Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It just sounds so GOOD!

Me and My Buds at JazzAspenSnomass

For Labor Day Weekend, Brad and I visited Denver, Aspen, and Snowmass- with two other couples. One of these couples, (we'll just call them "The Gillies") grew up in Arlington, Ohio, and moved to Denver from Granville, Ohio, and the other couple is the Whybrews (allegedly), our friends here in Westerville. The boys all grew up in Arlington together, and the girls all get along great, just by happenstance.  We used to have a regular trip with them in the Spring, but this year we decided to go and visit The Gillies, out in Colorado. The JazzAspenSnowmass was the "impetus" for the trip, but if we were all just honest with ourselves, it was really just an excuse for us to reunite and do what we do best - go on a three day bender, while we listened to live music, instead of our iPod.

Ok, let's break this baby down into categories:
1. Denver, Revisited
2. Aspen and Malachi
3. Snowmass and the Celebrity Sighting
4. The Jazzfest - Steely Dan and The Zac Brown Band
5. Why I LOVE America

Denver, Revisted

My beloved City Park

Okay, Brad and I stayed the night in downtown Denver on Thursday night.  Scott Gillie had a "business meeting" right near us, so he met us for drinks at our hotel, late afternoon.  This may or may not have altered our reality later.  I cannot be sure.  After Scott left, we showered, got ready for dinner, which included my continuous warnings to Brad to "layer up" as we were "back in Colorado", for I had been tuning in to Weather.com, on a continuous basis all week, which had indicated that the nights would be "chilly".

Brad was wearing a fleece jacket on top of at least two layers, and I had a long robe-like sweater on, when we exited our hotel.  The first sign we saw was a homeless woman in a bikini top.  We continued to walk.  My brow and upper lip started to sweat.  I began noticing that everyone walking around was in shorts and flip flops when Brad exclaimed, "I'm HOT.  Let's go back to the hotel."

We promptly turned around and entered the freezing cold, air conditioned dining room and ordered more cocktails.  CLASSIC.

The next day, (don't worry, I remember my promise), we headed out to our old stomping ground, City Park, to see if our duplex had been renovated.  Here is what we found.  The second picture is the porch I used to sit on to watch the Ho Parade.

Our ghetto home

My pathetic patio

It was as if time had stopped.  There's just nothing as charming as a chain-link fence, is there?  Next we went to City Park.  It is pretty much the same, but a little more user friendly.  There are still homeless people sleeping on benches, and catching their meals in the ponds adjacent to the lake, but I spied Disney World-like features like this one, that were not there before.

A curious addition 

That afternoon, we picked up The Whybrews at the airport and traveled to the Gillies house in Evergreen.  I wish I had had the presence of mind to take pictures of it, but I didn't.  It might have been awkward anyway, though.

Anne and Scott's house could be in "Colorado Magazine".  It was exquisite.  They are going to move, though, because they hate their neighbors, and frankly, because Anne gets bored easily.  Scott drove his awesome Jeep with the three boys, and I drove the girls to Aspen.  I laughed until my sides hurt.  The boys kept driving up beside of us, mimicking us, by mime laughing and slapping their legs and stuff.  They are so stupid.  We knew they couldn't possibly be having as much fun as us, though, because the Jeep is really loud, and they wouldn't talk about anything of any importance if they could hear each other anyway.  By the end of our trip, each of us girls had experienced every emotion on the spectrum.  Aren't women awesome?  Pic below is at the Continental Divide, reminds me so much of Hocking Hills.  NOT.

Kim, Paul, Me, Brad


Brad, the poser

So we stayed at The Gant, in Aspen, and we met up with some friends of Anne and Scott's there, Janine and Ralph.  Without going into too much detail, they live on a Catamaran, with their two small children, most of the year, and then Aspen the rest of the year.  I could never quite figure out how they made a living, but I overheard Ralph saying that he was doing paperwork in his office one morning, so he does something other than sail and ski, I am just not sure what That is.

Okay, the night we went out in Aspen, Janine and Ralph, showed up with her 18-year-old nephew, Malachi.  Of course, that is not his real name, it is the nickname we all bestowed upon him, behind his back, (I never absorbed his birth name, natch.  Why bother.) because (yes) he was a dead ringer for Malachi, from the movie "Children of the Corn".  It was disturbing, to say the least.  He is probably one of the most off-putting people on the planet, to boot.  Let me put it this way, I was OVER Malachi within about 30 seconds of meeting him.

Malachi is one of those adolescents, who thinks that everything that comes out of his 18-year-old mouth is a revelation to those around him.  I mean, when was the last time an 18-year-old said something prophetic to you, that actually had takeaway value?  Oh, I know!  Call on me!  When I was under 18.

Malachi trapped me several times, and on one occasion went on and on about how he had "never had to pay for weed in his life" and that "he was at a crack house just the other day" and he "actually didn't go in, but sent someone else in for him" and then that said crack house was featured on the news "THREE DAYS LATER" because it was "ON FIRE, DUDE!"

