The wind sent the flags clapping upon our arrival. The chilled air melted under the Denver sun and once my boots
hit the streets of downtown Denver, I was in love.
There is something majestic about this city. The red brick homes from the 1900s juxtaposed next to modern art and brilliant installations stole my heart the moment we arrived in Denver, Colorado. My boots made a hurried “clack, clack, clack” on the pavement and grew more excited with each turn. Despite the wind throwing my hair into avant-garde perspectives, my smile never left.
The trek to the northern city needed no reason, though we were there for friends and family. Between a beer tasting, a baptism, and two new Brits, I snuggled into the familiar feeling.
The “outsider” perspective is a delicate one. No history and no prior opinions exist of the people you meet and one can only assume what you see is what you get. That is… until you met this family.
Upon arrival, an outsider I was deemed not.
Instead of filling the days with busy tasks, it was filled with conversation. It was filled with laughter. It was filled with hugs and stories. The proverbial campfire was lit and all individuals filed suit.
Small talk was in low supply the entire trip. Sure, I was asked what I did. But then I was asked my opinion. Inquiries of my hobbies went past polite conversation. In short, real talk was everywhere. You know… the conversation of comfort where who you are matters more in conversation that what you can do.
Daily, laughter filled the home and my ears. Comfort went WAY past the “I’ll give you your space.” This was family. My dog joined the pack and immediately began running circles around the others. The men were percolating and passing more than stories. And none were saved from the jokes and teasing.
By morning, groggily the campfire transformed into the french press, churning out coffee. Our pajamas were more of a personal statement than any sheepish admittance that we were all far too comfortable to change into “real clothes.”
One evening we arrived at a karaoke dive-bar where American was on tap and Denver’s not-so-talented tried their skill at singing. The the dynamic duo they are, Robbie and his brother Simon tasked themselves with non-karaoke-type songs and climbed upon stage to woo our ears with their finest.
Robbie was meticulous. Like the steady metronome, his song was technically correct in every way possible. I stood in the back cheering obnoxiously and swaying to his rendition of Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm. On next came Simon who romanced us with his microphone dancing. Every moment possible, he would sashay on stage and “feel the music.” The group buckled at the knees howling in laughter.
By the end of the trip, Robbie’s own sister-in-law was found snuggling with my dog. Zooey (the dog) was so comfortable and excited she peed on her. Though I was mortified, we all laughed. Just like family.
It’s easy to feel lost when you’re in unknown territory. Yet you never know when you’ll find family or that familiar feeling. On the streets of Colorado, when the blistering cold and wind could easily steal the spotlight, it was the group of friends who stole my heart.