Getting to Know You

I’ve mentioned before that both Bill and I have lived only in southeast Denver for the entire time we have lived in this area. I could drive the streets of Denver east of I-25 and south of Cherry Creek Drive with my eyes closed. There were rarely any surprises. When I had to venture outside of my comfort zone (perhaps for a high school basketball game or a swim meet), I might as well have been in Emerald City. Having said that, I have been fairly excited to move to an area entirely unfamiliar to me.

When I lived in Leadville and had figured out that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life living in a mining town so high in altitude that one could barely breathe, I thought about moving to Denver and getting a job at a business downtown. I imagined that I would live in an apartment in Golden or Lakewood close to Sixth Avenue, which would provide easy access to downtown. That was the good ol’ days when Denver was still a cow town and Denver metro traffic was still very manageable. I would be close to the mountains, but still have the excitement of city living. Well, at least any excitement that took place prior to 9 o’clock at night.

That, of course, didn’t happen because I subsequently decided to go back to school and get my college degree, a decision I have never regretted. The idea of living in the western suburbs was forgotten. After getting our degrees, my then-husband and I could have chosen anywhere in the metro area to land, but since I had gotten a job at a newspaper in Castle Rock, it made sense to move southeast, and the rest is history.

My sense of direction and my spatial awareness are both awful. This past weekend, we had need to drive on Wadsworth Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in the western suburbs and very near our new abode. We passed what appeared to be a cluster of stores, including Macy’s. I began to wonder what shopping area that was. Then I saw a sign that indicated it was Southwest Plaza. I was shocked.

“I thought Southwest Plaza was just off of the Boulder Turnpike,” I said to Bill. He looked at me funny, and said, “It is. The Boulder Turnpike is just north of here.”

Taken aback, I began to think about it. Well of course, that made perfect sense. The turnpike heads west into the foothills of Boulder, which isn’t all that far from Golden. I now live in the foothills. Duh.

Monday afternoon, Bill and I went for a drive. I’m trying to make it sound like it was a spontaneous fun thing to do, but it really was a practice drive so I would know how to get to my physical therapy appointment the next day. Yes, kids, you too will have to do practice drives sometime in your life. As we headed south on Highway 85 (Santa Fe Drive) a whole new world was opened up to me. I saw that we had easy access to Roxborough State Park. We were just a stone’s throw from Sedalia. The foothills were gorgeous.

I found the UC Health Medical Building in which my physical therapy would take place. It is located in a HUGE newly-built development of which I had never heard of before. The development is called Sterling Ranch, and it was probably really a ranch at some point. That’s how things go with development in Colorado.

What I also realized was that if we were close to Sedalia, we weren’t too far from Castle Rock. So we drove a bit further and had dinner at one of our favorite spots: Castle Cafe. Ah, their fried chicken!

I wonder what other lovely surprises I have coming to me?