Denver, Colorado has been my home for the last 33 years. I’ve never really lived anywhere else, at least, not substantially. There was there year I lived in Calgary, Alberta and my heart certainly found a new “home” there for a time. I loved every second of living in Canada and every time I go back to visit, I fall in love a little more. But that was just one year away from home and I lived in a dorm. Then there was the year I lived in northern Minnesota. I’d be quick to argue that was the worst year of my life (until recently…and it still ranks fairly high on my list of horrible, rotten years) despite the fact I met my best friend that year. She makes that year worth remembering. But, again, it was just a year away from home and I lived in a dorm.
On September 2, 2013, I will officially be leaving my home in Denver and setting up shop way out east. Like, REALLY living somewhere else. New grocery stores, new church, new trails, new favorite restaurants, and most importantly (and most terrifyingly), new friends.
So with a mere three months left in my home, there are probably a LOT of things I need to accomplish. I’m trying to make a list and sometimes I get overwhelmed, so I’m going to ask for some help. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (with some recent additions from friends):
1. Casa Bonita. Sure, the food sucks and the acting is shockingly worse than the food, but is there anything more definitive of Denver?
2. Shopping on 16th Street Mall. Not that I haven’t done enough of that already…and I certainly don’t need more clothes or shoes…so maybe I’ll just go with the suggestion of playing chess with a homeless guy or tickling the out-of-tune ivories.
3. Hammond’s Candy Factory. The more pressing issue here is that I haven’t EVER been to Hammond’s.
4. Film on the Rocks. Again, how have I not done this yet? Fortunately there are about a zillion movies this summer.
5. Red Rocks, in general. I go running there quite often with another of my BFFs (yes, I get to have more than one. I’m just that lucky), but it would be nice to go to one more amazing show there…though if I don’t, the last show I’ll have seen there is Mumford & Sons. And I’ll be okay with that.
6. Stranahan’s Whiskey distillery tour. I do loves me some brown booze!
7. Scrumptious Ice Cream. I know it’s hard to believe, but I haven’t been there but ONE TIME in the last year. That’s just ridiculous.
8. Patio dining. Oh my gawd, the patio dining. There’s not much more I can say about that. Denver has one of the best restaurant line ups I’ve ever seen. I’m definitely going to miss the abundance of interesting and delicious food.
But more than anything, I just want to spend time with the people I love. No, I’m not moving to another planet or even another country. I’m a four-hour plane ride from Colorado. But all of the things above (and all the things you’ll hopefully suggest to me) are important not just because it’s “Colorado”…they’re important because of the people, the memories, the moments. I have three girl friends with whom concerts – good concerts – become instantly more intimate and precious because they are there. Three of my gal pals are some of the only women I know who share my affinity for dark liquor. There’s the one friend with which patio dining isn’t just another meal…it’s an event, it’s something to celebrate because summer has arrived! I have one friend that loves candy the way that I do and while I’ve never been to Hammond’s (with her or anyone else), I know that she’ll be among the first to come with me. Red Rocks…good Lord…is there a way to summarize everything in my soul about Red Rocks? I’m not even going to try. If you’ve been, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Shopping with my Colorado BFF is adventure and experience in and of itself…who else could talk me into a hot pink leopard print dress and then get me to wear it in public…TWICE?
So there you have it. Those are my things I need to do before I leave. In three months. Twelve weeks. Ninety-four days.
What am I missing?