Something New

I just booked my first vacation since 1996 (and before that, I bet my last vacation was with my parents as a kid going to the beach or the lake in Maine). I’m super excited, but this spring break I am actually leaving town for a week for something that doesn’t involve a military deployment or some stupid damned conference.

I’m going to to my buddy’s bed and breakfast (that is currently under construction) in the mountains of Boulder. I’ve known him since he was a freshman at Bethany College and I was junior in high school and we both played on the Bethany College club lacrosse team. I think I have posted pics of him here, as he has visited three times in the past two years and the dogs love him- his name is Steve, but I am too lazy to search the archives. Plus, several of my other really good friends from college and high school live in the Denver/Boulder area, so I am super stoked.

I guess I need to head to Cabelas and get some new overalls and a new pair of Merrells so I can rock the latest in hillbilly fancy and don’t embarrass WV by showing up in Boulder in low fashion and out of season attire. Wool socks, my prodigious belly and accompanying belly laugh, and a sketchy “VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER” beard just add to the look and enhance the overall experience.

42 replies
  1. 1

    Boulder is a great town and you’ll have a great time. If you get a chance, get up into the mountains to places like Nederland and Estes Park now that they’re recovering from the floods last fall and see some real mountains, not like those bumps you have in West Virginia.

  2. 2
    MTmofo says:

    I hope you get “super toked” while you’re there. It’ll be good for you, just cuz. :)

  3. 3
    sharl says:

    Coloradee, y’say? Weell, it’s been some years since I been, but rather than slummin’ at Cabelas, ya might hafta go with
    LL Bean or somethin’ even more high-falutin’.

    And mebbe pick up a monogrammed USB-powered nose hair trimmer at Brookstone, just so ya show up in style.

  4. 4
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Have a great time in the Mile-High City on your first vacation in forever and a day, Cole. I think you need some suspenders and a some dip to complete the picture.

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    I think he lives on the outskirts of Boulder up in the hills where they are building the B&B as a remote getaway with easy Boulder access, so I doubt I spend little time in Boulder proper and will indeed heed your advice and be in the mountains the whole time. I really plan to do nothing but cook, help them, sleep, read and look outside for wildlife the whole time I am there. I might venture into town to get a massage and some acupuncture.

  6. 6
    Bart says:

    Yeah, sure, congrats and enjoy yourself and all that — but is your car still in a field? Did we ever get an update on that soap opera?

  7. 7
    🎂 Martin says:

    Boulder is an interesting place. If you’re looking to pick up girls, offer to shave their ass. I don’t know why it works, but it does.

  8. 8
    Ash Can says:

    First vacation since 1996? What were those trips to Madison, errands of mercy?

  9. 9
    Honus says:

    To really represent West Virginia don’t forget the camo ball cap and “friends of coal” t-shirt.

  10. 10
    VidaLoca says:


    Speaking of which, what’s up with your car out in the field?

  11. 11
  12. 12
    kindness says:

    Hahaha. John is going to a legal weed state for his vacation. Lemme guess. Your next vacation will be to Seattle?

    Come to California John. It’s for all practical purposes it’s legal here. We’ll hook you up with one of the shows at Phil’s Terrapin Station.

  13. 13
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:


    Do some biking/hiking or even 4-wheeling on the Switzerland Trail. It’s the old narrow gauge railroad that winds up Boulder Canyon eventually splitting off to head to Ward.

    I did my masters thesis on it back in the early to mid 80s.

  14. 14
    danielx says:

    For chrissakes don’t offer to assist with any tasks involving power tools.

  15. 15
    big ole hound says:

    Bring the bong as they are super expensive once you are a mile high.

  16. 16
    Hawes says:

    Boulder? I would suggest either getting some hemp clothing that you wove yourself or drop a $1000 at REI.

    Pretty much an either/or.

  17. 17
    Citizen_X says:

    Bring your friend a t shirt with that Steve artwork from last night.

    You should offer those on the BJuice store. I would totally buy one.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Walker says:

    Merrells are not what they were a decade (or two ago). They will fall apart on you after a single big hike. Honestly, unless you go really high end like Limmer, it is impossible to buy a decent boot in this country any more.

  20. 20
    Aji says:

    Cole, you need to tack on a couple of days so you can swing down just below the Colorado border. You can come and meet our five whoops, now six horses and five dogs (and four chickens and endless wild creatures) who are cluttering up this year’s BJ calendar. Well, and us, too, but the four-leggeds are generally more interesting.

  21. 21
    kdaug says:

    Picked up a pair of Clark’s last month, wore them on a three hour hike on the greenbelt with the dog last weekend. Water, rocks, scrub – they seem to have held up well.

  22. 22
    Starfish says:

    I’d say we should do a meet up, but I would hate it if you injured yourself in an attempt to find pants.

  23. 23
    charluckles says:

    If Bed and Breakfast will make allowances for pets I would dearly like to know the name and approximate date of opening.

