Aspen Princess: How the Princess’ dreams came true

Alison Berkley Margo
Aspen Princess

Well, here you go, kittens: It’s my last column of the year.

I’m not sure how to approach it. Do I do a year-in-review type of thing? I can almost hear you rolling your eyes, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play of my wonderful year with the babe.

I could write about how to survive New Year’s Eve in Aspen, but I can hardly remember what I did an hour ago, never mind the last time I stayed up past 10 o’clock. Taking care of a baby causes a sort of permanent form of amnesia/brain mush, where you forget something super important every time you leave the house (car keys/wallet/diaper bag); you’re constantly calling people the wrong name (“Gertie! Ryan! I mean, Levi!”); and you return from the grocery store only to realize you forgot the one thing you actually needed (formula/coffee). Every. Single. Time.

See, I already forgot! I wasn’t supposed to write about the babe.

Right. New Year’s.

Since I met Ryan I haven’t had to bother with getting dolled up and looking really hot only to end up face down in a snow bank behind Eric’s in a puddle of frozen tears because that all revolved around man drama, and I don’t have that anymore.

I haven’t had to spend a million dollars just to get into some party that would be super loud and totally crowded only to end up feeling like I needed to get my feet amputated on account of wearing heels so high they’re only intended to be worn by people who ride around in limos and not for stumbling around in the snow. I haven’t had to wear pants so tight that they left a permanent impression around my thick waistline. I haven’t had to spend all that time running back and forth to the bathroom after drinking like 50 beers only to have to wait in the long line for the ladies room until my bladder would almost explode. I haven’t had to drink too much or stay out too late or drunk-cry.

That’s not to say I didn’t have some awesome New Year’s Eve celebrations in Aspen over the years. (Hold the phone, I think my memory is firing back up! I got this!)

Like, there was that time I got to go to the Aspen Peak party at the top of the mountain and was enlisted to interview all the celebrities on the red carpet for Entertainment Tonight because there was a huge snowstorm and the film crew was stuck in Denver. Even though I’d never done a television interview in my life, it was like someone stuck a microphone in my hand and said, “You, a red carpet, a slew of A-list celebrities: Go.”

I got to interview Mariah Carey, Seal, Heidi Klum and Barry Bonds. I wore the Aspen uniform of jeans with high heels, a slinky camisole top and a blazer with sequins that I paid like a million dollars for at Pitkin County Dry Goods but it was worth every penny because it was simply the perfect thing for the occasion. I got a mani-pedi, clipped a fake ponytail extension into my hair and felt totally comfortable with microphone in hand, chatting it up with A-list celebs like I had missed my true calling. There was no vomiting in the alley behind Eric’s, no tears ruining my makeup, no drunk dialing. Just me and a super model, a couple of rock stars and a star athlete — just like God intended.

Then, of course, there was the year I met Ryan, in 2008. Just in case you haven’t heard the story 100 times, I’ll tell it again.

I had pretty much hit rock bottom and was ready to write off men forever, or at least consider that I might be better off on my own than pursuing emotionally unavailable men who should probably consider a stint in rehab/psychotherapy with some serious medication. I’d decided if I could make it through the holidays alone that I’d be OK. It was a marked paradigm shift. I distinctly remember walking into the Sky Hotel at apres ski on New Year’s Eve, the least likely place and the least likely time to meet the man of my dreams. So rather than scanning the room for people I knew, I let the rest of the world come into focus.

And that’s when I saw Ryan.

He was standing there, looking right at me. I thought maybe there was someone behind me, like a supermodel or a Playboy centerfold. It took everything I had in me to resist pointing at myself and mouthing, “Me?”

He marched right up to me without hesitation and plopped on the couch down next to me. After 20 minutes of animated conversation, he looked me right in the eye and said, “If I spend the rest of my life with you, I’ll be the happiest guy in the world.”

I wondered: Had someone put him up to this? Was I going to be on one of those hidden-camera TV shows? Were my friends so sick of hearing me complain about men they’d hired a male prostitute?

For the weeks and months following that night, I remember thinking I just wanted time to pass so that people would believe me. He was the one.

Eight years and one baby later, I can now say with total authority that it was love at first sight and there is such a thing as happily ever after. I may not be able to tell you about the hottest parties or the best clubs, but I can tell you this: You can find the man of your dreams when you least expect it. It can happen in a bar. You haven’t met everyone yet. It is possible to find true love in Aspen. You can have it all.

The Princess is counting on Ivanka to make sure her father doesn’t get us all killed in 2017. Email your love to


Foodstuff: What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?

It’s almost time to ring in the new year and if your holiday schedule is shaping up to be as packed as mine, I wish you a well-deserved rest in 2024. In the meantime, it’s our chance to party, and party we shall.

See more