more donut complaining

We are leaving in the morning to fly east. My sister is getting MARRIED! And we’re making a vacation of it; spending time in Boston before heading out Cape Cod for the festivities. But to distract myself from our inability to pack light (that’ll be another post), I’m going to write about donuts. And how Denver is still failing on that front.

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Ok. Failing is a blatant overstatement. The multiple donut establishments in the area are providing totally servicable donuts. But no one is hitting it out of the ballpark. New places keep opening but they are not satisfying my intense need for a donut exactly like one from Seattle’s Mighty-O (Side note: It expanded recently! In Ballard now! And Capitol Hill!).

We recently biked down to Lohi on a Saturday morning to check out Habit Doughnut Dispensary. I had high hopes. Probably much too high. Definitely much too high. But Lohi! Old brick building! Donuts! Donuts.

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Let’s be positive. Here’s what they had going for themselves:

  • Solid yeasted donuts. The dough was the right amount of puffy and held its shape when you took a bite. And it wasn’t too sweet.
  • Decent varieties. I’m a bit of a purist. I don’t want fruit loops on my donut. Don’t you dare give me an artificial flavor. I just want some thoughtful flavors with an appropriate amount of sugar. Habit was okay in this regard. They delivered on some, but others were a bit over the top.
  • Good hours. A donut place has to be open early. Period. End of sentence.
  • Friendly staff. Welcoming, knowledgable, efficient.

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Positives are boring. I like to complain. Here are my gripes:

  • No cake donuts. Wtf? Is it an altitude thing?
  • Whiskey? Huh? They advertise alcohol to go with the donuts. I’m pretty sure that’s a silly idea, but even if I were to go with it, I’d expect some high-quality bourbon. But no. They have little plastic shots by the cash register. Not enticing.
  • Free coffee. Habit is right next door to Carbon and both businesses are under the same owner. But they’re not really connected. Two different outside doors. Habit offers free drip coffee when you buy donuts. I’ve never been to business school, but that seems like a terrible idea. If you weren’t giving me free coffee, I’d go buy a $4 latte next door. I would have enjoyed the latte more than the drip coffee too, but I’m a sucker for free things. But now all I remember is bad coffee.
  • Candy store? The also sell other “necessities” like candy and laundry detergent. An interesting concept, but it’s not so much corner store-y as it is gimmicky. I just don’t imagine they’ll sell much of that stuff. But again, I am no business expert so maybe it’s me who’s missing something.
  • Atmosphere. The space Habit occupies is primo. But they obviously weren’t aiming to make it a comfortable café. Most of the space is devoted to baking (I assume?) with just a small counter and limited indoor seating. Even though the donuts were good, it didn’t feel like a place I’d want to linger.

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Can’t wait to go donut hunting in Boston! And no, I will not be eating any Dunkin’. I’m surprised you’d even ask.

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crested butte craziness

You know what traveling with kids is not like? Traveling without kids.

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Shocking revelation, I know. But really, as simple as that sounds, it’s a fundamental concept that one is forced to come to terms with when embarking on adventures with little ones. And I think it’s something that many of us struggle with in the years after we first have kids. Your “pre-kid” life wasn’t that long ago, and it’s hard to shake the memories of when traveling (or doing anything, really) was, well, quite different.

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A few weeks ago, great friends of ours flew in from Texas and we all trekked out to Crested Butte for the better part of a week. We’d had the trip planned for several months, and our friends were excited to have a Colorado mountain experience.

Crested Butte is sensational. It’s truly an idyllic mountain town. We’d been twice before, but this was our first time going in the summer. The town was as quaint as ever and we were blown away by the breathtaking views. We tried our best to maximize the hiking trails and other outdoor adventures the area has to offer.

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It was challenging though, to be sure. We were tired. Cameron didn’t sleep that well. Willa had the ups and downs that seem to be par for her course at age 3. I got frustrated. At one point I cried and declared we should just drive back to Denver.

I didn’t really mean it. And we didn’t. I’m glad we didn’t. The week was special. It was memorable. We got closer as a family. We reconnected with our friends. We got to know their kids.

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There are numerous quotations about how things are hard but you should do them anyway. How it’s the hard that makes them great. I’m not saying I wouldn’t take a relaxed vacation sans kid drama…I would. (Gosh, I would!) But different is okay. Different has its own charms.

Some highlights:

DSC08698^^Secret Stash Pizzeria. So good.^^

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DSC08676^^Meridian Lake. We hiked the steep route which was a lot of bang for your buck. Great views and refreshing swim.^^

DSC08709^^Henderson Park aka “the mini park.” According to Willa, this was the highlight of the trip. I’ll bet you’ve never seen a smaller park.^^

DSC08758^^Our VRBO on Elk Avenue. It was close to town and also to several hiking trails. It had a bit of an odd bedroom set-up (a really large master suite with a sitting area, a tiny bedroom by the kitchen with a full-sized bed, and two bedrooms upstairs with twin beds) but it worked out just fine! Great outdoor space.^^

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To round out this story, it must be said that friends who can parent together are true friends. The challenges of this trip were eased by the extra eyes, hands, ears, and hugs throughout the days and the camaraderie around the campfire at night. We love you guys!