So, I've always been 'meh' towards Colorado. I mean, sure, you have mountains, and because of that you're pretty, but it's kind of scrappy and the high elevations have been tiring. Not to mention that after an exhausting 700 mile snowy run through 1/2 of Montana, ALLLL of Wyoming and then another chunk of Colorado in one day I was just ready to be home. But, Colorado, you have been redeemed. We thought we were done on our coffee journey, but then we looked up the winners of the Mountain Region Barista Championship and found Ozo Coffee Co. in Boulder. Greg, their resident bar guru, won the Mountain region title and is heading to Anaheim next week for the National Championships and will be up against Billy Wilson, the owner of Barista in Portland and my ex-roommate's ex-boyfriend. Yes, that's my claim to fame.
The shop itself was unassuming, set in a strip mall with a parking lot back up to the street with Wendy's drive-thru
We've decided on this trip that the new criteria for amazing coffee is that it's so complex that you can't stop drinking it for the curiosity of defining each flavor within it. And at each shop we've been wowed by, that's been the exact sentiment. I HAVE to have more. This, like Verve, Heart and Ritual left us with that feeling. Unfortunately though, unless we can find some PT's coffee somewhere in Kansas, our coffee trip may very well be over. Fortunately, I have a batch of Heart that I bought that is still fresh, this single origin Brazil and then some older Rwanda Intelligentsia that's still surprisingly okay drinking despite its age.
Okay, so with all my coffee talk out of the way, we can go back to talk about the rest of the trip. But, I warn you, I was pretty grumpy. We spent the night with my friend Missy in Manhattan, MT, but only got about 4 hours of sleep for Jack's crankiness and Kate's coughing. Literally, I fell asleep at 1 am and he woke me up at 5. Ugh. Then we had our long ardurous journey through Montana, Wyoming and into Estes Park. The first 30-40 miles of the trip it was not only snowing, but the roads were hard-packed snow, so we had to watch our speed, and then the rest of the trip as we changed elevation we went from rain to snow and in why-oming we stayed pretty much at one level and were kept in the snow and occasional hail. We got really cranky on the drive, and decided to change our attitudes, so we started getting excited about small rocks we'd drive by, finding more than two houses in a one mile stretch, the occasional windmill and finally drawing things in the fogged up windows. Oh Wyoming. I won't miss you. If I see you again, it will be too soon. Yellowstone excluded though, of course ;)
We got into Estes Park just ahead of a storm and got a couple of inches the first night we were there. Between the sleep deprivation I've been experiencing with Kate's persistent cough, Jack's whininess for being cooped up in the car and altitude sickness (really? Yes, apparently I'm THAT big of a wuss, I grew up in mountains, just not ones at 8500 feet) I was grumpy. Kate woke up and woke Jack and I up several times because she was coughing and kept flipping over to her stomach which made it all the worse. Oh sleep, how I miss you! So excited that in just a few days I'll be at home, in my bed, in a seperate room from my kids with John again. I got to video chat with him last night and all day I've been comtemplating if there is a sane way to get back tonight, but after lunch, dropping off Kristen in Tulsa and then driving back it'd put me back at 3 am in a best case scenario, with, with kids waking up at 7, does not sound like a sane choice.
So, we just drove into Littleton, we're going to meet up with Kristen's friend, Beth, and then we're off to who-knows-where, KS for a decent night's sleep. We hope.