We’ve made it to Colorado! Remarkably, in just two days. James and Frankie were amazing. I highly recommend road tripping with a baby and a chihuahua. What I don’t recommend is trying to go out to eat or film with a baby and a chihuahua. That’s not cool.
But what the kids lacked in the outside-the-car department, they made up for while riding in the passenger seat. James, up until two days ago, hated being in the car. For the first 6 months of his life, I avoided it at all costs, because he would scream bloody murder the moment he caught wind of our sneaky plan to drive him somewhere. But Daniel recently came up with this handy parenting hack of keeping processed snacks away from him until we hit the road. Puffs, Cheerios, Corn Cakes (and the old standby, seaweed) made their road trip debut while he sat in his carseat, and it worked like a charm.
Though we had to dump out his carseat at least twice a day, it was well worth it. And Frankie — our sweet Frankie who hasn’t been out of the Twin Cities, spent the two days in the car sleeping on my lap. When we stopped at a hotel for the night, she immediately found a spot on the bed or couch and fell asleep. It was like she’d done this road trip thing before.
And I shouldn’t say that Frankie and James were too difficult outside the car. They were pretty easy companions during the trip… Even when Daniel forced us to take this awkward family photo in front of the Colorado sign in the sweltering heat…the whole family (minus me) were happy to oblige. Even though it took many, many takes, and it was hotter than a mother outside. Even when I had to try to change James’ diaper along the side of the car on this dirt road after 6 hours of driving, and seaweed and cheerios fell out. Even when I kept complaining, Frank and James were all smiles.
And then, three hours later, we arrived in Boulder. I’ve been here before — 7 or 8 years ago — but I didn’t remember just how wonderful this town is. It’s calm and serene, and so incredibly friendly. We are staying downtown and so far have walked down Pearl street every morning (at 6:30 am. Because we have a baby.) to a cool local coffee shop that fulfills Daniel’s caffeine addiction (3-4 espressos), and James’ croissant addiction (1 plain, 1 ham and cheese — most of which he feeds to Frankie in between giggles).
Frankie doesn’t want to stay behind in the motel room (she will bark bloody murder until we return, which is against the motel’s dog policy) and James isn’t ready to stay in the motel by himself because he is a baby. So we’ve become “those people” you see at a restaurant who have a baby throwing food and silverware, and a dog under the table dodging it. And I cannot tell you how incredible, hospitable and warm each of the restaurants we’ve visited have been to us. Pizzeria Locale and Frasca treated us as though it was totally normal to have a baby throw pizza into a dog bowl, repeatedly. When Frankie wiggled out of her collar and was tap dancing on the other side of the partition, they didn’t act as though we were causing a scene, and instead made us want to come back. And we did — We’ve already been to Pizzeria Locale twice. The first time they offered scraps of prosciutto to Frankie, and the second time pizza dough for James to play with. The only way it could have been better would be if they offered to watch them while we napped.
Boulder is also cool because they are trying to become a zero waste city. Many of the restaurants we visited compost all of their leftovers. All the compost is picked up a few days a week and brought to a bio digester that turns it into natural gas. Daniel filmed the pick up today, and met up with Hunter to film a dairy waste pick up in the afternoon.
Tomorrow morning we leave Boulder — after first droning the sh*& out of it, and also stopping by our new favorite coffee shop, and maybe going for a hike if there is time. Then we’re back in the car for a 6 hour drive to Durango (!) which will be our home base for the next few weeks. We’ve got some great stories unfolding (an archaeologist who excavates ancient food-ways who also is a bean farmer, an 85 year old woman who started her farmers market 43 years ago and bakes 15 pies a week to sell, and an organic farm 9000 feet in the mountains).
Excited to stay in a place this beautiful for a couple months and get to know it. So far, Colorado has come through on the sunshine and hospitality, I hope it does the same for our filming. We’ll be shooting for the next 7 days straight, so we’ll find out.