A Candy Cabin Adventure at Beaver Creek

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Sweet Memories

A Candy Cabin destination atop a soaring, snow-covered peak; the voyage of a tiny, first-time snowboarder off to conquer a swift-moving quad chair lift; reminiscing notable firsts and unfortunate falls as our boots dangled with the tops of trees; the gratification and reward of a true-to-life ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ pillage; and the winding trek back down the mountain. It was a bittersweet farewell to another season, melting slowly into the commencement of beloved springtime adventures.

The Tale of the Candy Cabin

As the story went… there once was a cabin, brimming with confections. There were barrels of taffy, jars of gummies, tubes of chocolates, and shelves of delicious treats. However, this particular cabin was precariously placed far from reach. It required a Candy Cabin adventure to an elevation most children wouldn’t dare (without a responsible adult, a ski lesson or two, and proper winter gear that is).

The tale was alluring, and the venture intriguing. I was mostly sure that if I didn’t pack our bags right away, I might wake to find my little Hansel and Gretel trailing breadcrumbs through the forest.

Beaver Creek is our favorite family staycation!” It’s the pitch I was given. Luckily for my adorable little negotiators, they were right – we all love Beaver Creek – and, a visit from the Auntie was in the works. Beaver Creek would be the perfect destination for our last hurrah of the season.

The Candy Cabin was everything they had dreamed, and the joy of braving the terrain to arrive safely at our destination was all part of the enchantment. The twinkle in their eyes and the giddy giggles as they hugged barrels of sweets told the stories of their hearts. I knew this was a day they wouldn’t soon forget!

The sugar rush contributed to a delirium of bravery as we sped our way safely back to the bottom of the mountain to have a relaxing patio lunch and après ski Colorado brew – the perfect toast to another amazing escape at Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek Candy Cabin

  • Top of Strawberry Park, Avon, Colorado 81620
  • Operational Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Price Range $
  • Phone (970) 754-5539

A Place Where All Dreamers Live


“My favorite space is the one between where the sea ends and the sky begins. It’s the place where all dreamers live.”

 ~ Jordyn Hay


It’s lazy mornings, long hikes, picnics in the park, swim days, video games, playdates and books we said we’d read but didn’t.  It’s the life, COLLEGE LIFE!

Alright, so you’re on to me. I write for Mamas, and no, that’s not a realistic glimpse into higher education, well …first semester, freshman year, maybe…but live and learn, right!? Ok, so I’m not done with my list here:

Late(ish) nights, unkempt rooms, uncontrollable raucous, random stickers fused to the floor, leftover pizza, evaporated Lucky Charms (minus the marshmallowy yummies) crispfused to the table and a never ending pile of seriously dirty laundry. Still sounds like college, doesn’t it? I know what you’re thinking – too many charms in my bowl, but hear me out.

I have a theory.

If it *sounds* like college, then it should *look* like college…SpRinG BrEaK 2013, oh ya! With healthier snacks, extra towels and a lot more SPF! What I’m suggesting is a legit Spring Break vacation. Not every year, but some year, this year (or next – after you plan and budget – hey, we’re responsible parents here!).

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that it’s been a while since I had a real Spring Break (hard to believe, I know)…but for the sake of journalism, I am willing to go out and capture the story for you — after I score that gig (stay tuned). BUT, what I did do is ask the opinion of a very real college expert. Brilliant and you’re welcome. Check out her tips and suggestions for an unforgettable spring break experience:

…and THAT is just a teaser for my upcoming MHM post! I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not blog post MIA – I’ve been working on this (and many, many other things), and let me tell ya of the things I won’t do for journalism. Crickets. Yes, I landed that gig and ’tis good. Full report to come following SpRinG BrEaK 2013!

Meanwhile, plz don’t rob my house over SB’13 (I have few valuables and one neighbor with far too many guns – crazy and true), do know that my blog is alive and well, check out the invaluable advice that only a hip college undergrad can give – @MileHighMamas later this month and absolutely start planning your SB’14 getaway RIGHT NOW!

To come: “Is Spring Break a proper noun?”

photo credit: Jordyn Hay

Christmas Traditions Aboard the Santa Express


A train ride to the North Pole.


Christmas stories read by Elves.

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A visit from Santa Claus…and a small, silver bell.
A simple reminder that:

The Magic of Christmas Lies in Your Heart.

