Colorado French Provinces Paris Travel Trip Planning: Colorado French Provinces Paris Travel Trip Planning
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I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks planning trips for people. Did you know I do that? I don’t publicize it much since it’s sometimes hard to juggle the time required to set up a wonderful trip for someone with my ski instructor/travel writer life, but I’ve decided to put the word out more about this service.
My forte is arranging travel for people to France (Paris and the French provinces, bien sur) and, of course, Colorado. Those are my two loves and having lived eleven years in France and now the same amount of time in Colorado, I know my subject matter. At the risk of sounding immodest, I know these destinations as an expert, as someone that has authored five books on France and blogged about Colorado and other parts of the American West for almost five years. Voilà, those are my credentials. And with all the research I’ve done for myself to travel and experience these different places, you can bet I’ve organized countless trips. It has been fun doing it for others as well since in most everything I do, I try to share my passion for my favorite lands.
For those of you that are looking for some tips such as favorite restaurants in Paris, a great ski in/ski out property in Colorado or more, know that as much as I’d like to respond to every one of those with my short list of recommendations, time does not always allow me to do so. I’m working on starting a website, www.atouroftheheart.com, for my new book, A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, which will include a downloadable travel guide of many of my favorite places throughout France. (Right now that link points to my blog, www.bonjourcolorado.com). As for Colorado and the West, I have not far from 300 stories on my blog, most of which feature Colorado and its neighboring states. So do spend some time looking around and make use of the search in the upper right hand corner of my blog as well as the categories section.
You can always check out my Faves page where I showcase my favorite properties and travel suppliers. For more tips on travel to Paris and the French provinces, I suggest you like my Facebook page for A Tour of the Heart where I post travel tips and other tidbits on a regular basis.
If you have some thoughts about a future trip to France, Colorado or other parts of the West, contact me and set up a consultation to see what I can do for you. I’d also happily provide references from other people for whom I’ve organized travel.
Bon voyage and happy trails to all!
Merci à Rik Klomp, from La Borde Maison d’Hôtes in Burgundy, for the above photo. La Borde Maison d’Hôtes is just one of many wonderful properties showcased at au Château, a highly reputable travel supplier that organizes unique lodging experiences across France. This is the sort of company I keep in mind—along with biggies such as Relais & Châteaux and Concorde Hotels—when considering where to send people in France.
In Colorado and other parts of the West, I also like to zero in on properties that I’ve experienced firsthand, whether it be a historic hotel, a cozy lodge or a full-service resort. Thank you to Mountain Lodge Telluride, my friend and neighbor, for the below photos.
For more on au Château, Mountain Lodge Telluride and other travel suppliers and properties I hold dear, go to my Faves page where you’ll find lots of links to stories where these companies and organizations are featured.
Aspen Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Travel Vail: Aspen Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Travel Vail
How do you book travel? Do you go directly to websites such as Expedia.com to check out any alluring offers they’re showcasing? Or perhaps you’re more destination or theme oriented and and you sift through info. at sites such as Ski.com and On the Snow.com? Do you troll the Internet for stories from travel publications and blogs to read about places from a firsthand perspective? Or maybe you flash on video and photo postings your friends have put up on Facebook?
All the above are valid ways to research and book travel and it should come as no surprise that people are turning even more to the Internet and social media for all, including travel planning. This is some of what I gleaned last week from the Mountain Travel Symposium (MTS) I attended in Snowmass, Colorado. The largest gathering of mountain travel professionals in North America, MTS also marks the beginning of the sales cycle for the next ski season. Attendees come from around the world to conduct business and to learn about what’s new and happening in the snowsports industry. This year’s 38th annual MTS brought together leaders and innovators from the ski and travel tech industries to provoke conversation and solution-seeking ideas for the1,200 professionals gathered at this dynamic event.
Aspen Beaver Creek Colorado Restaurants Shopping Telluride The Rockies Vail: Aspen Beaver Creek Colorado Restaurants Shopping Telluride Vail
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Ski season might be winding down, although there’s little letting up on the wining and dining scene in Colorado’s top mountain destinations. To the contrary—with the window of prime skiing narrowed down during most spring days—it seems like visitors and locals alike allot even more time for socializing off the slopes during this fair weather season.
If you’re anywhere near Summit County, be sure to put Bagalis in Frisco at the top of your list. I love the warm, inviting decor of this chef-owned and operated restaurant. Chef Michal Ulehala and his wife, Joyce, opened this fine Italian restaurant two years ago and the accolades have been growing ever since. Copper-topped tables, subdued lighting, wood beams and lots of style-y touches such as rectangular white plates come together to create a look that feels like old mining town meets Euro lounge. A large communal table serves as center stage for diners looking to mix and mingle, however, you might want to tuck yourself into one of the more quiet corners of this handsome restaurant. Plan to while away a good amount of time here over beautifully prepared antipasti such as an olive and meat plate comprised of the finest products sourced with care. Indeed, Chef Michal and his team are proponents of the Slow Food Movement and here everything they serve—from shrimp polenta to artisan pizzas to housemade desserts—is made from the finest ingredients, many of which come from local purveyors. Expect an excellent price/quality relationship on all, including their wines by the glass and the bottle—all of which have been selected with great expertise. Bagalis also opens for lunch, offering the perfect time to enjoy their outdoor patio beneath sunny Colorado skies.
Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies: Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies
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Whoa, what a busy ski season it has been! I can’t believe it has been over a month since I last posted a story. If you’ve followed my blog and read my bio, you know that I’m a ski instructor at the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. This year has been especially busy for me for a variety of reasons, largely because although we had a slow start, we’ve had some great snow here in Telluride this season. (So much so, in fact, that they had to bomb Ajax the big mountain at the far end of town as you can see in the two photos included in this post.) And when the snow comes, so do the skiers.
