Reveling in Aspen’s offseason vibe | AspenTimes.com

Reveling in Aspen’s offseason vibe

Alison Berkley
Aspen CO, Colorado

Man, I love the offseason.

Underneath the diva façade, I am a small town-girl at heart. I love nothing more than knowing almost every single person I see walking down the street, the chorus of my name being sung by the local bar flies at Bentley’s. I love being able to find a parking spot right out front. I love driving to town from the ABC in eight minutes or less, even at 9 o’clock in the morning. I love never having to wait for a table, even when there is only one restaurant open for dinner. Better yet, I love not having to make plans, since chances are everyone I know will be there anyway. So totally awesome.

An offseason weekend in review:

Friday night was girls night out. Instead of the twentysomething crowd I’ve been relegated to since all my peers got knocked up and squeezed out a few kids, I went out with my friends whose kids are old enough to have babysitters. It was so great to see that their lives aren’t totally ruined by their little rug-rats ” just put on hold for a while. If anything, they came out with all guns firing in every direction and were up for a bigger night than I ever would have predicted.

“I’m going to dress like a hooker,” my friend Kristen announced in an e-mail.

In Aspen-speak, I assume she’s referring to usual uniform: sky-high heels, a slinky shirt and jeans, maybe some oversized earrings and a second coat of mascara ” but no.

Kristen and I make plans to meet at Jimmy’s, but it’s closed. (When has Jimmy’s ever been closed in the offseason? It was like making that the late-night booty call only to find the door is locked and he’s on vacation. We need you, Jimmy! Come back and feed me crab cakes and tequila, damn it!) So we meet at Social (the happening happy-hour spot in town these days on Thursdays and Fridays) instead.

Well, Kristen was not exaggerating about the hooker thing.

Don’t ask me how my dear friend, who had two kids in two years, has somehow escaped with the body of a supermodel. She’s dressed in white hot shorts, black tank top, trench coat and red patent-leather Miu Miu peep-toe sling-back pumps and looking very Nikki Hilton meets Gwen Stefani. Gorgeous.

“When I was walking out the door, my husband told me I look ridiculous,” she said. “But I don’t care. I don’t even care that I’m f-ing freezing!”

Kristen hoarded the male attention all night long, which was a little unfortunate for us girls who actually had clothes on.

Girls night out ran into boy’s night out at the Fly Lounge, where everyone we were trying to avoid was already at least 10 drinks deep. Bottle service is all the rage these days, and the cost of this little luxury will run you hundreds of dollars if you’re not careful: As the two fortysomething architects whose bright idea it was to order it can attest: Their bill was a sweet $650. I have to admit, I was a little put off by the Fly Lounge on opening night, but might be coming around a little. I had left my wallet in Denver and thanks to these high rollers, I partied all night long until the lights came on without spending a dime.

Things just got better on Saturday when John dragged me to the Hickory House during hangover hour (that’d be 11:30 a.m. for you square types) and we were seated in the quiet, almost-empty dining room and fed within 20 minutes instead of the usual two hours. We managed to whittle away a few hours doing errands and napping in the sun before heading to the Aspen Brewery for a beer. They even let Psycho Paws come inside, where he cavorted with two adorable boxer puppies before trying to eat one as a snack. I just love the vibe in there as it’s very young-mountain-town, very Colorado, which Aspen seems to have less and less of these days (see: Fly Lounge).

From there we went to some environmental thing at the Cantina where we got free drinks, free swag, and ran into half of our friends, who then led us over to the block party that had been rocking all day long at the Aspen Fire Department.

I’ve always said my favorite men are either rugby players, ski patrollers or firefighters and I’m sticking by that. These guys are not messing around and really know how to throw a tear-the-walls-down party. I mean that literally, because people were bashing into the old sheet rock with whatever means they could find. Had I not known that we are a truly fun-loving community, I might have even been a little scared.

It was festive for sure, but a little bit sad ” more out with the old and in with the new. You gotta throw these guys some props for not only keeping us safe (as volunteers no less) but tossing out an all-American shindig complete with Budweisers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, and a rock cover band willing to play a 10-hour set. You guys rule!

Speaking of thanks, I also have to give a shout out to my boys at the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol for giving us not just one, but two, last magical weekends on the mountain. Had it not been for you guys, I might have missed out entirely on that sweet spring riding that gets me pumped for next season as soon as the lifts close. Love you!

I guess I don’t understand why everyone bails out of town as soon as the lifts close. Clearly, the fun has only just begun.


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