Santa Express Train
Canon City, CO

Special thanks to the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for inviting us out!
We had a wonderful time, always!!!

The Art of Laughter…and Courage to Try Again

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~Pablo Picasso

If I fail to instill all else in my children, I hope to leave a legacy of insatiable passion and eagerness for life. With that, the courage, determination and faith to follow the unique and wonderful will intended specifically for my children’s lives. Through example, I hope to demonstrate that if we believe, we can achieve.

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~Wayne Gretzky

It can be difficult to take a chance at something new, particularly because the likelihood that it will not go as planned is, well, quite likely. With that, I say – throw caution to the wind (in that level-headed, commonsense kinda way…aka: wear a helmet) – if you succeed, you will be forever grateful; if you fail, you might actually learn a little something along the way! “Of all the people I have ever known, those who have pursued their dreams and failed have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure.” ~Author Unknown

A fellow blogger and good friend of mine recently posted a catalog of her main achievements over the past several months. As I pondered this, I realized how much of what we do as parents directly affects our children’s actions and choices. It’s one thing to encourage our children to feel confident and follow their dreams, but it’s a whole different kind of parenting to push our own limits to exemplify this type of behavior.

I was pleasantly surprised, as I looked back at this past year, to discover several laughable but achieved risks…and a couple that didn’t go quite as planned ~ surely I (and hopefully my children) learned a good lesson in those endeavors as well. In all of my attempts, I hope to have provided a positive example of determination.

An entertaining glimpse at some of what I found…

Dabbling in Home Improvement:

After reading an inspiring DIY success story, I was sure I could revamp a couple of mundane walls in our home. The bedroom stenciling went rather well and I learned a thing or two about measurement and patience too.

So, when a family member convincingly suggested a DIY exterior paint job, I was in. This one took wayyyy longer than anticipated, but in the end, we had serious bragging rights – and the insight to never, ever take on this level of DIY again, lol.

My kitchen decor got a bit more creative, much to the demise of the entire project. The white was a bit too light, so I added shadow brushes here and there – which was artsy and attractive in the daylight – and made the wall look dirty as the sun went down. Oh well, just a good reason to close the kitchen at dusk, right?

Endeavors In Ocean Sports:

During a recent trip to Virginia Beach, I was able to try three water sports I have always wanted to try…and with the expert instruction of professionals.

Ocean kayaking *with the dolphins* was nothing short of amazing…a fabulous way to tour the coastline and view the glorious Virginia Beach sunset. Favorite challenge: surfing the waves back to shore. Favorite benefit: chiseled upper body (ok, so I might need more than one outing for that!).

Paddleboarding is one of my new favorite sports – and one I can pursue in Colorado! The sea nettle (a type of jellyfish) lurking below the water’s surface at this Virginia Beach location made the whole experience that much more daring! Earned my bravery badge.


I learned to surf. Yep, it’s official…not professional, but well on my way, wink. I can’t say I actually know how to catch a wave without the guidance of my knowledgeable instructor, BUT I did get up on that board and land gracefully (a few times) without guzzling salt water. My one inquiry: what does all that ocean water do to one’s sodium intake levels!?

Along my personal journey of trying new things, I’ve found it of utmost importance to be able to laugh at myself. Allowing grace in failure provides me the confidence I need to pursue unknown adventures. Sometimes I surprise myself in what I can achieve…and other times I just get a really good giggle! In all of it, my children have a role model to look to as they come to the point of their lives when they ask themselves, “Shall I try something new?”…and knowing that they have a choice…find the confidence to step out, risk it all and take the opportunity.

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. ~Author Unknown

WIN one of 12 FaMiLY VAcaTiONs!!!

Register to win a summer family vacation!!!

San Francisco, Zion Utah, Cancun Mexico, Pennsylvania, Galveston Island, Colorado and more!

This summer USFamilyGuide.com has created a promotion that celebrates the family vacation by giving away 12 incredible trips for families looking to create their own memories. They have hand picked some of the most memorable destinations their families have experienced and asked them to provide a FREE vacation to award to perhaps YOU!

Rules: One entry per day…prizes will be awarded beginning June 1 through July 31.


