It is now official, the allure of California has won again. My wife and I, who have spent a lot of the last nine months in Boulder, Colorado, are heading back to Cali. While we have loved our time in Boulder, we have both just grown homesick for the hot, drought ridden land of suburban Sacramento. We entertained the idea of sticking around Colorado and seeing where life leads us, but after conferring with our canine child, Buster, we all agreed that California was just too close to our hearts to abandon.
I will miss Colorado. Though we have been hanging around the Rockies for just around nine months, it has come to feel so normal and natural. Granted, I have had the luxury of being a stay-at-home doggy dad, part-time artist and photographer, chauffeur, and cook, I have enjoyed my mid-career retirement to the fullest. It seems like we have hit every town within a fifty mile radius of Boulder for an afternoon or more, hiked our tails off (not literally, thankfully for Buster), rested, branched out creatively and even ventured out into the snow a couple of times for pleasure. About the only thing we didn’t do was go to a Denver Broncos game. My streak of never being to an NFL game continues…and I’m fine with that.
In homage to Boulder, here is a top five list of the things I will miss about being in this beautiful, wealthy town nestled against the Rockies:
- Every time we step out our door we see the Flat Irons. California is a beautiful place, and one that we probably took for granted too much before coming to Colorado, but living with the front range of the Rockies as your neighbor is quite a beautiful thing. No matter the weather or time of day, it feels like a living postcard. Nevermind if you drive east for ten miles, and you can see the snow covered peaks hiding behind the front range. That always gets me catching glances in the rear view mirror. So majestic and awe-inspiring.
- Living in the great outdoors. Seeing the Flat Irons is one thing, but being within walking distance of a five minute drive of trails that look out over the world is awesome. Neither my wife or I would claim to be outdoor enthusiasts, but living in a place like Boulder, it’s nearly impossible not to partake in the trail and hiking life that it provides. It’s no surprise that people around here are in fit, kick-ass shape. They trek around the grocery store in hiking shoes, as if the chip aisle is a land to be conquered.
- Buster time. Not having a full-time gig while being here has given me the chance to spend a lot of time with my adopted bud, Buster. We have walked all over, with and without my wife, had long, deep discussions about life (which, I swear, he does understand), collaborated on a number of photoshoots and art projects, and most of all enjoyed time together around the house like college roommates, snacking and enjoying this (hopefully) brief intermission from the everyday demands of working nine to five.
- Shaq time. As a bonus to coming out to Boulder, I have had the chance to reconnect with my old bud Shalom from high school and college. Although he’s all grown up with a beautiful wife and kids, and even has the title of “Doctor” or “Professor” he has managed to stay the same person as he was when he was eighteen. For some, including the aforementioned family, this may not be such a great thing, but for me, it’s great. He has the same constant extroversion with a whip-smart whit and can still recite movie lines that I had long since buried into the back of my skull. I am not always the best at keeping up with friends, near or far away, so it has been great to reconnect and hopefully recharge our friendship, regardless of whether I’m down the street or just a few states away.
- Family adventures. I know that putting this fifth on a list of five may not look great, but there’s reason – I hope, no, I know, this one will continue in California and beyond. This time has given my wife, Buster and I, a unique chance at the start of our official life together, to have a lot of time to just enjoy life. We get to go on drives to new towns, go hiking, constantly walk and just enjoy the simple things life has without the stress everyday life can provide. That’s not to say that there isn’t ever stress, or that we’re both not ready to get back to a working schedule, but how many couples get a chance to do what we have just after tying the knot? It’s been great and we have already vowed to hike more when we’re back in Cali and to get up to Tahoe more, if even for a day to walk around.
- Yes, six. Our soccer team. Though we have barely played together here in Boulder, and won even less, we managed to find a great group of people to play with each week. We have a team (still, hopefully) in Sacramento that we have missed and cannot be replaced, but our Boulder crew sure has done a great job of filling our need for a team and allowing us to exorcise our competitive demons.
- CU Women’s Soccer
- Colorado Rapids Soccer
We still have over a month here in Boulder, and will take full advantage, but we are now at the point of looking forward while living each day to its fullest. California, we hope you welcome us back with open arms, and if you want to employ me soon, that would be great, too.
And to Colorado, we’ll be back. Thanks for having us!