Someone has got to pinch me. I am so lucky to be living my dream.
When I was about 50 miles on the east side of Denver moving out here on Saturday, seeing the foothills for the first time, I teared up. What took me so long to come back “home?”
I can’t quit grinning.
My new landlords/friends are so kind; they have welcomed me with open arms. I arrived Saturday afternoon to my new “penthouse” apartment above the Bistro Basalt. Check out page 99 of the April issue of Men’s Journal magazine “Top 50 Places to Live” and turn to the write up on Basalt. My new pad is dead center in the photo; I live above the Bistro Basalt Restaurant.
I picked up my key from the bartender and proceeded upstairs where soft jazz, fresh fruit and the crisp mountain air circulating throughout thanks to the wonderful industrial ceiling fans awaited my arrival. My new home has such a great energy about it: exposed brick, 20′ ceilings, spacious, a spa-like bathroom, and a breathtaking mountain view.
My landlords Joe and Larkin have already extended a kind invitation for me to join them and some friends coming in from Seattle for dinner on Tuesday night. They also treated me to a scrumptious dinner last night at the local’s hangout downstairs. Live jazz plays on Wednesday nights and the warm up band for Hall and Oates (John Oates stops in ever so often) plays on Fridays. They have old, black and white, silent movies playing on the wall in the back — way cool. The ambience is great.
Everyone here is happy.
I met some wonderful new friends: Jennifer, a 42 year old recently divorced writer, who was kind enough to share one of her stories with me that she’s about to submit for publishing (can’t wait to pour a glass of wine tonight and read it).
Cathy (waitress) and Jerome (bartender/manager) moved here from NYC about two years ago. Jerome promised to always provide a barstool for me when I venture downstairs on crowded nights.
Ray, a jolly 61 year old carpenter and admitted “curmudgeon,” is an absolute hoot! A published poet, Ray lives just the way he likes it in his 600 square foot cabin, and he’s known for baking delicious rhubarb pies to share with the gang at the Bistro…yum.
Jack, another waitor who helped me move my tv upstairs, has already seen my underwear (my lingerie fell out of the back of the jeep when I opened up the hatch!).
A cute, too young 28 year old named Michael ventured into the bar solo last night. Born and raised in the valley, he started skiing at age 2. Now he commutes to Boulder for law classes three days a week, but returns home the remaining four because of the people here.
And my favorite: Justin from Ohio. What a sweetheart he is. Less than 24 hours into my stay, I’d already messed up the remotes on the massive sound system, so Justin sped over on his motorcycle to come to my rescue. After unsuccessfully trying to fix my mess, the conversation turned to motorbikes. Larkin and Joe ride Harleys. Justin’s bike is smaller. Needless to say, I may just be buying Justin’s one year old bike for $9000 when he returns to school this fall. Why not? Change is in the air! (not that much change)
At any rate, I managed to close down the bar last night b/c I was so busy meeting everyone. Luckily, I made it home safely…all four steps!
Today, after a pancake breakfast at Two Rivers Cafe two doors down, I took a leisurely walk, enjoying the mountains and sunshine, walking over to the Post Office that is just beyond the Frying Pan River bridge, and then strolled over to Alpine Bank to open up an account. Sierra, the bank associate, was excited to meet me and said she’d only heard great things about me from Larkin.
It’s official. I’m a small town local.
I’m so glad I moved to Basalt instead of Aspen and so, so grateful for this entire experience. I am planning on settling in now, hunkering down at work, and living a “real” life now that I’m back West for good vs. the transient lifestyle most live in Aspen. Basalt is certainly reminiscent of Aspen 20 years ago before the tres chic took hold of that place. I will always love Aspen and plan to be there often, but I’m so glad I chose Basalt as my new home.
The people here are REAL. And, I am happier than ever.