Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five Years

On this day five years ago, my mom and sister drove me to the Dulles airport. I had a few suitcases, a couple carry-on’s, two eyes full of tears and a one way ticket to Denver, Colorado. 

No one, including myself, knew how long I'd be gone. My mom and sister hoped it would be 5 days or 5 weeks. And here we are five years later...and 15 lbs heavier. I couldn't fit in those jeans to save my life. 

On this anniversary I thought it would be appropriate to share five things I've learned since my cross country move: 

1. Making friends in your mid-twenties, after college, sucks. 
It's not as easy as stumbling into class (half-asleep) and asking your "friend" next to you to take notes, while you put your head down on the desk. Going to the bar makes you suddenly feel old and going to parties is a thing of the past. So where do you meet friends in your mid-twenties? Go to purse parties at apartment clubhouses, hire a photographer to take photos of you, and talk to the vendors you hire for your wedding about more than just your table linens and color palate. Sounds lame huh? It's the truth. Rest assured, five years later, I can confidently say I've gained more friends (good friends) than just the maintenance man at our first apartment. 

2. Going three days without sunshine makes me borderline depressed. 
When Mr. B convinced me to move here, I thought I was moving to the frozen tundra. It's Colorado and Colorado is known for its snow, right? Well guess what everyone - the sun shines here more than Florida. Yes, on average the sun shines more than 300 days of the year. Coming from the middle of PA, where it's gloomy nearly 90% of the time, I realized how much Vitamin D my body really requires. And it's a lot. The point is, I now understand why I spent half of my high school years lying in a tanning bed.

3. Beer is better than liquor and can get you just as drunk. 
Beer is a food group in Colorado. If you've scrolled through my Instagram feed, it wouldn't take you long to realize that we like beer. And we drink a lot of it. When you come to visit us, you know a brewery will be on the to-do list. Maybe even two or three or four if you are lucky (sorry mom!). The college palate of Keystone Light and Raspberry Vodka doesn't stick around long after you've been introduced to the joy taste of micro brews. 

4. It is important to have a versatile wardrobe.
Wearing all of the following throughout the course of 24 hours is totally normal: rain jacket, gloves, hiking pants, t-shirt, shorts, bathing suit, winter coat and a snow hat. Although the sun shines a lot out here, when you take a trip to the mountains, the elevation can cause it to snow or rain in a matter of seconds. We've been caught in both and been totally unprepared. It only takes once for you to learn the lesson of traveling in layers.

5.  Saying goodbye to your family never gets easier.
You'd think after five years, we'd be used to saying goodbye after visits and vacations. Let me tell you, you never get used to it. I cry every time. They cry every time. And we just become a big mess of slobber and snot. It always takes a few days to get back into a routine of daily life and for the ache in your heart to weaken just a little. Although, it never goes away. If you have a trick, send it my way.


And a few more, just because.

6. Being landlocked makes that once 6-hour-drive-to-Ocean-Shitty seem like a day trip.
From time to time, I yell blame Scott for being stuck in the "middle of the country", rather than a few hour drive from a coast (AKA the beach). I am a water child at heart and he is an adventurous mountain boy at heart. While I want to splish-splash in the ocean, he wants to climb 14 thousand foot mountains. While I want to put on my water shoes and jump into a dirty lake, he wants to lace up his hiking boots and play in the woods. We are different people, but some how make it work. Ya know, like making him buy me a new house with a giant bathtub. Think I can convince him to build me a water slide in the master bathroom?

7. The view of the Rockies will never get old. 
On a good day, when the haze is lifted, the clouds are parted and you can see the mountains from miles away - I usually do a double take. Sometimes, it's hard to believe those majestic snow-capped mountains are our back yard. The Appalachians don't got nothing on the Rockies. #truth

8. Property is sold at a premium in Colorado. 
I never should have taken for granted all of the space I had as a kid to roll around in the grass, jump 8 feet from the swing set, or run bases with my brother. We'll be lucky if our future children can fit a 4 foot plastic pool in our yard, let alone a swing. 

9. Dogs are liked more than children. 
Okay maybe not quite, but Colorado is extremely dog friendly. From restaurant patios, to breweries, and even clothing stores, Monty has been to more places than most of your children. 

10. It takes 5 years to finally call a place home.
Some days it feels like I've been living here my whole life and other days it feels like I just stepped off the plane. I can honestly say it's taken me five years to officially refer to Colorado as home. Well most days. When people ask where I'm from, I confidently say, "Colorado. But I am originally from Pennsylvania." That keystone state is still a huge pat of me and I am proud of where I came from, but I couldn't be more happy to have spent the last five years in Colorful Colorado. I have you to thank for that, Mr. B.

I hope the next five years are just as good as the last five. 

Mom, sister, brother, friends...time to move.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Colorado Wine Country

Memorial Day was kicked off with good (and new) friends in Palisade, Colorado.

A few years ago, Scott surprised me with a trip to our wine country. That was the weekend I fell in love with Palisade. It is probably one of my favorite places in the state and a place that we visit on an annual basis now. It's about a 5 hour drive from Johnstown and found on the Western slope of the Rockies.

Palisade is a small town, with wineries hidden in valleys and orchards filled with peach trees. It's meant to be explored by bicycle with friends and family. So that's exactly what we did.

We toured, we drank, we ate, we fell, we laughed, and we drank some more.

Life around camp included local honey, life-size Jenga, Beaver Bingo and home-made CAMP Bread.

