Yay for Skiing, Riding & Holiday Making in Telluride

Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

Telluride Town All Wrapped Up for the Holidays

Telluride Town All Wrapped Up for the Holidays

Yay, it’s December! Yay, the ski area is open! Double yay, we have a good amount of fresh snow–a season total of over fifty inches so far! Yay, it’s the most beautiful time of the year in the most picturesque mountain town in America. Really. Telluride, Colorado gives festive new meaning all winter long and most especially right now and throughout these upcoming weeks.

Driving Toward the Mountain

Driving Toward the Mountain

Getting Closer

Getting Closer

After a super warm and dry November, the Telluride Ski Resort lifts are finally powering  us up to the tops of the mountains we love so dearly.

Do you remember how you felt on Christmas Eve when you were a child? Well, that’s how many of us have been feeling lately. The excitement is palpable; it seems that just the thought of cruising down the hill basking in the fun and freedom that’s part of most every on-mountain experience has half the town giddy. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning on opening day in anticipation of the thrill of being out on the hill.

Our Mountains

My Neighborhood

Even the Driving Is Fun

Even the Driving Is Fun

Although Telluride opened a week later than usual with just a handful of trails, more terrain will be available to us as of this Saturday. Then more after that, then more and more until the whole mountain reveals its full splendor. It’s like unwrapping presents during the Christmas season–it’s wonderful to savor opening them piecemeal instead of unfurling all faster than you can sip an egg nog. To me, holiday gifting is at it’s best when I give and receive packages over an extended period. And no, I can’t imagine the ski mountain opening up full-on on opening day. My legs couldn’t handle it! I’m still recovering from the three days on the hill I enjoyed this past weekend.

Me on Opening Day

Me on Opening Day

If you don’t live in T-ride, consider planning a pre-holiday getaway. This is when you can snatch up some great lodging deals and even some fresh pow before the Christmas crowds charge in. Voted #1 for scenery by SKI magazine, Telluride, Colorado truly is the prettiest mountain town in America, a Victorian gem that glitters even more brightly during the holiday season. Believe me, the views of both the mountains and the town rank among the most magical in the world. And that’s coming from a gal that lived eleven years in Paris, the City of Light extraordinaire.

Blowing Snow

Blowing Snow

I have to wrap up this post now so that I can head out to Noël Night one of the headline events of the season. Don’t worry, there’s more fun to come–from now through the New Year.

Best of all, you can still find great lodging, restaurant and spa deals through December 24 (and beyond, in some cases). You also can revel in free airfare throughout most of the season on flights originating from Denver and Los Angeles. Yes, that’s not a typo–see below for details.

So why not come here to ski, shop, celebrate or just get away from it all in one of the most  festive places on earth?

There’s nothing like a great ski day, particularly when it happens in Telluride, Colorado. And the time spent afterward in the shops, restaurants, bars and hotels is vraiment magique.

Happy holidays to all!

Admiring Elks in the Alpen Glow: Another Reward of December Skiing

Admiring Elk in the Alpen Glow: Another Reward of December Skiing

Check out the specials from my favorite lodgers in Telluride: the New Sheridan Hotel, Mountain Lodge Telluride, The Peaks Resort & Spa, Inn at Lost Creek and Telluride Resort Lodging. Go to my Faves page to read more about what I’ve written on these landmark properties over the years. See below for more details on current news and special offers.

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

The Ski Tree

The Ski Tree

Visit Telluride Tourism to find out about the Holiday Prelude activities lined up in the town of Telluride and Telluride Mountain Village these upcoming weeks. Aside from Noël Night, one of my other best loved holiday times takes place in Telluride Mountain Village when Santa appears on the scene (often on the ski slopes with his elves). This year there will be a sleigh-full of activities taking place Saturday, December 17, including ice skating, free holiday movies and tree lighting and caroling. Be sure to check out Bootdoctors for some of the best holiday cheer around.

Our Beloved Gondola

Our Beloved Gondola

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 20 from 6 to 9pm at Club Red, when Telluride will be celebrating the 20-year anniversary of its beloved gondola. Here’s to the most fabulous gondola in the world–not only does it offer jaw-dropping views in a friendly, fast, efficient and super clean manner, but it remains free to all year-round! Come and toast this Telluride icon at this party that’s sure to be memorable.

