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Trip Report Beautiful Boulder, CO!

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Just a quick recap of my 4 days in Boulder at the end of April. It was my first time in Colorado and the primary purpose was to visit my niece, who's in school there. We had a great time and I'm looking forward to going back!
We spent our first full day in Denver, visiting the Hammond Candy Factory and the Molly Brown House (and sitting in a tremendous amount of traffic). I had vaguely recalled seeing something on the Food Network about the Hammond Candy Factory, but picked up a brochure in the airport and it was our first stop in Denver. It's right off the highway, on the outskirts of the city and they have an interesting quick tour, where you can see actual operations (all their candy is hand made). Of course, there's a very large company store but it also includes a seconds section (called the Oops Room) where there were some great bargains. Just finished my last purchase today and I can recommend their candy!
We both enjoyed the tour of the Molly Brown House, and would recommend trying to watch the movie in the gift shop before or after. A late lunch was at Jelly's just around the corner (great burgers but they serve breakfast foods all day). The big challenge in Denver was finding parking and then the traffic to and from (which seems to be due to road construction).
We also visited the Celestial Seasonings factory but on Sunday (and there's generally no manufacturing on the weekends). The tour was still interesting and, of course, ended up in their store. If you like tea, it's definitely worth a stop. Not only can you try any and all of their teas before the tour, but you can then buy them afterwards (along with all kinds of other interesting gift items). On Saturday, we went to the Farmers Market and it was inspirational! Very crowded, but great variety of vendors and, if you go, definitely plan to have lunch. I had a polenta dish that I'm still dreaming about. The contemporary art museum is in the midst of the farmers market and it was a great place for a bathroom break and we really enjoyed walking through their exhibit. There was no admission charge on Saturdays.
I always like to shop on my vacations and enjoyed visiting the shops on Pearl Street, along with a few hours at the Flatirons Crossing Mall, while my niece was studying. It's a huge mall and definitely tired me out! Her favorite shopping adventure was a stop at the Goodwill Store, where there were big sales that day (everything was 1/2 price and jeans were .99). She had a field day and I could be a generous aunt! Unfortunately, there's a lot of different taxes on clothing in Colorado, which is always a surprise for me.
I stayed at the Homewood Suites and it was perfectly fine. My room was on the 3rd floor (top floor) and looked out at the mountains. It's kind of in a strange location (you get there by driving through the parking lot of a strip mall) but that ended up being convenient since there's a Safeway grocery store and other conveniences very close by.
Overall, a great trip and I'm looking forward to a return and exploring more of the surrounding areas...

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