  24. 24
    Jacquie says:

    Sounds like a good time! I’m dying to plan a vacation myself but can’t decide where, when, and all those other germane details. I SALUTE YOUR SUCCESSFUL PLANNING, GOOD SIR.

  25. 25
    Ken deFarmer says:

    Dear John (love that heading from my Navy days): Please have a BJ meet at one of our many great microbreweries in the Boulder/Longmont area. Sparsely populated compared to the Denver area, still accessible for them Metro folks.

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    @John Cole: I visited Boulder several years in a row a few years ago. I had several massages at this place as did another family member. The massages were all excellent. It was easy to book and get in as a non-local. Prices aren’t cheap but not at fancy spa price levels. It’s a massage place–that’s what they do. Parking was also easy.

  27. 27
    Snarlymon says:

    I’m surprised only one person has suggested a meetup. I’m sure a fair amount of peeps would like to say hi.

  28. 28
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    A fine choice of destination sir! Remember: you currently can’t get (legal) recreational weed in Boulder. You’ll have to come to good ol’ Denver for that. Also GO BRONCOS. That is all.

  29. 29
    slippytoad says:

    I went to college at UNC in the late 1980’s. “NC” meaning “Northern Colorado.” One of my bands played around the Boulder area (I think the guitarist and singer were from there). Two events stick out in my mind:

    One day I was carting my gear across I guess the mall-ish courtyard and there were probably 20-30 other people carrying guitars. This guy comes up to me, almost exasperated, wanting to know what it’s all about. I had no purpose there that had anything to do with any of those other folks, so I had to apologize and say I’m sorry, you’re just seeing a lot of musicians in one place.

    I also got kicked out of a Boulder music store by the keyboard player for Big Head Todd, who were nobodies back then (as they are now, I believe). I knew this because after I entered the store and was turned away because I appeared not to have money, I saw his ugly putz face on a billboard right outside. I decided right then I wasn’t going to go see his band, ever.

    Don’t miss the Royal Gorge, John. It’s very impressive. And if you take it in your head to drive up to the top of Pike’s Peak, take a manual-shift vehicle. They check your brakes with a heatgun on the way down and make you stop at the tourist trap with the $16 orders of chicken fingers to while away your time if the brakes are too hot.

    Now, if you had kids or were a South Park fan, there’s Casa Bonita less than a mile from where I grew up, still the biggest restaurant I’ve ever seen ever, anywhere. But, the food is awful, and Black Bart’s cave looks a little time-worn. Sopapilas are still the best, though.

  30. 30
    jnfr says:

    We’re not in Boulder, but we’re not far. Let me know if there are meet-up plans.

  31. 31
    CaseyL says:

    I visited Boulder once, for a couple of weeks, but so many years ago I’m sure it’s completely different now.

    I remember freaking out at the weather: I was there in May, and the day I arrived it was warm enough to run around in shorts and flip-flops. The next day – the next day – there was snow on the ground. A few days later a wind-storm blew through. Variable weather is normal there, so make sure you pack winter and spring clothing.

    Also, boots: I swear by Keen, Teva and Vasque.

    Have fun!

  32. 32
    joel hanes says:


    You’re going to be up in the mountains.

    In winter.

    You want Sorel Caribous

  33. 33
    Petorado says:

    Wool socks, my prodigious belly and accompanying belly laugh, and a sketchy “VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER” beard

    You’ll either look like someone tending the mash tun at a microbrewery or a grower from Nederland. You’ll fit right in. So where and when’s the meet up taking place?

  34. 34
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    I don’t know when your spring break is, but I just checked and Frozen Dead Guy days are first week of March this year.

  35. 35
    Garm says:

    Are you planning a meetup? If you can wake up early enough, I recommend Lucille’s for breakfast. There are two close locations (Boulder or Longmont).

  36. 36
    My Truth Hurts says:

    Going to get Rocky Mountain High, eh John?

  37. 37
    My Truth Hurts says:

    Going to get Rocky Mountain High, eh John?

  38. 38
    TR Donoghue says:

    I know it’s a vacation but if you can squeeze in a Colorado Balloon-Juice meet up that would be really great. I can’t imagine I’m the only BJer out here who’d love to meet you and fellow BJ brethren.

  39. 39
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I bet my last vacation was with my parents as a kid going to the beach or the lake in Maine

    Which lake in Maine? I know the beach was Bethany Beach–I used to go there with my parents when I was a youngster, too–but if you and I went to the same lake in Maine, then I’m going to really get weirded out.

  40. 40
    tbone says:

    Speaking of frozen dead guy days, my band is playing there Saturday in the brain freeze tent, 1-230. Far and away one of my favorite events in Colorado! Although with John not drinking….the huge crowds of drunk people could get annoying.

  41. 41
    Onihanzo says:

    Thirding or fourthing the Boulder meetup idea. Unless Cole wants to have an actual low-key, strangers-free vacation. In which, we’ll eat worms. :P

  42. 42
    Cain says:

    I was reading and I got to “I am going to my buddies bed..” and I stopped right there.. going.. what.. the fuck? “.. breakfast”.. Oh! hehehe

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