At Phil Anschutz’s ranch in Colorado

This past weekend, I spent three whole days away from my son for the first time in his life. I was totally verklempt some of the time–especially after I called the sitter and talked to him, and he wouldn’t let go of the phone. He just kept wanting to talk and to hear my voice, and then he would cry when I started to say goodbye. But my husband says I was less stressed than he expected, and cell phone coverage is a little spotty up in The Middle Of Nowhere, Colorado, so I was forced to either worry all the time or stop worrying about stuff I can’t do anything about. I’ve always chosen the latter option as a personal philosophy, so I think I did okay.

The weekend started off at a pre-game lounge in the suites area of the Major League Soccer All-Star game in Denver, where a group of around 20 of us drank and socialized. The game was fun–we won against an English team, and the rain was only annoying for a few minutes of it–but what I will mostly remember is being about 30 feet away from David Beckham. I’m a soccer person, and Beckham is THE soccer star…

After that, we spent the rest of the time at Philip Anschutz’s ranch about 90 minutes from Denver. You can only come by personal invitiation. It was beautiful. Think of it as a billionaire’s personal country club. I’m not a big fan of the man’s politics, or the Western art style, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate and admire the place he put together. The actual lodge, called Camp Hemingway because Hemingway stayed at that spot decades ago, was full of art and animals (stuffed, I’m afraid) and beautiful things. The pool table was a work of art in itself. I heard someone estimate it at $50,000 at least. The ranch was about 15 miles by 9 miles, and offered the type of recreation you would think popular in this area–shooting skeet, golf, ATV tours, fishing, hunting. I golfed for the first time and ate lots of good food and took a tour of the ranch. My favorite thing by far, though, was stargazing. Sadly, about the only TV channel we could get there was Fox News, but I had a good time laughing with one or two of the other guests about the distorted way the channel was presenting Barack Obama’s “sex education” speech to Planned Parenthood (old news) and about one really bad interview Greta Van Susteren did with John Mark Carr. He was way ahead of her.

Not that I really want to be rich like that, but it was nice for a weekend to get away from real life at a retreat so private and pleasant. I travel so much, but usually with a toddler in tow, that it was nice (and weird) to not have to run after him all the time. I got 30 mosquito bites and decided if I were to come into a billion dollars I’d spend it less ostentatiously, but I’m sure glad the Anschutzes of the world are out there to provide some new experiences for me. I even got to read almost the entire Harry Potter book on the plane on the way back, without a child to interrupt me.

Thanks, Phil.

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