5 Feb 2011, 12:28pm
Colorado Hotels & Lodging Pot Pourri Shopping Spas Telluride:
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Valentine’s Love: Great Deals for Public Radio

Wrapped in Red at the New Sheridan Hotel

Wrapped in Red at the New Sheridan Hotel

Here’s an opportunity for twofold love. Snatch up a great deal on travel and treats while supporting community radio. I’ve listed some exciting gifts below that you can give your Valentine and at the same time you’ll be showing support for KOTO, our homegrown NPR station here in Telluride, Colorado. All proceeds from these gifts benefit KOTO. You’ll notice that you don’t even have to go to T-ride to take advantage of them. All you have to do is contact me with your pledge and I’ll let you know if you’re the lucky recipient of these fine premiums. It’s first come, first served, so go ahead and e-mail me your choice along with your contact information and I’ll let you know if you’ve scored a great Valentine’s gift for your sweetie.

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10 Nov 2010, 9:03am
Colorado Pot Pourri Skiing & Snowboarding:
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SKI Magazine and Me

Posing for SKI Magazine in T-ride

Posing for SKI Magazine in T-ride

I’m in upstate New York now where it snowed on Monday. I was happy to see that it has started snowing in Colorado this week as well—indeed, it’s time the fluffy white stuff starts to accumulate. I’m not thinking much about skiing these days, however, since I’m still in writer’s mode. I’m actually headed to New York City to stir up some publishing contacts for “A Tour of the Heart,” a travel memoir/love story I’ve been working on. (This work, which is not surprisingly set in France, explores the juxtaposition of two major themes in my life: European sophistication and self empowerment through sports.) Right now I’m keeping my bags light and am mostly packing accessories (scarves, baubles and tops) along with my MacAir and a handful of papers—it promises to be a busy few days. I feel eons away from the mid-winter days in Telluride when lots of layering and a backpack stuffed to capacity are the norm.

Schussing for SKI Magazine

Schussing for SKI Magazine

Yet skiing is never far from my thoughts. And I’ve had so many people comment on a recent SKI Magazine article that I have to fess up. Yes, that’s me featured in the October issue of SKI Magazine. It’s the gear issue and the story emphasizes how you can improve your technique with the right boot fit, foot beds, canting and other essential equipment adjustments. The piece mentions that I’m a travel writer, ski instructor and shopping consultant, something that might raise eyebrows in anything but a ski publication. (How I love the eclectic lives most of us live in the mountains!) Anyway, if you have this issue in a stack on your coffee table, you may want to check it out. If not, know that I’ll be providing my own tips this season on how to outfit yourself on and off the slopes with both European styling and American know-how. Don’t you think it’s great to mix up your life? As always, I welcome any comments and/or tips you may want to share.

Great Deals for Public Radio: Summer 2010

Capella's Take on Mountain Elegance

Capella's Mountain Elegance

There are lots of travel deals out there these days but you won’t find any as enticing as the ones I’m presenting to you below.  And best of all, by making a pledge for them you’re supporting KOTO community radio in Telluride, one of the few entirely community-sponsored radio stations in the country.  More and more people tune in on the Internet as well during T-ride’s famed Bluegrass Festival (when KOTO broadcasts live) or just any ‘ole day of the year.  It’s a great way to get the flavor of a happening mountain town along with some fine music and talk.

If you don’t know about my Travel Fun radio show, please tune in live one of these Tuesdays.  Or you may listen to some of my past interviews that I’ve posted as podcasts.

Now for the good stuff.  Here’s what you can snatch up in exchange for a pledge, just e-mail me through my Contacts Page to lock in your travel premium.  (You can also go there to sign up for my RSS feed and/or to receive bi-monthly Travel Fun announcements.  Be sure to provide all your contact information including phone and address (e-mail as well as snail mail, please) and your desired prize.  Know that I’m accepting pledges on a first come, first serve basis, so act fast!


First-Rate Dinner and Lodging at Capella

$150. pledge: a two-night stay in a standard room (pictured above—wow!) in this stunning hotel, valued between $200. and $500.

$75.  pledge: dinner for two at Onyx, Capella’s signature restaurant, valued at $100. not including tax and gratuity.

Feeling sophisticated?  It sounds like you need to spend some time at Capella, the newest bright star of Telluride’s hospitality offerings.

The Himmel Spa at The Klammer

The Himmel Spa Relaxation Room at The Klammer

Gorgeous Health and Beauty Treatments from the Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge

$75. pledge: One-hour facial, valued at $130.

$75. pledge: One-hour massage, valued at $120.  Note that both include access to the pool, fitness center and spa facilities for the day.  How delightful, how de-lovely! Read what I have to say about The Himmel Spa at The Klammer in my story, Telluride’s Ultra Luxe Mountain Spas.


Almost Like Home:  Box Canyon Lodge

Almost Like Home: Box Canyon Lodge

Great Getaway to America’s Little Switzerland

$50. pledge: Enjoy an overnight, valued at $100., at Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, in Ouray.  Read my Ouray story as a primer.

