Project Aspen: The Sacrifices We Make

aspen, life, Perspective, Ski Adventures, Travel, Uncategorized


Aspen is a town of quaint luxury located in ski bum grand central station. From the world’s wealthiest to the waitresses, ski instructors, and bartenders that keep this town shaking, Aspen is a melting pot for anyone seeking adventure and an escape from what most people consider the real world. However, do not think I am claiming that Aspen is not the real world, in fact, it most certainly is. The difference is that we made a choice to make this our real world. We decided to embrace the beauty and freedom that comes with living in Aspen. Now, not all of us have embraced a so-called real job or career, but there are some of us that have. So, what does that mean? It just means we get the best of both worlds in absolute paradise.

Paradise, of course, is an objective term. Everyone’s idea of it can and may be different, however, I would argue that few can deny the majestic spell Aspen casts among the residents and tourists alike. Protruding mountain scapes, mushrooming night life, no pun and pun intended, not to mention the beautiful people, all full of life and experiences. With all that Aspen has to offer, it is no wonder that so many make this place their home, or second home. However, with that being said, there are some sacrifices to be made.

  1. If you live here full-time, you probably are not going to work for the world’s largest companies and make hundred of thousands of dollars a year. This does not mean, you cannot meet a CEO and work remotely for them, but your options are limited.

2. Say hello to continuous online shopping. Yes, there is literally no place to go buy inexpensive clothes, makeup, house supplies, furniture, etc. Even my paper towels I have resorted to bringing in the internet to help with this mundane task. The closest town for any of this is about 45 mins away, and nobody, who works, has any real time for this trek.

3. You have no choice but to become more ‘active.’ Not that this is a sacrifice, but even the most unathletic of people need to step their game up, get up in the morning and go on a hike. We live in one of the most picturesque places in the world, if you aren’t ‘getting after it’ in some form or another, you are wasting precious space. Not to mention, everyone around you is climbing fourteeners and hiking hours to go ski untouched lines. You don’t want to feel like a complete bum now, do you?

4. You will be a topic of gossip at one point or another. It’s a small town. Everyone knows everyone. Regardless of your reputation, who you hang out with, or any other variables, at some point in time, your name will be in lights (some not so bright) around town. Just the nature of small town livin’.

5. You cannot leave the house without looking like a normal person. You will always run in to someone you know. Whether you are going to the post office, the market, or simply driving across town, you will absolutely run into at least one acquaintance. This town is too small, and everybody knows everybody, so keep that in mind before you leave the house in pajamas and your makeup from last night.

6. Say goodbye to ripe avocados and delicious produce all year round. This is my tragedy. Being from San Diego, I am used to beautiful ripe avocados and fresh produce literally all year long. Not only can you not get amazing produce unless you trek down to Whole Foods, 30 mins away, it’s expensive. Adios fresh farmer’s market finds.

7. Gym memberships are expensive, and there aren’t any decent ones, so it doesn’t matter anyway. Again, being from San Diego, everyone is a member at some gym. The gyms and classes are amazing and there is a whole world of fitness activities to choose from. Aspen, however has private clubs, which are amazing, but too expensive for anyone normal to buy into. Then you have your specialized yoga and other fitness studios, which are great, but also expensive and don’t offer any variety AT ALL.

8. You are on vacation almost all the time, because people always want to come and visit. Aspen is a vacation spot for most, but the few lucky enough to reside in this jewel of a town, expect all of your friends and family to show up at one point or another. There is always somebody in town, which means, as host, you need to provide the entertainment. Prepare to be exhausted everyday, for months…

9. Getting serious work done takes serious discipline. There is always something going on in this town. Whether you are heading on a hut trip, a camping trip, a show at the Belly Up, or 1/2 off at Kenichi, there is not one day or night that doesn’t tempt you to stray from your money-maker. Living in Aspen is a true test of discipline and focus.

10. It’s a pain in the arse to get in and out of this town. Denver is 4 hours away, flights in and out of this town are not only absurdly expensive, but are cancelled half of the time. So, if you are planning on visiting the Aspen bubble, understand that there is a good chance it’s going to be a hellova process.

Yes, those are all sacrifices we must make, but in my opinion you can throw them all out the window. Why? Because these are all things that make Aspen special. This secluded, yet highly sought after wonderland, is one of the best places on earth. Anyone who disagrees hasn’t visited our sacred little town.

So, to all of those dreaming of living in paradise, where there is a will, there’s a way…



My Winter Wish List: A few of my favorite things

Ski Adventures, Ski Gear, Uncategorized

As I continue to get excited by this season, I find myself scouring the Internet for everything and anything I could ever possibly want this winter. So, here are a few of my favorite things… (I’m not talking the Sound of Music here.)