"Really, I used to be a social worker in Denver, "  I trumped, "I used to conduct BUSINESS in crack houses."  I feigned boredom.  BOOM.  Take THAT Malachi.  You've probably never paid for weed in your life because people are afraid you are going to off them with your razor sharp corn husker, you douche.

We endured Malachi's nonsense all night, including his backward jump off of the top of a swing set, until he stopped being tolerable when we were denied entrance into a bar, because he was underage.

me, Anne, and Kimmy
 Moving on.  The next day, we hiked up the Ute in the foothills of Aspen.  It was switchback after switchback (zigzag), all the way up.  I had missed my friends, Kim, Anne and Scott, leaving for the hike, because I was eating a very large breakfast by myself, as I actively engaged in people-watching that rare breed that is "Aspenites", and I could not break away.  My favorite past time is called "Find the Texan".  It's not that hard.  Just look for the gigantic engagement ring and then connect it to it's Sugar Daddy.

Anyway, I went up the hill by myself to catch up to my Buds, and I found them about ten minutes from the top, on their way down.  I thought I was going to die, my heart was pounding so hard.  I had foolishly brought my coffee instead of anything hydrating, so they gave me the rest of their Gatorade and asked me the question that every person I had encountered on the trail that day, had asked me before them.  "Is that coffee?????"

So, they told me that I only had ten minutes to go, which I found out later is the time frame Scott gave everyone at varying points of their journey up the mountain. Whenever anyone would ask, "How much longer?" panting, as we passed them on their way up the mountain.  Whether they were just starting out, or midway through, Scott would always respond, "About ten more minutes," and they would breathe an exaggerated sigh of relief, and thank him,  and then when they were out of earshot, we would giggle our asses off.

ANYWAY, what I am TRYING to get to is that I passed Kim, Anne and Scott on the mountain as they were descending and I was ASCENDING, and I was clearly in trouble physically, so I bid them ADIEU, cause I'm FRAUNCH, and as I turned my 1000th switchback, I was delighted to see Scott, right behind me.  He had left the girls to go down the mountain and came to find me to escort me UP the mountain that he had just hiked.  THAT is a friend.  My heart melted.  Here are the pictures we took at the top.  I am not sure I would have made it without him.  There is a good chance I would have just lied and told everyone how beautiful the view was when I got back, after I sat down and waited out the "ten minutes" it would have taken to reach the top.  It took twenty, natch.

Me, Breathless

Scott, not even winded

Snowmass and the Celebrity Sighting

So after our hike, we drove the ten miles to our NEXT amazing destination, our condo, in Snowmass.  We stayed at Capital Peak Lodge, which was a breathtaking, newly renovated condo complex, located at the Base of Snowmass Mountain.  Our only complaint was that it was difficult to find our condo, at first, but this may have been due to the fact that we were all operating on 1 cylinder.

One of the funniest things, and there were MANY on this trip, believe me, was that Paul Whybrew, when put in charge of a beer run, before we went to our condo, actually bought NON-ALCOHOLIC Coors!  As if THAT is not hilarious enough, (I had never even drank non-alcoholic beer when I was PREGNANT!)  the boys actually HAD a few before they realized what they were drinking!  God, that is STILL freshly hysterical to me.  Is it to you?  We were a big, steaming pot of hot mess, fo sho!

Paul, drinking alcoholic beer...Love him!

I cannot express what a gorgeous condo this was.  It was a three bedroom, updated gorgeous, ski in, ski out condo that included a pass for the duration of your stay to the Snowmass Athletic Club.  Kim, Paul, Brad and I decided to check out their pool, which Anne had described as "amazing" and it did not disappoint.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by flavored water and fresh fruit, and for us, a celebrity sighting of none other than Miss Aspen, herself, Goldie Hawn!  She passed right by us, and I overheard KURT say, "Ya ready, Hon?" and she responded by singing in her cute, perky voice, "Reeeaaaddddy!"  I caught her profile on her way out, and unfortunately, for her,  her lips looked like a character from Fish Hooks, the show my kids watch. Pity.

At the hot tub, we met this really nice couple from Denver, and he was telling us that the Athletic Club, (which has lodging, as well) runs specials whenever there is a concert in Snowmass.  Apparently, when Phish, the band, was there, the tranquil, immaculate, Zen pool that we encountered at the Club, was transformed into a modern-day Woodstock Revival, where there was not a spot on the tony slate deck of the pool to be found, and the pool was positively FILLED with dirty hippies smoking pot.  Needless to say, The Snowmass Athletic Club will not be running that special again. I was immediately reminded of that scene in Caddyshack, when the Caddies invade the pool at Buschwood.  LOVE stories like that.

The Jazzfest - Steely Dan and The Zac Brown Band

Jazzfest in the Daytime

Okay.  The boys all love Steely Dan.  So does Kim.  She also likes Stella beer like them, but that is where her masculinity ends, thank God.  I remember Steely Dan as being unhip music that came out when I was listening to Lucky Star, by Madonna - a thorn in my side if you will.  Something that I would endure on my mini boom box until "Hey Mickey" came on.

