1:00pm: At Whole Foods with Raghu
Whole foods is pretty amazing, as far as supermarkets go, with a TON of samples – I could certainly survive off their samples! So we’ve actually _never_ been to a Whole Foods before – Imagine that! Wegmans was always good enough, especially since I’m not particular about eating organic food nor about paying the premium for it.
They had really interesting produce, like Sumo oranges. I don’t even know that those are.
Look at the size of that strawberry! One wonders where they are imported from in this weather, probably the west coast. There was an article in the Sunday Times today about a tourist fruit farm in Hokkaido where you pay something like $8 to pick your own grapes and berries and other fruit. Oh it’s called Yamamoto sight-seeing orchard
And liangze’s favourite tomatoes. We’ve missed having cheap access to heirloom tomatoes! He couldn’t resist and bought a box of kumatos. I’m not a big tomato gourmet – can’t really tell the difference between kumatoes and camparis.
I love how market-y and rustic they make everything feel with their wooden crates and palettes.
I bought a cedar grilling plank even though I don’t have a grill. I figure it’ll come in handy for barbeques, even though I didn’t use it at the company BBQ this weekend, and odds are I’ll be bringing it back to the US :S
We really liked the fresh nut butter dispensers! So many varieties! Complete with the little paper cups for you to sample each one before committing. This is an important decision!
My favourite one was the honey roasted peanut blend. So amazing. The rest, I feel, are not as nice without some sugar or other additives haha. Told you I’m not an organicky person.
They also sold brookies! The first time I’m seeing these actually haha. A cookie baked on top of a brownie. I got one to try and it was really good. Even the pastries and cookies at this Whole Foods are good – we got a free chocolate chip cookie because we donated $5 to the charity that they were supporting at the time and apparently you get a free cookie if you donate. Then LZ felt bad because it seemed like we were donating just to get the cookie :/
We had lunch at the Whole Foods, which carries really delicious food
Here is my Boulder melt – brie, granny smith slices, and arugula sandwiched between two thick slices of brioche and griddled. Served with chips. It was amazing!
LZ got a margherita pizza.
R, our resident vegetarian, got a full plate of veggies and pasta (the green beans coated in sesame seeds are pretty nice)
And naan/spinach/paneer etc. We thought he wouldn’t be able to finish and tried to help him (hence aforementioned green bean thievery) but he actually managed to! We were rather surprised. It must be the tall thing.
I ended off with a lovely cup of gelato, which was actually a tad too cold for me. It looks really sunny in the pictures cause we were eating in their alfresco section but there was a cold wind blowing. I don’t normally opt to sit outdoors (a singapore thing)
We drove R and his groceries back to his apartment (he loves american soy milk – weird! I think it’s too sweet and vanilla tasting and much prefer the chinese one which we grew up with.) After keeping the groceries and playing with Rakka, he took us to see the broken bridge near his place which he used to cross en route to school until the flood last fall, which rendered it impassable.
Here’s one end of (what’s left of) the bridge with lots of warning tape.
Managed to get a pretty nice photo of the two guys in front of a barn like structure.
R took us to the physics building to see the TA office (basically a big room with a lot of desks covered with messy grad student and undergrad homework being graded). Their toilets have a smart flush thing, where the flushing lever is bright green and pulling it up releases a different amount of water than pressing it down. I was really impressed! Then I saw it at Udub too haha and realized how backward Cornell is :P Unless they’ve since updated it..
R also took us up Gamow, one of the two Physics towers to see the view. It appears to be the highest building in all of Boulder!
I guess at one point it was unclear whether the building of Gamow Hall was ever to be finished :P Also interesting typo by the eponymous physisc professor.
So the physics lounge starts out looking like a regular lounge, sofas, light, a nice place to hang out.
Until you see the full length glass windows and the panoramic view they afford.
Gosh. And this runs all around the building.
Well clearly we chose the wrong major.
You can even see these windmills in the distance.
The whole campus is visible from here. Pity their highest point is the physics building and not a clocktower!
When we finally went down R showed us his pigeonhole (apparently the call it letter boxes there)
Look at that squished up name! There’s something to being Chinese after all :P
After the physics building tour we went off to the cinema in the nearby strip mall to catch the Lego movie! He was our main movie buddy in singapore, with whom we went to watch just about everything, from Cloud Atlas to the Conjuring (bad decision lol) and the Hobbit. So this was more a nostalgic activity for me, although I think maybe the boys actually wanted to watch it. The ad they ran to promote the movie in Singapore was really imbecile to the point of being irritating, so I wasn’t really interested. The plot was weak, the characters a little whiny, and I fell asleep for most of the movie :P Perhaps it was the conversion to a different time zone that made me really zonked out in the afternoon, that and the fact that we had a pretty heavy lunch at Whole Foods and had woken up really early for an equally heavy breakfast :P
After the movie, R took us to the bars around Pearl Street, notably, Sun Mountain (?), which had a humongous variety of beers on tap:
Colorado’s beers are really fruity and quite refreshing, but I am still not a beer fan.
We traipsed up and down Pearl St a little bit to work off some of the fullness from lunch and walked into a soda/candy shop.
I don’t think we have an equivalent for this in Singapore, a place that is so totally committed to providing a sugar high. Asians don’t really like things to be super sweet I think. They had a million varieties of soda here – we bought a 4 pack back – orange cream soda (my favourite), chocolate soda (which we drank on the shuttle from the rental station to DIA, and the other passengers on the bus thought we were having a beer lol), candy cane soda (which was more sweet than minty), and also a bottle of Ramune for Raghu to try – he’s never had Ramune!
After walking around till 8pm we finally headed to the vegetarian restaurant he invited us to to celebrate our engagement :) he was trying it for the first time too. The food was really nice! It was the first time we were trying hominy and harissa tofu.
I wouldn’t say the desserts are all that great but the food certainly was really good, plus they had 50% off their bar bites as part of the happy hour promotion. LZ had to retrieve my passport from the car though because of this Thai bitters martini with lemon and lemongrass. It was very nice!
Even though we’re in a place with such interesting relief we postponed a hike to Sunday, which promised the best (warmest) weather of the three days we were spending here. I wouldn’t have minding joining the rest of the prospective grad student cabal on the Royal Arch trail but we were here to visit a very important person :P and besides that trail can be shelved until we come back for another visit. I really like this town and it’s a pity we’re not doing grad school here! Would have been fantastic living in a 3 person house. It didn’t take too long for me to acclimatize – I had headaches on our first day there (could be unrelated to the altitude) but was told to consume lots of water and to lie close to the ground lol. Which would have been good advice if the ground hadn’t been covered in snow. I normally have problems with altitude (more than the average person I think), as evident from my first day in Cusco, which has an elevation of about 3.4km. Our hostel there was up slope and I basically passed out in the lobby and left L to go forage for food for at least the first day. Boulder’s elevation is about half that, at 1.6km (it’s at the foothills of the Rockies), and the elevation of the highest mountain we climbed on the third day was only 2.1km. More on our hike in 2 days :) It was pretty fun and not even half as tiring as walking about Sacsayhuaman.