Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek Photo Journal

“Not exactly roughing it”   Daily, hand-delivered groom maps; digital trail guides; personalized concierge service; ski valet; exquisite dining; gondola rides; village escalators; rejuvenating spas; designer shopping and a posh après ski scene…the slogan rings true.  Don’t think that just because you’re spending your day on the slopes you’re going to miss out on the pampering treatment – high tea at Beaver Creek means freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at the base of the mountain – free for everyone and hand delivered by chefs adorned in white coats and berets, just make your way down for a 3:00 indulgence.  This is skiing/boarding at it’s finest!

Beaver Creek Landing
What an awesome review and super cool Christmas vacation for our whole family!  The timing was perfect – just as the holiday festivities were commencing in Beaver Creek. We spent 4 amazing nights at the Beaver Creek Landing, at a ski-in/ski-out condo located in the Bachelor Gulch area of Beaver Creek, just steps away from a chair lift up mountain.  The condo had everything we needed (and plenty more) – we were able to prepare meals in our kitchen, soak in our giant tub, warm by the fireplace, and catch a movie on our big screen.  Concierge service was fantastic – planning tools were abundant and the staff at the Landing provided us with additional, personalized assistance to design the perfect vacation for our family.  At the Landing, we had several options including in two, steamy, outdoor hot tubs; a heated pool; foosball; a mega-sized chess set; a pool table; fire pit (which we enjoyed nightly with our s’mores ingredients) and an overall family friendly atmosphere.  The ski-in/ski-out was unbeatable – we had our own, luxury ski lockers and could just gear up and go, ski back to the condo for a drink/snack/romance/warm up by the fire/whatever…and head back out again.

Fantastic Location
Beaver Creek Landing is removed from the center of the bustle, in Bachelor Gulch, which is one of three on-mountain villages in Beaver Creek and a local ski/snowboard favorite due in part to the warm morning sunshine, lack of congestion on the runs, and abundant tree skiing (according to chats with friendly locals). The Landing offers several, beautiful new amenities including personal ski lockers, complete with boot driers and automatic exit doors, making the ski-in/ski-out amazingly convenient.  Transportation was a cinch in Beaver Creek – with our car safely parked in the garage at the Landing, we could simply dial a ride for a free shuttle to where we needed to go, and they always arrived within 10 minutes or less.  Learn more about the amenities at Beaver Creek Landing at: http://www.eastwestbeavercreek.com/beaver-creek-landing

Bachelor Gulch Amenities:
• Lift ticket office, Ski & Snowboard School
• Retail apparel and equipment rental in Beaver Creek Sports
• Main access to the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift with beginner & intermediate terrain
• Restaurants, outdoor patio and bar
• Free dial-a-ride shuttles to Beaver Creek Village

Allegria Spa
Beaver Creek Landing partners with Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt located at the base of Beaver Creek mountain.  As a guest at the Landing, we were able to enjoy several of the amenities at Allegria Spa.  We explored the Aqua Sanitas water sanctuary and massaged sore muscles beneath the warm waterfalls – perfect because I was still recovering from my snowboarding adventure at WP the previous weekend, ha.  Allegria Spa caters to those preferring a day away from the slopes as well, featuring several massage packages for those who don’t ski.  Details at: www.allegriaspa.com.

Beaver Creek Mountain
Beaver Creek is a top-rated Colorado resort with endless outdoor recreation opportunities including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing – with over 146 trails and 26 lifts.  I wasn’t sure at first if three full days on the mountain would be too much, but let me tell ya, day three was just the beginning – I could have spent a full week on this mountain, and would still be discovering awesome new territory.  Dining wasn’t too shabby either.  Fresh sushi and a glass of wine at Spruce Saddle Lodge – not my typical mountain lunch break, but I had to give it a try – a new favorite – it’s going to be hard to go back to sandwiches and chili after this experience, ha.  The Lodge also features a $9.95 “Lunch for Less” including an entrée, side dish, and beverage, which is one of the best values I’ve seen in resort dining.  And the views from the lodge weren’t so shabby either with giant, glistening ice cycles draping the windows overlooking the valley, covered with a powdery layer of fresh snowfall.

