Travel Swellness: Checking into Colorado

February 23, 2016

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I started this winter determined to make the most of it, and with several ski trips, I’d say I can successfully check that off my list! And winter’s not even done yet.

I was lucky enough to travel not just once but twice to Colorado so far this year.  First trip was to Vail and Breckenridge. You can check out my travel story on Vitamin Daily now. With several days of skiing, I finally was able to improve my skiing and our instructor in Breck even took us on a black diamond (although he admitted he wouldn’t normally have but given we were researching Vail for our articles, he made an exception…). Vail is as gorgeous as you’ve heard (snowy mountain peaks) and we ate so well there (lamb fondue, hello!), and we even ate lunch at a posh ski hill restaurant that provides cozy slippers for you to wear so you can take off those clunky awkward ski boots. I am the slowest walker in ski boots, just ask my fellow skiers.

Breckenridge is much more casual and family-oriented but equally enjoyable. I’d say it has more of an almost college town vibe but my view may be skewed as we dressed up in viking hats that we’d decorated and took part in the world’s largest shotski at Ullr Fest. Ullr is the Norse god of winter and the festival is to ask him to bless Breck with more snow. After the shotski, we watched rowdy folks in the family-friendly parade, popped by the enormous bonfire where the townspeople tossed their Christmas trees and then finished our trip with one of my favourite meals of this trip at Relish. We, of course, did some great skiing here, too, drank lots of hot chocolate and I left Breck happy to be returning to Colorado the following week.

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Not even a week later, I returned to Colorado again for work, this time to explore Copper Mountain and Telluride. As a newbie to Colorado, I’d never heard of Copper Mountain until this opportunity came up, but I’d have to say I think Copper is the most picturesque of the four ski spots I visited. There’s a dense forests of fir trees all heavy with white snow that makes it magical here. I felt like I’d walked through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia. This trip, I was simply happy to take it easy skiing and just enjoy the free feeling of coasting down the slopes.

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From Copper we drove down to Telluride. It’s about a five-hour drive, which is long to be cooped up in a car but for much of the drive the view is so breathtaking that it’s not a hardship. If you make this drive, stop into Palisade Brewing Company to have some wicked BBQ.

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Telluride is the most unique spot. It’s a box canyon and if you feel like you’re looking at the Coors logo, you may actually be doing so (the mountains in that logo are in Telluride). The town has an old timey feel that makes you feel like you’re on a movie set…except it’s actually how it is and was. It’s a reminder that you’re in the wild, wild west and my only regret is not having more time to explore it more thoroughly.

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My piece on Telluride and Copper Mountain was in the national edition of Metro, which isn’t the easiest to link to online.

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With these two trips I reached level 4 of 9 in ski school, and with more skiing this winter, I hope to advance a level or two. Where are some of the best spots you’ve skied?

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