The word home has embedded itself deeply in both my head and heart since moving back to Vista Verde last month with my husband, Cholly. We met here six years ago – me as a housekeeper for the summer, and him with several years as sous chef under his belt.
At the end of that summer, I stole him back east for several years, to be near friends and family, and to eventually get married in my hometown.
Eventually we found ourselves yearning for adventure and our return to Colorado was plotted. At first we chose a more urban version of the Colorado dream, landing in Boulder and living there for over a year. Even during this time we would fantasize:
“What if we could go back to Vista Verde?”
You can imagine our surprise and delight when we heard that there was an opening for a chef position.
As we explained the move to our friends and family, I kept hearing Cholly say to them, “It’s my second home.” And he’s right. There is just something about this place. And as good as it felt to be here six years ago, it somehow feels even better now.
And so here we are. The summer season began last Sunday, and with it the excitement and inevitable hustle of preparing for the first guests to arrive. (You know the feeling. It’s the anticipation you feel on the morning on Thanksgiving morning; you’ve been cooking & cleaning for hours and you can’t help checking the drive every few minutes to see who might have arrived while you were peeling the final carrot.)
As we were preparing at the front desk to start checking families in, one of our young guests (returning after a stay with us last summer) came bursting through the doors, pink-cheeked and slightly out of breath, and a giant smile on her face.
She was so excited to be here that she had asked her family to drop her off down the driveway, figuring she could get herself here faster than the car could drive (or at least have a place to channel her excitement!)
When her family finally caught up, her grandmother told us: “She’s been talking all week about this. She kept saying, ‘We’re going home!’”I couldn’t help but smile and feel my heart warm. This girl felt the same thing that Cholly and I felt. Even though she spends the majority of her year thousands of miles a way, and spends one mere week of her summer here at Vista Verde, it still feels like coming home.
And that’s just the thing about Vista Verde. Staff returns. Guests return. Because here it feels like home, and it feels like family.