Camping, friends, wine, cheese and bikes - is there anything more you could ask for? Chad and Danielle, we had a blast with you. I am so glad we got to take you on your first official camping trip, Danielle. You two are welcome back to #CampBores anytime you want. Mostly for the laughter that follows watching Danielle ride a bike. Just kidding. Kind of.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Snow Camping

Mr. B reminds me on a daily basis that I haven't written about any of our camping adventures thus far in 2014. So here we go. I am backtracking a bit.

Our first time out with the camper this year was the weekend of May 9th. It was also the day Andrea gave birth to the Twinkies. I almost bailed out for that reason, but Mr. B convinced me to join him after she delivered.

On our drive to Rocky Mountain National Park, he looked over at me and said, "I hope you brought warm clothes." I replied, "Yeah sweats and a jacket. Why?" The words that came next I wasn't expecting, "It's supposed to snow."

I immediately scowled at him. It was partially my fault that I didn't check the weather forecast ahead of time, but then again my dearest friend was going into LABOR with twins!! Who has time for weather on a day like that? Answer: no one. Not to mention, I usually rely on Mr. B to give me a heads up on what to pack. By heads up, I mean the DAY before, not when we are already in route. All this means is, I blame him for the fact that I was unprepared.

Although, I am convinced he chose not to tell me. If he did, he knew I would have opted to stay home. Instead you know what he told me? He said, "Everyone needs to experience a camping trip in the snow!" To say he is a dedicated camper is an understatement. My advice is the complete opposite: No one should experience a camping trip when it snows. It's cold. It's not romantic. And it sucks packing up to go home. Do I need more reasons?

Needless to say, this is what our campsite looked like Saturday:

And this is what we woke up to on Sunday:

I suppose I should be thankful I wasn't this guy (can you even see the tent?):

Needless to say, camping season got off to a rough cold start this year.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monty Monday

In six weeks, Monty and I are going to be spending majority of our days in a 800 square foot box apartment. In fact, I literally just made up the square footage. It could be 500 or 1200. I don't have any idea and frankly, I don't want to know. All I know is it's going to be smaller than what we are used too. And it won't have a back yard. 

So we are taking advantage of our lovely yard while we still have it. 

Last week was the perfect summer temperature. So I grabbed our picnic blanket, my laptop, a bottle of water and headed outside (in my PJ's) to work from our lawn. 

Monty kept me company for about three hours, before he started getting bored and decided to chew branches off our Aspen trees. 

I now regret not working outside every single day of the year.

To imagine that Monty will soon be sharing a common space with 100's of other dogs. And I won't have the ability to slide open the back door and let him roam around while I am on a conference call. Nor will we have a fenced in area that is ours, and ours alone. Every time I think about it, my anxiety rises a bit.  

I suppose there are worse things in life than a leashed dog with an owner that walks in her jammies at 3:00 in the afternoon. Believe me, I am really good at first impressions. Don't judge - if you could work in your PJ's every day, you would. Hopefully our new apartment neighbors won't have time to get to know me. Interpreted to: Hopefully we find a house before we even have to move into our new box. 

In the mean time, you can find Monty and I outside. I'll be rolling around, getting grass stains on my PJ pants and Monty will be trimming our Aspens with his teeth. #makingmemories

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Monty Someday

I call this photo waterlogged.

This boy loves water more than a sea turtle. Honestly, you can't keep him out. We've learned if we are near water, we better have him on a leash. If not, he will b-line to the water and you won't be able to stop him.

It's funny to think when we first adopted him he was scared to even put his paws near water. It took Mr. B throwing him off a dock at the dog park reservoir to get him exposed to swimming. I can't say that experience actually helped, it may have shocked him more than anything. But he eventually gave it a try and when he did, he never looked back.

On our recent trip to Utah, we stopped at Rifle Gap State Park to set up camp. Fortunately, the campground over looked this beautiful lake - home to a few fishermen, boat captains and for one day, our dog.  Monty would have waded in the water all day if we let him. 

Not only did he come out soaking wet, but he collected over 30 cockleburs in his fur that needed to be cut out with our kitchen scissors. His paws now look like they received a hack-job from an inexperienced groomer.

Oh wait, I am inexperienced.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Under Contract

Well that didn't take long. Three days and three offers later, we are officially under contract with the future homeowners of our house.

We reviewed the offers at a brewery (so, very Bores-like) and signed the contract at a McDonalds in Moab on Memorial Day. Of course, you have to capture moments like this. #firsttimesellers

Then we celebrated that evening with a bottle of wine. A full bottle, may I add. On the side of a cliff. Thankfully the way back to camp was on foot, not behind the wheel. Not sure which is worse when you've consumed a few glasses sips of alcohol and you're near a 1,000ft cliff. Don't worry, Mom, we had headlamps and a giant labradoodle to lead the way.

I really can be sentimental

We basically forgot about our trip the moment we pulled into the driveway on Saturday and are officially in house-hunting mode. We don't have a lot of time between now and the closing, so these are our options:
a) Find a new house to buy
b) Find a storage location to move all of our belongings
c) Find an apartment that we can live in, until we can find a house to buy
d) Permanently move into the camper

As much as Mr. B may enjoy the idea of the last option, it's not realistic. Ideally we want to find a new house and move during the same time we close on our existing house. The clock is ticking, days are passing, and we still don't know which option we will end up with. It's going to be a whirlwind for the next few weeks.

We put an offer on a new house Sunday evening, but lost (for the second time). Another offer came in that was full price, CASH. Hard to compete with that. So we wait. We wait for more houses to go on the market and in the mean time, start getting our ducks in a row for the alternate options above.

Pray for us. I keep saying to Mr. B, house hunting is a sure way to test a marriage. Really, this process is stressful and frustrating. Especially when you continue to lose the houses you envisioned the next 20 years of your life.

Moving on. In a lot of ways.
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