Last week’s post ended with me in the middle of Aspen, Colorado making the most of a New Year’s Eve vacation in a city I’m unfamiliar with and may be prejudice against. We already spent one evening at a fine restaurant, overslept for snowboarding, and were now digging into some Bloody Marys with breakfast on the day before New Year’s Eve. In all my excitement to recall the wonder and awe (read: booze and debauchery) of Aspen, I completely forgot a very cool fact about the town. This area was actually a haunt of none other than writer and journalist Hunter S. Thompson. He ran for Sherriff of Pitkin County on the Freak Power ticket in 1970. He wanted to legalize drugs and change Aspen’s name to Fat City. I think I state the obvious when I say we are big Hunter S. Thompson fans, and I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t make the connection until now. Now, on with this boozy adventure.
After breakfast, the next logical move was the hot tub. These are some of my last solid memories for the day: A pack of gummy bears, not having any booze to soak them in, pouring Coors Light into a cup filled 2/3 with gummy bears (roughly three fingers), drinking the Coors Light and eating the gummy bears, freezing my ass off going to the hot tub and drinking Coors Light and Fireball whiskey in the hot tub. From here on out, it’s sketchy. I’m going to present the story as a rough stream of consciousness with bits and pieces inserted I was told about later.
I teleport to downtown Aspen. I’m pretty sure there is a good reason we’re here, but it wasn’t good enough for me to remember (Turns out we went specifically to visit a brewery). Luckily I pulled my shit together just in time for our visit to Aspen Brewing Company (Intended and only destination). I’m pretty sure lunch was somewhere in there before this point (it wasn’t), but I can only conclude that from looking at my credit card bill (which actually has no indication of a lunch destination). I vividly remember Aspen Brewing Co. (lies) because I remember trying two distinct beers (truth, but I also had two others I distinctly don’t remember): a saison and… something that was a Brett? Yeah, definitely a beer with Brettanomyces (The aforementioned saison, I don’t actually remember the first beer) because I remember talking my friend’s fucking ear off about it and it’s a topic I know absolutely zero about (That was definitely true, and I definitely know little to nothing about Brett yeast). I think I had an IPA too because that’s something I would do (Also had a double red ale and something dark). I mostly remember the place being crowded and small and the beer being good. I’d really like to go back.
Now we’re at a place called Gissella, a classy high-end restaurant managed by another friend of our group (Actually several hours passed and people spent time getting ready, no details are available on what I was doing). This place is not my usual kind of joint. There are no beers on draft and the bottle selection is… interesting. I’m in prime condition at this point in the day and talking to the bartender about God knows what. He recommends some beer from some place that sucks. And man, does this beer suck. It’s a pilsner that makes Heineken taste like a fucking stout. It makes Mic Ultra look like the finest beer under Reinheitsgebot. It makes Budweiser the King of Beers (All coming from a guy who ALWAYS keeps PBR and Strohs stocked in his fridge). I must’ve had at least 3 or 4 (Only had 2). I don’t remember what I ordered for dinner (It was expensive). It had leg bones but I couldn’t tell you if it was lamb or chicken or cat. (It was lamb) I disappear into the bathroom for an undisclosed amount of time and when I come out, I’m asked if I puked. I claim it’s a “Don’t ask don’t tell” situation (That really happened). I get taken home.
Now I’m sitting in a plush chair just CRUSHING a bag of veggie chip/sticks. So here I am, munching baked, low fat air and watching the 40 Year Old Virgin and my friends just WALK OUT THE FUCKING DOOR (We actually spent 20 minutes or so trying to get me settled in with some food and entertainment). On the way out I ask them, “Hey, where you going? I have shitty snacks.” They simply reply with “We’re going back out. You go to bed.”
Oh really? I’m going to bed? Jokes on you shitheads, you don’t put Sly to bed. Sly puts YOU to bed. The hamster started running in its wheel to figure out how I was going to do this. 15 or 20 minutes later and I only got as far as “I’m going to get on the bus, go back downtown and walk around till I find them or something more interesting.” Ok, you got me. I got as far as “I’m going to get on the bus.” After a few more fists of shitty veggie snacks I grab my coat, walk out the door and artfully walk to the bus stop.
Next installment: We find out what fate I meet in the city of Aspen with a poorly constructed and fully intoxicated plan.
An open mind and a few beers can make anywhere an adventure.