W hile I'm back home in New York for the holidays, I'll hear the question over and over from friends and family: Why haven't you come back yet?

This time, I will tell them about Wednesday, Dec. 12.

But let's backtrack to that prior Sunday.

I wanted to get in one more day of Colorado snowboarding before my winter vacation to New York, and that Sunday was meant to be the day.

Then I saw the forecast. Eldora was going to get dumped on all Tuesday and Wednesday, and since my boyfriend Gary has Wednesdays off, the plan was changed.

Early Wednesday morning, we headed into snowy Boulder Canyon, while I grumbled to Gary about his two-wheel drive Cadillac. This is not a car meant for Colorado.

We made it with minimal scary swerving and -- bless those Eldora-hating fools -- there was hardly anyone there. I'd say the ratio of powder to people was... well, I don't even know how to quantify that. Point is, there was plenty to go around and it was still snowing.

It's been much, much too long since I've had a good powder day. Snowboarding is fun any time, but there's no replacing that feeling of carving fresh lines. You're making the snow work with you, instead of fighting against it. When the fluffy stuff is kicking up in clouds around you, you can't help but feel like a badass.

It was as if Colorado were saying, "Let me show you what you'll be missing."

Such a lovely gesture.


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Too bad Colorado turned from a loving girlfriend saying goodbye to a jealous mistress who hides car keys.

Literally. Gary lost his keys to the Cadillac somewhere on the mountain, and suddenly I missed that damn thing for once.

As Gary had a pair of tickets to a holiday surprise for me in Denver at 6:30 p.m. -- and I had flight to catch out of Denver the next morning -- losing car keys on the hill was basically the worst thing that could have happened.

The buses wouldn't get us back to Denver soon enough, so we hitched a ride down the hill with a very nice guy named Eric. (If you're reading this, Eric, thanks again!)

Colorado, on the other hand, was having none of this kindness of a fellow snowboarder: Boulder Canyon closed for 30 minutes. Luckily, Eric lived in, and was familiar with the area. One beautiful detour later, we were back in Boulder and soon headed to Denver.

This crazy tornado of brief stress gave me something to take away: A reminder of why I love Colorado.

It has its flaws, but for the most part, people are friendly and laid back.

And THAT SNOW. THOSE MOUNTAINS.

New York was my first love and probably my true love, but I've got time. For now, while I'm savoring the pizza and bar hopping 'til 4 a.m. over the holidays, I'll be telling everyone why I'm not back home just yet.