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When planning for this trip, my choices for flights home mostly amounted to either leaving at the crack of dawn or taking a redeye late in the evening. Thankfully, I found one flight that departed around 7:00 PM, so I reserved a seat which maximized my time for the weekend. If I had known that our time together would be limited to one day, I might’ve gone for an earlier flight back. However, the extra day meant time to explore Boulder on my own, but not before I slept in and took my time checking out of the hotel.

Back at Pearl Street

After grabbing a bite to eat, I wandered the length and breadth of Pearl Street, taking my time to tour the outdoor mall at my leisure. It was Sunday, so the others milling about were in no real hurry for anything, and many looked as though they dressed by grabbing random clothes in the dark. Many were attired in the best that sport outfitters or vintage clothiers specializing in hippie wear had to offer. The most eye-catching ensemble was a grey-haired man in red sweatpants, tie-dye t-shirt, and bright purple faux fur coat.

Whether it was antique books, crystals, all manner of arts and crafts, fetish carvings or Eastern religious icons – you could find it on Pearl Street. While nothing really leapt out at me as a “must buy,” I spotted a tie-dye onesie that I ruminated about buying for Misha’s and my soon-to-be baby. For whatever inexplicable reason, I opted not to buy it…a fact that Misha still won’t stop teasing me about to this day (to say nothing about her also teasing me about a tie-dye shirt I wore in college that is probably best left forgotten).

        

        

In addition to more eccentric, comfortably-dressed homeless-but-really-not-homeless types (some of the locals seem to enjoy a thriving panhandling market, where people who don’t appear to be homeless sit out and look for handouts sporting fairly nice/trendy bags and clothes, and even light up toys to get your attention), Boulder was well-populated with street performers. As in, A LOT of street performers. Whether they were painters trying to capture life on a grey morning, roving flash mobs of swing dancers who needed to trade their caffeine-loaded lattes for bong hits, or jugglers whose tossing skills with lit torches bested their painfully bad joke delivery (I’m pretty sure this is intentional), it was hard to navigate around the onlookers surrounding them. Boulder is definitely an artists’ community, and the street performers were definitely right at home.

        

        

Heading Home

As the day moved into the mid-afternoon, the sun finally pierced the weekend’s grey canopy just long enough to show everyone that it still existed. And after that brief shot of warm light, thunderstorms began rolling into the area, heralding my hopping in the rental car and high tailing it to the airport. Dropping off the car and shuttling over to the terminal was easy enough, but the security lines were beyond ridiculous. I’m not sure why the airport was so full on a Sunday afternoon, and I expected this kind of crowd in DC, not here. Winding my way through went quickly enough (even with the expected and received “random pat down” from my friends at the TSA), and I had enough time for a beer and a bite to eat from a waitress with absolutely no concept of personal body space.

The flight back had the benefit of relatively cheap and available wifi, enabling me to watch a few things I DVR’ed (I love Verizon Fios), though I could’ve done without the person next to me who made far too many trips to the bathroom and cursed more than a turrets patient bingeing on cocaine, candy and Starbucks. Nevertheless, I arrived home to Misha passed out in bed, her cat and mine in their separate corners (my cat likes hers, but her cat doesn’t really feel the same way about mine), and Bear (Misha’s ever affectionate-but-somewhat-mentally-challenged Pomeranian) happy to see me.