In Praise of Palisade and Colorado Peaches

Peach Syrup at Talon Winery

Ball: One of Many Fruit Stands in Palisade

Main Street Palisade

Pretty Palisade

I’ve been back east in upstate New York most of the summer. Probably the best part of being here is that I’m loving the warm, humid weather. It’s a welcome change from the chilly and rainy days that are so much a part of July and August in Telluride. (The monsoonal flow brings terrific moisture to our arid western climate but boy, can it bring on the blues, especially since it snows well into May in Colorado’s mountain towns and as much as I love the snow, I do require a good, long blast of heat in the summer.)

But what I miss most are the peaches.

Americans love to talk about Georgia peaches. But those in the know, know that Colorado peaches are the best. Sorry, Georgia. But I really am speaking the truth here. I might go so far as to say that our Colorado peaches are even better than those from Provence. Mon dieu!

Heading Out of Grand Junction

View from My Car

On My Way to Palisade

Palisade, Colorado, a charming little town just outside of Grand Junction, is the peach capital of our beautiful Rocky Mountain state. Don’t worry, temps there run about twenty degrees hotter than in our mountain towns and rain is scarce. (Thankfully the smartly irrigated lands off of the Colorado River provide a fertile environment for the growing of peaches, grapes and other delicious fruit.)

Pretty Palisade

So Palisade

I popped into Palisade on a weekday in early June on my way back from some doctoring in Grand Junction. (Yes, that’s life in the mountains; folks from our best known ski resort towns must travel about two and a half hours for tests and treatments, which most people have just a short drive from their home.) So I decided to make it fun and stop by some of the places that give this quaint little town much of its charm. The peaches weren’t in season yet, however, the cherries were plump, luscious and as sweet as candy.

Right now–the latter part of August–is considered the height of peach season and this weekend the Palisade Peach Festival will be in full bloom. Colorado Mountain Winefest goes off here September 14-17.

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Online Shopping Recommendations Holidays 2016

A Trove of Alpen Treasures at Alpen Schatz

A Trove of Alpen Treasures at Alpen Schatz

OK, admit it. You haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet. And if you’re like many people, you haven’t even begun. That’s the case for me this year, which also explains why I’m late in posting my annual round up of online boutiques. Phew, I’ve been busy settling in after having been away from Colorado for over five months and more recently focusing on ski training and instructing–that always takes priority, especially when we have such glorious snow!

But I can no longer procrastinate. So I’ll be ordering today and tomorrow from many of the purveyors below and having gifts sent directly to loved ones. Most still guarantee Christmas arrival. And if not, c’est la vie, if the package arrives between Christmas and New Year’s that’s good, too. The important thing is to keep it simple and enjoy the process.

Now that I have Amazon Prime, I’ve been ordering lots of stuff in an attempt to stock our pantry for the winter season. Their one-click shopping and free shipping is super convenient, however, it’s totally charmless.

Gift-y Soaps from Fresh Soap Company

Gift-y Soaps from Fresh Soap Company

When it comes to gifting (for myself and others), I like more ambiance. You’ll find it in my curated selection below of favorite online boutiques. All offer a 10% discount to Bonjour Colorado readers. Be sure to mention it to the shop and/or type Bonjour into the coupon code section. Here’s a brief overview; for more detailed descriptions, visit my Online Shopping Page.

Ruth and Her Mouth-Watering Toffee

Ruth and Her Mouth-Watering Toffee

Homemade Toffee from Ruth's Toffee

Homemade Toffee from Ruth’s Toffee

Ruth’s Toffee
To me, toffee and Christmas go together like cookies and egg nog. Shop at Ruth’s Toffee for some of the best homemade toffee this side of the pond.

Cow Bells and Sleigh Bells Ringing at Alpen Schatz

Cow Bells and Sleigh Bells Ringing at Alpen Schatz

Lots of Gift Ideas for the Pups at Alpen Schatz

Lots of Gift Ideas for the Pups at Alpen Schatz

Signed Copies of My Travel Memoir Are Sold at Alpen Schatz

Signed Copies of My Travel Memoir Are Sold at Alpen Schatz

Alpen Schatz
I love this festive shop chockfull off alpine treasures for the home, men, women, children and your most regal pets. Visiting this site is like opening an Old World Christmas box brimming with gift ideas galore. You can also buy signed copies of my travel memoir, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, at Alpen Schatz, too.

