My mom came to visit us in Boulder this past week. This time it wasn't for siteseeing; to see the many hiking trails, the Pearl Street Mall, the bike paths that have helped Boulder win the Platinum Award for Bicycle Friendly Community, or the Flatirons (though, how could you miss the Flatirons... especially in our new home in South Boulder?). This visit was all about our new baby daughter! And, it was Mother's Day! A new baby is always special for a grandmother, but this one had a sweet twist. On my dad's side of the family - the Montalbano family - there have only been boys for the past 150 plus years or so. That's a lot of Italian testosterone.
So, you can imagine the joy that my mom was filled with!
Boy, girl - we didn't care... but now we get to say that we broke a record! And, plus, she is an adorable sweetie!
This one particular day was supposed to just be a day full of errands, and a must-needed day of rest for my wife Zoe and the baby. Just shopping for groceries and dropping off/picking up cloth diapers (from a great diaper delivery place in town called Bundle - a much cooler place that it sounds (I mean, diapers?), as they have a nice selection of wooden toys and hip baby and mother outfits). They also use organic cloth, which is right up our alley.
But somehow this day ended up being a Metroseen tour. Not on purpose...
We needed a few spices and seasonings, so I drove past our local grocery store, King Soopers, (didn't even desire a hectic Whole Foods Market experience) and headed straight for Downtown Boulder to Savory Spice Shop to get the freshest herbs and spices you can find! I was proud to say that my not-so-internet-savvy mother of the age of (censored) recognized the shop and Dan Hayward right away from the Metroseen video that we made for Dan. It was kind of funny, as watching her reminded me of a kid in a candy store... especially when she discovered the chocolate-dipped crystallized ginger! Curse you, Dan, for putting those samples right by the register! Way too tempting to pass up!
After that aromatic and excellent customer service experience, we were hungry for a snack. Now this one I did plan... Spruce Confections! After all, it was just down the street on the West End of Pearl. It's always a treat to get scones or cookies and a latte at Spruce, but as with many local businesses it's extra special to see the owner. David Cohen came by to say congrats on the new baby. He met Mom and we even spoke about baby names (still trying to figure out what the middle name will be!). Our interaction is partly why I decided to write this post because it's a big reason why we support local. How many times will you meet the owner of a chain a strike up a conversation? Survey says... .0000001
Ok, on to shopping. But wait... what's that on 9th Street, right off of Pearl? Me: "Mom, there's Clutter Consignment! You remember that video, right?" Mom: "You need new plates. I notice chips in the ones you have." Next thing we know we're in Clutter and Lo and Behold, there's another shop owner! Patty Ross, owner of Clutter, joked with me early on (before I knew what the sex of the future baby was) that if we needed advice on girls, after 3 of her own, she has tons of advice! She was right about it being a girl and now I'm going to hold her to that. Another reason to shop locally. Patty is a sweet lady and it's always a fun experience to browse around at Clutter. Yes, we left with an awesome find... yellow Fiesta Ware plates!
At some point in the week, I also took Mom to eat at Pizzeria Basta. Leading up to this, on our way there, here's what our conversation was like: Me: "You know how when you have pizza you typically get a bunch of toppings and you can barely pick up the slice, and then you oftentimes leave the crust on your plate? Well, this crust you will completely devour. You'll be picking up the crumbs, in fact." Mom: "I hate crust". Me: "Mom, just trust me. This pizza is ALL ABOUT the crust". Mom: "Do they have oregano? We love extra oregano". Me: "Mom, please don't ask for extra oregano. I don't want to offend the owner/chef... and please trust me. The pizza is perfect. It's wood-fired and even has beauty marks... little parts of burn around the edge". Mom: "I don't like burned pizza" Me: "Argh! Ok, just wait!"
A bowl of divine Kabocha squash soup and 2 pizzas later, Mom was thoroughly impressed. Beyond satisfied... and no crust on her plate to be seen. I hate Tiramisu... that is, most anywhere else. Theirs, however, is to die for, so we shared a piece and I had a cup of coffee. Basta! Enough! We had enough, but also didn't feel like stuffed Americans. We sat together content for awhile when Chef/Owner Kelly Whitaker personally stopped by the table to meet my mom and see how the baby's doing. Kelly is a very nice man if you ever get the chance to meet him.
In summary, I was once again proud to show my mother the unique and sophisticated places that make our city what it is. The experience of showing my mom the places and owners who I have a special connection through Metroseen was extra sweet, and I know that she loves Boulder just a little bit more than she did before.