For the third consecutive summer, I'm returning to high-altitude Colorado to cover The Aspen Ideas Festival, an event that is co-sponsored each year by The Atlantic. In coming days, check back for a digest of interesting subject matter I encounter.
Before that coverage begins in earnest, however, I wanted to reflect for a moment on one feature that distinguishes the panels here from any I've ever attended: the setting. I grew up in California, came of age taking road trips up Highway One, and honeymooned a couple years back in New Zealand. In other words, I've been incredibly blessed to have experienced some of the most beautiful places in the world. I'm partial to the coast. There's an ocean park straddling the line between Sonoma and Mendocino Counties that's one of my favorite places on earth.
The Liguria Coast is hard to beat too, as is Aitutaki from the air. But every time I'm in Aspen, a place I've only ever visited in the summertime, a part of me is convinced, at least so long as I'm amid its splendor, that it's the prettiest place. Sometimes I try to capture this with my camera, but I'm never skilled enough to do so. Normally I'd be wary of passing along a video produced by a local chamber of commerce. But the one below actually captures both the likeness of the place and the fact that, if it has any flaw, it's a flawlessness that can seem manicured ... until you catch yourself being absurdly ungrateful and think, "Just enjoy it."