About 25 miles south of Denver, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, lies a suburb that not many outside of Colorado are familiar with. Some call it "HR", "White-lands Ranch", "The Bubble" or simply "The Ranch" but I call it my hometown--as do about 112,000 other residents of the cookie cutter suburb. There are some things that you just couldn't possibly understand if you were from anywhere else. Growing up in Highlands Ranch is unlike growing up in any other suburb in the country.
Just try finding a family in this town that doesn't own a dog. I'm convinced that they don't exist. (But hey, dog owners are good people).
2. Cyclists are not pedestrians, they are vehicles. Do not try to tell them otherwise
Sir, why are you in the middle of the street? There's an entire bike lane JUST FOR YOU.
3. You didn't usually have to ask if someone went to Vista, Canyon, Ranch or TRidge. Their attire and car bumper stickers made it obvious
Wow does your daughter go to Canyon? I can't tell by your "Jaguar Cheer Mom" bumper sticker and your black and gold sweatshirt.
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4. Whether you were donning green and gold, green and blue, blue and white or black and gold, Shea Stadium and your Eagle, Grizzly, Falcon, or Jaguar pride were very important to you
Even if you hated high school you were always secretly a little proud on the inside when the football team brought home a win or the poms team won state.
5. The only things there were to do without leaving the town borders were to go to AMC 24, Southridge, Westridge, Eastridge or Northridge
LMK why Skate City is a 20 minute drive, that place was always LIT.
6. I mean really, even Park Meadows is technically in Lone Tree
Our mall is literally 15 minutes away, how is that fair?
7. If you had a part-time job in high school it was probably as a lifeguard or at Chick-Fil-A
And if you weren't that friend then you definitely had a friend that worked at one of the rec centers or one of the Chick-Fil-A's.
8. Speaking of Chick-Fil-A it was one of the main restaurants you and your crew hung out at
Because everybody could always agree on Chick-Fil-A.
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9. That and Costa Vida
Sweet pork could be it's own food group in my opinion.
10. Or sometimes BDubs or Freddy's if you were feeling adventurous
Only if there was a game on or if you were in the mood for Freddy's fries.
11. It always seemed a little bizarre to you to drive through other towns and see chipping paint and unkempt grass
We now realize that it's just because our HOA was excessive.
12. You've been asked which ward you were a part of (even if you weren't LDS)
And it's weird to go to other parts of the country where there are less practicing LDS.
13. The only roads you really needed to know were Broadway, University, Highlands Ranch, Wildcat, and Quebec, the rest was just by memory
No one really gives directions it's more just like "that street behind Eastridge...yeah yeah, over by Ranch. Yeah turn there and then turn right and mine is the green house." Or you just know where everything is because you've spent 15+ years in the same 24 square miles.
14. But sometimes you didn't even necessarily need the roads since it seems that there were trails everywhere
"I need to go to the grocery store" "I think there's a trail for that."
15. You were either team "Nice Car At 16" or team "I Can't Believe They Have Such A Nice Car, they're 16!"
I'm just jealous that I didn't get a Range Rover my sophomore year.
16. If you didn't go to Ranch you thought they were shady and if you did go to Ranch you didn't understand why everyone thought you were so shady
It's honestly just because your school was structured nothing like the rest of them
17. But all four public high schools could agree on one thing...
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18. You loved getting on the highway because the average speed was higher than 45 mph
Note: Yes these are actual pictures of speed limits in Highlands Ranch. The 12 1/2 is posted in Town Center and the 17 1/2 is posted in the Super Target parking lot across the street from Town Center.
19. You still complain about that a) Town Center has nothing there except Jamba and Coldstone and b) Town Center is NOT the center of town
That is NOT the middle. Case closed.
20. No matter what, we can all agree that even though we complained Highlands Ranch will always be our hometown
It had its issues but it really was a great place to grow up.