Are you starting to panic about all the holiday doings? Keep it simple. Do what you can do and enjoy your time making merry and bright. When it comes to shopping, the best way to do that for family, friends and business acquaintances living far away is to send them a gift from one of the wonderful online boutiques highlighted on my Online Shopping page. Each purveyor showcases original gift ideas that will make the people on your list stand up and take notice. Save the cookie cutter stuff for the holiday baking and check out what these charming shops have to offer on my Online Shopping page. Type in the code Bonjour—or in the case of Ruth’s Toffee and Rahmen + Co, just mention Bonjour Colorado—to receive your 10% discount. Here are some of the highlights from these boutiques (in addition to what I’ve outlined at that page).
Colorado Shopping Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride: Colorado Shopping Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride
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Woo-hoo! What a fun few days it has been. I’m giving my legs a rest today after having skied a bunch with friends, my hunny and by myself over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Telluride Ski Resort had one of its best openings ever, thanks largely to an abundance of storms in November, improved snowmaking, blue skies and pleasant temperatures. There was so much of the mountain to explore off of our familiar loop—the network of trails connecting lifts 4, 5 & 6—that my legs are screaming.
It was all so good that it was hard to stop. (Usually when I ski into shape—from my sedentary writer’s life—I start out with just an hour a day and increase an hour each day out. But no, this year the snow was too sweet.) We also received a lot of nice, wet snow last month which pasted in the mountain amazingly well. Indeed, the coverage is fantastic and with more snow forecasted for tomorrow, it looks like we’ll have one of the best early seasons ever.
Colorado Food & Wine Hotels Shopping The Rockies: Colorado Food & Wine Hotels Palisade Shopping The Rockies
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What a wintery time it has been here in Colorado! It even snowed on the western slope in Palisade/Grand Junction, an area known as the bread basket/banana belt of the state where it’s typically twenty degrees warmer than in the mountains. I did a getaway there with a friend over the weekend and reveled in exploring Colorado’s wine country; I loved seeing the vines beneath a frosty blanket of white. Vineyards the world over are picturesque, however, I find the contrast of the rows and rows of vines backdropped by the dramatic, buff-colored rock towers and cliffs here—known as the Book Cliffs—especially striking.
Colorado Mountain Living Shopping Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride: Colorado Mountain Living Shopping Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride
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Woo-hoo! Boy, has the snow been piling up here in Colorado.
Many people around the U.S. dream of a White Christmas. Here in Telluride, that’s a given. Ditto for Thanksgiving. And often we even have a white Halloween. This year’s Hallow’s Eve turned out to be super white—so much so that (as the pictures below or on the next page show) locals and Telluride Ski Resort workers alike hiked up the mountain and hit the trails to indulge in some sweet pow.
Colorado Colorado Springs Restaurants Shopping: Colorado Colorado Springs Manitou Springs Old Colorado City Restaurants Shopping
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway station is located in Manitou Springs, Colorado, near Colorado Springs. Be sure to allow time before or after your ride on this legendary route to explore this funky little town. I spotted a bumper sticker here that sums up this super liberal, crystal shop-filled town perfectly: Keep Manitou Weird. It’s a refreshing change from conservative Colorado Springs and I love it. You’ll find lots of funky shops and good eateries within this picturesque hippie haven, including The Dulcimer Shop, a creaky little store on main street that showcases its own handcrafted stringed instruments and other random items such as old photos of Jerry Garcia. After all the hardship Manitou Springs experienced in the floods of this past summer, I especially encourage you to patronize these businesses which count on a healthy, tourist-based economy more than ever. As you walk around town today, you can still see how badly Manitou was hit and how vulnerable they are to future flood damage.
Colorado Colorado Springs Hotels Restaurants Shopping Spas The Rockies: Colorado Springs Shopping
Sometimes I feel so spoiled. Sure, the writer’s life that I’ve chosen is not an easy one, but there are many perks. And being the girlfriend of a hotel GM just doubles my luck, especially when it comes to experiencing luxury lodging, fine dining and unique travel opportunities. Take The Broadmoor, for example, the grande dame of the Rockies situated in Colorado Springs, Colorado where I’ve practically become a regular. Well, at least every October.
My love, Steve Togni, GM of Mountain Lodge Telluride, just announced to me the other day that he wants me to accompany him to this stellar resort again this year toward the end of the month. Well, I guess that takes the sting out of not making it to France as we had hoped. (A sick kitty has impeded those plans.) So this will be my fourth time accompanying him to this superlative property known throughout the world and my fifth visit in all. (I came once on my own steam before we were together.)
Aspen Beaver Creek Breckenridge Colorado Cycling Denver Hotels Outdoor Adventures Restaurants Shopping Travel Vail Writing & Books: Aspen Beaver Creek Breckenridge Colorado Cycling Denver Hotels Outdoor Adventures Restaurants Shopping Travel Vail Writing & Books
“I’ll have the snake,” I said.
When he looked at me in a bewildered manner, I realized my words weren’t matching my thoughts and then I corrected my order. “Oh, I meant to say steak. Yes, steak. I’m sorry, I’m just so weary.”
“No problem,” he replied and seemingly just minutes later I was served one of the most succulent steaks ever. I gobbled it down along with a heap of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and a big gulp of red wine. I felt exhausted and much in need of sustenance and this unassuming restaurant delivered.
I had been on the road a few days by the time I reached Breckenridge and realized that following a major sporting event, especially one that changes locales daily required a lot of hustling about, but then adding a book promo tour to it was like doubling town. I had been busy much of the summer promoting my new book, A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, although I saved the biggest push for the end when I’d scheduled a number of events and publicity opportunities in conjunction with the USA Pro Challenge, a major bike race which was marking its third year in Colorado. It seemed like a good fit, so why not give it a go? My core audience seems to be made up of outdoor enthusiasts and discriminating travelers, just the kind of people you find showing up for this big cycling event, especially in Aspen, Beaver Creek and Vail.
I set out in Misty, my old 1993 Subaru with over 250,000 miles to her credit, late Sunday, August 18, for Redstone, Colorado, a delightful little mountain town just under an hour from Aspen. From Telluride, the drive ranks as one of the finest in Colorado, punctuated by bucolic farmland scenery in and around Paonia and dramatic mountain vistas up and over McClure Pass. I arrived at the warm and cozy Redstone Inn to find its bar and restaurant bustling with Sunday evening diners. more »
Colorado Hotels Outdoor Adventures Shopping The Rockies: Colorado Hotels Leadville Outdoor Adventures Shopping The Rockies
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While I’m enjoying some time with my parents in the Adirondacks, I’ve been marveling at the Facebook posts from friends and contacts in Colorado—an avalanche of images documenting the recent snowstorm across the Rockies. The first big snow always creates a stir, mostly since this indicates that ski season is only a handful of storms away.
From my viewpoint here in upstate New York alongside a glorious lake that I took a dip in just the other day (not intentionally mind you, but that’s another story), I shiver at the idea of snow. Yet when I think twice, the thought of it does excite me—even from afar—mostly because I do love to ski and also because there’s nothing like a crisp, white snowfall to top off an autumnal scene. The trees have barely begun to change in Colorado, so these sugar-coated panoramas will only intensify within the upcoming weeks.
To me, fall, a terrific season for hiking, biking and touring, may best be savored in a quaint town steeped in history, surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty. This describes a good number of destinations in Colorado, however, here I’m focusing on Leadville, an old mountain town I visited last summer and enjoyed immensely.