Chef Bud Creates an Elevated Dining Experience at Mountain Lodge Telluride

Chef Bud Thomas at The View at Mountain Lodge

Chef Bud Thomas at The View at Mountain Lodge

“We’re delighted to have Chef Bud with us,” says Neil Hastings, Sales and Marketing Director for Mountain Lodge Telluride during a recent dinner at this renowned place of lodging in Mountain Village. “He really elevates our food and wine experience here at The View Bar and Grill.”

Ever since word began to leak out this fall that Chef Bud Thomas was leaving Rev, the signature restaurant of the Hotel Madeline and the establishment he catapulted to Forbes Travel Guide five-star and AAA five-diamond standing over the course of the more-than two years he worked there as Chef de Cuisine, diners in-the-know have been abuzz about this unexpected change.

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Telluride Women’s Weeks 2015

Girl Power at Telluride Women's Week

Girl Power at Telluride Women’s Week

Women, skiing, snowboarding, instruction, wine, apps, laughs, hot chocolate, girl talk, girl power, toasts, victories, sharing, learning, shopping, dining, fun. It’s that time of year again at the Telluride Ski Resort. The first session of Telluride Women’s Week starts this Thursday, January 22 with a kickoff reception at Mountain Lodge Telluride and continues through Sunday, January 25. The second session is a little longer, beginning in the evening of Saturday, February 7 and continuing through Thursday, February 12.

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Wishing You the Best for 2015

Skiing is Fun

Skiing is Fun

How are you, dear reader?

I wish you good health, love and joy in this new year. It might seem like these well wishes are coming a little late, but strike it up to the French in me. In France, it’s tout à fait acceptable to extend new year’s wishes–both verbally and in writing–through January 31. I love how most everyone you encounter in France echoes choruses of “bonne année, bonne santé” throughout the whole month of January. I’m sure that this year those wishes are even more sincere.

After a super busy holiday season teaching skiing day after day at the Telluride Ski Resort during an extremely cold period of time, I finally collapsed from a mega head cold and sheer exhaustion (perhaps partly brought on by my big move the first part of December). I spent a whole week on the couch, one marked by the tragedy of the events that unfolded in Paris. So very sad. Like so many, my heart ached for all involved and for my beloved France. I checked in with my friends in Paris to express my love and support, many of whom attended the demonstration that was held a week ago today. Vive la France! Vive Franco-American friendship and may the French forgive us for the faux pas of not sending proper representation on their important day of solidarité.

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Last-Minute Holiday Shopping 2014

Pretty French Trays from Quel Objet

Pretty French Trays from Quel Objet

Champagne from Henri's Reserve

Champagne from Henri’s Reserve

Romantic Treasures from Alpen Schatz

Romantic Treasures from Alpen Schatz

Phew, there’s so much to do! As I reported in my last post, I’ve been busy with a move and the start of ski season. Although I don’t have many gifts to buy, I do like to send out a few. I’m going to make it super easy and get online this morning to order original products of quality and charm you don’t find all over the internet.

Check out my Online Shopping Page for my hand-curated collection of boutiques. Read the descriptions carefully to find out how you can benefit from a 10% discount. Most of my purveyors have told me that goods can arrive by Christmas–by regular mail–if orders are placed by mid-day today. Some have even noted that Friday is the last day. And, of course, there’s always priority shipping to be extra sure of a December 24th arrival. In any event, it’s best to ask each establishment if they can indeed fill the order in time. (Some, such as Telluride Truffle, are pretty swamped.)

Go ahead and check out these lovely boutiques. You’ll be glad you did and so will your happy gift recipients. Remember to follow the instructions to receive your 10% Bonjour Colorado discount.

Happy shopping!

Organic Catnip Toy from Purrfect Play

Organic Catnip Toy from Purrfect Play

Skiing Beats Moving

Snowy Telluride

Snowy Telluride

That would be moving to a new place, of course. Because as a general rule, I do believe motion is lotion and you get some of the best motion when skiing.

