I’m in Colorado! I came to visit my sister Sarah and her family for the long Memorial Day weekend. I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow morning, and it’s been a fun-filled few days, full of smart choices and restraint.
First, a health update: I’m healing quite well. The only real issue that I have to contend with is a giant, very uncomfortable hematoma that formed after the surgery. A hematoma is an internal pooling of blood, commonly in the form of a bruise, but this is much worse than a bruise, and in a very delicate area. I’m smart about it by wearing supportive clothing and not pushing myself physically, and there’s nothing I can do to speed up its healing, so I just have to live with it.
Anyhoo… I arrived in Colorado on Saturday morning, and as soon as we got back to Sarah’s house, we turned around and headed out for a walk. There’s a reservoir nearby, and walking to it, around it, and coming back equals about 2 miles. Here I am on the walk with Sarah and my niece (and Goddaughter) Allison:
I was a little hesitant to go for the walk, as I was not even two weeks post-surgery, but we went at a leisurely pace and it actually felt really good, especially after 2.5 hours on a plane. It also wore me out. But there wasn’t tons of time to rest, because later that afternoon we headed out to the Boulder Creek Festival: a giant street fair, art fair and music festival rolled into one. I was in town this weekend a year ago, and this Festival is where I rode an insane spinning carnival ride called the Hi Roller. They didn’t have the Hi Roller this year, and even though another ride caught my eye, I decided it might be a little much for my midsection at the moment.
That thing looks fun, doesn’t it? (The correct answer is ‘yes.’)
We hung out for a while near the area where kids can swordfight with foam swords, axes and daggers. My nephew Sam is 7 years old, and, naturally, it’s his favorite part of the Festival. Here’s Sam and me on a nearby grassy slope overlooking the creek:
There was tons of carnival food all over the place: corn dogs, funnel cake, nachos, churros. There was also another section where local restaurants sent up booths, and this area had more variety, and I even found a couple healthy (or healthier) options, including a greek salad with tzatziki, a cucumber/yogurt sauce, on the side…
…and 2 pupusas, one spinach/cheese, and the other chicken/cheese:
Pupusas are a dish from El Salvador, and they’re thick corn tortillas (although made with a coarser corn meal than I’m used to) that have a thin filling in the middle and are cooked on a griddle. They’re served with salsa and a fermented cabbage slaw (kinda like kimchi or sauerkraut), and they’re delicious. I shared this with my sister and our friend Lauren, and I also tried a couple steamed dumplings that my niece and nephew love.
The next day, we headed to a different Festival, this one outside Colorado Springs, about 90 minutes away. It was the Meadowgrass Music Festival, which focuses on bluegrass and Americana music. It was in a big field and I would say the biggest single demographic in attendance were hippies.
Sarah and her husband Justin have all sorts of great camping/outdoorsy gear, so we staked out an area in the grass, set up chairs and a blanket, and had a fun afternoon, wandering around to check out the vendors, playing a beanbag game, and listening to the music. We brought a cooler bag full of sandwich stuff, so lunch was a kick-ass turkey sandwich:
There was plenty of food temptation at this Festival, too – my nephew Sam got an item called a “bacon cone,” which is basically a paper cone filled with tempura-fried bacon and served with a maple chili sauce. That’s right – deep-fried bacon. I tried a piece, and it was good, but the thought of eating an entire order made me a little queasy. What I really wanted was a giant bag of kettle corn, but I avoided it, and instead had half a bag (about 50 calories worth) of popcorn that Justin had brought with us.
Another picture of Allison and me:
On the way home, we stopped for gas at the worst-named gas and convenience store ever:
Believe me, I thought of about 2 dozen dirty jokes based on this name, and I even tweeted one!
Today was more low-key. We took a walk to the supermarket, about a 1/2 mile away, to buy ingredients for a healthy quinoa and black bean salad, and then Sarah and I made the salad:
It has black beans, corn, red bell pepper, cilantro, and green onions, and a light dressing made of vinegar, lime juice, olive oil (only three tablespoons in the whole recipe), and cumin.
It’s based on this recipe, with a big modification: quinoa instead of couscous.
We also all headed out to the movies to see “Epic,” which my nephew and niece liked, but I didn’t love. We got back and threw some chicken breasts and corn-on-the-cob on the grill to go with our salad, and that’s been my trip in a nutshell!
I’m glad we took a few walks – it bodes well for another trip (an international trip!) that I have coming up in about a week. I’ll share more about that trip soon… and be sure to check out my next post, which will highlight a new food product that I’m so flippin’ excited about. Seriously, folks, I haven’t been this excited about a pantry item in a loooong time! Any guesses what it is?
Keep it up, David!