The smartest thing I did recently was to check out of a bland Marriot hotel in a suburban environment and check into a bed and breakfast in Boulder since I was heading in the directions of the mountains anyway after a week of teaching out of town. As anyone who has done a fair amount of business travel knows, hotel air-conditioning air (as opposed to air from open windows) can get pretty stale. Enter Briar Rose, a bed and breakfast that I found last minute on the internet that exceeded my expectations and desires.
I believe Briar Rose is another name for Sleeping Beauty in the Grimm Brothers version of the story. Regardless, I arrived last night at a charming Victorian house with the nicest college age kids running the place. As I walked through the dining room to check in (at the kitchen), I could smell delicious breakfast smells that must live in the walls of the house long after meal time. I was taken to my room where I found a country style bed, roll top desk, couch and balcony patio. I dropped my bags and then walked into town to the tea room – (it has a more formal name that I can’t recall) – where I had eaten a few days ago. A light rain started to fall but who can resist a summer shower in the mountains?
Although the tea room has an exquisite interior, I preferred the outdoor patio along a river so opted to sit there again. The waiter my colleague and I had a great chat with a few days ago was working again, so although dining alone I was still able to talk about a range of subjects – theatre, the fringe festival, Ireland, Hawaii, San Diego and surfing because oddly enough, the waiter and I shared many things in common. I’m always amazed by the interesting people one meets when traveling.
Boulder reminds me of my birth city, Madison, Wisconsin minus Lake Mendota. It’s a university town, has quaint old houses with worn out couches on the patios, bicycles parked everyone and a tremendous sense of hippie, intellectual chic. My kind of town.
But more than that, the energy here is somewhat slow. Quiet. The mountains hovering in the distance speak of a tranquility that makes me want to move somewhere the middle of nowhere and write books. But for now, I’ll take a bed and breakfast in a pretty spot and reading the NY Times.
Meanwhile, my little guy awaits my return. He wasn’t a happy camper last Sunday morning.