Epic Thrill – Minimal Skill

Ever wondered what it would be like to soar through the Colorado canyons – majestic sights from a birds-eye point of view – the ground below looming hundreds of feet beneath your toes? How about the exhilaration of leaping from one cliff edge to return safely to the other side? No, it’s not a fantasy excerpt from an ever-popular vampire saga, though I’m sure athletic fictional heroes would be a most excellent selling point, ha. This is the REAL!

Catch the full story at Mile High Mamas: “Adventures in Lost Canyon With Captain Zipline”


Captain Zipline & Our Lost Canyon Tour

A daring voyage high above the canyons near one of my favorite destinations: Salida, Colorado. Thanks to my valiant friends, shared laughs and an unusually intrepid adventure…this one will go down as a #forevercherishedmemory. Full story coming soon to Mile High Mamas!

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Late Season Ski Fix…Monarch Mountain

Just for a weekend, but squeezed it all in…epic powder @ Monarch Mountain, Amicas, The Jug, Patio Pancake, Riverside Park, Tenderfoot, F Street Bridge views of the Arkansas River and invaluable time with family and friends in a little town dear to my heart…Salida, CO.

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Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Commence L’Adventure!

Four amazing seasons; brilliant blue skies; temperatures that let you work up a sweat without overheating…and glorious views from atop peaks piled with fresh, untainted powder? Oh no, it’s not a dream ~ this is COLORADO ski country.

There’s just something about the freedom, coupled with the awe of such a magnificent creation – an offering of unrefined nature at altitudes of such magnitude…ok, so maybe I need more oxygen up there, right? Well, if delusion are my poison, I’ll take them because this really is the stuff dreams are made of.

That is precisely the reason I don’t just want to – I have to – teach my children the skills to get them to the top of those majestic peaks…not metaphorically (well, yes, that too)…rather literally, to the summit because, even if the only way down is intimidating at best, there’s just something incredible about the whole experience.

So, where does it all start?

At the base of the mountain – and if you’ve planned your vacation to perfection, you’ll eat, sleep and play at the base, slowly working your way to the top. Sound intense? Not so much…I’m talking about luxurious accommodations at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek.

 photo credit: concierge

The Park Hyatt is located at the epicenter of it all. It’s a true ski-in/ski-out offering the finest amenities and in perfect proximity to daily, complimentary three o’clock chocolate chip cookies (served by chefs in white hats!)…Sweet tooth aside, let me tell you, Park Hyatt is the premier Colorado vacation destination…and for some very good reasons – these are just my top five:

  1. Children’s ski school is located right next door. Benefit: no shuttling in to drop the kids off (important need-to-know tip, because if you’re traveling to the base of the mountain every morning, you’re loosing a lot of value in your ski-in/ski-out accommodations).
  2. You won’t get lost! I may be one of the few people truly at risk for this, but having spent an inordinate amount of time navigating my way back to resorts nestled in discrete locations on the mountain, I can attest – this is an important feature, ha!
  3. Ski and boot valet. Not just a fancy locker room with automatic doors and boot warmers – this is the real deal. If you’ve ever tried to juggle skis, boards, boots and poles for – not just yourself – but you kiddos too, you understand the value of this service.
  4. Après Ski S’mores by the fire pit…including HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS. I kid you not. Gourmet flavors created to marshmallowy, melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Your kids will love ‘em too, wink!
  5. All the other wonderful offerings that a five-star resort and spa might have to offer…breathtaking views, fabulous dining, heated towels and robes, outdoor pools, jacuzzis galore, heated walkways, kid-friendly hot toddy hut, full-service spa, hot cocoa in the lobby, wonderfully cozy beds, turn down at night – lovely toffee bars (I may have gracefully accepted the bars but gave a rain check on the service…and he offered a couple extra bars – good trade) and pretty much anything and everything you might want…because I’m pretty sure they’d do it for you! That’s one of the greatest things about the town of Beaver Creek – they have impeccable customer service!

Before you book your trip, be sure to check out the Park Hyatt’s latest promotions! One of my favorite new features: Pampered Pooches. Read how this lodging option will forever change the life of one of our dearest family members – our sweet Fiona Belle – and the suffering she endured during our road trip to Wyoming, ugh! “So You Can’t Spoil a Baby…How About a Furry One?”


Thanks to Park Hyatt for being a gracious host, putting up with my quandaries, welcoming families, taking a green initiative…and for loving our furry babies!