To be honest, I'm probably the worst native Coloradan out there. I spent my adolescence rebelling against my state and dreaming of far off, "more interesting" places. It has only been recently that I began discovering all of the great things that this state has to offer. So now I'm embracing my state with a big bear hug. In 2014, I went fishing, visited Rocky Mountain National Park and ate at new restaurants, and I'm ready to do and see much more in 2015.
1. Give skiing another shot Anytime anyone asks if I ski, I respond, "I did once, when I was nine." My feet hurt. I fell a lot. It was cold. I was over it. But, hey, maybe I've changed since I was nine. I hate not being part of the Colorado community that's so pumped to shred every weekend. It's time to see what all the fuss is about.
2. No more chain restaurants Colorado has an endless supply of amazing cuisine from all over the world. Every time I go to a chain, I wonder why I'm wasting my time with assembly-line food instead of finding fare cooked with homegrown lovin'. Give me some green chile, and I'll top it off with a bowl of pho and a juicy buffalo burger -- well, maybe not in the same meal. Next year I'm skipping corporate and eating local.
3. See a show at every theater in the DCPA From big Broadway shows to intimate productions, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has everything that a theater lover could want. I can catch the symphony, pop in to the opera, then indulge in a little Shakespeare, all in one place. I'm going to branch out from my love affair with the Buell and see what the other seven theaters -- like the stately Ellie or the quirky Jones -- have to offer.
4. Go to a film festival You don't need to live in Hollywood or New York to be a film buff, but I'm ashamed to say I've never been to one of Colorado's many and varied film festivals. From documentaries to foreign films to horror flicks and outdoor titles, there seems to be something for everyone. First on my list are the Boulder International Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival and maybe the Stanley Horror Film Fest.
5. Finally accept the winter I've always been a summer girl. As the temperatures start to decline and the sky starts to turn gray, my soul begins to weep. But there's no use fighting it. It comes every year whether I like it or not. Instead of spending the days cursing under my breath while I scrape off my car, I'd rather focus on the positives: snowball fights, leg warmers, fireplaces, hot chocolate and -- cross your fingers -- snow days.
Keep reading for four more resolutions.
6. See a roller-derby match Sorry, Broncos, but next year I'm passing on Mile High and hitting the rink instead. Roller derby is a badass sport filled with badass women on badass skates. Denver is a great host to this sport, boasting two major teams filled with top talent. In the new year, I hope to show my support on the sidelines -- with a big foam finger -- for the Denver Roller Dolls and the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls.
7. Find a beer I like at a local brewery I'm not much for beer, but maybe that's because I've never gone to the source. Colorado has a stream of craft breweries serving up every kind of beer you can imagine. It's one of those products that people slave over to get just right. I will try out the Colorado breweries, find my beer, and toast my great state.
8. Learn all the neighborhoods in Denver I was never very good at geography in school. But Denver has a really intricate system of neighborhoods, each with distinct names, per-sonalities and boundaries, and I want to familiarize myself with these places and know if I'm in Five Points or Cap Hill, Highland or Sunny-side, RiNo or the Golden Triangle.
9. Find the most beautiful place to watch the sun rise/set There are few things more beautiful than a sunrise or sunset in Colorado, and there's no lack of places to watch the gorgeous display -- from the Denver skyline to the Flatirons to Red Rocks to my front porch. My goal is to find the absolute best vantage point in the state and soak in the awesome.
10. Wear my Colorado pride With my new rush of Colorado pride, I'm going to make sure that everyone sees my true colors. I want to wear the Colorado flag every day -- on a beanie, a pair of sweat pants, a hoodie, socks, or, heck, someone find me a Colorado ball gown. And after I've purchased all the items from the I Heart Denver Store at the Denver Pavilions or the My Colorado Store at Colorado Mills, I'll push it further to include Denver fashion designers who can make me look fabulous while reppin' the red, white, blue and gold.
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Follow Amanda Moutinho on Twitter at @amandamoutinho.