Finely Ground at the Grind

It’s been about a year since I wrote on my coffee shop cruising blog.  Yesterday I had a bug to go to my favorite in the area, take some photos, and write about it.  Unfortunately it was closed yesterday, which pushed me to keep driving until I landed in Cedar City, Utah at The Grind Coffeehouse.

My drive there took just under three hours, which may seem a bit crazy for the normal person.  I accept that I may not be normal, especially where coffee shop cruising comes in to play.  I love it – being in them, people watching, spending time on Facebook, and sometimes talking to people.  I’m not sure I’m a big fan of coffee, but I do enjoy holding a warm cup of coffee in my hand, smelling the aroma of it, and allowing my mind to wander to other places.

It’s a social thing for me whether I’m with people or not – a way for me to be where people are, without being with people.  That is what I love about The Grind.  I find it to be a great place to write in my journal, sit in the morning sun in or outside, and to watch people with friends and family enjoying their drinks.

Now that it’s fall the college students have returned and it seems to have a little beatnik flavor to it.  This surprised me in Utah, but Cedar City is different.  The community has an artsy flavor and reminds me of a very small Portland, Oregon – almost like a small neighborhood in Portland.  It’s also similar to the downtown area of Fort Collins, Colorado.  With the new and used bookstore next door to The Grind, it reminds me of Matter Bookstore and the Bean Cycle, where I spent a lot of time while in the Fort Collins area.  Then of course, Portland and Fort Collins remind me of Madison, Wisconsin which is home for me.  I guess that’s why I’ve driven hours to have a cuppa at The Grind – it has the ability to take me back home.

Yesterday I got a dose of home while in Cedar City.  I enjoyed a spiced Chai Latte while I sat and watched people, remembering the coffee shops I’ve been to over the years.  There was an elderly couple at the table next to me playing cribbage and sharing a salad.  A few teenagers came in, got their smoothies and foo-foo whipped cream topped drinks and were talking about the day at school.  There a few people with laptops busy on Facebook, one man on Skype, and a group of college students discussing the Make-A-Wish fundraiser they are working on for a class.

Usually “the grind” stirs up thoughts of work, anxiety, and stress.  Yesterday The Grind put me at ease because it provided for me what I needed to settle my anxiety before heading home for the day.  It calmed my restless soul enough that when I drove through the mountains and found snow, I took the time to pull over, touch it, and take some photos.  A finely grounded day.

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Loodles Coffee, Books, & Art

My Saturday morning wanderabout has turned into an all day coffee shop cruising event.  After having lunch at Bruce’s Bar in Severance, Colorado, it was suggested to me that I find Loodles Coffee Shop in Windsor before heading back. 

Located on Main Street in Windsor, Loodles is in an attractive small strip mall near the medical center and Hospice.  The front entrance is off main street and showcases an attractive patio decorated with lights.  Even before walking in it has a tiki bar feel to it.  Upon entering the front door, you find that tiki bar coffee station in front of you. 

Once room has a study-library theme going for it, with a large flat screen TV on the wall.  I was please to find the room quiet without the TV on.  A couple women were reading some books from the shelves and a man was busy on his laptop.  It’s a pleasant, quiet room – a great place to sit on the couch and read a book.

In the main coffee shop is a double sided gas fireplace.  I planted myself on the secluded side – where there are only two chair available – one for me and one for my baggage.  Located above the fireplace is a very unique selection of children’s books.  Upon looking closer at the books, I found they were written by the coffee shop owner, Mark Ludy.

Ahh….a little investigation after another cuppa, and it all begins to make sense – coffee, book, and art.  Mark is an author and illustrator of children’s books.  Now that I have a clue, I’m checking out his artwork and find it very fun and whimsical.  You can find his work at www.markludy.com

What a wonderful way to end the day….at a coffee, book, and art shop created by a children’s book author and illustrator on Halloween.  I feel like a kid today.

 

 


Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe

My first visit to this eclectic cafe in Colorado Springs was two years ago. What I remembered about it I liked enough to stop by when I was wandering through Old Colorado City. An art gallery and coffee shop – perfect!

A few changes since I was there last, but nothing that disappointed me. The patio in the back has more seating, they’ve added more music, more tapas to the menu, and it’s still an art gallery. Tango lessons are still available, but unfortunately, I did not have the time to check it out.

While housesitting in Woodland Park, I made two visits to Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe and both were enjoyable. I met a friend on the second visit and we were able to spend a couple hours catching up without noisy interruptions. Before leaving the cafe, we were able to get a taste of the Bossa Nova band playing.

The owner supports international artists, with a particular love for Cuban art. While I was there, I had just a few moments to check out the paintings, but I was sidetracked by the beautiful display of colorful, beaded necklaces and the molas in a display case. I was in my own little multicultural art cafe heaven – colors, textiles, paintings, tapas, and coffee!

Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://www.cucurugallerycafe.com


the Alley Cat…

Early morning at the Alley Cat

Early morning at the Alley Cat

What do you do if you wake up before 3 am and can’t get back to sleep?  If you live in Fort Collins, Colorado, you head over the the Alley Cat Coffee House near the CSU campus. 
The coffee is brewed fresh, by the cup, right in front of you.  The staff is friendly, diverse in all ways, and a pleasure to be around.  They can hold a conversation with you, but will also leave you alone if you are busy and seeking solitude. 
It’s an artist’s haven and feels like a beatnik’s blast from the past.  It’s full of color, flavor, and great music.  This morning I came in with Ode to Joy blasting – what a great way to start a Monday and the week!