The Coffee Was Great, but the Owner Was BITTER:

About 5 miles in the opposite direction of where we needed to be we saw on the map a little local owned coffee stop. Green River Coffee Co. 

Since Jared and I challenged ourselves to no fast food and no Starbucks on this tour, we’ve been aiming for local eats and drinks thus far. It’s really not as simple as it sounds. We don’t have anything against fast food. Just trying to make healthier choices. Or against Starbucks, for that matter. Just want to support local. But, when you type “coffee near me” into Google search and 30 Starbucks appear and 1 local coffee hut (that’s closed) shows up, it can be challenging. I know…first world problems. But it pertains to my story, and we’ll probably mention it a couple more times, so that’s why I bring it up. 

We pulled up and I saw this sentiment on the side of the building…

I immediately felt happy and was excited to try this place. A couple guys out front, one reading, one sketching, added to the hipster, yet small-town, vibe that we sought. I liked the idea of others lazily ushering Thursday into being by taking their time with the welcoming of it, just like we were. Polite glances and smiles were exchanged as we entered the store. 

A cute little spot with tie dye tapestries, crystals, clever stickers and buttons, warm surroundings, small tables and chairs, all suggesting friendly conversation, open-minded environment, and a general place of enjoyment to work and visit. One woman moved quickly behind the counter and looked a bit jumbled. There was a sign that let customers know the kitchen was closed and the staff was short and you could get a bagel if you were hungry. 😂 I get it. Our world is in a rough patch and local businesses are struggling. We cheerfully said, 

“Good morning! This is a really cool spot!”

Without looking up, or “good morning” back, or even missing a beat, she replied,

“It’s for sale.”

I laughed at her abruptness. 

“I’m serious. It is.”

I replied, “Oh, I’m sure you are. It’s still funny.”

We took our coffees, tipped well, exchanged goodbyes, and left just before she burned the place down. Ok…so I’m exaggerating slightly, but ONLY about the burning part. It’s a good thing the coffee was warm, because she certainly was NOT. I hope she finds a buyer. 

On the flip side and just about 35 min outside of Vail, CO we found a lovely coffee shop in Silverthorne, CO called House Of Good Vibes. And it WAS. Faith in local coffee shops restored, we plugged away towards Denver. 

The drive was nice and peaceful. We’re big on cultivating an environment of peace and contentment. Especially without the assistance of “things” or even sound. As humans who literally make noise for a living, silence is key in resetting our brains and building creative space to be able to hear what our hearts and minds are trying to communicate with us in order to be able to make more music. So, it is not unheard of for us to sit in complete silence, letting the symphony of the road, tires, wind, passing vehicles and the weight of our own breathing play out while we take in the scenery. In Denver, were headed to meet up with an old childhood friend of mine the first night, and a childhood friend of Jared’s the second day, so we enjoyed the stillness of this part of our journey before we got busy with hotels, socializing, entertaining and such. It all in the “Balance”…

A wonderful reunion:

When I was 10 years old I had moved, once again, to a new town with a new dad, (that too, once again), and my family joined a new church in Thousand Oaks. Amidst all the horrific things that happened during that period in my young life, one wonderful thing took place that I am eternally grateful for; my friendship with Marianne Brown. I have to always say her name in full. It just goes together so well, and makes me feel better upon doing so. 

Marianne Brown was the daughter of one of the deacons in the church, of whom my step-father was always ass-kissing, so we spent a lot of time with their family. She and I became bosom buddies pretty quickly. We didn’t go to the same school, so our time together was limited to church and weekend sleepovers and was special. That pre-teen time was fraught with drama and boys and sneaking out and more drama, and it was good for me to have Marianne Brown around to be the smarter of the two of us and truly loyal. Even when my huge crush for YEARS was her brother (total jerk), she still loved me despite being certain I’d lost my mind. All I could picture was marrying her brother and she and I would be sisters and life would be perfect. Her brother broke my heart (several times – listen to the lyrics of “Damn Dog”…he’s in there with so many others) yet, she never spoke an “I told you so” or a “you deserved it”. She just always said she was sorry and he was a jerk. Marianne Brown shows up in my life every few years or so and I feel like I’m 11 years old again. She hasn’t changed one bit and she says, other than my hair, neither have I. That makes me feel good because I think I was always my truest self around her. Goofy, chatty, heartsick for boys and dogs, and a little lost. She never judged. She always loved. Thank you Marianne Brown for being a place I can always anchor to. We had fun visiting with you in Denver and we’ll see you (and Nate!) again soon. 

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