Ski season is off to a great start here in Telluride. It snowed a ton in November, then we had a dry spell, now with fifteen inches of fresh over the weekend, we’re set up nicely for the onslaught of holiday visitors due to arrive late this week.

I’ve been working out early season glitches such as numb toes, goggle marks and other assorted woes. It takes a while for my feet to become accustomed to wearing ski boots again and damn, I just can’t seem to adjust my goggles on my helmet the way I did last year. I’ll work it all out and as a Telluride ski instructor, soon I’ll be spending eight-hour days in my ski clothing and equipment for stints as long as ten to fourteen days in a row. In the beginning of the season, I sometimes wonder how I do it, but fortunately I throw it into gear, work through the initial aches and pains, and then fall into the swing of things like skis gliding on the snow.

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Grateful for My Friends in France and Belgium

Laughing with Marie in a Paris Café

Laughing with Marie in a Paris Café

My Petit Dejeuner in that Café

My Petit Dejeuner in that Café

Toasting Life Chez Michèle et Loic

Toasting Life Chez Michèle et Loic

Zee Sunday Brunch Spread

Zee Sunday Brunch Spread

Pain, Vin et Fromage Chez Steph et Véronqiue

Pain, Vin et Fromage Chez Steph et Véronqiue

I’m big at counting my blessings year round. As challenging as life can be, I try as much as possible to pause and feel truly grateful for all that I have in my life.

There’s so much for which to be grateful, especially when it comes to love. There’s nothing like feeling love and appreciation. There’s nothing like feeling valued. There’s nothing like feeling your heart swell with love–day after day after day.

I was blessed with an outpouring of love during my recent trip to Europe when friends in France went out of their way to meet with me for coffee, organize special dinners, include me in on Sunday lunches and chat with me at great length over leisurely breakfasts and afternoon teas. My friends in Antwerp entertained me all weekend long. And throughout every encounter, I felt a connectedness with my European friends that made it feel as though I had just seen them the week before. (It had, in fact, been many years.)

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Telluride’s Secret Spas

Hot Stone Massage at The Spa at the Hotel Madeline

Hot Stone Massage at The Spa at Hotel Madeline

Spa-going is underrated.

Frequent spa goers know how an hour at a spa can transform you; and if you’re lucky enough to spend the better part of a day being cared for within a soothing space, you can leave brand new.

As I’ve written before, Colorado’s mountain towns boast some exceptional spas. Whether attached to a resort or not, our Rocky Mountain state knows how to meet the therapeutic and beautification needs of those visiting and residing in our rugged, sun-saturated environment. What better way to recover from a big day on the slopes or an energetic snowshoe in the valley? Indeed, focus on health and well-being permeates most every facet of our lives in Colorado, especially in Telluride where feeling good is more of a basic need than a luxury.

Below I’ve outlined a few of my favorite T-ride spas that might not be on every visitor’s radar. Smart locals, however, have them on speed dial.

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Highlights from My France Trip 2014

Steve and I Capping Off Our Last Night in France at Julien in Paris

Maribeth and Steve Do France: Capping Off Our Last Night in France at Julien in Paris

Oysters and Vin Blanc at Lake Hossegor:  One of Many Delightful Meals in France

Oysters and Vin Blanc at Lake Hossegor: One of Many Delightful Meals in France

Hossegor Surf at Sunrise

Hossegor Surf at Sunrise

Pâtisserie Française

Pâtisserie du Golfe in Hossegor

Biarritz at Night

Biarritz at Night

Glorious Contrasts:  Steve Headed Out to Surf at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz

Glorious Contrasts: Steve Headed Out to Surf at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz

Tapas at Bar Jean in Biarritz

Tapas and Wine at Bar Jean in Biarritz

How silly of me to think that I could work in a few blog posts while traveling through France during these past few weeks! Really.

That was my intention but I’m afraid I failed mercifully at the task. Instead, I was busy experiencing life in France rather than taking time to write about it sur place. Sure, I took tons of notes and I will be churning out stories from this trip–both here at my blog and in updates of my guidebooks–in the months to come. (I’m also doing a downloadable guide for A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, so the information will serve there, too.)

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