Monday, July 23, 2012

Private Party

To someone with an intrepid streak of wanderlust, there couldn't be a more wonderful birthday present than to wake up in a city never before explored. For my own birthdays, I always try to celebrate my own life even more audaciously than normal by doing something I have never done before. Even better if it's something I have never done before out of fear. I have always been madly curious about Denver yet could not name an instance where I got even close to booking a trip here. I did not imagine I would one day end up here on my birthday, on my work's dime. (Never mind that's the week after the theater shooting in Aurora, about nine miles from here.)

Life is a rockstar that way sometimes.

From my procrastinated search on the shuttle from the airport to downtown Denver, I got a sense that farm-to-table is a cult here. There are even restaurants who now grow their own veggies onsite. I was salivating that entire half hour ride.

Walking around downtown, upon my first handshake with Denver, it did not disappoint. Walking on 16th Street towards LoDo, the city was pulsating with the energy of a city that thrives on that which is simple and natural. It's not just the recycle bins on the pedestrians/bicycles only 16th strip, but also on the thoughtful placement of amazingly beautiful container gardens everywhere, or the kale and chard growing on planter boxes on the sidewalk. (So far), I have not yet run into anything glaringly pretentious like massive glass buildings or repetitive retail chains. The buildings around are brick reeking of character and history.

The Kitchen on 16th and Wazee is touted as one of the 25 Best Restaurants in Denver. Even on Sundays, they serve dinner and stay open late. This is a divine place for fresh, local, organic food over conversations. Which all abound. The interiors had that industrial chic feel to it, which again, is devoid of any pretense. It was a tough pick for what to order, but what won me over were lychee martini, pig's ears (oh yes, I did!), char grilled white sturgeon in lemony caper yumminess, and the delectable toffee pudding with pecans a la vanilla gelato. Warning: you might forget your name after first bite.

I did not always have such a charmed life and especially since it's my birthday, I wanted to pause for gratitude. I could not imagine a better life for myself. I have enough work to keep me on my toes but not up all night. I have been blessed with that coveted luxury to EARN to see the parts of the world I have chosen to thus far. I have more than enough love from the family and very intimate circle of friends who will vouch for my character and integrity. I have the love, loyalty, and respect of a great, great man. I have made mistakes, some of them colossal, but none that ended up in remorse or regret. And in the end, in all utmost honesty, I can say that even I'm not yet quite the person I want myself to be, I can attest that I always weigh in with not speaking malice about anyone, and with pouring all of me in all that I CAN.

What more does a girl need?

Happy birthday to me, from becoming and charming, Denver, Colorado!


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