The boys

Everyone else was totally into it.  Those Arlington boys just loves them some classic rock!  Here is some hilarious footage I found on YouTube.  This is for you, Brad, Scott, and Paul!  See how they are dressed funny?  That is because they were performing decades ago, when they were actually POPULAR.  Ya' dig?

Just so you understand, I thought up until this concert, I thought the lyrics to this song were, "Are you reeling in the yeast, throwin' away the thyme, are you gatherin' up the cheese, have you had enough of mine," and it was about making bread. 

I sang these lyrics, at the top of my lungs, during the concert, for all my friends and those who I did not know, surrounding me, for their amusement.  Or not.  Who cares.

Me and the adorable toddlers!
 The pic above is one that Kim took because I was having trouble working my camera.  It may be difficult to see, but it is a pack of young people (probably in their early twenties) with fur animal hats and paws on as they wildly danced.  They were dancing and giggling and having a great time, and I was entranced by them, because they seemed to embody YOUTH, to me.

I am in the picture on the left.  I told them I needed a picture with them to show my girls, but of course I was thinking of YOU, my audience, and my blog. 

At one point, a cougar, I mean the real kind, with a breast augmentation, and Juvederm, stole one of their animal furs and was dancing provocatively with it on, in a red dress suitable for Studio 54.  All of the toddlers, watched her in disgust for a while, and then collectively, took their hats off, so as to not be mistaken for a half-breed like her.  Hilarious.

Way to ruin the moment for everyone, ya' old coug'. 

Okay, my two favorite quotes of the weekend came from each concert, and were apparent knee-jerk, emotional responses, to the musical stimuli being presented to them.  During the Steely Dan concert, 
an older woman, whom I actually met later at an apre party in a vintage trailer (It was Jeanine and Ralph's, natch.), actually screamed out during the song Hey Nineteen, "I LOVE YOU, STEELY DAN!" and then gathered herself as she looked around her to see if anyone had just witnessed her regression back into a teenage groupie.  We had.  We all stood around her with our mouths agape, and then uncontrollable laughter followed.

Yes, it became my mantra, and I yelled out, "I LOVE YOU, STEELY DAN!" and "I LOVE YOU, ZAC BROWN BAND!" more times than I should have been aloud to, but to me, it just kept getting funnier.

  I just love gutteral concert exclamations, don't you?  Listen for them at your next concert.  They are priceless.

And, Finally...Why I LOVE America

Now, I've been to my share of Zac Brown Band concerts and I know some of the set lists.  On this one, in particular, is "America the Beautiful," which is my favorite patriotic song to date, oh, except "God Bless the USA."  Not.

Anyway, let me set the stage.  It is dusk.  We are surrounded by mountains.  The portable stage is lit up like fireworks.  Zac goes into "America, the Beautiful".  Someone in the front, middle of the crowd raises this enormous American Flag and begins waving it, while we sing one of my favorite songs on the cusp of the 10th Anniversary of the most tragic event of my generation, and tears well up in my eyes.  "Nothing could be more perfect than this,"  I think to myself, as I sing and sway in time with the flag.  It is one of the most moving and patriotic things I have ever experienced.

"It just sounds so GOOD!" a concert-goer yells from behind me.  I immediately recognize this voice to be my husband's.  He adopts this kind of high pitched, throaty, hyena-like "concert yelp" whenever he sees someone live and he is enjoying them. It is beyond bizarre, and yet mesmerizing, at the same time.  Anyone who knows him well, knows EXACTLY what I am talking about.

I wheel around and ask him if he was, in fact, the person who just told, um, everyone, and no one in particular that he likes the way Zac Brown sounds.

I responded with, "I LOVE YOU ZAC BROWN!!!" and then I started all that bullshit again.

I laughed until I crossed my legs and then it was time to hobble to the port-a-potty.  Damn kids!  I'll never be able to hold my pee, again.  And this is a serious travesty to someone who drinks a lot of coffee (and liquids in general) and likes to laugh.

I could not find any video of that moment (the flag waving and the song, not Brad's hilarious exclamation), and maybe it's just as well, but the footage above gives you an idea, and it is one of my favorite songs.

If you can make it to Snowmass or Aspen in the summer.  DO IT!!!!  I lived in Colorado a combined three years and the summertime is where it's at.  I could not believe the deal we got in Snowmass for our condo.  According to the dude we met at The Snowmass Athletic Club, I mentioned above, two weeks after Labor Day is the cheapest ever, and then they literally close down until the "Turning of the Aspens".

At the condo, we got rides from the staff everywhere.  There was a shuttle that went around town, and a gondola, but all we had to do was call our guy and he was happy to take us anywhere we wanted.  Let me know if you need any more details, and as always.... Thanks for playin'.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I love your pic at the Continental Divide. We backpacked two days to reach that damn sign, only to get to the top and see RV's and a parking lot. No one told me I could have driven.