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My Hometown: Loveland, Colorado

Special town-wide Valentine's Day traditions, a vibrant art scene, and the nearby Rocky Mountains make it easy for Becky Erickson and her family to be head over heels for their hometown.

By Caren Oppenheim

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The Erickson family
Brooks Freehill
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Loveland, Colorado

Population: 66,215

Locals Love: Penguins, an independent store that serves breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and homemade ice cream. Kids can custom-create a flavor for a birthday party.

Our Loveland Family: Brian and Becky; Connor, 11; Sarah, 18; and Emily, 16

In 1986 Brian and I were both counselors at a camp close to Rocky Mountain National Park. I'm from Wisconsin, he's from North Dakota, and neither of us had ever been to Colorado. It was love at first sight—for each other and our breathtaking surroundings. The beautiful mountains and laid-back lifestyle captivated us, and six months later we got married and settled here.

One of our favorite things about living in the area is the outdoors. Loveland is called the "Gateway to the Rockies" because of its proximity to the gorgeous mountain range. We all get a thrill from climbing the cliffs. The height can be daunting, but climbing is fun and safe—and a confidence-builder for the kids.

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