Purrfect Play Paradise

Purrfect Play Paradise

Purrfect Play
Our little fur babies deserve the best and you’ll find it here in the form of handmade toys for cats and dogs. Purrfect Play’s organic catnip-filled play thingies are the best around.

Champagne and Chocolates from Henri's Reserve

Champagne and Chocolates from Henri’s Reserve

Henri’s Reserve Boutique
Celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, the New Year or just life in general with a primo bottle of champagne. Send off a beautifully-packaged bottle, gift set or enrollment to Henri’s Reserve Champagne Club to your friends, business contacts and loved ones. Cheers!

Fresh Soap Company Holiday Goods

Fresh Soap Company Holiday Goods

Fresh Soap Company
There’s nothing like pretty soap and you’ll find a beautiful selection of natural and handmade soaps, potions and lotions at this Colorado-based company.

Bowie Memorabilia from The Autograph Source

Bowie Memorabilia from The Autograph Source

The Autograph Source
Looking for something out of the ordinary? Try a piece of memorabilia signed by a famous–or infamous–person. The Autograph Source gives originality new meaning with every signature.

My Guy is All About REI

My Guy is All About REI

REI
Want to look like or outfit a loved one with an authentic, outdoorsy look? Go to REI. Check out my description and links directly at the bottom of my Online Shopping Page.

Remember to use the coupon code Bonjour with all the above purveyors (excepting REI) for your additional 10% discount.

Happy shopping and happy holidays to you!

Post Election Healing

Museum Going with a Dear Friend

Museum Going with a Dear Friend

Let’s take a collective ten deep breaths. Ommmm. Remember to exhale long and completely. Now try doing that every hour. Yes, that’s ten deep breaths every hour, every day.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, most of us spend every hour of our day trying to manage our stress. We all have so much going on! And yes, one can even feel stressed in a beautiful mountain town surrounded by some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world.

Just now, as I began to write this story, the internet at home here was all goofy. RRRRRrrrrrrr. Fortunately, I didn’t let that frustrated feeling set in and I just brushed it off (sort of) and decided to write free form without needing a speedy internet. Lots of letting go here.

I feel the need to address the stress subject with you because so many people have been distraught over the election results. Whether your candidate won or not, everyone has experienced a certain amount of stress over this. (Just think of the Trump supporter attempting to defend his president-elect on social media or at the water cooler. Or, even without saying anything, hearing all the opposition against his or her choice.) It’s hard to move on from it all, especially since the daily news flashes keep bringing bad news to the dems. Ugh.

Try Breathing into this Painting Entitled Friendship by Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

Try Breathing into this Painting Entitled Friendship by Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

Just think of the people directly implicated by this. I mean right now. My older brother, Frank Clemente, the driving force behind Americans for Tax Fairness, was to meet with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren just after the election. Well, you can bet that meeting was cancelled. And now I’d imagine Frank’s work has quadrupled. So discouraging. more »

Be My Wine

St. Kathryn's Cellars Lavender Wine

St. Kathryn’s Cellars Lavender Wine

The Mosel Valley of Germany

The Mosel Valley of Germany

Mumm Brut Rosé

Mumm Brut Rosé

Valentine’s Day is just a couple of days away, so it’s time to get shopping. Whether it’s for yourself, your love, your mom or dad or your Galentine, I suggest you pick up a few bottles of wine before you go forging for chocolates and flowers. There’s nothing like getting giddy over sips of a delicious wine. Red, white or pink, velvety, fizzy or bubbly, wine–long the nectar of the gods–has been putting people in the mood for love for ages. Here are some of my recommendations for memorable, reasonably-priced wines for this holiday and always.

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Feasting on Fondue and Raclette in Telluride

A Bubbling Pot of Fondue at Alpinist and the Goat

A Bubbling Pot of Fondue at Alpinist and the Goat

Providing a Heartwarming Welcome

Providing a Heartwarming Welcome

Serving Up the Bubbles

Serving Up the Bubbles

Brrrr. Baby it’s been cold outside, at least here in the Rocky Mountains. Tis the season to eat lots of warm, hearty foods–calorie-rich meals that refuel you after charging down the slopes all day at Telluride Ski Resort.

And baby do I have a recommendation for you. Book your table at Alpinist and the Goat where you can delight in melted cheese in its most delectable forms: fondue and raclette. Both specialties from the Alps, here these convivial dishes are served with salad, seasoned bread and apples. For the fondue, you can choose from seven different options such as traditional, truffle and Cortina, a twist on the classic recipe blended with creamy gorgonzola. More adventuresome gastronomes will want to try the Basquel, a spicy fondue made with traditional Emmenthaler, Manchego and chorizo or Cajun Fondeaux, a rich blend of cheese finished with crawfish tails and Cajun seasonings. Yum. Leave it to Americans to innovate a centuries-old classic from the Alps.

