I have wanted to visit Colorado for quite some time now. Though Stella and I did go to a tiny little corner of the state when we visited Mesa Verde, I wanted to see more of the real Colorado. Yes, I had a stereotype in mind of how I imagined Colorado to be- outdoorsy, Chaco-wearing, modern hippie type of people. I now realize that Colorado is quite diverse and also includes cowboys in the east and the most educated population in the US up in Boulder. That shouldn’t surprise me considering I was asked once by a Californian if I ate fried chicken and apple pie for dinner every night. When I laughed it off, he asked me “What do you eat then?” So for the record people, southerners do eat more than fried chicken and apple pie. And as shocking as it is, I don’t eat grits or drink sweet tea. I guess I’m just as guilty though of the stereotypes. Still, I was looking forward to exploring more of this state.
When one of my friends heard that I would be going to Colorado, she offered up her family’s vacation home in Breckenridge for me to stay in for a few days. It was extremely generous of her (especially seeing as how her parents have never even met me), and I was thrilled to visit one of the ski areas and have a place in the mountains to explore for a few days before meeting up with my Dad in Denver. I wound my way up the road to Breckenridge, and pulled into the driveway around 9:30, noting that there was already snow on the ground. I was tired from the long drive, so I grabbed my pajamas, toiletries, and a small bag that I kept my underclothes in and took a hot shower before crawling into a big, cozy bed. I slept like a baby and woke feeling refreshed. I decided that I would get dressed, go to the grocery store so I could make some breakfast, and then maybe take a walk through town. I jogged down the two flights of stairs to the garage and stepped out to my car to get clothes, since I only took essentials in the house the night before. I was wearing my favorite 80s leggings (complete with red and white hearts on them), a tshirt, and my Merrills which I had thrown on to avoid contact with the cold concrete. I grabbed the clothes I wanted to wear from my trunk and went to step back into the house when a wave of panic hit me like a brick wall. The door was locked.
How could this have happened? What do I do? I have no house key and no phone. My sheet with directions and instructions (and contact phone numbers) from my friend’s parents was inside. And here I am sporting my 80s leggings, no bra on (and none in the car since my bag of underclothes was in the house) and no idea what the hell I’m supposed to do. I’m notorious for calling my sister when I get myself into these hairy little situations, but I had no phone. Panicked, I had no choice but to throw on a sweatshirt and drive into town to seek out help. I thought I would stop in at a police station, as I really didn’t know what to do. A locksmith crossed my mind, but since I didn’t own the house, I wasn’t sure if that would be an issue. I drove around, and the only public building I found was the courthouse. I stepped inside (looking absolutely ridiculous if I might remind you and underdressed for the cold weather) and asked a woman where the police station was. I clearly sounded slightly unhinged (trust me I was freaking out at this point), so she asked what was wrong. I told her that I was locked out of my house, only it wasn’t my house, it was my friend’s parents’ house, who I don’t even know, I didn’t know what to do, I had no phone with me, blah blah blah. She invited me into her office and gave me a phone book to call a locksmith. Oh yeah. Good idea. The first one I called said they didn’t service Breckenridge. I asked for a referral, and they gave me another name. I called him and he was just 15 minutes away. Thankfully, I remembered my friend’s address from searching for the house the night before. I told him the address, he thought he knew where it was, and I just had to hope that he found me. I drove back to the house, still anxiety ridden and feeling like a complete fool. I had asked him if he would damage the lock, and he said most likely he wouldn’t (depending on what type of lock it was). I sat on the swing out front waiting for him (and hoping that the neighbors wouldn’t judge my outfit) and couldn’t believe that I managed to lock myself out in less than 12 hours. I was a mess. When the locksmith pulled in the driveway, I felt a minor sense of relief.
He looked at the lock and told me that 90% of his business comes from this type of lock. You see, when it’s locked on the inside, you can still open the door. So when I stepped out into the garage earlier in the morning, the handle was still locked. He told me that he could make a new key if I had the code from another key, but that wasn’t an option. So he inserted a little metal pin into the door and 0.2 seconds later it was unlocked. I went and got the key, he tested it, and it was good to go. THANK GOD. I felt so relieved. I gave him my driver’s license for him to record and paid him $60. It was worth every penny. The locksmith was around my parents’ age and considering a move to Hilton Head Island (off the coast of my home state of South Carolina) so we chatted about that for a while. And then when I went to pay, he was excited about his new Square payment device for his phone so I stood there for a good 10 minutes while he gave me a whole demo on how it works. Nice guy to the rescue!
I walked in the house and sat down in the leather chair for a good ten minutes, trying to process the fact that it was not, in fact, the end of the world. This is not how I intended to kick off my stay in Colorado. I changed out of my 80s leggings and went to the grocery store. I still had knots in my stomach hours later (yes, this totally freaked me out), so I decided to just stay in for the day, cook lunch, and watch movies.
The following morning, I planned to go hiking based on my friend’s recommendation. However, the ice and snow had already taken over the back dirt road to get up to the trail. I parked where I could and walked for a few minutes, but with only tennis shoes on, the trail was slippery. My hiking ended minutes later, and it was off to Denver. Though my stay in Breckenridge wasn’t exactly how I imagined it to be, I was thankful for my cozy mountain retreat. Hopefully, I can go back and actually enjoy a little more of the area one day!
(Dear Megan’s parents, Thank you again for inviting me stay in your beautiful home. I am very sorry about the locksmith debacle and hope that you don’t think I am just some ditzy girl that your daughter met in South Africa. I promise I am generally very responsible and hope to meet you all soon. Oh yeah, and if that happens, I will leave the leggings at home and bring something a little more stylish.)