25 Jan 2010, 9:00pm
Beauty Hotels & Lodging Pot Pourri Restaurants Spas Telluride Travel:
Comments Off on Great Deals for Public Radio: Winter 2010

Great Deals for Public Radio: Winter 2010

It’s winter fundraising at KOTO, one of the few entirely community-supported radio stations in the country. It has been six years that I have been doing my Travel Fun talk show on KOTO, a program that has allowed me to deepen my ties with Telluride and to forge travel connections with a variety of people and places all over the world. I’m thrilled to be a part of such a family!

As in recent fundraising campaigns, I’ve obtained some very exciting premiums that you can win in exchange for a pledge to KOTO.  Fellow D.J. Chuck Burr has helped me with these efforts and together we have pulled together a show that will surely tantalize your trip planning ponderings.  Tune in today at 6:20 p.m. mountain time to this special live program at KOTO.org.  Here’s a preview of what we’re offering:

Ashland, Oregon Package

Chuck lives most of the time in this lovely northwestern destination.  He’ll be talking about Ashland’s allure and why its stunning scenery and charming town are worth checking out.  This package includes a two-night stay at Ashland’s Black Swan Inn, a soak for two at Chozu Bath and Tea Gardens and two tickets to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the oldest and largest professional nonprofit theaters in the country.  The value of this package is $420.; it can be yours for a pledge in the amount of $250.

Telluride Temptations

Rustic Elegance/$200. pledge: Two nights in a one-bedroom condo at the handsome Mountain Lodge in Telluride. Approximate value:  $500.-750.

Valentine’s Day Treatment/$100. pledge: Delight in an organic Belgian chocolate and Kona coffee scrub, followed by a luxurious massage with organic dark chocolate body butter, valued at $189., at The Himmel Spa at The Fairmont Heritage Place Franz Klammer Lodge.  That sounds like ninety minutes of yum, yum to me. Read about my take on this charming spa here.

Exciting Dining Experience/$75. pledge: Receive a $100. gift certificate to the new Palmyra restaurant at The Peaks Resort & Spa.

Perfect Turns/$75. pledge:  Join an adult group lesson, valued at $130., at Telluride’s most awesome Ski & Snowboard School.

Magnificent Massage/$75. pledge: A ninety-minute massage, valued at $150., with Darren Miller, from Rolling Relaxation Massage, to be provided at Mountain Lodge Telluride.  You may contact Darren at 970-369-5193, 303-257-6070 and rollingrelaxation@hotmail.com.  Read more about this expert healer here.

Rosa Lea and Jackson from Salon 7

Rosa Lea and Jackson from Salon 7

Lady’s Locks/$35. pledge: A woman’s haircut, valued at $50., by Rosa Lea at Salon 7, my favorite stylist in town.  You can reach Rosa Lea at 970-708-1266 and rosalea_davis@hotmail.com.  I also wrote about her here.

Peaks Pampering/$30. pledge: Receive a Spa Access Day Pass to The Peaks Spa.  Four passes have been donated.  Approximate value:  $45. each.  Read more about The Peaks Spa here.

Voulez-Vous/$30. pledge: A one-hour French lesson, valued at $50., avec moi! Go to my About page to learn more about me.

Gorgeous Guy/$20. pledge:  A man’s haircut, valued at $30., by Rosa Lea at Salon 7.  (See contact info. above.)

Some Original Ideas

Your Own Tour Guide/$30. pledge: As the author of four books on France, I know a fair amount about Paris and the provinces. This pledge, valued at $50., will grant you a one-hour travel consultation with me on Paris and/or the French provinces.

Blah-Blah Blog/$100. pledge: You, your product or service (or maybe all three) get to star in one of my many postings at BonjourColorado.com.  Approximate Value: Priceless.  Let me spin you and/or your goods into a fun story!

Please note that certain restrictions may apply.  All pledges will be taken on a first-come basis.

Call the studio (970-728-4333) as of 6:25 p.m. mountain time today to make a pledge for any of the above offers.  You may also write me a note on my Contact Page.

Thank you to the above individuals and establishments for your geneous donations.  I encourage my readers to support these fine businesses.  Thanks to all for showing your love for Telluride’s unique public radio station!

What Kind of a Traveler Am I Anyhow? Part One: Packing

I can be a bit of a kook actually. Sometimes I’m frighteningly calm, other times I’m manic. Doesn’t traveling amplify all of our crazy, quirky, compulsive traits? Travel can be about totally letting go, but it’s also about zeroing in on the most minute details. For me, I love being in this mode of complete bipolarity when it comes to touring and discovery. But when it concerns the logistics of travel—planes and packing, for example—it can make me nuts. Or I just respond with a total laissez-faire attitude that can potentially make others around me go ballistic.