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Holiday Online Shopping Recommendations 2015

Swiss Dog Collars and Leashes for Your Precious Pups from Alpen Schatz

Swiss Dog Collars and Leashes for Your Precious Pups from Alpen Schatz

Terrace Holiday-Pretty Plates from Quel Objet

Terafeu Holiday-Pretty Plates from Quel Objet

A Superlative Blanc de Blanc from Henri's Reserve

A Superlative Blanc de Blancs from Henri’s Reserve

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to think about shopping. Oh wait, you’ve probably been thinking about it–and even doing some of it–the past week. Good on you if that’s the case. Others (like me) haven’t even begun to tackle their holiday shopping despite a deluge of offers that have flooded our inboxes.

I recommend keeping it simple and shopping online for those on your list that live a distance from you. Have that something special sent directly to their door, so that you don’t have to put up with all the wrapping, packaging and waiting in line at your local post office or shipper. And while you’re at it, pick up something for yourself because that’s just what we do when holiday shopping.

I showcase a curated list of favorite purveyors at my Online Shopping Page, most of whom offer discounts between 8 and 10% to Bonjour Colorado readers. Go directly there if you want my more lengthy descriptions. Otherwise, check out my highlights and some other add-ons below.

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Bike Riding In and Around Our Beautiful Mountain Towns

Biking in Telluride

Biking in Telluride

Family Bike Adventure in Crested Butte

Family Bike Adventure in Crested Butte

Penelope Gleason from Bootdoctors in Telluride

Penelope Gleason from Bootdoctors in Telluride

The hills are alive with the sound of cyclists clicking their way over all kinds of bike trails from single track to old railroad grades to paved bike paths to smooth and bumpy swaths cut through our forests for your recreational pleasure. Our towns and valleys are popping with cyclists clad in brightly-colored garb, too. Whether you’re looking for a scenic ride along one of our rushing rivers or interested in snagging a momentous climb or a descent of World-Cup order, Colorado’s mountain towns offer some of the best bike riding options in the United States. Young or old, skilled or amateur, mountain biker or road rider, there’s something for everyone set within some of the best drop-dead gorgeous scenery in the world.

Below is a rundown of a few of Colorado’s major mountain destinations and some of the cycling options they offer. Read them over, make some enquiries and/or reservations, then enjoy the ride. Most of the mud has dried up and the wildflowers are beginning to bloom, so there’s no better time to freewheel it through and around our mountain towns.

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas-2015

Lovely Lily of the Valley

Lovely Lily of the Valley

It’s almost May 1st, or May Day, a holiday widely celebrated in Europe. My favorite part of this fête nationale in France is the muguet, or lily of the valley, that delicate flower with droplets of blooms that resemble little white wedding bells. You can enjoy its fresh, redolent scent in Diorissimo, a signature fragrance of the House of Dior. Christian Dior’s favorite flower was, in fact, le muguet, one of the most beloved symbols of happiness in France. On le premier mai en France, most everything is closed, but you can still find all kinds of bouquets of muguet sold throughout–from street corners to flower shops.

Telluride Truffle Mother's Day Gift Box

Telluride Truffle Mother’s Day Gift Box

Telluride Truffle Spring Gift Box

Telluride Truffle Spring Gift Box

Ruth's Toffee

Ruth’s Toffee

Pink Champagne from Henri's Reserve

Pink Champagne from Henri’s Reserve

Voilà there’s one terrific gift idea for the lovely lady in your life for this Mother’s Day. Read about many more at my Online Shopping page. Many of the online boutiques I feature actually showcase European goods or goods of such fine quality that they could pass for European made. Telluride Truffle and Ruth’s Toffee are such examples and indeed the quality of their products rivals some of the delectable treats I’ve sampled from France’s top chocolatiers. What mom wouldn’t be thrilled to receive some sweets from these two Colorado-based confectioners! Pay close attention to the instructions on my Online Shopping page to receive a 10% discount on online orders from these two purveyors and all others highlighted on that page (and below).

Nothing says holiday like bubbly, especially when it’s champagne. Send mom a beautiful bottle of champagne rosé from Henri’s Reserve to celebrate her. I promise she’ll be tickled pink.

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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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