Greg and I have been in Boulder for the last couple of days. I wrote yesterday’s post from the desk of our lovely room at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa where I am writing from again right now.

I’m here working a story about Chef Jason Rogers who is the man behind St. Julien’s Jill’s restaurant and who also happens to be an avid mountain biker. During the summer he offers a mountain biking and bbq package in which he takes guests out for a bike ride and then back to the hotel where he makes them a fabulous bbq dinner based on their preferences.

As you can imagine, Sunday afternoon found me and Greg on mountain bikes on nearby Betasso Preserve trying out our first time skills on the single track Canyon Loop Trail. Needless to say, within ten minutes I was sprawled in a ditch, my bike on its side, a big scrape beading up with blood on my left leg. Laughing from my position in the ditch, I called for Greg to take a photo (coming soon). Mountain biking turned out to be wildly challenging but overall it was definitely a fun experience.

After making it around the 3 mile loop without anymore mishaps and with a couple of deer sightings, we flew down the paved road back to Boulder, the mountain vistas dipping and rising before us as we rounded each curve and then crossed over to ride alongside Boulder Creek. It was just beautiful and it was the perfect way to get me out of my head and all that is going on these days, if even for a couple of days.

The rest of our trip has been spent at the mercy of Chef Rogers who has made us one incredible meal after another. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so well in a two day time span. Highlights include heirloom tomatoes with spearmint, arugula, pine nuts and served alongside a burrata cheese calzone. Also unbelievable, from last night’s zero-carbon vegetarian dinner, were homemade ravioli with aged goat cheese from Oregon paired with a Barbera D’Alba Mauro Molino. Trout ceviche, duck confit, Adobo-rubbed steak and leg of lamb have also delightfully crossed my palate in the last 48 hours.

I’ve experienced several moments on this trip where I knew that if my parents could see me, they just couldn’t be happier. Me, sitting across from the most wonderful man whom I will marry in 10 days, eating some of the most wonderful food in an incredibly beautiful setting and about to return home to a fantastic life in Chicago with a meaningful job and lovely home and a future that is continuously unspooling itself in the best ways possible.

I’m very appreciative of my life right now.

Okay…off to catch a flight home. More soon, including photos of me on a mountain bike!

1 comment

One Comment

  • Posted July 8, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Claire, I can hear it in your voice that you are happy. It comes through everything you write and the way you simply glow in your photographs. I can’t believe that this close to your wedding your are bleeding on the side of a Boulder road. And in the midst of the biking and eating, you find time to review and write your blog. You will never cease to amaze me, my friend.

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