Telluride Ski Resort Firing Up the Guns

Telluride Ski Resort Firing Up the Guns

Telluride Ski Resort

The biggest buzz on the mountain is that Telluride Ski Resort has joined The Mountain Collective, a superlative collaboration among the world’s best ski resorts. If you purchase The Mountain Collective Pass, you’re entitled to an avalanche of free ski days in over a dozen first-class resorts as well as lots of other perks and privileges. In Telluride, for example, Collective guests enjoy ski benefits as well as a special lodging offer at The Peaks Resort & Spa. And that’s just for starters; check out The Mountain Collective for more.

Mountain Lodge Telluride

Mountain Lodge Telluride

Mountain Lodge Telluride

This elegant mountain property offers a cozy cabin of lodging specials now through December 24. Keep checking in throughout the season for other exciting deals as well. New this year:  Lunch at The View, Mountain Lodge’s signature restaurant, which also serves breakfast, après ski and dinner. Ski in for delicious food at excellent prices served within a spectacular great room. And as you might have guessed, the view ranks among the best in Telluride. (Read my story on The View and Chef Bud here.)

New Sheridan Hotel and Chop House Restaurant & Bar

New Sheridan Hotel and Chop House Restaurant & Bar

New Sheridan Hotel Chop House Restaurant & Bar

Indulge me while I sigh over this oh-so lovely hotel, restaurant and bar. No one can hide their affection for the beloved New Sheridan, let alone me. I could live the rest of my days at the New Sheridan Hotel, Restaurant & Bar. Considered the hub of Telluride for over a century, this historic gem may be considered the cherry on the cake of our town. I love the fact that despite their world-renowned reputation, they, too, offer sweet deals on lodging, food and adventures.

FREE AIR

OK, I think here I’ve saved the best for last. Telluride Ski Resort and Mountain Lodge Telluride will be offering free flights to travelers originating from Denver and Los Angeles throughout the 2017 ski season, provided people book a stay at their properties. Mountain Lodge requires a three-night stay minimum; Telluride Ski Resort, which includes The Peaks Resort & Spa, Inn at Lost Creek and Telluride Resort Lodging, extends this offer with varying requirements, depending on the property. Promotions are subject to availability and some restrictions may apply, however, either way, this is a screaming deal.

Call Telluride Ski Resort at 877-635-3792 and Mountain Lodge Telluride at 866-368-6867 to chat about the particulars and/or to reserve. Be sure to mention the Free Air package!

Yay for travel to the Rocky Mountain West. Yay for deals in Telluride, Colorado.

Here’s wishing you a great season!

Celebrating 100 years of Our National Parks at Mesa Verde

Spruce Tree House Cliff Dwelling at Mesa Verde

Spruce Tree House Cliff Dwelling at Mesa Verde

Me Overlooking Spruce Tree House

Me Overlooking Spruce Tree House

Touring Mesa Verde National Park

Touring Mesa Verde National Park

You’ve probably heard that 2016 marks the one-hundred-year anniversary of the National Park Service. Often referred to as America’s Best Idea, there are more than four hundred parks within our beautiful country and I think fall is one of the best times to visit them. In celebration of this milestone, there’s one more entrance-free day left and I find it appropriate that this one takes place on Veteran’s Day, November 11.

To me, it feels like I’m living within a national park in my home of Telluride, Colorado. I believe that Ken Burns, renowned filmmaker of America’s National Park series and many other inspiring documentaries, feels similarly. Perhaps this is why he spends so much time in our little box canyon mountain town. I did an interview with him a while back on our national parks that is still very pertinent today. Do check it out here.

Even so, I love venturing out and exploring the real deal. Fortunately, we have a couple national parks in Colorado within about an hour-and-a-half drive of Telluride: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Mesa Verde National Park. (The latter is also a World Heritage Site.) I visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park with my parents six years ago toward the end of a big southwest tour that also showcased Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. Click here to read Touring the Southwest with My Parents, which features those two world-renowned destinations. At the end of that trip, I also visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park with them and I highlight this amazing national park in Part Four of a series of stories I did about rafting in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. After you read about this little-known national park, check out Rafting and Roughing it on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Part One, Part Two and Part Three–it was a big outdoor adventure that I hope to do again some day. You just might want to plan a similar trip there yourself.

