**more photos to come**Michael Granquist told me on the eve of my 28th birthday that a woman once told him that 28 was a magical year. We're only a few weeks in at this point but I can tell you, it feels pretty damn magical already.
This was my first year celebrating my birthday outside of Las Vegas. It certainly had a different feel without Pep, my girls, my piece of Pie, my dance downtown and tastes of sangria and tapas on my tongue. But I am all about embracing the change in 2011 so we headed up to the mountains to kick off the birthday weekend celebration.
Timing worked out perfectly as I had my first media event at the Sky Hotel in Aspen. Come 4:45 a.m., I was rising and shining for the drive from Denver to Aspen. Lora (my boss at Scream), Gordon (dogs are welcome at all Kimpton properties and Aspen is consistently voted one of the most dog friendly towns!) and I arrived to The Sky just in time for yoga on the deck at 39 Degrees, immediately followed by a meeting, followed by a shower, followed by the media tasting. After working with the media in Vegas for five years, it's really refreshing to be around a more laid-back mountain media group. We enjoyed food and cocktails and S'MORES table side and wrapped up around 4 - just in time for the Wicklers to arrive.
Now that the job was done, we were able to relax pool side with a few cocktails with Lora and her family. And, of course, we took full advantage of Kimpton's hosted wine hour with their summer sangria offerings. Mmm. After a walk with Gordon around the streets of Aspen and a quick dinner in the room - we put on our animal print robes and headed for the jacuzzi. We greeted Michael on our way out, who made it up just in time for the evening activities. 39 Degrees was recently named one of the top ten places to bar hop in the world by USA Today and after experiencing it - I know why. It's a beautiful property (and I am not just saying this because they are my client) - there is something about sitting in jacuzzi at night or lying by the pool during the day and seeing the peaks of Aspen in the backdrop. Apres ski destination, indeed. I can't wait to go back in December.
Like most things in the ski town, the jacuzzi shut down around 10. At this point, I was totally wiped but it is my birthday weekend and it was time to rally. After a quick change in the room, we begin to wander around town - looking for a bar or three to stop in. We run in to this group of bachelors who suggest we check out The Red Onion, the oldest bar in Aspen. From the moment we walk in the door, I am happy that we did. It's got a great vibe inside and you can feel the history oozing off the walls - plus there is a cute guy parked at the bar. Before I know it, we're 3 jagerbombs deep (I said we needed to rally, didn't I?) and Josh and I have made best friends with cute guy at the bar. And yes, cute guy at the bar does have a name...Anton and he is the essential Aspenite, the guy hasn't lived a summer in five years - the moment the end of June rolls around, he is off to Chile to run a cat skiing company with his father. During the hours we spent talking to Anton (and the hours I've spent since talking to Anton) - I developed a major crush on this guy and meeting him was the perfect way to kick-off what is predicted to be a magical year.
Back at the Sky the next morning, we immediately requested a late check-out and spent the day lounging poolside with the Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar nearby. Come 3 p.m., we headed back down the mountain - Independence Pass to be exact which was by far, the prettiest drive I've ever made in my life - and just like that, we were back in Denver for night two. Aspen had pretty much sucked the life out of us so we took it easy with drinks and dinner at Tavern Uptown.
On the actual glorious day that is June 7, I actually...wait for it...wait for it...worked for the first time in my life on my birthday. AND IT WAS HORRIFIC. Ok, that's a little dramatic...the girls at Scream surprised me with a chocolaty muffin that would only be justified eating for breakfast on your birthday and I received a beautiful bouquet from Brian that put a smile on my face and fresh floral scents in my nose for the rest of the week. I then got home to the surprise of having my apartment decked out in birthday decor courtesy of The Wicklers (they really are too good to me) - Kristen met us over there for a champagne toast before we headed to dinner at Shells and Sauce.
Then Linz and I were left to do what we do best....drink. We stumbled up and down 13th, stopping in different bars for drinks before finally ordering a (very large) slice of pizza for the walk home.
So it certainly was not Fremont Street followed by a pool session at the Golden Nugget - but it was my first mountain birthday and the perfect way to kick off Super 28.
I look forward to sharing the magic with you all.