Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weekend in Denver

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Denver.  I thought about it for some time before committing or asking Shari to join me.  I knew that it would mean that I would have to ask off from work and hope that they would be willing to accommodate me. 
For a little bit of time I reflected on my options.  Either work and make some good cash or head to Denver to celebrate my aunt's 50th birthday.  Since I lead an unconventional life (always) I opted for the latter.  Why wouldn't I take the weekend to spend with my aunt?  She only turns 50 once. 
Her reaction to the party was priceless.  She had no idea that we were all meeting to celebrate her.  She walked in and was overwhelmed with emotion.  She looked around the room and continued to be awestruck.  It was amazing.  I am so glad that I was part of it.
I was able to chit chat with all of her siblings, her parents and some of her friends that I had not met.  What a lovely day.  Earlier in the day, we met Brian's grandparents for breakfast.  I have not seen them since 2007 at the fundraiser for Brian.  They were on a road trip which they seem to do frequently.  They have family all over the western States.  That, too, was pleasant.  Catching up and creating another memory. 
I feel fortunate to have the people in my life that I do.  Lindsay stopped by Bryn's party with her son, Wrangler.  Sara Jo wanted to attend the soiree but was held up at work.  Thankfully, I saw her Saturday night for dinner.  My friend, Troy, drove up from Colorado Springs and joined us for dinner, too.  I have been waiting years for he and Shari to meet.  His brother died three weeks after Brian.  He and I have always shared this understanding and I wanted him to meet Shari.  Finally it happened.
Of course we stopped by to see Steve for a chimay.   We had some free time to do as we pleased.  We opted to head to Matthew Winters Park and drink wine.  It felt right to visit the spot where we had released some of Brian's ashes.  People kept walking by us and were either jealous or shocked.  One family of four hiked by us with pizza.  If only we had planned on food and wine.  That would have been ideal. 
The first night we had dinner with Tiffany, Dan and Maghan.  New spot in a hopping neighborhood.  Small, intimate space that had a lovely vibe.  We basically tried everything on the menu and it was great.  The last night, Shari and I walked to a neighborhood Italian gem.  Sat barside and watched the cooks in action.  Burrata, zucchini and octopus enchanted our taste buds.  It was a celebratory focused trip as well as foodie friendly vacation.  I told Shari that I would need to detox for a week to allow my liver to rest.  Still hasn't happened.  I had dinner with Melody on Monday and managed to arrange take-out last night from another local spot of mine.  Initially, I almost aborted my itinerary due to traffic and parking issues.  Then, I remembered that I could park at work and walk over.  Bingo!  Completely worked out in my favor.  I know a few of the bartenders at this spot and so I was treated extremely well.
Today, I head to yoga to begin the detox.  I forced myself to go to spin last night.  I am not a huge fan of exercising at night.  I prefer the early day class and find it difficult to go to evening classes.  It interferes with my meeting of friends and drinking wine.  Still, I am healthy and have the opportunity to do this.  I should be attending classes.
I see Denver in my near future. Maybe an early Monday/Tuesday return.  Til then, yoga will occupy my time.  Cheers!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

romantic memories

I work with a guy that is entertaining.  Non-stop entertainment and most of the guests adore him.  He's kind, funny, engaging.  I enjoy working with him.  Initially, I found him challenging as he and I had not developed a rapport or work environment that suited us both.  They have bar tables and fifteen bar seats.  He prefers making all of the drinks while I cocktail the tables and counter (which is not what I consider bartending).  We have it worked out where we both perform both tasks and end up behind the bar together and co-exist in a healthy way. 
As such, we chit chat frequently.  Relationships, travel, livelihood.  I think Marc thinks of me as too serious.  Last night, he wanted to know what I thought of romance.  He asked me if I had ever experienced a truly romantic thing in my life.
I thought about it for a second and instantly had a rush of romantic memories.  I was involved with a man that loved life, loved me and had no regrets.  One of my favorite memories was celebrating Christmas in 2005.  I love my birthday and so I always would shower Brian with a huge birthday celebration as his birthday was the day before mine.  He, however, preferred Christmas.  Always a big celebration.  So, I was surprised when he bought me a cookbook for Christmas.  A cookbook that I had wanted to buy for him.  I couldn't find it and so I bought him an alternate book.  Imagine my surprise when I open my big gift and find that it is the cookbook that I had wanted to buy for him.  Shock.  Anger.  Disappointment. 
I fake joy and intend to continue with the day.  Meaning, drink more mimosas and enjoy breakfast before our hike.  Brian asks me if I had looked through the book.  I'm like, yea.  I read the covers and it looks great.  He keeps telling me to read through the book that had been wrapped in plastic.  I figure he wants me to look at the recipes and choose one for him to cook for me.  Instead, I find a confirmation of plane tickets to Las Vegas and reservations at Bouchon.  Talk about romantic and an incredible gift.
Marc was wowed.  He was impressed.  Then, I remembered another story of Brian surprising me with a romantic gesture.  Ironically, it was my birthday this time and I had just spent the weekend in Santa Fe.  Sara Jo and I drove back leisurely.  Brian had indicated that he wanted to see me and hoped that we would return efficiently. 
Sara dropped me off and Brian told me that he had planned a picnic at Lookout Mountain.  He picked up sandwiches and a six pack of beer and we headed west towards the mountains.  He exited near red rocks and I saw a plethora of people hanging out with signs saying tickets available.  I was still oblivious to what he had planned.  He parked the car and gave me tickets to the Norah Jones concert.  What a treat.  It was gorgeous and just one other example of how I was spoiled by romance. 
After telling Marc both of these stories, he goes--what happened with that guy?  He seems fantastic.  We were interrupted by tickets and customers and so I answered his question a little bit later.  I told him that he had died.  Marc said, now it all makes sense.  I think it gave him a little bit of insight into my life.
I thought about Brian the rest of the night.  How he loved life and was passionate about living each day to the fullest.  I had a wonderful life with him and am grateful for the memories and that we took the time to enjoy each other and travel.  I think this weekend will continue to be nostalgic.