fun and free

“This is why I love Colorado. There are so many things that are fun and free.”

That was our friend Cailin’s comment as we trudged our way up the snow-covered Ruby Hill, sleds in hand.

Cailin is one of those larger-than-life friends who is the congenial product of talent and a work-hard, play-hard approach to the world. I had the joy of first meeting Cailin in London, where I became immediately drawn to her grittiness, liveliness, and enthusiasm. We were both experiencing what would be the most revelatory four months of our lives, an epoch that would eventually see her play witness to some of my own innocent “firsts”, whether my first pint of beer or my first steps in Scotland.

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Our adventures were numerous [and retrospectively hilarious] during that time. Like that one instance when we thought it would be a good idea to take the overnight double-decker bus to Edinburgh for the weekend. A note to the world: five hours spent in the middle of the night on a packed bus with a broken toilet, coupled with a tube of Pringles and bottle of white wine [which we technically weren’t allowed to have], does NOT make for a good time.

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But among some of our less intelligent decisions were perhaps some of our best, mostly because they ultimately led to things like climbing a crag, meeting William Wallace, taking to the waters of Bath, dancing in empty Tube cars, and quoting Eddie Izzard at every turn [most especially at Stone Henge].

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I don’t think we took a single serious picture our entire time there.

So imagine our surprise when upon moving to Colorado, we receive the gift of reuniting with her. For the first two years of our time here, she was not only our constant theater maven and singular actress friend, she was also our favorite Celebrity teammate. She was the person who said “yes” to any artsy inclination we had and the one who dragged us to every live performance worthy of our attendance. She was our performing arts lifeline, through and through.

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But then, she went all amazing on us by getting into the M.F.A. program in Musical Theater at the preeminent Boston Conservatory. She’s that good, folks.

It’s a dream that we know every actor friend of ours has deliberated. Do I go for it despite the cost? Do I admit that I won’t save a penny for the foreseeable future? Do I resign myself to part-time waitressing or retail work to subsidize my craft? Do I invest in myself when I have very little to give, let alone believe in?

But we admire Cailin to the core because she, above anyone we know, is a pursuer of dreams. She knows she has a unique and specific talent and isn’t afraid to do everything in her power to deliver it to the world, no matter the sacrifice. We always look forward to her return visits to Colorado, because it means we get an in-person update on all of her performances, professional strides, and plans for the future. Her dreams are big, and we intend to follow them.

Which brings us to our “fun and free” moment on the climb up to Ruby Hill. We only had one day with Cailin during her winter break, and we were going to make it count. So we obviously took her sledding.

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We screamed like little kids the whole time and reveled in the fact that this silly, child-like activity was available to us adult posers. Here we were, taking to the snow alongside wee baby children and rambunctious teenagers, dodging trees, spinning in saucers, and laughing until it hurt.

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[Note: this was Jason’s THIRD sledding excursion this season, in case you were wondering who has the true inner-child in this relationship.]

Like Cailin said, we had succumbed to the “fun and free” of this place. We harnessed the best of both Colorado and Cailin — their brilliant beauty, cold weather countenance, outdoor attitude, and generally free-minded spirit — and had the time of our lives.

Which is why we love it here, and why we miss her so much. There are simply too many Vine Street Pub beers and cups of Harrod’s chocolate tea to share, alongside too many board games to play, musical theater soundtracks to belt along to, and slopes to sled down.

So while Cailin makes the trip back to Boston today, all we can do is wait anxiously for her return and keep ourselves occupied with as much sledding as possible. Because if there’s one thing we’re sure of it’s that both Colorado and this crazy friend of ours will remain as stalwart, sensational, and unstoppable as ever.

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