Friday, March 6, 2009

Sweet Home Ch...Colorado?

I've had the luck of checking out some of the skiing in Colorado all week. My plan was to actually blog about it while out here, but I never expected to be as tired as I was at the end of the day. So while you'll hear more about my trip next week once I'm back, I'm having a hard time leaving the Rocky Mountain state. We've all heard the Sweet Home Chicago line, but I'm thinking the exact opposite--even with talk of warm weather upon arriving home. I've got a Rocky Mountain high that I'm not ready to part with. Here are some of the reasons I don't want to leave:
  1. The skiing. OK, the skiing is the exact reason for why I came out here. Colorado has some of my favorite ski resorts in the country, both old favorites I grew up skiing--like Vail--and new ones I've just started exploring in the last year--like Keystone and Beaver Creek. And even with the skiing labeled as spring conditions, I'm still having a good time. Knowing I'm going to have to pack my skis away til next year isn't sounding good right now.
  2. The views. I'm sitting in my condo not quite ready to pack it in for the night and can't stop staring at the window. In each spot I've stayed this week I've had the luck of looking right out onto the mountains. First at the River Run units in Keystone where I could see the gondola, then at the newly renovated Osprey Hotel at Beaver Creek (talk about prime real estate at the Beav), and now at the Pines in West Keystone. Between mountain landscapes and starry nights--and seeing constellations I've only checked out at the Planetarium--I'm hooked.
  3. The food. I grew up at the ski garbage dump near my house eating fried donuts and microwaveable pizza for lunch. Now I'm dining on five-star meals for lunch and dinner--I'm just hoping I've burned off these treats when I hit the mountain. And I'm missing the remainder of the Keystone Culinary Festival. It kicked off tonight with a red wine tasting at the cozy Ski Tip Lodge and continues through the weekend with delectable treats, more tastings and chef demonstrations. I heard there's a chocolate class that's a must to check out--anyone who can build a gondola out of chocolate and have the gondie filled with truffles sounds pretty talented in my book.
  4. The deals. Note to self: Don't go to Sports Authority in the mountains. I made the mistake of shopping in Avon the other night and stayed until closing time staring at the ski deals. If I could have found a pair in my size either there or at the location in Dillon, I'd be cramming yet another pair of skis into my ski bag to take home with me. At $200 or less for a complete set, I have to scrounge around for that at home, or hope I can make a trade at the ski show. And I'm not even touching on the demos on the mountain. I had to avoid the clothing section at Sports Authority for fear of what I might find. A woman in my Bettyfest group last weekend said she found her coat marked down to $60. Whoa!
  5. Sticking it out through the weekend. In addition to wanting to be here for more culinary activities, there's another reason to stay that involves a quick drive into Denver. Denver's version of the Cycle for ALS kicks off Saturday at the flagship REI downtown from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I'm still wanting to ski but cycling for a cause--and for 3 hours which I love--isn't a bad deal either. Check a Rocky Mountain Sports magazine for more details.
So I'm about to conk out in front of the computer, hence a photo and more links will come later. Tonight's dinner at the Ski Tip did me in--delicious but food coma central. And I have to rest up for my last quickie day on the slopes. How many runs can I get in before I have to beat traffic back to Denver? Photo grabbed from nozomiyume at flickr. Posted by Kate

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