Armada TSTW

First of all, I am cravvvinngg the Armada TSTW Armada skis. We’ve all heard the cliche, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but, in this case, please do. These skis are not only a fun ride, they look good too. I want them. I need them. Santa?

Trew Chariot Bib

This probably comes as no surprise to some, but yes, I want the Trew Chariot Bibs. Trew finally has a women’s line. It looks good, and you will too if you purchase this fine outer layer.

Beats by Dre Heartbeats

I am never one to ski without a beat, so these have been on the list for a while. I am sick of Apple headphones. These sound great, look fantastic, and maintain sound quality even if you just ski with one in your ear.

I’m sure I will have a whole other set of goods to add to this, so stay tuned.



First Weekend in Mammoth

Casual Luxury, Mammoth, Ski Adventures, Ski Gear, Travel

Skis, boots, poles, gear, all packed into the back of my VW Rabbit. I was venturing to Mammoth for the first time. It’s hard to believe this was the first time I had ever skied Mammoth considering i’m from SoCal, but I had always ventured outside the state to have some snowy fun. I was stoked to get up there, check out the town, and get in some turns.

Six and a half hours after leaving San Diego, I arrived. I arrived outside the house where I was staying. It was a ski house that could hold up to 25 weekend ski bums. Weekenders are those that hold 9-5 jobs in the city, and travel in crews up to live the ski bum lifestyle for a just a couple of days. The house was full of them. I had never met any of them before, but we all had mutual friends somewhere along the way. It’s easy to bond with others in that situation when you all have one HUGE thing in common, you’re all stoked to ski. Not to mention the beers by the fire and the mass amounts of Fireball. We did that for two nights straight. Stone IPA, Fireball, beer pong, and whatever else we could find to keep up warm dominated our nights. There is nothing like sitting by the fire drinking beers with a fantastic crew after a day of skiing.

Mammoth really hasn’t been dumped on yet, so there was not a whole lot of terrain open. This turned out to actually be a good thing considering the last thing I needed was to be tempted by an super fun line. My knee was feeling strong, but there was no reason to push it seeing as it was my first day back on skis since my injury last year.

The crew showed me around the mountain, including where to find the best blood marys. Couldn’t have been more fun. We played around in the park a bit, and skied some pretty fun groomers with a few tree lines stuffed in between. Overall very mellow, but the snow was good and the smiles all around.

What I was wearing:

North Face bibs

– Armada Huntley Jacket

Hestra Pro Model 

Mons Royal base layers

– Smith Optics I/Os

– 4Frnt Arethas

All-in-all stoked to go back and explore the entire mountain that is Mammoth.

Deep Into the Belly of the Fish

Being Fabulous, Nightlife, Relationships, Ski Adventures, Travel, Uncategorized

Back to reality, and wandering through the village, we made the necessary rounds. The Beagle looked a little lonely, so we decided to pop in for a quickie. A little warm up to the main event, if you will. You always want a practice run, just so you know what kind of night this may or may not turn out to be. The Beagle was dead. In. Out. On to the next.

Naturally, Maxx Fish had a line around the corner. NBD. We got this handled. Slip a little something something to the door man, and you were in.


Time to take it off. Coats checked. We descended into the belly of the Fish. Electronic beats sounded through the place. The room was overflowing with colossal amounts  energy. Maxx Fish had a great vibe. It was a large place that was separated into two different rooms. One room housed a huge round bar, and prime dancing space. In the back of the space, sat another sneaky bar with lots of couches throughout the area that you could just sink into. To the back we went.


Beers in hand and ready to get aggressive. Spotted. Prime dancing real estate. There was a platform that sat above a couch and underneath an arch. It overlooked the entire place. Fantastic. We all ascended to the dancers throne. The club was beneath us, and we were on top of the world. I felt that way at least. The good times were getting better. Love, laughter, and lude behavior. It was happening. Not once during the entire night did the smiles disappear off any of our faces.

This was just part of living, enjoying, existing.

Like a perfect melody, we were all so in sync with one another. It was like the stars had aligned themselves, and we were a crew made in heaven. Our energy was infectious.

I love to dance, but there is only so much parading I can do. Sometimes you just want to relax, converse, and let it all sink in. I descended from the throne, and let the others take over. I slipped away.


Without anyone noticing, which was naturally my intention, I walked up into the chilling cold. The music trailed behind me, becoming quieter and quieter with every step I took away from the Fish. It was snowing, but I was warm. I looked up at the two majestic mountains that towered above me.

“Tomorrow,” I thought to myself. But that was it. I was living in the present, so let’s get back to it.

