Tea Time (in Boulder, Colorado)!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Boulder, Colorado, and during a brief recess in my meetings, I was able to visit a famous tea house with an amazing story.

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse Restaurant was such a great place to relax and sip a delicious cup o tea. Here’s the story, from their website:

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is nestled against the Rocky Mountain Foothills in Boulder Colorado. Sitting alongside Boulder Creek in Central Park, the Teahouse is considered one of Boulder’s most attractive and popular tourist attractions, as well as being a local favorite for great food, tea, and atmosphere.

Completely build by hand without the use of any power tools, the Teahouse was constructed in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as a gift to their sister city, Boulder. It was disassembled, crated up, and sent halfway around the world to be rebuilt in Boulder as a symbol of friendship and cultural exploration. The elaborate and creative teahouse now sits as a reminder to the citizens of Boulder to value cultural diversity, global cooperation, and international friendship.

Great story, isn’t it? By the way – try the hummus as well. I sipped on a vanilla black tea, and loved it so much I still daydream about it at the end of the week.

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Quote: Poland = Peace

My most ardent desire is that my country will recapture its historic opportunity for a peaceful evolution and that Poland will prove to the world that even the most complex situations can be solved by a dialogue and not by force.
Lech Walesa

Polish Cuisine: Krupnik

Krupnik is a hearty barley soup with veggies. Perfect for this cooler weather.

1/4 ounce dried mushroom (preferably porcini)
2 cups boiling water
1/4 lb chicken or 1/4 lb turkey, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, quartered lengthwise & sliced to 1/4-inch long
1/4 lb fresh string bean, trimmed, washed
1 small turnip, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh peas
8 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup pearl barley
3 potatoes, sliced to 1/2-inch rounds & diced (about 1/4 lb each)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely cut
Directions:

1. Soak dried mushrooms in boiling water until they are soft and flexible (at least 2 hours).

2. Drain the mushrooms (reserving water), and chop them coarsely.

3. In a heavy 3-4 qt casserole dish, combine the mushrooms, reserved water, chicken, celery, carrot, string beans, and peas.

4. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat.

5. Reduce to low heat and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is done and vegetables are tender-crisp (20 minutes).

6. Strain, setting aside chicken and vegetables and returning stock to the casserole dish.

7. Melt the butter over medium heat.

8. Add the barley, and stir for 1-2 minutes (do NOT let barley brown).

9. Add the barley and butter to the stock and bring to a boil over high heat.

10. Reduce to low heat and simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes.

11. Add the potatoes and simmer, partially covered, until potatoes and barley are done (20 minutes).

12. Return chicken and vegetables to the soup.

13. Add water if needed, to thin the soup.

14. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then let simmer for a few minutes to reheat the chicken and vegetables.

15. Garnish each bowl with a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle with dill, if desired.

Fantasy Friday: Poland

I’ve wanted to go here since I met a very nice girl when I was in grade 1 that had just moved from there. She was so nice and kind and only had good things to say about her former home (and we were in grade 1….).

Lonely Planet has my dream tours:

  • Gdańsk

    A port with great historical significance and many architectural delights

  • Słowiński National Park

    An unusual national park filled with lakes, bogs, meadows, woods and shifting sand dunes

  • Toruń

    Gothic architecture at its best, and the birthplace of Copernicus

  • Poznań

    Lively commercial city with plenty of museums and great entertainment options

  • Wrocław

    Poland’s fourth largest city, with plenty of cultural and architectural attractions

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau

    The Nazis’ largest extermination camp is Poland’s most moving sight

  • Malbork

    In a country strewn with castles, this monumental Teutonic masterpiece tops the list

  • 8 The Great Masurian Lakes

    A region of myriad lakes and patchwork forests, loved by sailors and kayak enthusiasts

  • Białowieża National Park

    Home to wild European bison and Europe‘s largest patch of primeval forest

  • 10 Warsaw

    The country’s capital, a place of unshakable energy and stamina

  • 11 Zamość

    A city with an abundance of Renaissance splendour and oodles of charm

  • 12 Zakopane

    The country’s most beloved mountain resort, with ample opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and winter sports

  • 13 The Bieszczady

    A forgotten corner dominated by mountains, meadows and pristine forests

  • 14 Kraków

    A city life no other – a royal seat for 500 years, its beauty will leave you gob-smacked

Top 5: Haunted Walks in Canada

Am I too late to post this? I’ll save it for something to do next Halloween!

PS – I’m taking the rest of the weekend off for my birthday, see you on Monday!

5. Historical Haunted Winnipeg Tour – Winnipeg, Manitoba

5. Historical Haunted Winnipeg Tour - Winnipeg, Manitoba

For two and half hours, you are driven around Winnipeg to explore hot spots where the city’s ghosts like to congregate and learn what causes them to roam and what they may be trying to communicate with the living.

4. The St. John’s Haunted Hike – St. John’s, Newfoundland

4. The St. John's Haunted Hike - St. John's, Newfoundland
This description from the tour’s website is enough to make you sign up on the spot: “Take part in Newfoundland’s most popular paranormal event, an Ambulatory Theatrical Exploration of the Macabre, with your host, the distinguished Reverend Thomas Wyckham Jarvis, Esquire, eminent Lecturer on the Paranormal, well versed in Grimm Tales of the Vengeful Deceased, Murthers of Gruesome Dispatch, Curious Manifestations of the Holy Ghost and Historical Miscellanea.” The tour has a special one-night session on Oct. 30 before returning next summer.3. Montreal Ghosts – Montreal, Quebec

3. Montreal Ghosts - Montreal, Quebec
Old Montreal by day is a place of beauty, but by night, it can become more sinister, especially if you go hunting for ghosts. The city’s history is long so its haunted by numerous denizens from the past. You can opt for a traditional ghost walk or go on a self-guided ghost hunt that lets you explore the city in a memorable way.2. Discover the Past – Vancouver, B.C.

2. Discover the Past - Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver has so many ghosts, that there are multiple routes that you can explore which will lead you past sites of duels, spectral nuns and even the ghost of artist Emily Carr. There’s even an extreme tour for those who are not easily frightened. Be sure to leave the kids at home for that one.

1. The Haunted Walk – Kingston, Ontario

1. The Haunted Walk - Kingston, Ontario

Your cloaked guide will lead the way with his or her lantern as you explore the dark corners of this historic city with its prison and fort which have witnessed scenes of murder and mayhem over the years. They also offer haunted tours of Ottawa and Toronto.

Quote: The Czech Party

I have lived in countries that were coming out of conflict: Ireland, South Africa, the Czech republic. People there are overflowing with energy.
Brian Eno

Please vote for the featured scene for the header on my blog, too! I’ll tally the votes for tomorrow!