I drove over Independence Pass yesterday to hand the boys over to their incredible grandparents who have taken the liberty to take them on a road trip for five days.
For a month now I have been so looking forward to this break, packing my schedule full with dates with Baddy and monumental athletic excursions.
I also cannot wait to hit my computer and write down the stream of consciousness that I have been storing in my brain. Oh to have a quiet office without little gremlins trying to sneak marshmallows in the pantry outside the door.
As I kissed the boys goodbye, my eyes filled with tears. I have grown so attached to spending my every day with them and even though I knew that they were going to have a blast and were in the best of hands, I felt guilty for arranging this week without them. Being a mother is a mixed up, muddled up, messed up world of guilt and pleasure.
When I returned to Aspen, I took a long evening road bike ride up Castle Creek Road to Ashcroft where Baddy and I got married. As I rode, I soaked up the warmth of the sun and the scent of the pine trees that have not yet been devastated by the Pine Beetle. I felt as if I were Frederick, the little mouse who gathered sun rays, colors and words of summer to share with his family during the long winter months.
Baddy rode up on his bike to Aspen and we went out to Lu Lu Wilson for appetizers. Walking in, we basked in the great ambiance of the restaurant with gold painted chairs, animal printed seats and enormous crystal chandeliers. We were transported back to our honeymoon in Italy.
I had just procured my first paid online writing gig and so we celebrated by drinking a Limoncello Martini and sharing remarkably fresh oysters that had just been flown in that morning. The food was divine and I was in heaven.
We reminisced about the first time we drank Limoncello during an intermission for a classical music concert in Ravello, an old beautiful town situated 1,000 feet above the sparkling Amalfi Coast. Someday, I hope to take the boys to Europe in addition to Africa, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest amongst other travels.
After dinner we walked through the town of Aspen and were enveloped by the sweet sound of music everywhere. Town was hopping and had an energy that I had not felt in a long time. We were amazed to see that the Mustang Grille had set up tables directly in the middle of the Hyman Avenue Mall and so we sat down and listened to our friends Randolph Turner, Rob Desoro and Cameron Williams play in their band Jes Crew. One advantage of this poor economy is that tough times have brought quality and creativity back to the town of Aspen.
Walking back to the car we passed an ensemble of musicians from the Aspen Music Festival and School playing their horns in front of Paradise Bakery. We are so lucky to have the students take up residency here in the summers. It is wonderful to hear their music spilling out of the windows as they practice the day away.
In the twenty-one years that I have lived here, I have painfully watched the decline of the small boutiques that have been forced out due to high rents. Last night Aspen felt charming again, not quaint like Ravello or other European towns, but still it held it’s own magic.
Baddy and I went home feeling like newly weds, stress free, satiated and happy. We are lucky to be able to reconnect and share this time together and I try not to think of Grandma and Grandpa falling to their beds in complete exhaustion in the evenings. Tonight, we will visit the Carbondale Mountain Fair and experience the antithesis of Aspen. Ahhh, the life of the leisurely rocks!