First off, thank you ALL for the replies! Also, you are killing me with all the gorgeous pictures!! Snow and cold don't bother me, I live in Minnesota. Ice doesn't bother me, I lived in Pennsylvania One thing I NEVER expected about Minnesota was for it to be so.****.hot. in the summer. Like seriously, you walk outside and just start sweating from the humidity and heat. It's terrible. I hate summer in every state I've ever lived in, so I guess I can't let that bother me either. And I will so take you up on that spare room to see the cities if you are serious. I think next spring-ish we will also be planning a camping trip to bring the monster with. Ryan and I's first conversation about Colorado actually included "and then we can meet Mu!" courtesy of Ryan, lol. Is there a VW dealership in Colorado Springs? One of the main reasons we are looking more at Denver/burbs is because Ryan works as an automotive technition, which generally means the more cars come in, the more he gets paid. So we are trying to focus on bigger cities for that reason. I don't *think* lack of trees would bother me, but I've never really lived without lush greeness. Though Minnesota has nothing on Pennsylvania for woods, after all the state is called Penns Woods When Ryan and I started talking about moving my votes went to Colorado, Washington, Oregon, or Maine. I have always always ALWAYS wanted to live in either Maine or Alaska. Always. Mainly because I love the idea of colder climates and the sea. Like this type of setting is just idyllic to me: Rocky, cold coastlines to walk on the beach. Perfection! Also the state parks and the green mossyness that I see in pictures of Oregon makes me want to go there. Like this: Gah! I'm just not sure how much of that is really what is out there and reasonable to visit on a regular basis, or if that's the best there is and only makes up 2% of the state. Also the whole big cities type thing. I'm not worried about wind. lol Ternaders are really what scare me! I swear I live in tornado freaking central! It is the WORST part about this state, and I've come to have a serious issue with panicking whenever the alarms go off. I believe the cost of living between Minneapolis (where we are now) and Denver are pretty similar. I'm more worried about finding somewhere to live with Frodo. I know the city is very dog friendly, but how about finding places to live with a 30# dog?