Today, August 1, 2011, marks the 135th anniversary of Colorado’s statehood. It also marks 2 years and 54 days since I became a Colorado resident. There have been a lot of changes in my life since then - weddings (including my own), funerals, new adventures, torn ligaments, and more than one disappointing job loss - but one thing has remained the same.
I flippin’ love it here.
I’ll never forget when my husband (merely a boyfriend back then) first suggested we move to Denver. I think my exact words were, “Are you high?” Although I’ve spent a great deal of time living overseas, in places like London and South Africa, I’d never before lived in a U.S. state other than Florida. I took pride in the fact that my wardrobe consisted mostly of teeny tank tops and denim shorts, that I knew all the words to pretty much every Jimmy Buffett song, and that I could withstand heat and humidity levels the likes of which some people will never know. So the thought of moving more than 2,000 miles away to a land-locked realm of snow and mountains sounded positively preposterous.
As time went on, however, the idea began to seem less and less crazy. B (as I shall call my husband in this blog, because I don’t think he’s too keen on me blabbing about him on the Internet) did his best to convince me of Denver’s merits. Not a difficult task, really, when you consider the city boasts 300+ days of sunshine a year; multiple world-class ski resorts within a two-hour drive; a thriving downtown metropolis brimming with museums, art galleries, restaurants and bars; and some of the fittest, smartest and friendliest people in the country. And let’s not forget the beer… oh, the delicious beer! (Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state, I’ll have you know.)
Besides, things had started to fall apart in Florida. We were upside down on our mortgage and our house-related expenses were bleeding us dry. Crime was on the rise in our neighborhood, as was the mosquito and cockroach population, and we could barely mow our lawn without dropping dead from heat exhaustion. Everything felt like a struggle and the light at the end of the tunnel seemed distant and hopeless. When B got laid off for the second time in a year, that was the final straw. We stuck a “For Sale” sign in the front lawn, threw our life in one of those PODS thingies, and headed west.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Denver immediately felt like home - familiar and comfortable. The weather is generally pleasant and the residents have a laid back attitude and a passion for living life to its fullest. Snowboarding and hiking have become such an important part of my life, I wonder how I ever had fun without them. And almost everywhere you look, you are surrounded by stunning, postcard-perfect scenery. It’s bliss.
I’ll admit that I do occasionally miss lazing on the beach with my friends or drinking rum runners as the boat sways to the rhythm of Bob Marley. But that’s what vacations are for. Being a mile high and enjoying the fruits of some of Mother Nature’s best labor on a daily basis… now that’s living.