Piece, Love & Chocolate – The Best Little Chocolate Shop in Boulder, Colorado

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

If you’re a chocolate lover or strolling around Boulder with a chocolate lover, there’s one place you must go.

Piece, Love & Chocolate is a tasty surprise tucked away at the corner of 8th and Pearl St. It’s hard to spot if you aren’t paying attention, but it’s full of chocolate…so you should be paying attention.

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Keep an eye out for the excellent decor and the very tiny sign.

On a four-day trip, I only had time to stop there three days. What a tragedy! It’s full of any and everything chocolate, including truffles and other candy, cakes, brownies, cookies, pasta, and more. Bonus points for having gluten free options.

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Chocolate pasta and pasta shavings

I’m not a huge candy eater, but I love hot cocoa. Lucky for me, it was a little chilly in Boulder and this place knows how to do hot cocoa. If you love dark chocolate, order the hot cocoa French style and then come back here and thank me. It’s unsweetened and is absolutely heavenly. I am currently suffering from withdrawl. They also offer hot sipping chocolate and icy hot chocolate, in addition to coffee, tea, etc. Wins all around! You can check out the full cafe menu here.

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The flavor isn’t the only reason to stop by the store. The decor is fun in all the right ways. Imagine Valentine’s Day meets tropical island.

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See what I mean?

And they have a sense of humor, too! Check out this excellent nutrition knowledge out front.

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I love salad!

What can I say? It was love at first look…and taste. The service is excellent and the cashier definitely recognized me upon my second visit. I’m hoping to somehow recreate that French hot cocoa when it’s not 90 degrees in Dallas.

Tip: There’s parking just around the corner on 8th St. It’s the closest available and I believe it was $1.25/hour. It’s great if you aren’t going too far down Pearl. If you plan to explore the rest of Pearl Street Mall, the parking garage at 11th St. and Spruce is one of the garages closest to the West End.

Your turn – Have you stumbled upon any amazing chocolate shops while traveling?

 

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Netflix Documentaries for the Globally Minded

Since avoiding cable is one of my favorite ways to save money, Netflix is responsible for the majority of the time I spend in front of my TV. Around Christmas, I knocked out every single mountaineering-related documentary I could find.

Since then, I’ve become obsessed (as time allows) with finding similarly adventurous and educational movies and documentaries. My cousin and I started swapping recommendations and it was all over! Here are my most recent faves.

Maidentrip- Released 2014

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Maidentrip follows the journey of 14-year old Paula Dekker as she attempts to reach her goal of sailing around the world alone (with stops). I remember hearing about her on the news, and was so excited to see this hit Netflix! I thought it might get boring, but you really see her story developing as filming goes along. You see her grow up while she goes through the highs and lows of bad weather, feeling lonely and eventually feeling very independent.

Final thoughts during credits: I wonder what I’m capable of…

True Cost- Released 2015

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Much less inspirational and far more depressing, True Cost is about the impact the fashion industry is having on our world, especially people. I would consider myself the least fashionable person I know, so I wasn’t familiar with the term fast fashion. We hear about sweatshops and unfair wages fairly often, but this film drops you right in the middle of it, then slaps you across the face… I think it’s something every single person should watch.

Final thoughts during credits: I feel great about having no fashion sense! I feel bad about shopping at H&M. *Googles fair trade fashion*

What can you do? First, watch the documentary if you haven’t already. Second, check out the True Cost website and see what you can do to help. Third, find more responsible clothing companies and quit buying crap you don’t need.

Living on One Dollar- Released 2013

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Another educational watch that just makes me want to travel, hug people and give them everything I have, Living on One Dollar follows four friends attempting to live on $1 a day in a rural area of Guatemala. I enjoyed the film, but at the same time it left me thinking…”Wow, how privileged you have to be able to CHOOSE to live on so little.” I learned a lot about the industries there, getting a loan to start your own business there, the crops, what people do for work and how grateful they are for what they do have.

Final thoughts during credits: What can I do about this?

What can you do? The Living on One website has some resources.

So, what about you? Any Netflix documentaries or movies I need to check out?

Moose Bus West: Athabasca Tour Day 2

In case you missed day 1, here you go!

We rested up at HI Lake Louise and were up and out pretty early in the morning. I’m currently reviewing my travel journal to tell you about allll the places we went, but there were so many! Apparently so many that I quit writing that day. This is where I post photos instead of words…

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I loved the curve in this tree.

 

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A quick stop for a great view

There are a few stops I will never forget, and one of those is the Athabasca Glacier. It was amazing (and equally saddening) to see how the glacier has melted over the years. There are markers for certain years to show where the glacier was in comparison to where it is now.

The irony of that is the massive “Ice Explorer,” a glacial travel vehicle (?) that will drive groups out onto the glacier. I guess they’re just trying to get rid of it faster. Anyhow, you can also take a tour that hikes onto the glacier. However, I recommend letting nature be and just taking in the beauty from the solid rock you belong on.

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What a good lookin’ group!

The other stop I’ll never forget on this trip is the hike that wasn’t. We began what was supposed to be about a one-hour hike through Maligne Canyon. Things started out okay, but after about 10 minutes there was a craaazy downpour.

Even soaking wet, we were a cheerful group!

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Still all smiles

After getting soaked, I was ready to relax. We had a little bit of a drive ahead of us before stopping at a local market to grab some grub for the night. I loaded up on veggies, eggs and some gluten free snacks before making the mistake of asking where the bathroom was (instead of the washroom). And then, we were finally off to the Athabasca Wilderness Hostel.

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Main “lobby” and community area of the wilderness hostel

I heard stories about this hostel from my hostel mates in Banff. I was a little nervous about the abundance of mosquitoes and the lack of indoor restrooms and normal running water, but it was an experience I’ll never forget.

Everyone worked on dinner together. We sat around talking and playing games, ate family style at the large picnic tables inside, and just enjoyed each other’s company. I wish there were more opportunities to do things like this in everyday life.

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Family Dinner

We ended the evening with a campfire, where I somehow managed to be the only person to escape without a mosquito bite. I headed into bed early because I was absolutely exhausted, and excited about the next day ahead.