1 Jul 2014, 3:23pm

1 comment



I landed in Telluride, Colorado twelve years ago with my then boyfriend, Peter. We rented a cabin at almost 10,000 feet in nearby Ophir, indisputably one of the most spectacular mountain hamlets in the world. The winds often howl incessantly there at break-neck speed, so for the first time in my life, I learned to make a fire. I had gone from living in a posh Parisian apartment with a cleaning woman that came in regularly to polish silver and clean up after dinner parties to a rugged mountain home where I stoked our wood stove.

I became a ski instructor that first winter, a happening that shocked all those who knew me well, especially myself.   I completed my eleventh season of teaching skiing at Telluride Ski Resort this past winter, something I hope to do for another twenty years. (Read Reflections on My Ten Years as a Ski Instructor for more on this transformation.)

In Telluride, I’m often referred to as “the French lady” or “the travel lady,” monikers I gladly adopt. I love moving freely between my different personas, switching out ski togs and hiking clothes for chic tops and sleek black pants. (Though I have mixed my metaphors by wearing an Hermès scarf with my ski uniform.) I am grateful that my two seemingly disparate worlds have met and that I can express my many interests—particularly my great passion for travel and curiosity about finely made products—in a variety of outlets.

It has been fun chipping away at my more insufferable girly-girl ways. (I grew up with five brothers, so I was destined to be either a tomboy or a priss.) But still, I remain a real chick, molded and shaped in the most fashion-forward, beauty-oriented city of the world: Paris. I lived a total of eleven years in the City of Light, adequate time to have mastered the French language and embraced French culture, founded a shopping service, called Chic Promenade, married a Frenchman, a professional photographer of noble descent (ah oui, I was a countess that often took part in big photo shoots).

Me Featured in Ski Magazine

I was happily single for a while but not long after I first wrote that in my bio, the gods conspired and I ended up meeting Steve, a wonderful man, that I’m now inclined to include in my blogs from time to time. (Actually it was Clara, my chubby little cat that brought us together.  I went looking for her one day in the lodge across the ski run from me and sparks flew when I met Steve, the lodge’s general manager, who also happens to be a huge lover of cats.)

In all, I’ve authored four guidebooks on France including The Chic Shopper’s Guide to Paris, The Riches of Paris:  A Shopping and Touring Guide and The Riches of France:  A Shopping and Touring Guide to the French Provinces. I began my latest book A Tour of the Heart twelve years ago. Yes, I did indeed mean twelve. A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, part memoir, part love story, is a romantic ode to the most visited country in the world. Click here to read excerpts and to purchase the book.

I’ve also been hosting Travel Fun, a talk show on travel on KOTO, here in Telluride for almost years. It’s fun to hear other people’s stories about their travels and then post those interviews on this blog as podcasts.

Through Bonjour Colorado, I hope you’ll happily discover my different worlds and many exciting destinations in between. I post stories about travel, fashion, beauty, shopping and yes, girl talk et bien sur romance, too. Much like most everyone else in T-ride, my interests reflect an eclectic mix of culture, sophistication and a dose of social consciousness. And my outlook is profoundly renewed and revived by experiencing the great outdoors in the Rocky Mountains. Oh, and I have that French thing going on, too.

Maribeth is a first-rate tour guide.
—Associated Press

With David Hill, a Fellow Ski Instructor


I just read your wonderful article on the Bonjour Paris site about the Tour de France. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to come and check out your site.

I’m really amused to read that we’ve exchanged places. I moved to Colorado in the mid-70s when I was six years old, and grew up being a hike-y, bike-y, camping chick. I climbed seven of Colorado’s 14-ers by the time I was 21 years old, and skiing and hiking were regular pastimes of my youth. Then life happened, and a couple of marriages and divorces later, I find myself in Paris, looking around me like I’m in Oz, thinking, “How did I get *here*?” Funny how life does that. 🙂

I’m bookmarking your site as I want to learn more about your integrating your French existence into the Colorado lifestyle. Maybe I can figure out better how to do the reverse as the Colorado girl now living in Paris.

Thanks, Maribeth, for writing for the Bonjour Paris site so that I could make it here to yours.

(an alien parisienne)


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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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