Boulder

Tuesday

A day in the People’s Republic of Boulder (as it is fondly called in Denver).  Fist to the Dushanbe Tea House for their famous chai.

Denver Dallas 129The ceiling of the Teahouse was carved and painted with intricate patterns traditional of Persian Art. The teahouse ceiling was originally built, carved and painted in Tajikistan. Absolutely no power tools were used in the original construction. Denver Dallas 130The work was crafted by hand exactly as it was centuries ago.

Inside the Teahouse, there are 12 intricately carved cedar columns. These, were sent from Tajikistan with the original gift. No two columns are alike.

Eight colorful ceramic panels, created by Victor Zabolotnikov, grace the building’s exterior and display patterns of a “Tree of Life”. Each panel was sculpted in Tajikistan, cut into smaller tiles, fired, and then carefully packed to be sent to the USA. Once here, they were repositioned together by Victor, who was visiting to help with construction.1

Next a stroll down the three-block-long outdoor pedestrian mall when friend K picked up a few things.  Not a Target in sight.

Then to Celestial Seasons (which seems to make maybe a thousand varieties of teas, mostly herbal, for the American and international market, including dozens of varieties of Green, Herbal, Wellness, Rooibos, Chai, Estate, Holiday, Sweet Zinger Iced, Serene Moments, Cool Brew Iced, K-Cup®, Kombucha, and Natural Shots Teas) for a tour of their plant, of course all mechanized.  Even a suction lifter of large boxes full of Denver Dallas 135small boxes of particular teas – the machine can tell by weight which tea it is to know which crate to put the boxes in.Denver Dallas 134

 

Denver Dallas 136In 1969, a group of passionate young entrepreneurs founded Celestial Seasonings upon the belief that their flavorful, all-natural herbal teas could help people live healthier lives. They harvested fresh herbs from the Rocky Mountains by hand, and then dried, blended and packaged them in hand-sewn muslin bags to be sold at local health food stores. By staying committed to their vision, the founders of Celestial Seasonings turned their cottage industry into an almost overnight success. Today, Celestial Seasonings is one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America. We serve more than 1.6 billion cups of tea every year, and we source more than 100 different ingredients from over 35 countries to create our delicious, all-natural herbal, green, red, white, chai and wellness teas.2

No photos were allowed on the tour, so above are a few of their teapot collection.

On to the Chautauqua enclave, which I had never heard about before.  This short definition from Wikipedia, but you can learn lots more from the website3.

Chautauqua (shə-TAW-kwə) was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Named after Chautauqua Lake in New York where the first was held, Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day.

Historic buildings associated with the movement include the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado.

dining_hall_nightFirst an early dinner at the dining room, which has been serving since 1898 (!) savoring spectacular views from the enchanting wraparound porch while enjoying classic American cooking3.  (This photo from their website.)

Then the concert in the historic auditorium to see Asleep at the Wheel, with front man Ray Benson, who at 6′ 7″ does dominate the group.  Funny that he’s a 63-year-old Jewish native of Philadelphia.  (Photos were not allowed, so this is from WIkipedia.)

Asleep at the Wheel is a western swing group that was formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia but is based in Austin, Texas. Altogether, they have won nine Grammy Awards since their 1970 inception.

asleep2
Eddie Rivers, looking like a good ol’ boy, with his extensive paunch and cowboy attire and hat (here on the right), was kinda funny, as each time he played a solo on the steel guitar or sax and got a huge applause, he’d look up surprised, as if he didn’t know there was an audience, and give a cute smile.

Ray was name-dropping like crazy, of stars they had recorded with such as Merle Haggard, the Dixie Chicks, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and especially Willie Nelson.  (2009 Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel release “Willie & The Wheel” and earn a GRAMMY™ nomination for Best Americana Album.) Because the dude from Metallica showed up at Rod & Gab, I had hoped that Willy Nelson would turn up here, but he didn’t, darn.

But Ray didn’t even mention the President!  (Then Presidential candidate Barrack Obama joined Ray Benson on stage for a performance of “Boogie Back to Texas” at an Austin Fundraiser4: Boogie Back to Texas.)

Wednesday

I felt like the only person in the entire Denver Airport with a book.  Made of paper.  10% on their tablets, 89% on smart phones.  (I’m generously giving 1% for books.)  The restrooms in the airport also serve as tornado shelters.  Lots of attendants around to help those with confused looks.  I would have to have gone down another concourse (there are three) to get to a Starbucks the guy with the sheriff’s badge said.  So I compromised for a local coffee concession for breakfast.  There are two terminals to serve all of the airlines, but I think that everyone has to walk approximately seven miles to their gate, one moving walkway after another.

What a difference for the Dallas Airport.  Got off the plane, crossed the aisle to baggage claim (honest – right across from the gates!), walked out the door and there was my cousin.  At this airport the planes have to taxi the seven miles to the gate.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about Dallas.

Chemicals in your life

My cousin M recommends vitacost.com for vitamins and supplements along with her frequent mentions of Costco for buying in bulk.  Also:

  • Food babe.com Info on toxic stuff in food and other stuff
  • Weston Price Foundation Info on nutrition and soy etc.
  • ewg.org Best site for sunscreens, makeup, lotions, pesticides on food list, gives toxins found in these products.  Aubrey sunscreen best in effectiveness and low in toxins.

1http://www.boulderteahouse.com/about-the-teahouse/
2http://www.celestialseasonings.com/about/
3http://www.chautauqua.com/history_movement.html
4http://asleepatthewheel.com/the-band/history/

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