Born and raised in Colorado, one of the purposes of my traveling adventures in Happily Never After was to explore other cities and see if there is somewhere other there that would be just as suitable for me to live (of course, my one criteria of any place I move is there MUST be a CorePower yoga, so that rules out a few places…)
On my travels, I have also been documenting what ‘Colorado Culture’ is. Here are a few things that I have found are distinctly Colorado:
1. Honey: Beau Jo’s pizza, cornbread, fried chicken, etc–people in Colorado love locally grown honey. I heard once that eating a spoonful of local honey can significantly reduce allergies. This could be a result of Colorado’s love for the environment and the obligation to save the honey bees.
2. Fire pits: I once took a vacation to California; it was about 75 degrees outside, and the streets were deserted. When I went to Tampa this summer, all I wanted to do was play in the sun and the water, while many of the other locals found it “too hot” to be outside. Colorado people will be outside any second they get, which often results in building fire pits so they can even be outside when its snowing.
3. Games at bars: You travel to some places, like Paris and England, and there is so much culture that you are easily entertained. There are museums for you to go to, plays for you to attend, art to gawk at. While Colorado has some of those things, most of the entertaining we do comes from stuff we bring to places. I think this partially functions because we are workers, we like to be active and to be do-ing something, and our pieces of entertainment function as our conversation pieces. So, rather than other things entertaining us, we bring things to entertain ourselves.
4. 5K’s: There is just about a 5K every weekend, and each of these 5K’s goes to some kind of charity near and dear to our hearts. Perhaps this began with the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, but it’s always really inspiring to sign up for these events, because (a) they are outside, (b) they usually have some kind of wacky theme to them, and (c) there is always a variety of people running. We don’t care what kind of shape you are in. I remember doing the Color Run last summer and blowing turquoise out of my nose for at least a week. But, the dance party at the end was so worth the blue skin.
5. Microbreweries & Farmer’s Markets: People in Colorado are really into clean, innovative eating, and anytime there is a local sticker slapped on something, we are more likely to buy it.
6. Jeans to work: I remember going to Chicago, and observing how dressed up everyone was. Everyone looked SO nice. Their hair was done, their clothes were cute, their purses matched their boots. While this sometimes happens in Colorado, the average native shows up in jeans and a t-shirt everywhere, even to work. I think this is partially because we do spend so much time outside, and you never quite know what the weather is going to do, that its better to just not plan ahead. And hey, we actually don’t care about the “white after Labor Day” rule because we are all basically in the same social class.
7. Friendly strangers: Some people may say that people in Colorado are not friendly, but they are probably just living out in the suburbs, where culture is very different. I am always surprised whenever I go skiing that there is no one fighting over their spots in line to get on the ski lift; everyone just kind of scoots in (unless, of course, that is just because everyone is too timid to get on the ski lift anyways that waiting an extra person would be welcome). Its common courtesy, when driving on the back roads, to wave at those who pass you, and to greet those on your hikes (usually, its to encourage them the end IS near).
8. Pumpkin Spice Lattes & Summer BBQ’s: What I love particularly about Colorado is the changing seasons, because with change, comes revelations, new connections, things I hadn’t noticed before. Change allows me to remember to clean out my closet to make room for those new winter coats, to reset my goals, to go to bed a little earlier. Change is never a bad thing, and the great thing about Colorado is, you are reminded to do this every few months.
9. The Broncos: You won’t go anywhere on football Sunday without everyone wearing orange and blue; even our church sermons are sometimes devoted to the Broncos…
Amongst my travels, I learned that, while I do love visiting other places, Colorado will always be home, and I am always so happy when I see those Rocky Mountains cascading from below.
PS. …does anyone else get annoyed with the fact that no one knows where Denver is, unless you say, “Well, the place that marijuana is now legal?”…