After my moment in silence, I decided to rejoin the others. I rescinded into the belly, and sunk myself into a big brown leather couch. I had been spotted. Brynn joined me, and two fantastic gentlemen I had seen upstairs approached us with guns loaded. You know that look that guys have when they are preying upon you. Sometimes the guy just looks like a creep, sometimes they can pull it off. These guys could pull it off.

As intriguing as any man could be in that moment, I wasn’t really in the mood, so I let Brynn take control. Sometimes you just have to give it up. Let’s face it, I knew what I was looking for, and I wasn’t seeing it. I was in my zone. My world. Happy. Just me.

As any of my friends would say, when I find someone I actually have taken a fancy to, it’s a miracle. I can go on a million dates, and never find that single person that lights my fire. You know how some girls can just force themselves to like a guy, just for the sake of liking a guy? Yea, that’s not me. I don’t even try. Why would I? If you don’t intrigue me within the first 10 minutes of speaking, you should probably just give up now.

I’m not trying to be sassy here, its just the truth. I would never lie to myself.

I glanced around at all my friends. How lucky was I? I had some of the most fabulous people in the world as my friends. So filled with life. If only people could always be this happy right?

As I sat there and watched Brynn light up with smiles and laughter, I spotted the Aussie out of the corner of my eye. By the looks of it, he had become very aware  of my presence as well….

Fireball and Tequila: A Blossoming Relationship

Being Fabulous, Ski Adventures, Travel

After containing the savage in me, I noticed the snow was coming down hard. Tomorrow was going to be a great day for a great ski. The room where we were staying had four beds, and was quite warm and cozy. It was the perfect bedroom for our group of girls.

Awake. Tired. You can’t slow down though. You got to keep on, keepin’ on. Alright, that’s ridiculous. We lounged for a while. Made some coffee and spiked it with a little fireball. Warms the insides.

Geared up. Ready to go. Hiked the ski out. Skis on. Down and out. Noon and already feeling the effects of the fireball, we headed up the Blackomb Gondola. Unfortunately for the family that got stuck in the gondola with us, Brynn and I babbled on about the fireball, the night before, and the fun that was to ensue.

Before you deserve the right to apres, however, you have to put in the time. Ski it out.

Not feeling my very best, I was skiing like a newb, and uncharacteristically  threw a tiny tantrum, in which Brynn responded, “You are going to cause an avalanche with that kind of talk.” I laughed. It was true. I was being absurd, and that was certainly not allowed on the slopes. One breath, two breath. Onward and upward.

Down the mountain. Trail after trail. Snow was great. Music running through my veins, we plowed through trees and bowls, powder and ice. Another epic day of skiing. I insisted we hit the chairlift that overlooks the park.

Spotted. A pig? Take two. There below us was a ridiculously amazing individual wearing a pig onesy. I needed to know this person. ASAP. Pop. Off the chairlift we went in hot pursuit of the pig. Brynn was unimpressed, but I happen to have an affinity for complete weirdos, so I was on it. There is nothing like a uniquely eccentric human being.

Unsuccessful, yet not feeling defeated we headed to the ski in. Success. My second day on the slopes and no epic bails to date.

Back at the cabin. Warm and snuggly. Ski boots off and looking quite fancy in our under ski garments, we stripped, grabbed some beers and things got pretty steamy. Nothing like a warm hot tub surrounded by snow. It’s magical really.

After some much deserved rest and relaxation, the girls and I discussed the night’s plan. After a short and seemingly unnecessary conversation, we came to the conclusion that it was going to be a Maxx Fish kind of night. We were going to get weird, and it was going to be a darn good time.

Coincidentally, one of my friends from San Francisco was also living the Whistler dream. Brock was a Stanford graduate and son to one of the greatest writers of all time, he was interesting, a delightful conversationalist and always up for shenanigans. We insisted he join the girls for a night out. He obliged.

The doorbell. It’s Brock. I popped up, overly excited to see the boys. There they were, tequila in hand. The first tequila of the trip. The troops gathered around the dining room table. One shot. Two shot. Three shot. Four? Uh oh.

With tequila flowing through our veins, the harsh bite of the cold was subdued. We all felt invincible. Down the hill we went. Sick of slipping all over the place I opted for my finest Uggs. My fabulous white down jacket I picked up while living in Milan kept me warm to the bone. Or was that the tequila? At that point, there was really no telling.

Into the village we paraded. We were like kids entering Disneyland for the first time. Each night that special feeling overpowered my entire body. I’m not talking about the alcohol. I’m talking about Whistler. The excitement made my body tingle, and every step I took heightened the elation.

If you have ever been in love, you know what it feels like. That tingly butterflies in your stomach feeling. That feeling consumed me, and wouldn’t escape me until the day I stepped back on that dreaded plane for LA.