First off, thank you to everyone who came out to bid me farewell. It meant the world to me to be able to pop that bottle of bubbly (thanks, Mama's!) with all of your smiling faces there, eager to share with me in the bittersweet celebration of my move to Denver. We had a meal with the soon-to-be mama's (Renee and Arlene) at Firefly before heading to Don't Tell Mama where we spent more than a few hours listening to Spadoni, Dre and even a special appearance by Bianca, singing our favorite tunes. Around, oh I don't know, 3? - we headed to the Griffin for a late-night dance party in the back. It was a fabulous way to kick off 2011.
my last in Vegas and mostly focused on wrapping up things at SK+G and squeezing in as much time as possible with my nearest and dearest. My last day at SK+G was the first time that me leaving actually hit me. I had packed up all of my stuff, set my out of office to something along the lines of "I no longer work here" and was heading out to my farewell Happy Hour with the crew. Just as Ellen was walking up to my cube to walk out with me, I felt my eyes fill up. I had done so much growing at that agency. I still remember my first day like it was yesterday. Pulling up, fresh-faced at 22, ready for the challenge of my first job in my career. Meeting Stacy and Arlene, and the snack cabinet. Bagel Mondays, weekly staff meetings, lunch at Sammy's followed by Yogurtland, lounges, press releases, new business meetings, lunch and learns and most importantly, the people - so much to miss about SK+G.
I got a special visit my last week in town from Chloe, who was on the westcoast to visit her boyfriend, Patrick and the two of them came out to Vegas for a night of sharing hummus at Paymon's and champagne at Arlene's. Always good to see Chloe and extra good to see her so happy in her new relationship.First Friday of January and I had flown Mrs. Wickler in to Vegas in order to do the drive to CO with me - which only meant one thing, we were headed downtown. But not before I got to squeeze in one last trip to my new favorite restaurant, Crab Corner. Let me ask you something...are you from Maryland? Do you now live in Vegas? Do you love seafood, more specifically, blue crabs? Then drop what you are doing and head to Crab Corner on Eastern and Flamingo right now. This place is owned by two brothers, who I actually played kickball with, but that's another story all in itself, and offers fresh blue crabs at a reasonable price. Place opened in December and I couldn't believe the timing - ate there six times in six weeks to make up for it but they promised that whenever I got a craving, they'd be happy to ship some off to DIA for me. So it was Crab Corner with Pep and Sam and a few of my besties, followed by the Griffin, ending with a nightcap at Don't Tell Mama after a few run-ins on Fremont East. I got to say goodbye to a few faces I hadn't had the chance to at the Great Kate Escape and left Vegas feeling - ready. Sad, but ready.
We stayed out later than we should have but still got up to rock-n-roll around 8:30. Spent some time with Pep in the morning, knowing that she would be the hardest to leave. I am so lucky to be so close with my mother, but it made the decision to move ten times more difficult. Linz and I got everything squeezed in the car - all the necessities as you can see from the photo below - the LOST board game, a tutu and Beggin' Strips - and hit the road around 11.
The whole move started to feel a little cursed starting with me getting a speeding ticket an hour outside of Vegas. I was going 89 in a 75 and got a $250 ticket - even with my sob story about how I just quit my job and was taking a chance by moving to Denver - but it was on an Indian reservation so it doesn't get reported to the DMV or my insurance and I have until March 11 to take care of it. The first 1/2 of the drive went super smoothly, I didn't have to ask Linz to drive until the snow started really coming down right before we got in to Grand Junction for the night. We ordered pizza in, popped a bottle of wine and watched SNL to get up early for part two of the drive the next day.
The morning greeted us right and white where Sir Gordon really got his first taste of snow. Which has become his new best friend over the past three weeks. This doodle was meant to be in the snow - he digs in it, rolls around in it, eats it (not the yellow, Gord!) and looks like he belongs in it. Don't you agree?
The second part of the drive didn't go quite as smoothly as we hit some pretty awful weather and ski traffic through Vail Pass and then again about 20 miles from the house. But long story short, we made it! I am here and happy. The first week was a little weird - it didn't feel like everything was sinking in the way I expected it to. I think I expected to have this big break down about leaving the city where I had lived and loved for the last 20 years and even now, on week 3, I still haven't had that happen. Don't get me wrong, I have certainly shed a few tears here and there because I miss my people but I think ultimately, I was just really ready for this change.
I'm living in Pine with the Wicklers while I look for job and get settled. Pine is about 45 outside of Denver so I make the trip a couple of times a week to get acquainted with the city. I've spent some time with my family who is here. Andy and his girlfriend, Angela, and I get together a few times a week and I'm making a new tradition of spending a night of tv and food-in at cousins' Tracy and Devin's house where time is spent with little 6-year-old Hailey who read me a bedtime story last time I was over and just melted my heart. The other days and nights are spent with Linz and Josh who have just been so kind to open their house and hearts to me. We go to Morrison to have drinks with Michael and hunt some bucks. And this weekend, I am heading to snowboard at Copper on Saturday with Andy and going ice skating with the Granquists on Sunday. The job hunt is going pretty well. I've applied for a few positions - two at an agency that I totally have a crush on - and I even have my eye on an apartment in Capitol Hill that opens up March 7.
It's certainly been a bit of an adjustment, but I am excited for what lies ahead. Just getting used to having this as my view instead of the neon lights. It is quite breathtaking though, don't you think?