyond, and is today a mainstay of the tea world. Several years ago, they began to produce ‘real’ tea, and now offer black, green and white and an enormous variety of flavors in every category.
We now know a lot more about tea, having taken the factory tour. (And I will spare you the details of tea-making and the differences in flavors found around the world.) When you walk in, you are immediately given a ceramic cup with which to sample any of ten teas on offer – or they will brew any flavor you want. Your free tour ‘ticket’ is a package of Black Cherry Berry herbal tea, in our case.
All Celestial Seasonings teas are blended and produced in this location, and it is very sweet. It makes you feel hopeful that a nice cup of their aromatics will solve the ills of the world. Guess that’s why the gift shop was so popular.
Speaking of tea, we then lunched in the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, a wonderful building that was given to Boulder by its sister city, Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, at some undisclosed time which we suspect was in the relatively recent past. The lovely designs reflect the ancient arts of central Asia, and the food was also lovely. More tea was consumed.
Then we were off to stroll the pedestrians-only retail street that Boulder used to successfully deflect the suburban mall trend and keep shoppers, workers, strollers and residents tied to the core of the city. It has worked beautifully, and we made a fruitful but somewhat expensive detour to Peppercorns, a fabulous kitchen store. We were also able to finally admire some views of the Rockies. And do notice the pansies blooming in the snow. Wonderful!
And what would a trip to a new city be without a museum visit? We also popped in the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, which was small and interesting.
We don’t know if we have the requisite sensibility to live here, but we do love how far to the left this town leans!