7 am Mountain Time, heavy rain. Waiting for our two-hour delayed California Zephyr at Denver's beautiful Union Station gives us the chance to quickly share the top three things we loved about Boulder:

Taking it easy

If you talk to people in busy Boston, it usually does not take long until they present you with their personal career elevator pitch. This was a little different in Boulder. The first person we met explained to us that after finishing his undergraduate degree a couple of years ago, he decided to get "a degree in life" instead of going to grad school. It seems like people in Boulder just take things a little easier and enjoy the fun things life and their city has to offer. A great network of bike lanes connects different parts of the city, doors remain unlocked (as our Airbnb host put it: “Boulder is really safe, so you don’t need a key. It just makes it easier!”), Wednesday night young and old meet on the street to dance to the songs of a local band.


Nature everywhere

No matter where you are in Boulder, nature is always close. Even when standing on Pearl St Mall (the city's main street with shops and restaurants), you have a great view on the surrounding mountains. So it is no surprise that most people look like they just came back from today's hiking, rock climbing, or biking adventure. Surrounded by this outdoorsy atmosphere, we took the chance to explore the Eldorado Canyon State Park, only 15 minutes outside of the city. Leaving early in the morning, we hiked up Rattle Snake trail to the ruins of an old hotel, which had burned down in 1910. A little higher up, at the Continental Divide, we were rewarded with a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains on the one, and the vast Colorado plains on the other side.


Happy Hour

Most bars on Boulder’s busy Pearl Street have a Happy Hour from 4 to 6pm - an offer we had to take advantage of. We picked a restaurant with a cozy outdoor patio, took a seat at the long bar, and ordered two Mojitos. Inspecting our Massachusetts liquor IDs, the bartender gave us a pitiful look. “You guys are from Massachusetts? Such a weird state – they do not even have a Happy Hour. So these drinks must make you twice as happy.” Oh, how right she was!