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Free time to travel, visit family and simply enjoy life were the primary reasons Gila and Tom Hodges moved to Tramonto in 2017 with Gila’s father, who has lived with the Hodges for several years. “We were regularly going back and forth from Pennsylvania, where we lived for 23 years, to Colorado to visit our son and daughter-in-law,” Gila said. “At first we thought of buying a little home here for us to use when we visited, but our love for Colorado was instantaneous.” The Hodges were quickly enamored with the state’s climate, active lifestyle and culture, Gila said. Although the Hodges enjoyed raising their two children in central Pennsylvania, Tom said, “There wasn’t a lot to do there in terms of culture.” Now the Hodges fill their days with long walks around the Tramonto neighborhood and longer hikes throughout Boulder County, concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater, sporting events and art classes in Boulder and afternoons at the Denver Art Museum and Denver Botanic Gardens. “From food to art to music, the culture here is broad and sweeping,” Gila said.
Even Gila’s father was excited about the move. “He was pretty gung-ho about it,” she recalled. They all prized the ranch-style layout from the moment they checked out Tramonto, and the open floorplan featuring copious natural light and tall ceilings delighted Tom and Gila. She said, “We looked at a lot of places but chose Tramonto because it has a wonderful neighborhood feel. Guests are amazed by the amount of space we have.” The Hodges elected to finish their basement with a guest bedroom, which has proved indispensable, Tom said, as they’ve “had a steady stream of visitors from our former lives.”
The Hodges’ floorplan includes multiple main-floor bedrooms, a two-car garage, a large kitchen island (“We can have four people in the kitchen cooking together,” Gila said), a welcoming front porch and a wrap-around back deck to which they’ve added a fire pit. “In the morning we sit on the front porch and face west and see the Foothills while we drink our coffee,” Tom said. “Later,” Gila said, “we shift to the back porch, where we’ve had big family barbecues.” Tom relishes sitting outside and reading for pleasure, something he didn’t have time to do before retiring.
For Gila and Tom, “One-floor living at Tramonto is very easy,” Gila said. As with most Boulder Creek homes, their floorplan layout is supremely accessible and includes wide hallways and doorways, zero-step thresholds, and raised electrical plugs to reduce bending. The master bedroom and laundry room are conveniently off the main living space, and storage is abundant.
Gila, a former tennis coach, adores the outdoors, so “Colorado culture was a perfect fit,” she said. The Hodges hike in summer and winter, touting their snowshoes and new winter outdoor gear, and hope to get into biking. “The Colorado climate is the best kept secret,” she said. “Everybody back in Pennsylvania said, ‘Why do you want to go there? It’s so cold and snows all the time,’ but everybody here knows that’s not true.” She added, “We love the outdoor lifestyle. For us that’s been so much fun.”
Part of their outdoor adventuring has included visiting Colorado hotspots and nearby states. “We love to travel,” Gila said. “We know New York and Pennsylvania, and we wanted to explore the neighboring states here.” They’ve vacationed in Utah and Wyoming and are planning a trip to New Mexico.
Of course, the Hodges can travel, roam outdoors and visit family more easily thanks to the freedom of a low-maintenance home. “We were so over yard work,” Gila and Tom exclaimed at about the same time. Tom elaborated, “Our last home had a two-acre yard. We’ve always had a large yard and all the raking and work that entailed. It’s really nice to just go and not worry about the lawn.”
The Hodges agreed that the “surprising bonus” of their move has been “a new community of friends,” Gila said. “This is such a gifted and friendly community. There are athletes, artists, musicians, and we take turns hosting and getting together in a very relaxed way.” Ladies gather weekly for coffee, for instance, and neighbors chat while walking dogs or digging in the community garden.
Gila said, “This place feels like home. One thing that I love is that our daughter (in college in Philadelphia) said it wasn’t hard for her to call this home.”
Longmont is only 15 minutes from Boulder and about 30 minutes from Denver International Airport and Rocky Mountain National Park. Tramonto is near the Twin Peaks Golf Course, Longmont Recreation Center and Longmont Public Library and close to shopping, theaters and a bevy of restaurants.