Last summer when I was sulking in the banal tedium of the suburbs, I challenged my friends to visiting the ten top-ranked coffee houses in Denver. With my proximity to the city, I take every chance I can to experience the movement on the streets and the savvy crowds. Sometimes the fresh air of my sedentary, cookie-cutter suburb becomes too overwhelming and only the polluted, busy streets of the city can cure my itch. Plus, good coffee is my weakness, so going coffee house hopping seemed ideal. I often rally people behind my ideas, and that night my friends’ attitudes paralleled my competitive nature; they accepted my dare. Transforming into coffee connoisseurs, four of us proceeded to rate the beverages, atmospheres, and the people at each of the ten locations.The aroma of sweat and coffee permeated the first dimly lit room we walked into. As we struggled to get to the counter, I had to squeeze between two men clad in tight pants, whose hair masked their brooding eyes. The “emo” scene wasn’t quite my cup of tea (or coffee), but I loved embracing my temporary discomfort to experience a different atmosphere. The environment served to expose my inhibitions and to remind me to push myself to expand my understanding. The second coffee house, located under the bright lights of the hotels of downtown Denver, offered a more jovial ambiance better suited to my tastes. Sipping my second cup of coffee, I played the board game “LIFE” in the corner of a room. In between turns, my friends and I discussed how economically unfeasible the real-life implications of each roll of the dice were. It was strangely typical how we blended a family game with economic banter. Six hours, eight gallons of gas, and ten coffee houses later, I completed the coffee quest, taking with me priceless conversations and a crazy caffeine buzz as souvenirs. In retrospect, I realize that the entire adventure was an exciting pretext for engaging in coffee-table conversation on a citywide scale. New activities and environments are exciting, but I am much more interested in the discussions and opinions that stem from friendly dialogue. I would rather sit and talk with friends at a coffee shop than sit through an overpriced movie at a stuffy, popcorn infested theater. The movie ends with the closing credits, but good conversation stimulates and questions my beliefs and perceptions. They say talk is cheap; I say that talk is one of the most valuable things I have.