Ski/Snowboarding Lessons
The kids took two days of lessons at Beaver Creek – our little one on skis and our seven-year-old in boarding lessons.  Both advanced in their skills and had a great time meeting new friends and joking with their instructors.  Our son was on the slopes with dad by the third day and did very well.  Our three-year-old decided that she wouldn’t be returning to preschool – she’s switching to ski school!

Safety Award
Beaver Creek has received the Best Overall Safety Award from the national Ski Areas Association for three years running.  The resort holds nine titles for instilling safety as a core value and practice among employees and guests.

EpicMix
Beaver Creek is a participant in EpicMix, a tracking program that monitors participant’s runs and reports stats online: http://www.snow.com/EpicMix/Home.aspx.  It’s a great way to review your child’s progress and boast of your adventure on the slopes!

Beaver Creek Village
We spent a lot of our time in Beaver Creek Village just taking it all in.  The main village is at the base of the ski area, and offers several dining options, plentiful shopping, and a charming ice rink in the center of it all.

Dining
For a special evening out, we dined at Toscanini in the piazza at the heart of the village.  The atmosphere was lively, elegantly informal, and kid-friendly.  Familiar Italian dishes were skillfully transformed into unique, contemporary cuisine with impressive combinations of unlikely pairings to create an amazing epicure experience.

While the cuisine at Toscanini was hard to beat, the handmade crepes were pretty delectable as well.  In a small stand near the ice rink and next to a warm fire pit, a skilled chef stuffs paper-thin crepes with fruits, spreads, and drizzles of your hearts desire.  Coupled with a hot cocoa, this was the perfect ending to a full day.

Entertainment
Upon arrival at Beaver Creek, we were provided with a folder of information including the week’s activities, trail maps & mountain guide, family information, and other helpful resources and phone numbers.  It’s a lot to choose from, so be ready to hold a family meeting and take a vote.

One of the activities we had the opportunity to enjoy was ice-skating at the piazza.  It was our final day in Beaver Creek and a lovely ending to an amazing vacation. With the trees adorned in lights and the snow falling lightly around us, it was a dreamy scene.  The zamboni resurfaced the ice every three hours, making for continually smooth and graceful skating…skills aside.

There is certainly no shortage of things to do in Beaver Creek, and while I wanted to try them all, we only had time for a few, and that’s why we’ll be visiting again.

When we arrived back home, our son added, “Live in Beaver Creek” to the top of his Christmas list, which was posted to the front of our refrigerator for Santa to see…and Santa thought this was a very good wish.

For a list of things to do in Beaver Creek, visit: www.beavercreek.com

 

Beaver Creek Photo Journal

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The Story of the Candy Cane

Though this may simply be legend, it’s a story worth sharing…

A long time ago, in the land of Indiana, lived a candy maker determined to spread the love of Jesus through his gift of candy making.  His design began with a white stick of candy, symbolizing the Lord’s purity and the rock-solid firmness of God’s promises.  He then shaped the stick into a “J” for our Savior Jesus Christ who was a shepherd unto His flock, as the candy represents when turned upside down.  With a dramatic dash of flair, the candy maker stained his creation with blood-red stripes to remind us of the loving sacrifice our Savior made to provide each of us with the gift of eternal life.

This carefully designed candy is now a Christmas tradition used to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  As the story goes, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear…only then will we be able to see the wonder all around us.

Photo Credit: snopes.com

Winter Park Mountain Lodge

 What will Santa bring your family this year?  Well, if you’ve been really good (and I know you have) you’re family might be spending a weekend at the park – Winter Park – where you will find blankets of sparkling, fresh snow piled high on glorious slopes right outside your bedroom window…when you stay at the Winter Park Mountain Lodge.  Oh, and you won’t have to endure the classic “are we there yet” because this lodge is a painless 67 miles northwest of Denver.

With a complementary shuttle bus from your hotel door straight to the base of the mountain, you’ll have hours of leisure and bonding time, and every parent knows that a little downtime is truly priceless.  Even that hard-to-buy-for member of your family is going to be pleased with this gift!  No traffic, no up-before-the-sun mornings, no parking…and the kicker: Winter Park Mountain Lodge won’t break the bank – check out their sweet ski-and-stay packages http://www.winterparkhotel.com/index.html.