Speaking of world famous sites, it always strikes me that at America’s National Parks I see an overwhelming number of foreigners. Sometimes I think they value what we have more than most of us. Possibly. In any event, I hope this story and the photos herein will prompt you to break out and savor what we are so blessed to behold within our nation’s borders. I also think it might be a great way to blow out some election overload!

more »

Glamping Through Breast Cancer Fears

Doing the Two-and-a-Half-Hour Drive to Grand Junction for My Mammogram First Time Around

Doing the Two-and-a-Half-Hour Drive to Grand Junction for My Mammogram First Time Around

Serving Myself a Wine in Fruita, Colorado

Serving Myself a Wine in Fruita, Colorado

My world shifted into a surreal-like state of uncertainty three weeks ago when I learned that I needed a second mammogram after my first one revealed troublesome findings. I was called back for a second mammo a year and a half ago, so at first I wasn’t overly concerned.

This time though I could clearly see the area that the radiologist told me appeared suspicious. “Your breasts look like chocolate milk, so it’s hard to see clearly,” she continued. I studied the section she indicated and thought that indeed the spot in question looked like flecks of cream clumped upon my frothy chest.

My heart rate quickened despite the fact that I exchanged casual small talk with her as she performed the second mammogram. Calm down, I said to myself. There’s nothing to worry about. Don’t automatically think about breast cancer.

more »

Nova Scotia Highlights

The Scallop Boat Fleet in Digby

The Scallop Boat Fleet in Digby

Beddeck on Cape Breton Island

Beddeck on Cape Breton Island

I’m high on Nova Scotia. Really. I recently spent seven days and seven nights in this Maritime province of Canada and I’m busting to tell the whole world about it. Really.

One of a Gazillion Little Boats I Admired in Nova Scotia

One of a Gazillion Little Boats I Admired in Nova Scotia

Ready for the Bay of Fundy Tides:  the Biggest in the World

Ready for the Bay of Fundy Tides: The Biggest in the World

Lunenberg Loveliness

Lunenberg Loveliness

If you follow this blog, you know that I’m a big storyteller. And I can’t wait to share my travels in Nova Scotia with you. For now though, I’ll keep the words to a minimum and let my pictures tell the story. Hopefully they will be enough to entice you to begin pondering a trip to this charming destination. Spring, summer and fall rank as the best times to go although I’d love to see this endearing land beneath a blanket of snow as fierce gale winds blow in from the Atlantic.

more »

Pirate Republic Brewing Company: A Bastion of Bahamian History

Garrrrrrrrvey the Pirate

Garrrrrrrrvey the Pirate

“Ahoy! Pass me pint a grog, matey.”

“Aye, aye, lemme go fetch it for ya on yer poopdeck.”

“Arrr. Go smartly or you’ll be tossed to sea!”

How’d I do? Were you able to conjure up a few images of snaggletoothed buccaneers, peg-legged tyrants or exotic parrots? How about that grog? Could you taste a frosty drink upon your lips?

You can learn about the rich history of pirates and sip a sweet pint of brew at Pirate Republic Brewing Company, a recently-opened establishment sure to become one of the most interesting places of interest in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Pirate Republic Brewing Company

Pirate Republic Brewing Company in Nassau, The Bahamas

Their Beers

Their Beers

“Nassau was a haven for some of the more notorious pirates that landed in the area in the 1700s,” says Susan Holowesko Larson, CEO of Pirate Republic Brewing, or PRB. “They practically settled here because The Bahamas were very close to the major shipping lanes of the day,” she continues. “Also our topography–comprised of tiny islands and shallow reefs–made it possible to hide ships and escape from authorities.”

Discover this huge part of Bahamian history and hear tall tales of unsavory characters such as Blackbeard and Calico Jack during one of PRB’s mid afternoon tours, conducted almost daily. Within crow’s nest view of the cruise terminal on Woodes Rogers Walk, the visit also showcases the dramatic Pirate Art of Antonius Roberts and a pint of beer from PRB, the first and only craft brewery in The Bahamas.

more »

Out and About in Paris Showcases the City of Light and More

Happy Bastille Day from Out and About in Paris

Happy Bastille Day from Out and About in Paris

Happy Bastille Day everyone! It’s France’s National Holiday and a good day for us Francophiles to raise our glass to the French and all that we love about France and Paris.

