So my cousin Scarlett came for a long visit, the first visitor we’ve ever had from my family other than my mom. It was awesome.
She flew in on Wednesday night and we picked her and her tiny bag up at the airport. Scarlett is both vegetarian and currently on a cleanse (avoiding alcohol and certain foods, eating others) so I’d found out ahead of time what was OK and what wasn’t, and Dan and I planned out several OK-for-the-cleanse dinners. When we got home on Wednesday night it was pretty late, so we had a tasty stir fry with tofu over soba noodles (made from buckwheat).
Thursday I went to work and Scarlett went to the library, working on both her job (she can work from anywhere with an internet connection) and her upcoming paper, due the day after she returned home. That night we hung out and played Fluxx. Friday Dan had his last final, and Scarlett and I both stayed in bed until pretty late, and only ate some toast from homemade bread for breakfast. When Dan got back, we got dressed and headed west to Boulder.
Because it was Friday, we decided to go to Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory because the Factory was in session, and we made it just in time for the beginning of the 1 PM tour. It was very cool to see the factory in production mode (I’ve been on the tour many times, but usually on weekend days when they don’t have the machinery going). It’s a really cool tour, it’s free, you get to see how they do stuff, and your sinuses get all cleared out in the mint room. What’s not to love?
After we spent some time browsing in the gift shop, I realized I really really needed to eat, so we drove over to the middle of town and went to lunch at the Dushanbe Tea House. This is an amazing tea house built in Boulder’s sister city in Tajikistan that serves an international menu; something for everyone. We got some hummus with veggies and a tea salad as appetizers, since by that point I was completely starving, which took a really long time to come out. Dan and I shared a freshly-brewed iced chai, and I had an omelet with spinach, brie, carmelized pearl onions and walnuts. Dan had bangers and mash (the bangers made from pheasant). Scarlett had tofu and veggies over soba noodles in a tasty broth. After lunch, we strolled around the Pearl Street Mall, oohing over the gorgeous tulips, checking out the art at Art Mart, the kitchen equipment at Peppercorn, and toys at Into the Wind (three of our favorite stores). Then we went back to Denver and did a little grocery shopping. First, we stopped at Queen Soopers, where we procured some important things like fizzy water and Izze soda and ingredients for a few more meals. Then we went to Wild Oats. Except it isn’t Wild Oats anymore! It’s Whole Foods! When did that happen? Apparently, on Friday.
OK, so at the Tiniest Whole Foods Ever that is 3 blocks from our house, we bought some tasty things and tried some other tasty things (chips made from something that wasn’t potato, but still quite tasty), and Scarlett bought two flavors of kombucha (she’s big into beverages, apparently). She also bought two different non-dairy ice-cream like products, one a Rice Dream and one a Soy Delicious, I believe. Both turned out to be tasty.
Now, I’d forgotten the name of the product that Monkey wrote about in her post, but after I’d had a sip of the cranberry kombucha (I didn’t think it was that bad, but then I like really sour stuff; it reminded me of lambic-style beer) I wondered whether that was the stuff she’d written about. So I looked it up later, and it was. Anyhow, my cousin really likes it, and while I didn’t think it went super well with dinner (spanish tortilla, green beans) I thought it was still OK. I don’t think I’ll be buying it myself anytime soon at $3 a bottle (since I don’t really drink anything except water as I prefer to eat my calories) but I wouldn’t scream if it were made available again someday. Though later, I tried the guava flavor she bought, and I really didn’t like that one, so maybe it was just the fruit flavoring that made the difference.
I’ve already told you about Saturday and how wonderful it was. Saturday night, Scarlett wanted to rest and work on her paper, so Dan and I had a little date night at the movies. We drove to a theater rather than walking like we normally would (since he had just had a nail in his foot) and saw Iron Man. I liked it pretty well, for knowing absolutely nothing about the comic or its storyline. Though I was really disappointed by most of the previews. Do people still find Adam Sandler and Mike Myers to be that funny?
Sunday was another beautiful day, and Dan’s foot felt better, so we walked all over town. We walked to the Botanical Garden and took lots of excellent photographs (Dan started to show me how to use the new camera to take the kinds of shots I was interested in, which, sweet!). We walked over to the apothecary where I got a refill on my tasty tincture and Scarlett talked to the lady about a skin issue she was having and ended up getting some sort of cream that was supposed to help (and by the next day, it looked much better!) Then we walked allllll the way back over to the Tattered Cover. Dan and Scarlett browsed while I sat in the old orchestra pit and rested my leg, which at that point was very, very tired. And that’s when I noticed I’d gotten a sunburn on my shoulders and chest. Stupid, stupid. I hadn’t put on enough sunscreen or worn my hat. Usually I am really careful about such things, but that day was my first real skin-in-sun exposure since last fall and I just didn’t think about it. It still hurts.
So after they were finished, we walked home in the heat. A little while later, Scarlett and I walked to the new Whole Foods to pick up a few things for dinner (curried red lentils with whole wheat parathas). I made guacamole for an appetizer and Julie and Steve came over to have dinner with us. It was a lot of fun, but I felt bad; because of the events the day before, we’d forgotten to go to the liquor store, so we only had one bottle of wine and few other adult beverage choices. I guess it was OK; we don’t HAVE to have a lot of booze to entertain, but I still like people to have options.
Monday I worked a half day (and Scarlett worked on her paper), then we walked home together and Dan got home from his trip to campus and she packed up her stuff. We drove up to Lookout Mountain and visited Buffalo Bill’s grave, then explored the gift shop. Scarlett declared that, despite her cleanse, she had to have some Rowdy Root Beer and Dan and I shared a root beer float. We sat in some bizarre traffic on the way back east (turns out they’d closed our side of the freeway for a few minutes because of some escaped convict?) and then had smooth sailing all the way to the airport. We even got her there a little early. I discovered that sitting in the backseat of our car when it is warmer than 80F outside is Not Fun, because none of the vents are strong enough to get air back there, and I can’t hear a damn thing with the window down. So it was unpleasant. It’s good to know for future reference, too.
All in all, we had a great time. I was so glad to get to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Scarlett and we loved having a visitor. Hint to everyone who knows us IRL: Come visit! We have an extra bedroom! With inflatable mattresses! We have cute kitties! We have a lot of tea and a plethora of mugs! And we love houseguests. Especially ones who treat us to an awesome lunch at the Dushanbe Tea House and are able to write it off as a business expense.