Featured photo for Lisa’s Visit to CO

Lisa’s Visit to CO

I smiled at my friend in bewilderment as an enthusiastic, sweet-smelling woman working for the Lush Handmade Cosmetics store in Boulder, Colorado, began caressing my hands with a potent “Soft Touch Body Butter”. After all, Lisa—who had essentially dragged me in here—had been in Colorado for barely two hours and she already was getting me into trouble.

“See, doesn’t your skin feel so soft now?” asked the employee. I conceded that my hands—which are normally about as coarse as a reptile’s back—did feel as smooth as silk now.

Perhaps that was a mistake. The Lush Lady then grabbed me by the arm and proceeded to give me a whole tour of the store, extolling the efficacy of products with names such as “Youki-Hi,” “Tisty Tosty,” and “Honey I Washed The Kids.” It was particularly wonderful, she claimed, to take a bath with a “Sex Bomb” and the very feminine-smelling “Ooh La La Soap.” Ooh la la indeed.

“My boyfriend,” professed the woman who clearly was in the running for Salesperson of the Month, “is a big, buff, manly guy. And now,” she winked at me, “he wants to take a bath everyday.”

Okay! Now I had visions of being primped into a girly guy. Lisa, perhaps garnering some sympathy for me by this moment, did proceed to help me get out of there. But not until after generously buying me some Soft Touch Body Butter.

I could already tell this was going to be a fun weekend with one of my favorite friends from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Things To Do in Northern Colorado

For those thinking of coming out to visit and looking for ideas on fun things to do, here’s a sampling of some of the activities we did out here:

  • Enjoy Indian cuisine with Adrienne at Sherpa’s (Boulder)
  • Walk through the Pearl Street Mall (Boulder)
  • Attend a free jazz performance at Avogadro’s (Fort Collins)
  • Have some finger-licking Ethiopian food with Diana at Nyala’s (Fort Collins)
  • Watch stages of the Tour of CA, courtesy of Diana and her TiVo
  • Go for some leisurely runs along the country roads and trails by the rural horse farms and lakes near where I live
  • Munch on delectable fish tacos made from fresh ingredients at La Luz (Fort Collins)
  • Hang out at Moxie Java and listen to two hillbillies strum some instruments that looked like a cross between a banjo and guitar while trying (quite unsuccessfully) to sing Don McLean
  • Take a driving tour in an Italian sports car through 60 miles of winding, evergreen-lined backroads of Rist Canyon and the Horsetooth Mountains in 40-degree weather with the top down
  • Go indoor rock climbing at the Gym of the Rockies with Jeremy, Zach, and Rhea (Fort Collins)
  • Eat some really cheap (but good) sushi at Suehiro’s in Old Town (Fort Collins)
  • Stroll around the campus of Colorado State University in 70-degree temperatures (Fort Collins)
  • Bask in the sunshine outdoors with Colorado-style thick-crust pizza from Beau Jo’s (Fort Collins)
  • Go swimming (or lie in the hot tub) at the Eldora Pool & Ice Center, which is very uncrowded between 1-3pm during the weekdays despite having 20 or so lap lanes and a diving area (Fort Collins)
  • Discover (and eat) what a panino is at Panino’s Italian Restaurant (Fort Collins)
  • Create some artwork after gathering supplies at Jerry’s Artarama and learning the merits of linseed oil versus mineral spirits (Fort Collins)

The last activity deserves some elaboration. Lisa and I decided to create some abstract oil paintings for my still-bare walls due to my theory that “it’s impossible to mess up—they’re ‘abstract,’ after all!” For similar reasons (harder to mess up), we painted on some of the smallest canvasses we could find: 8″ by 8″ squares.

After this experience, let me tell you that painting is more difficult than I thought. I began to realize this after, oh, one hour and my painting was merely a canvass brushed non-uniformly with a sickly brown color I had mixed and over-diluted with turpentine. I hadn’t even started on some of the other colors or elements of the painting, which were supposed to look like a collection of bicycle parts.

“Hmmm, maybe I should just leave the painting like this and name it ‘Brown,'” I suggested.

In the meantime, Lisa was making steady progress on her masterpiece dubbed “Tree.” Actually, I thought it turned out pretty well. Lisa, ever the perfectionist, would have none of that. Claiming that her painting was horrid, she even refused to sign her initials at the bottom. “You deserve credit for this piece of art,” I protested.

“Oh, I deserve credit for it,” she retorted. “But do I want credit? NO! It looks like a five-year-old painted this.”

I then gave a minutes-long counter-argument that her tree was much more sophisticated than what a five-year-old could have accomplished. I concluded that, in fact, her tree was at least seven-year-old level.

Later that evening at Panino’s, there were several drawings displayed at the register that were created by kids who probably were no older than seven years of age. Their artwork was actually quite a bit better than ours (or at least mine). So maybe I have to take back what I said. Next time, I told Lisa, we’ll have to do Paint By Numbers instead.

I have no problems with being outpainted by a seven-year-old. Just don’t call my artwork girly.

Also, check out Lisa’s pics.

Lisa makes friends with a dog after we had lunch in Boulder.
It was a delightfully sunny day in Boulder along Pearl Street.
Back at home, we created some art.  For some reason the person painting the tree here did not want credit for it and hence is not shown in this photo.
On this 70-degree day, we had "Colorado Style Thick Crust Firecracker Pizza" outdoors.
It was clearly T-shirt weather on this warm day at the CSU campus.
Lisa made me go into this Lush "Fresh Handmade Cosmetics" store.  I came out with silky smooth hands.
Ah, what a cute... bear (ok, the girl too).  This was in Old Town Fort Collins.
Wave to the Liberty Tax Services woman!
We arrive at a Horsetooth Mountain vista point towards the tail end of a splendid 60-mile drive around Rist Canyon.
The Alfa overlooks Fort Collins after a spirited top-down drive through Rist Canyon.
Belying the sunny skies and honey-colored grasses was the Horsetooth Reservoir, which was still partially frozen.
On Sunday, we joined up with Jeremy, Zach, and Rhea for a fun evening of climbing at the Gym of the Rockies.  This is Jeremy on the wall...
... with Lisa belaying.