I completed a twenty-five day stint of working as an instructor early March, then had a couple days off before the first big wave of spring breakers arrived. After another eight days in a row, I felt pooped—utterly exhausted. I checked out for a few days to catch up on rest, laundry and other necessities of life and now I’m back for round two of the hectic spring break crowd.
It looks as though we’ll be busy here in Telluride through the end of the season, especially since Easter lands on March 31st. Fortunately we have a lot of snow remaining—some of the best in Colorado—so we should be able to keep vacationers happy until the mountain closes April 7.
Colorado Shopping Telluride: Colorado Shopping Telluride
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There’s still time to remember special people—whether it be your sweetheart, mom, dad, son, daughter, aunt or pet—with something from the heart. Distance separates many of us, so sending a little something often takes on more meaning, especially if it arrives unexpectedly.
In this post, I’m highlighting the boutiques featured in the Online Shopping page at BonjourColorado.com. Peruse their sites and you’ll find a great many gift ideas for the loves in your life. All offer 10% discounts on online shopping to Bonjour Colorado readers, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully and type in the Bonjour discount code as specified.
Chocolates, chocolates, chocolates. For extra good ones in a variety of forms—from truffles to chocolate sauce to the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever tasted—order a slice of Telluride from Telluride Truffle. Perhaps granny has more of a penchant for toffee. If so, I’ve found the best from Ruth’s Toffee, another excellent confectioner of the region.
Colorado Hotels Restaurants Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies: Beaver Creek Breckenridge Colorado Hotels Restaurants Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies
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Woo-hoo! It’s been snowing in Colorado—big time. Anyone that’s been following this winter’s weather patterns knows that Colorado has been shortchanged in snowfall this season. Yes, it has been a little tough going but that’s all changed after one humongous storm. And then another biggie.
Just in the nick of time, over forty inches were dumped on parts of the San Juans, the mighty range of the Rockies that dominates most of southwestern Colorado. Avalanche control work is still being carried out in much of the region but since Saturday, folks have been able to enjoy epic skiing and riding.
It’s no surprise that Wolf Creek racked up the highest number of inches with Silverton and Durango Mountain Resort following closely behind. Here in Telluride, we were extremely happy with almost three feet—yes, people have been hooting and hollering on and off the slopes for the past five days. (I was thrilled to enjoy two stellar days of skiing early in the week and then gladly welcomed a day at my desk after feeling totally whopped and sore after so much fun. Plus, I’m still tired from having succumbed to the flu—yuk.)
Vail, Beaver Creek and Breckenridge report almost two feet of fresh this past week while Aspen has measured a bit less. The latest weather system just blew out of the state and now everyone in Colorado seems to be grinning ear-to-ear. With blue skies all around us, it doesn’t get much better for enjoying all this lovely Colorado champagne powder.
Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies: Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies
Whoa, what a night! I know the year is young, however, last night might well turn out to be the best night of the year for me and perhaps one of the more memorable of my life.
You see I went to the near-famous Lizardhead Igloo. No, it’s not some kind of a fancy restaurant or swanky bar. I’m talking about a real igloo, crafted in the Inuit tradition and situated in the wilderness high above Lizard Head Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
Ever since my first winter in Telluride nine years ago, I’d heard about the igloo. And I always wanted to go. It took the visit of Mary Ann, an out-of-town friend, to serve as the catalyst in making this dream a reality. You wouldn’t think I’d need such a nudge, but keep in mind that it’s darn cold out here in the Rockies at night—especially after a day on the slopes. So it takes real motivation to muster up the energy required for such an adventure.
Although you only have to drive about forty minutes outside of Telluride to reach Lizard Head, an impressive pass with an elevation of 10,222 feet, you have to venture into the woods a distance to reach the igloo. What was announced to be a twenty-minute hike turned out to be at least double that, a strenuous ascent that required us to climb more than 500 feet on a snow-packed trail which had only been mildly tamped down by the igloo revelers that passed before us. Mary Ann, Mary Dawn, Neil and I formed our little party of nighttime snowshoers, a small group of plodding souls that I’m sure irked Neil to no end. (Apparently he powers up the mountain in a fraction of the time it took us.)
Colorado Food & Wine French Life Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride: Colorado Food & Wine French Life Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride
As a ski instructor, the holiday period always becomes a bit of a blur. And you thought it felt that way to you? Try working full days on the mountain for as long as a ten- to fourteen-day stint and see how much relaxing you’re able to do during this festive period. We don’t complain though—we love it. What better way to celebrate the holidays than out on the slopes assisting in the fun and merrymaking of travelers from all over the world?
Now that most people have chucked their Christmas trees and resolved to consume far less fattening food and drink, I’m embracing the holiday spirit more than ever. I’m not working on the hill as much, so I can breathe easier and nestle myself into my little apartment that’s still adorned with a smattering of ornaments, winter wonderland knickknacks and an abundance of candles. It’s red and green chez moi year round—the classic colors of the mountains—the rich and heartwarming hues that I very much love. My jolly look is ramped up during the holiday period with the addition of fresh pine cuttings and red bows. I’ll keep most of that up until it stays fresh, likely for another couple of weeks, and then dismantle the bulk of my joyful trimmings by Valentine’s Day. There’s many a chalet in the Alps done up holiday style all the way to the end of ski season, so I’m not as odd as you may be thinking.