OK, I admit it, that last post I wrote about vacationing in Boulder reads like a Rick Steves’ travel guide, which I think is unfortunate, not because I don’t like Rick Steves, but because I’m not him and never will be.
In case you don’t recognize Rick Steves by name, let’s see if this description triggers a memory: He’s the gay-acting straight guy who hosts a PBS TV show that features himself gaily rushing around Europe’s finest cities while we sit at home seething with jealously and bitterness because we don’t make enough money to tour Italy or Portugal, or even Hoboken, N.J.
Most Rick Steves’ shows feature Rick Steves himself smiling knowledgeably while he eats free food or looking appropriately inquisitive while he tours dusty cathedrals. He likes to say happy things such as, “Until next time, keep on traveling! Cheerio!” A lot of the time, he’s shown trying to look like he’s relaxing at a seaside café in Portofino while the golden sun sets over the pristine, rippling water in the bay. In reality, of course, he’s as tense as a cat staring down a pack of angry dogs because he just wants to get on to the next museum or quaint little outdoor market and then fly home to be with his wife and kids. Yes, I know what you’re thinking now — I was also mighty surprised to find out that he has a family, but he does.
Anyway, Rick Steves is very popular and I enjoy his travel guides very much. But I need to be honest with myself here: Rick Steves does one sort of thing, I do another, and we have very little in common except that we both have a tendency to be a little touchy-feely and we both have wives. Not the same wife, mind you, because that would be wrong and illegal and get us in trouble with law enforcement officials — except in certain parts of Utah, where it’s frowned on but otherwise ignored.
It was my wife, not Rick Steves’ wife, who encouraged me to pull my original post about vacationing in Boulder. She thought it might have been a little too sarcastic and jaded. And it might have been, even though it was meant in good fun, like all my sarcastic, jaded posts. So I decided to err on the side of caution and yank it before any of my friends in Boulder saw it and drove their Toyota Prius’ down to my house in Denver to beat me up with their yoga mats. Actually, I’m kidding. I’m a kidder. People in Boulder deplore physical violence; they just talk you into submission. Oops, there’s that nasty cynical trait poking its ugly head out of the hole again. Sorry. Not really. But sorry.
I replaced my original witty post with tinder-dry brochure copy because I felt the tiniest-winiest bit bad about being so cynical. Some days, I wake up thinking I’d really prefer to be super positive and peppy, like Oprah or Orville Redenbacher. When I realize I’m not, I feel bad, and try way too hard not to be jaded. That was yesterday. I’m back to myself now.
Anyway, I can’t share most of my original post with you because it’s all behind us now, lost in the discarded flotsam of the past. But I can share the part about traveling to Boulder to seek spiritual enlightenment and healing. Just for fun, let’s pretend Rick Steves is narrating it, travelogue style:
“Many travelers come to Boulder to explore alternative spiritual paths and healing. They’re coming to the right place, because Boulder’s chock full of psychics, shamans, witches, intuitives, crystal healers, holistic healers, priests, transpersonal hypnotherapists, massage therapists, dieticians, nutritionists, doctors of homeopathy, reverends, energetic healers, psychotherapists, acupuncturists, aura readers, life coaches, body workers, astrologists, palm readers, preachers, automatic writers, mediums, colon hydrotherapists, herbalists, yoga masters, feng shui masters, rolfers, Reiki masters, touch healers, sex therapists, family counselors, Ayurvedic healers, tantric sex masters and tea leaf readers.
Practically everybody in Boulder lives an alternative lifestyle. So if you stay in Boulder for more than a few days and leave town still feeling sick and purposeless, there’s definitely something wrong with you.
Reporting for Too Many Mornings, this is Rick Steves. I hope you enjoyed our trip to beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Until next time, keep on traveling! Cheerio!”