Aspen Untucked: We will always have Aspen, plus so much more | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Untucked: We will always have Aspen, plus so much more

by barbara platts

From my early 20s until recent years, I was lucky enough to have a solid crew of Aspen ladies. In what I now deem the golden years of my time in Aspen, I was a member of a girl group that did everything together. From skiing and partying to working out and traveling, we were inseparable on most days. But, as the years went by and we grew up, Aspen didn't become as ideal of a home for everyone. Career opportunities were lacking and other options became more appealing for many of the girls. One by one, most of the group headed out to different cities on the coasts, in search of something that our favorite little ski town couldn't offer. Saying goodbye became harder the smaller the group became, but all of us remained happy for each other, understanding that we had solid friendships and different zip codes wouldn't change that.

It's now been nearly three years since the full group lived and worked in Aspen. We've kept in touch via group texts, Instagram memes and tags in Facebook memories. Some of us have even had one-on-one visits, but actually getting the entire group together has been nearly impossible. This isn't because we haven't wanted to. It's just that, no matter how hard we all try, life ultimately gets in the way.

That was until last weekend, when we were finally able to find a time and a place to exit our busy lives for a brief moment of group togetherness. We got most of the ladies in Burlington, Vermont, where one group member recently bought a house with her boyfriend. I'd driven through Vermont once or twice during my college years in Boston, but I'd never understood just how beautiful of a place it is. With scenery very similar to Colorado's, there are fields of sprawling farmlands, secluded mountain towns and dense, rich forests. The people also are similar to Coloradans, enjoying life thoroughly in the outdoors and wearing perhaps a questionably excessive amount of flannel.

On our four-day trip, we were able to explore many small towns near Burlington. One friend even brought us all matching Aspen T-shirts for a day trip to Stowe, one of the popular ski resort towns in the state. We wore them proudly, ready to tell anyone and everyone what we were doing in matching T-shirts, why we were there and how we all became friends. It was practically like a bachelorette party, except not one of us has any plans for marriage in the near future.

During all of our Vermont adventures, we recalled many Aspen stories. We replayed them all back to each other as if they were almost chapters in our Aspen life, different stages that defined various times. Whether the chapters were designated by boyfriends, jobs, losses of loved ones or living situations — through them all, we always had each other.

Aspen is a very transient place; there's no mistaking that. Anyone who has lived here for a decent portion of time knows how it feels to lose a good friend to the rest of the world. But this weekend helped remind me that, while Aspen made all of us girls friends, it's not what keeps us together. We don't all have to live in the same place to continue having the amazing relationships we do. While proximity is wonderful, it's not what makes our friendships so valuable.

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Yes, we will always have Aspen. But, thankfully and more importantly, we will always have each other.

Barbara Platts can't wait until the next girls reunion with her Aspen crew. Hopefully it's well before the first bachelorette party. Reach her at bplatts.000@gmail.com or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.