The Tour de France Arriving in the French CApital

The Tour de France Arriving in the French Capital

There are two days–both in July–when you want to be on the Champs-Elysées in Paris:  today, July 14 and the last day of the Tour de France bike race which typically occurs the third Sunday in July. On both these occasions, you can witness magnificent displays of color and might on one of the world’s most beautiful avenues in one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The parade has already passed by today, but mark your calendar for Sunday, July 26 when the Tour zooms into Paree.

Dining in France According to Out and About in Paris

Dining in France According to Out and About in Paris

Ah Paree

Ah Paree

How do you keep up with what’s happening in and around Paris? Where do you find your daily dose of alluring images of this top travel destination? The website/blog Out and About in Paris is your answer to this and beaucoup plus! In addition to reading their blog posts, plug yourself into their social media and you’ll be gloriously showered with all that you know and love about the City of Light. The oh-so dynamic and très internationale Mary Kay Bosshart is the driving force behind all that is Out and About in Paris. Honestly, I don’t know how she keeps up with her reporting and postings but she does with great enthusiasm and panache.

more »

Another Wonderful Visit to the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina

The Outer Banks of North Carolina

I recently spent a week at the beach with my boyfriend, Steve. We were on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX), one of the most alluring surf side destinations in the world, and a spot he has been frequenting for almost three decades.

So Pretty

So Pretty

Almost There

Almost There

Steve’s an avid beach enthusiast and I love the fact that he can just as easily appreciate lounging in a sun-baked dune as catching a ten-foot wave in the surf. Depending on the season and the weather patterns, you can find big swells in the waters off of Nags Head, Rodanthe, Hatteras, Frisco, and a slew of other OBX surf spots revered by  surfers and beach aficionados from around the world.

more »

Loving the Beach

Beach Self Portrait AKA Beach Goddess

Beach Self Portrait AKA Beach Goddess

Having just returned from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my mind and senses remain awash with the transformative powers of the beach.

The Surf

The Surf

Warm sand in my toes, the fun and freedom of walking barefoot, the thunderous sound of the surf, the gentle surging of water as each wave becomes absorbed into the sand, sea foam, myriad shells, sea breeze whipping through my hair, the tingling of my skin as I emerge from a chilly dip in the surf, endless stretches of reflexology, the entertainment provided by scurrying sandpipers, crabs and other birds and creatures new to my world, the searing heat of the sun, the chill of the ocean air, the smell of sunscreen, the taste of salt on my lips after an ocean swim, the vastness of the empty length of sand and water before me, the ever-changing interplay of every shade of blue, beige, red, yellow and green cast from the sea, sand and sky, the busyness of beach activities such as surf fishing, kite boarding, sand castle building, beer drinking or just lolling around reading a book or doing nothing but relaxing, sleeping or soaking up the scene, the infinite array of beach toys, paraphernalia, carts, coolers, chairs, towels and toys that serve as the accessories to a day at the beach, the Crayola-crayon colors of all this cheery garb and the bathing suits folks have donned, the parade of shapes and body types I can’t help checking out, the sky, the cacophony of gulls’ cries mixed with children’s laughter and adults’ friendly salutations, the charms and jumbles of the lucky-to-live-here surf side houses that line the beach, open-air beach showers, the emptiness that becomes my mind within a few minutes of stepping onto such a swath of shoreline, the occasional whiff of salt air, the letting go of the tension I carry within my body–yes, this is some of what I love about the beach.

more »

  • Follow A Tour of the Heart

     Follow A Tour of the Heart
  • Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign Up Today for My Email Newsletter
    For Email Marketing you can trust
  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Ads









  • Meta

  • Disclosure

    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.
  • Permission

    Please note that unless otherwise attributed to someone else, the content that appears on this Web site/blog is the property of the author, Maribeth Clemente. Written permission is required if you choose to use or excerpt any of this material.