Let’s take packing. I’m from the bring-a-wide-selection-so-that-you-have-a-choice mindset. That’s totally Old School, especially with the baggage surcharges enforced by the airlines today. It’s tough though since I love to look my best when traveling and that often means switching out handbags and shoes along with a few different sweaters and a couple of coats. (We’re already approaching the limit here.) I had a near breakdown when I traveled to the east coast in September which prompted a major intervention I performed on myself (in the privacy of my bedroom, thank goodness) when I prepared for a second east coast trip in October. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I almost choked at the United counter in September when I had to pay $75. for two bags that I hadn’t even registered online. And that was just for the outbound segment. What made it worse was that I was to be spending most of my time in beach communities in Virginia Beach and The Outer Banks. How much room could a couple of bathing suits, sandals and assorted casual wear take up? This is pathetic, I thought to myself at check in. Granted I had a heavy silk dress and jacket packed in there for a wedding I was to attend (with, of course, the requisite matching sandals and bag). I was cursing my boyfriend, Steve, to myself for having urged me to take my sneakers. (Now that’s a space eater if there ever was one—who walks on the beach in sneaks anyway?) I had also thrown in my hairdryer since it appeared I might be without one for a bit. (Who travels with a hairdryer these days?) And my toiletry case ended up being the joke of our ten-day trip since it was stuffed with twenty some odd bottles (mini, but still), containing my prized potions and lotions that I presumably couldn’t live without. Now really? My God, an intervention was definitely in order. Clearly I hadn’t followed my own packing tips outlined here.

I know better. But an overflow of stress, combined with a what-the-hell kind of attitude provoked me to throw all my stuff into one suitcase, a duffle bag and two carry ons. I schlepped this proliferation of possessions from plane, to car, to another car, to taxi, to bus (yes, even on the Greyhound; read Riding the Bus), then to more car, plane and car, cursing myself the whole way. You get the idea.

I swore I’d never do that again. And so I haven’t, at least not on my October trip back east. I followed my own advice and cut my wardrobe selection in half and let it hang on door handles in my room for a few days before departure. Then I thought more about all—accessories and toiletries included—and neatly folded my trim little selection into my suitcase the morning of my departure. Phew! The intervention had worked. Plus I had registered my one bag online within the twenty-four-hour period allowed. Boy was I feeling mighty!

Suddenly I’m struck with that panicky feeling again, a strange sort of anxiety brought on by pre-departure packing plans. I’m leaving tomorrow with Steve on an almost week-long jaunt to Colorado Springs. He’s the General Manager at Mountain Lodge in Telluride and he’ll be attending the annual Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association conference at The Broadmoor. I’ll be joining him at a few events in search of story ideas and more. I already had my wardrobe planned in my head (and on my door knobs), thinking I’d draw from some combination of Rocky Mountain casual and Parisian chic. (It is The Broadmoor after all.) Then suddenly he tells me he’d like to add on a day of skiing on the return trip. “Oh, sure, sure, that’s great,” I said. But then I thought about having to pack my ski pants and ski jacket, mittens, hat, the whole shabang. I had already been wondering where my skis and ski boots were located since I didn’t see them in my storage area in Montrose, an hour and a half from where I live, when I went to pick up my winter things there ten days ago. I’ve been meaning to check my other storage area in Telluride as well as my ski locker at the mountain. My heart quickened. I’ve been on the verge of throwing Getting Ready for Ski Season: Part Two into motion, but now I need to get it into full activation mode. (Fortunately I’m already well into Getting Ready for Ski Season: Part One.)

Jeez, this is really confusing. And then I wonder how many other people go through these kinds of mind games regarding travel. Our supposedly more relaxed lifestyle of The West can be thrown a curve ball when you add on “just one day of skiing” to a business trip/elegant romantic getaway. One would think I’d be a professional traveler and could handle any scenario. When I’m in full ski instructor mode I sometimes sleep in my long underwear, get up, have breakfast, wash my face, brush my teeth and fly out the door to the mountain in near record time. But this travel combo so early in the season almost seems daunting. I take a deep breath and remember all the calming words I uttered to myself during my little intervention. Ssssh, ssssh, ssssh, stop, I say to myself. So what if I have to take two different pairs of mittens, socks and a variety of layers in order to be properly prepared for any type of weather for our one day of skiing, our maiden voyage of the ski season. I can handle it, I tell myself. And you won’t bring more than one file along with your laptop, I add on, almost as an afterthought. Can it be a fat one? I ask myself pleadingly. All right, all right.

Thankfully Steve, who travels considerably for his work, is no better than me. Actually worse, I think. On our east coast trip in September, he also checked two bags and a guitar! I’m not altogether sure what he had packed in his duffels but he mumbled something about his wetsuit and booties taking up a lot of room. Like my hairdryer, his wetsuit, booties and guitar were used only once during the entire trip. He employed his surfboard considerably more but that he leaves stashed back east. I wouldn’t think of doing a packing intervention on him. In any event, I love the fact that I travel with a guy that brings more stuff than me.

I wonder how it will be for us this trip.  I’m already beginning to feel slightly superior after my October test, despite my sporadic mind chatter that has raised some new packing insecurities.  We are driving and neither of us has to worry about baggage allotments.  Hmmmmm.  Oh dear, I sense a binge coming on.

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