Movin’ On Up.

Hi friends!  I’ve been neglecting you.  I was busy getting both a new job and apartment – you know, minor things.

Just kidding – these are major things!  Part of the reason I moved to Colorado was to live in a nicer apartment.  I’ve been sponging off living with my very generous relatives for the past several months, and renting this apartment was a concrete sign that not only is this Colorado adventure really happening, but it’s happening just like I dreamed.  I might be sleeping on an air mattress and maybe had to steal some plastic silverware from Qdoba, but I can see the mountains.

If you’ve never lived in NYC, or if you’re wealthy, you might not understand what a difference there is between my Brooklyn studio and my current palatial one-bedroom.  OH YES, PEOPLE, I said bedroom.  Because it has one.

Please indulge me on this pictorial comparison.

Exhibit A: Studio in New York

Brooklyn studio apartment kitchen

“Kitchen”

Brooklyn studio apartment office

“Office”

Brooklyn studio bedroom

“Bedroom”

These photos were all taken while standing in one spot in the middle of the room.  You’ve basically seen the whole place.

Exhibit B: One-Bedroom in Colorado

Holy counter tops, Batman!

Holy counter tops, Batman!

Walk. In. Closet.

Walk. In. Closet.

I have a fireplace.  I'm a pretty big deal.

I have a fireplace. I’m a pretty big deal.

Platte River Park

The view!

Pool deck

This seems about right.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I loved that studio in Brooklyn so damn much.  The carpet was gross and probably older than I am, the sink and tub were 1960s pea green, and I couldn’t open the oven door even halfway, but it was mine and in an awesome neighborhood.  It also taught me to appreciate this current place like I never would have otherwise.  I rented this apartment after seeing only the model unit, which was a different floor plan.  I was nervous that my place would feel small or wouldn’t be as nice as I remembered, but when I opened the door, I almost cried from sheer glee.

After dancing a little jig, I walked around in absolute awe of the following:

  • You can actually walk around.  Like, if you forget where you set something down, you have to get up and look for it.
  • There is a full-size refrigerator.
  • Light fixtures!
  • Central air conditioning, oh how I’ve missed you.
  • It has a bedroom, which has a walk-in closet.
  • It also has closets exclusively for coats, food, and linens.
  • Did I mention there is a fireplace?  Classy.
  • The windows open and close without my having to stand on any part of them, leveraging my body weight to slam them shut.
  • Best of all, there is a washer and dryer, and also a dishwasher.
  • There’s also a gym (complete with towels and yoga mats for your use) and a pool/hot tub area.  It’s kind of like living in a fancy hotel.

I’m still not completely unpacked (turns out I’m much better at watching Parks and Recreation on Hulu than I am at hanging up clothes), but I just keep walking around and laughing.  The gratitude and excitement refuse to be contained!  I’m sure I’ll get used to this soon, and then I’ll be complaining about apartment life and saying I need a house or some such nonsense.  If you hear me saying anything like that, you have permission to smack me.

Whenever y’all find yourselves in the Denver area, you’ve got a home with me.

p.s. I got a delivery of housewarming flowers today from my mom and step-dad – what a lovely family I’ve been blessed with!  I will have to express my appreciation some other way besides asking what’s for dinner when I go home to visit…

 

Life is a Highway.

Ain’t she cute?

Guys, I love my car.  Ever since I saw Herbie Goes Bananas, all I wanted was a VW Bug.  Rightfully so, my parents had some safety concerns about the engine position, but over a decade of dedicated love for the love bug truly paid off when Volkswagen rebooted its classic little lemon.

Imagine my MIND-BLOWING delight when this Beetle* showed up on my 16th birthday, complete with plastic daisies in the dashboard vase.  [Yes, I know I’m terribly spoiled, and I tried to repay my parents for their generosity by avoiding even the least speck of rebellion.]

I love the crap out of this car.  It is the Velveteen Rabbit of cars.  I took my senior picture with this car.  She drove my friends and me to tennis practice, our ponytails tangled by the wind racing in through the open sunroof.  She was always there for me, even when I blew out a speaker by listening to The Killers a little too enthusiastically.

She was egged twice, once in high school and once in college, but she shrugged it off and looked as cheerful as ever.  My mom once asked me, on a weekend home from New York, if I might want to think about getting a “big girl car.”  I blinked at her a couple of times, as if to say, “what these words mean, pretty lady?”  This was the only automotive dream I’d dreamed for myself since age three.

And now, the sad day has arrived.  It’s time to set this butterfly free in favor of all-wheel drive for my upcoming snowshoe trips in the Rockies.

Even though I’ll be saying goodbye to an important symbol of my youth, it’s been really fun to pick out a new car.  I like looking at the kayak attachments for a Subaru Forester, and debating the safety rating of the Chevy Equinox and the look of the new Honda CR-V.

The problem is, I have a bit of a “champagne taste on a beer budget” situation.

I want this:

Home, home on the Range [Rover]

But I want it to cost as much as this:

Lightweight; light on your wallet.

After much research and help from my cousin, one of the whizzes at Indy Honda, I decided on a sky blue 2009 CR-V!  It’s sporty yet refined, powerful but not a gas guzzler, and roomy without being oversized.  Photos to come!

*That image is not my actual car, but they’re definitely cousins.

Cold as the Rockies.

My friend organized a perfect July 4th celebration this year: food + beer in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.  On my way over, I picked up a six-pack of these patriotically-colored cans of Dale’s Rocky Mountain Pale Ale.  Mind you, I hadn’t even decided to move to Colorado yet…

It was fate!

So I settled onto the blanket, in a prime location under a big, shady tree, popped open a Rocky Mountain Pale Ale, and shared my moment of clarity that eventually led to my decision to move to Colorado.

That’s me guys, I swear!

I’m a fan of The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, especially this past season.  I had a major crush on Jef, and they visited his ranch during the hometown dates.  His family’s ranch is in Utah, and it is gorgeous.  It’s got sweeping vistas, rocky outcrops, and white picket fences.  You can shoot clay pigeons there, and you can have picnics on hay bales.  It is idyllic.

When I saw this ranch, my sad little heart, fettered so long by fears, started beating again, and I knew I needed to be out in some nature.

For luck, I’ve been drinking one each night while I apply for jobs.  But only one, because job applications require a modicum of lucidity.

It’s a tasty beer, and I highly recommend you pick up a six-pack of your own.