You know how boring it is being subjected to watching peoples’ vacation photos? Agony, right? Well, I promise not to bore you with mine–there’s food involved! I think it’s also good to see that even when traveling, it’s not hard to eat out and vacation as a vegan. Many restaurants and hotels are catching on and being more vegetarian/vegan friendly. I’m just glad we did enough hiking to work off all the delicious food!
We spent 3 nights, four days in Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a small community made up of restored, turn-of-the-century cottages, a historic dining hall and even an auditorium where many big names come to play. Right out your front door are the Flatirons and some absolutely outstanding hiking.
Our cute little one-bedroom cottage:
Our first night, we didn’t get in until 7pm, so we dined in the fabulous screened-in front porch with some vegan favorites and wine:Savory Tofu Spread, Wayfare Foods We Can’t Call it Cheese, (check out my review of WCCIC spreads), Gardein “Chicken” Tenders with vegan ranch, and some vegetable spring rolls.
We decided to hike the 1.8 miles to Pearl Street where you will find the most wonderful breakfast place on the planet (13th and Canyon). The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. (Good thing, it’s downhill, bad thing, it’s uphill on the way back)! But it’s a beautiful trek through tree-lined streets of Craftsman bungalows. Anyway. . . over 40 artisans created the Persian design motifs throughout the restaurant–it’s quite stunning.
So obviously, they have fantastic food and will substitute any egg dish with tofu–so I opted for the Greek Tofu scramble with olives, spinach and tomatoes along with their yummy fried potatoes and biscuit. It was to die for. Perfect combo of protein and carbs for that uphill 2 mile hike back up to Chauatauqua.
2 minutes later. . .breakfast carnage:
Needless to say, it was delicious! I highly recommend the teahouse for the food, the beauty of the place, the wonderful teas, and the great service. We’ve been there several times and it’s a must whenever we visit Boulder.
So after our trek back, we took advantage of the great access to hiking and picked one of the many trails surrounding the Flatirons. It was hot, but once we got inside the tree coverage, it was peaceful and quite gorgeous. You could see for miles:
This was all before 12:30!! So we were ready for a little rest and relaxation. Chautauqua has quiet hours from 1-3 daily, and since we’re not loud folks, we can appreciate that. The place is surrounded by beautiful park areas, so we picked one just down the street from the cottage:
Wine and Gin:
After about 3 hours of lounging, drinking wine, playing cards, and snacking, we were hungry for some real dinner. As if the hike down the road and hiking in the mountains wasn’t enough, we decided to walk back down towards Pearl street (this time a little less than 2 miles away at 13th and Pennsylvania) to The Sink, one of our favorite restaurants for dinner.
After a breakfast of potato cakes and English muffins at the cottage, we were fueled for a trip back down to Pearl Street, but this time there was a farmers’ market to explore (right in front of the teahouse). It was HUGE, offering everything from veggies, fruit, herbs…you name it. It was fun to walk around and enjoy the smells and sunshine.
The shops are unique and there is something for everyone. One of our favorites is a kite shop, Into the Wind:
All that shopping made us very hungry vegans, so after perusing the many posted menus outside eateries, we stopped at Centro, a very popular Latin-themed restaurant with a nice patio.
We walked off lunch a bit more by cruising through some more shops, but after some much-needed cloud cover, we hiked back to the cottage. We brought out the cards and wine again and enjoyed the front porch, as well as the serene quietness.
So here’s a first for us. . .we bought boxed wine! I know, I know, but before you roll your eyes, I have to say, it was pretty darn good! (As the Husband says, I have Jedi drinking skills, so I would know). Not only do you get 4 bottles of wine for the price of about 2, it is a lot more environmentally friendly since it eliminates the need for glass bottles, and they use recycled cardboard. Not only that, it doesn’t require the extra cost of shipping materials since there’s no worry about breaking bottles. We liked Black Box Malbec:
For dinner, we went with taco salads made with Boca Meatless Crumbles. So easy and light–perfect for a quick summer meal. Also, leftovers make great nachos–add some vegan shredded cheese, Tofutti sour cream and salsa and you’re done! (It was the Husband’s 10pm snack).
These steps took you from the cottages to the trails—2 minutes!
Yes, it’s almost over.
We got up, had a little breakfast at the cottage, packed up, stopped at Starbucks and headed out. We stopped in Estes Park where we tied the knot several years ago and visited the inn where it all started—the Baldpate Inn.
It’s this rustic 80+ year old inn that features a key room–thousands and thousands of keys from all over the world. They are in the process of cataloging all the keys–a monumental task that I hope they’re paying these people a ton of money to do!
Have any of you ever been to Boulder? Lucky enough to live there? What are some of your favorite Boulder haunts?