Published: March 6, 2023 By

Sandy Book SigningEducator and travel writer Sandra Bornstein (A&S ex’78; MEdu’05), published 100 Things to Do in Boulder Before You Die in September 2022. She also is author of the travel memoir May This Be the Best Year of Your Life. Sandra lives in Jefferson County, Colorado, with her husband, Ira Bornstein (Hist’75). Three of their four sons also graduated from CU. 

Where is your favorite travel destination? 

My husband and I have visited more than 50 countries. My love of history and culture, combined with my Jewish heritage, makes Israel my top destination. We have visited Israel four times and look forward to our next trip. However, the most engaging was our duo trip to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. The combination of wildlife, unique ecosystems and history was incredible.

Can you tell us about 100 Things to Do in Boulder Before You Die

It was an incredible opportunity to write about a place I have loved since 1974. My goal was to create a guidebook that appeals to a large, diverse audience. The indexes offer itinerary suggestions for 10 categories, including one that highlights 12 day trips within a two-hour drive of Boulder.

What kept calling you and your husband, Ira, back to Boulder? 

As a college freshman, I fell in love with both Boulder and Ira. Long-distance relationships were extremely difficult in the 1970s, so we opted to get married and relocated to Chicago where Ira was attending law school. Even though I was physically in Illinois, a small intangible part remained in Colorado. Perhaps, it was the unfulfilled dream of a CU degree or incredibly happy memories of our time together in Boulder. When our two oldest sons were attending college, we returned to Boulder County.

Sandy and Ira at Chautauqua A page on your website is dedicated to Ira’s battle against brain cancer. Why is sharing this important? 

My life was turned upside down when Ira was diagnosed with glioblastoma. Scrolling through online resources for terminal cancer patients, I saw far too many people succumbing to their prognosis. Few were embracing life. As I read about people who beat the odds, I became determined to work with Ira to figure out the best approach. We remain grateful for each day that Ira’s quality of life remains intact. I sincerely hope my “For Glio” webpage will encourage others facing a terminal diagnosis to not give up.

Of the 100 things to do in Boulder, which is your No. 1? 

I can’t narrow down everything you can do in Boulder to one favorite thing. However, I can single out the place that brings back the most memories. Shortly after we met, Ira drove me to Boulder Falls. There is no doubt that we have visited far more impressive waterfalls in other destinations. However, for me, this modest waterfall with a minuscule trail will always elicit a smile and fond recollections. 


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Photos courtesy Sandra Bornstein