So, you’re thinking it sure would be nice to have some adult time during your getaway, right?  Well, you can!  While my husband and I were enjoying our private snowboarding lessons (we ski, so this was super fun but not very pretty, ha) our kiddos were busy taking lessons of their own.  The resort even had a “just because I’m three” class for our little one – she LOVED it!  Our son cried when his lesson was over.  All of our instructors were fantastic, and many had been recruited from other countries and do this year-round, traveling with the snow – I was impressed with their commitment and professionalism. 

My husband and I enjoyed a quiet lunch at the top of the mountain…and then realized that if you go up, you have to find your way back down, yikes.  At the end of the day, we were invited to take part in the celebration of the grand opening of the new Private Lesson Center at the resort (where I eased my snowboarding pain with a glass of wine, ahhhh).  This beautifully designed center is located right next to the rental shop and has no shortage of conveniences and amenities for customers.  The knowledgeable staff is happy to assist with every need, and I know this because I felt like an overgrown child with all my “where does this snap, I can’t get my foot in, I forgot my”, and everyone was extremely patient with me.

After a full day, we didn’t have to worry about a drive home, we took the shuttle bus back across the street to the Winter Park Mountain Lodge and soothed our sore muscles in the two large Jacuzzi tubs while our resilient children splashed around in the pool.  The dry sauna helped a bit too, but I think I aggressively hugged the mountain one too many times.  Luckily, the Lodge offers a charming restaurant/brewery on-site so we didn’t have to go far for dinner. 

Winter Park Mountain Lodge was an amazing holiday getaway for our family and we greatly appreciated the personalized customer care.  We enjoyed fresh-baked cookies upon our arrival, personalized snowmobile-guided sled transportation around the resort, our own, private snowboard instructor (thanks Barry!), and high-fives and laughs with the delightful staff at the Moffat Station Restaurant and Brewery – where my three-year-old insisted on “playing” a video poker game at the bar despite the selection of appropriate games available.

We wrapped up a fabulous weekend with a tour of the Winter Park/Fraser area, which was just beautiful!  We explored the new Fraser Valley Recreation Center between the towns of Winter Park and Fraser and enjoyed swimming, a giant water slide, steam room, weights (ok, I was too sore for this), and ran out of time before making it to the climbing wall, but it was a great ending to an amazing weekend.

Dear Santa, thank you for the awesome trip to Winter Park this year…maybe, if we make your good list, can we go again next year?

My Etsy.com Top Christmas Picks

If you love handmade gifts like I do, then Etsy.com may be your one-stop shop this holiday season.  With everything else on your to-do list, the search to find that perfect gift may sound overwhelming, so this year I did a little research, sorted through the many sellers on Etsy, and found a couple of fun suggestions – both of these companies are environmentally conscious and offer excellent customer service. 

So, don’t settle for another ordinary bottle of wine this year, add a personal touch with one of these great gifts:

Wine Topper by Jean Schneider (Snickers4130)
Price: $9.99

This unique topper makes for a beautiful finishing touch to any bottle of wine!  You can choose from various charms, shells, seaglass, and colored wires to create a personalized, handcrafted piece of art.  Jean is fabulous to work with and welcomes special requests and ideas to make the design perfectly fitting for your occasion.  Her new baby, wedding, and anniversary pieces are a creative way to mark the memorable event.  Find her Etsy shop and her full line of artwork at:

SAMISEAGLASS by snickers4130
http://www.etsy.com/shop/snickers4130

 

  

reVino Wine Stopper by Casey Parthemore (ikcdesign)  
Price: $20-$25

 

This is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list!  These wine stoppers range from sophisticated to hilarious and are an awesome way of keeping odd items out of our landfills…and onto our wine bottles, ha!  You’ll have to browse the variety and creativity that goes into these stoppers.  I think you’ll get a laugh and giggle as you realize that this is the perfect gift…especially for those with a sense of humor and fabulous style.  Quality is fantastic, service is personalized, and packaging is sleek – I think you’ll love it!

Original (re)Design by ikcdesign
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ikcdesign

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