I live in the best town on Earth, no really, I seriously feel that way. It’s a good feeling. It’s a proud feeling. It’s a settling feeling.
Let me rewind a little…My parents fell in love and they wanted a child (okay, okay, I won’t go back THAT far).
I’ll start here instead…
I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. The town of friendly neighbors, the home of the Buffalo Bills, the place where chicken wings were born, the town where we drive in a snowstorm and don’t even bat an eye…that Buffalo is where I proudly called home for 29 years of my life. And don’t get me wrong, I love that place, but it didn’t necessarily feel like it was the place I was going to settle down, build a family and create roots. But it was home and I loved it for everything that it was (and wasn’t for that matter). But when I came to visit a friend in Colorado, my life literally changed in a blink of an eye. I immediately knew that I had found my home. The scenery, the mountains, the people, the activities, the sun (reminder-I’m from Buffalo), the towns, the rivers, the hikes…I just knew. So off I went back to Buffalo, broke the news to friends and family (from my layover I might add), quit my job, packed my car with the bare necessities and moved to Colorado less than a month later. Over three years later, I have zero regrets.
So what makes my town so perfect? Let me count the ways…
1. We are a biking town. Most of us ride year round and don’t bat an eye when we have more bikes in our house than we do glasses in our cupboard
2. We have bike-in movies. It’s the same concept as a drive-in, but substitute bikes for cars. Genius
3. We have many, many breweries in town including New Belgium that can all be biked to. Talk about a perfect way to spend a Saturday. Bikes and beer-perfection (are you getting the idea? We love our bikes)
4. We have a magical little downtown area called Old Town with shops, bookstores and coffee shops. And P.S. all winter long, Old Town is lit up with Christmas lights. It’s literally a magical winter wonderland
5. We have an incredibly creative community where local artists are appreciated and people go out of their way to scout out local art
6. Our library is phenomenal. I could get lost in there for hours
7. We have an amazing publishing company and bookstore right in town. I volunteer there, they sell my cards-I don’t have enough words to say how great they are
8. We are within an hour’s drive to some amazing other towns too-Boulder and Denver to name a few
9. We are only a few hours away from places that people dream about-Estes Park, Aspen, Salida, Steamboat, Grand Junction, Breckenridge, Vail, Telluride, Crested Butte…so many places, so little time
10. We have a bike/beer coffee shop in town called Cranknstein. I am obsessed
11. More days than not, it’s sunny. I think they say we get over 300 days of sunshine in a year (come on Buffalo…get it together)
12. Our festivals (and the amount of festivals) are phenomenal. Any excuse for all of us to get together, have some drinks and listen to good music… we’ll take it. Check them out here
13. We have Horsetooth Res and all its glory. Boating, fishing, hiking, running, mountain biking trails, swimming-it almost makes you forget that we are a land-locked state. Almost…
14. Food-we have really, REALLY good restaurants
16. We have one of the most fantastic music venues in the US so close to us! Seeing a show there (any show) takes my breath away
17. We ski. Okay…I don’t ski, but a lot of people do. It’s some of the best skiing that the US has to offer. And it’s right here at our doorstep.
18. We hike. Have an urge to take a slow and steady hike? We have a place perfect for you. Want to wake up at 2am and complete a 14er before sunset? We have that too.
19. People here have a love of local goods and that includes local food. Along with some fantastic CSAs, we have incredible farmer’s markets (and even a few winter farmer’s markets too)
20. We have a place called Resource–it’s a DIY, home improvement person’s type of heaven. It’s full of possibilities just waiting for me to discover
21. The camping in this area can’t be beat. Tent camping, hike-in, car camping, cabin, hammock in a tree…we have it all and more.
22. Lastly, the people. Fort Collins has some of the best people I know. I mean, I guess if you live in the best place on Earth, you’re bound to have some pretty amazing people living there, right?
So there you have it. I could go on and on, but you get the drift. I love my town, the people who live in my town and everything that it has to offer. I feel pretty lucky…I’ve found home.