Meredith C. Carroll: Aspen problems > first-world problems

Meredith C. Carroll
Muck Off

Et tu, Peach’s?

That was the reigning sentiment in my family when we woke to the news last week that Peach’s Corner Cafe isn’t just closed for renovation, but forever. While their breakfast quinoa bowl with poached eggs, leeks, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes will be forever etched fondly in my taste buds, my daughters mourned the loss of the beloved FTW (French toast waffle), plus the black-and-white cookies I occasionally let them eat in the morning (because 8 a.m. is too early for cupcakes, duh).

“At least we still have Over Easy,” my 9-year-old said.

“Well,” I replied, “that also just closed.”

Between McDonald’s, Main Street Bakery, Starbucks, Boogie’s and now Over Easy and Peach’s, if we can’t be bothered to eat breakfast at home, we’re limited to establishments more expensive — it’s $5 for half a grapefruit at the Hotel Jerome, which I suppose is a better deal than their $19 stuffed French toast (unless it’s stuffed with cash, that is) — or way less healthy (if you’ve ever wondered how many calories are in the Hickory House burrito and hash browns breakfast dish, it’s all of them).

Admittedly, it’s an only-in-Aspen kind of problem, which is similar to a first-world problem, except worse (because it affects Aspen). Here are some other grim issues plaguing those in the 81611:

• You want to go somewhere for a $5 soy chai latte and free Wi-Fi where you can sit for four hours and pretend you’re the mayor while simultaneously perusing the local newspapers and Instagram, but with the available inventory of seats being so low, you experience a new-to-you feeling: guilt.

• You win a lottery for a reserved parking spot at work complete with a sign bearing your name and job title — and then you can’t park there because the parent of a student attending the private school next door thinks their shiny Maserati trumps your 2006 Saab.

• You want to schedule a family outing to the Aspen Recreation Center pool before Christmas but don’t know which day it’ll be closed for Mariah Carey’s annual private event.

• You wish you could get the peach/pear LaCroix on demand, except Aspen’s City Market only stocks the pamplemousse, coconut, orange and lime flavors.

• You live on West Hopkins Avenue so Main Street traffic shouldn’t be your problem, except motorized vehicles on West Hopkins are only permitted to drive for a maximum of one block.

• You finally get an affordable flight out of Aspen and then can’t leave, not because of snow, but due to the barometric pressure.

• You finally get an affordable connecting flight from Denver into Aspen, which you miss because the gate is, in fact, located in Siberia. While waiting for the next flight, you’re thrilled to see there’s now something called Yoga on the Fly. However, the thrill is gone when you see the options range from an eight-minute alternate-nostril breathing video for $15 or a seated-for-flight 18-minute movement video for $30. No-maste. Just no.

• You can bring your dog to work and out to eat although your lease or deed doesn’t allow for dogs.

• You mail a letter from Aspen to Aspen on a Monday. It arrives the following Monday via Grand Junction.

• A letter is mailed to you from outside of Aspen on a Monday. It arrives 18 Mondays later via a snail that hitched a ride on a sloth.

• You appreciate the notion of doctor-patient confidentiality. Then you go to the doctor and see 47 people you know in the waiting room.

• You’ve figured out why you’ll go to prison someday: You killed the person who swooped in and took the spot you spent eight minutes waiting for at City Market.

• You’ve figured out how you’ll die someday: in a fight over who’s entitled to the last free parking spot at Carl’s.

• You figure out the other way you’ll die: trying to cross Main Street and either slipping on ice or getting hit by a car whose driver thinks the flashing pedestrian lights don’t apply to them.

• You don’t want to pay $3.79 a gallon for regular gas in Aspen, especially when it’s available for $2.86 just 39 miles away. Yet you’re in Aspen largely to avoid the real world — and math — so you just suck it up and pay more.

• You want to escape Aspen over fall break by going to Moab, where you run into half of Aspen.

• You decide to stay in Aspen for Thanksgiving so you can ski on opening day, and the opening day forecast is calling for 50-degree temperatures.

• You want to get a free full-season pass by ambassadoring weekly on one of the mountains, yet then you’d be required to interact with the people you spend the rest of the week trying to avoid.

• It’s so much cheaper to ski Vail. Except it’s so much better to ski Aspen.

Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter @MCCarroll. More at