Hotels New England Restaurants Travel: Hotels New England Restaurants Travel
Thanksgiving. A time to be grateful. I practice gratitude all year long—it’s what gets me through some of the toughest times. But around Thanksgiving, it’s nice to serve up a few extra helpings.
I’m grateful for my parents still being a part of my life right now. And I’m particularly thinking about my mother who just two days ago underwent a double knee replacement at the age of eighty. The pain must have been really bad for her to have opted for such surgery. I pray that she heals well and that her two brand new knees make a difference in her life.
I’m thinking back to a trip we took together last June, the first travels we’d done together—just the two of us—in a few years. We were like two girls on the run—Thelma and Louise wannabes looking to cut loose. Mom, as my Dad’s constant companion, hadn’t been out on a fun getaway with me, her “best-est” travel buddy in years. (Plus, most of her friends have passed away, so her vacationing days are few and far between.) We’ve always traveled tons together and getting back on track to long car rides filled with constant chatter, leisurely meals showcasing regional specialities, hotel stays where we’d talk into the wee hours of the morning and shopping forays where we’d experience the best of female bonding was all long overdue. Mom and I have always shared similar tastes: I am my mother’s daughter par excellence. So there’s little dissension about what to do and where to go; we view the world and its surroundings through a similar lens, especially when it comes to travel.
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.
Beauty Colorado Colorado Springs Hotels Restaurants Travel: Beauty Colorado Colorado Springs Hotels Restaurants Travel
Happy Halloween everyone! I hope it’s a fun one for you and your loved ones.
I’ve been out of touch the past couple of weeks, since I’ve been dealing with my own ghoulish happenings. Truly ghastly and yes, I felt like I was wearing a mask of sorts for a whole week. I looked like a monster and it seemed like I was living a nightmare.
Unlike most Halloween doings, this wasn’t fun at all. The whole dreadful experience did, however, force me to step back and be even more thankful for what I have in my life—my own good health and the people that love and support me every day. It also reinforced my feelings of compassion. I’ve always considered myself a caring and compassionate person yet now I’m even more so because I had a good taste of what it’s like to look like a freak.
By now you might be wondering what happened to me. Well, I had a terrible reaction to some medication that literally fried my face off from the inside out. My whole visage burned and swelled and itched and cracked and peeled like a moist riverbed dried up beneath the mid-day Mojave Desert sun. It hurt like hell; only large and regular doses of self medicating could make me somewhat comfortable. It was so unsightly that it made a child gape at me wide-eyed at the Medical Center and my dermatologist exclaim, “Wow, I’ve never seen such a reaction.” I did, however, feel an overflowing of compassion from folks at the pharmacy and other doctors’ offices which I frequented a lot that week because there was no easy fix. I truly sensed that people poured there heart out to me whether they said anything or not. My attempts at hiding behind the disguise of a pink fleece hoodie proved futile and after my third visit to the pharmacy, I just let it all hang out like a terribly over ripe peach dangling from the limb of a tree. At one point, I had to pop into a market for cat food and perhaps in an effort to reach out to me, the cashier kindly complimented me on my scarf.
I just wanted to lie on my couch and retreat into my own world, generously applying cold compresses and oil to my face every half hour while listening to Mozart and sipping wine.
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 Restaurants Telluride: Colorado Hotels Restaurants Telluride
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Yikes! The summer is just blowing by here in Telluride, Colorado. Even though we enjoyed a good stretch of hot, dry weather followed by a most welcome monsoonal flow, it seems like summer is speeding along way too fast. Good news: The best part about summer winding down means that the golden season of autumn is upon us and ski season is just a good snowstorm or two away. As the saying goes, “In Telluride, most come for the winter and stay for the summer.”
Aspen Colorado Hotels Restaurants: Aspen Colorado Hotels Restaurants
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On a recent visit to Aspen, Colorado I had the pleasure of discovering two of its newest restaurants: Element 47 at The Little Nell and Snowmass Kitchen at The Westin Snowmass Resort. I also carved out the time to revisit Venga Venga Cantina & Tequila Bar, another one of my Snowmass favorites. What a gastronomic trip this turned out to be! All three of these establishments rank tops on my list for ambiance and for providing exceptional culinary moments in a variety of forms.
Aspen, indisputably the swankiest of all our Colorado mountain towns, now offers one of the most sophisticated dining experiences in the Rockies with Element 47 at The Little Nell. I must admit, I felt trepidacious about this renowned hotel’s new signature restaurant. Being the Francophile that I am, I of course loved the classic and oh-so French dining experience offered at La Montagne, The Little Nell’s original restaurant and a landmark of sorts to people from all over the world—just like the hotel’s sunken lounge. Fortunately the lounge was remodeled enough so that it looks fresh and in step with the times, yet not so much that you wouldn’t recognize this “old friend,” a familiar meeting place for the tony crowd of Aspen. The look, however, of Element 47, was changed up completely and the end result is one of sleek, timeless elegance.
Colorado Podcasts Restaurants Telluride: Colorado Podcasts Restaurants Telluride
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
“What’s that?” you ask.
Having the opportunity to open up a dining establishment in Telluride, Colorado, and having it be so warmly received by visitors and residents alike. John, or Johnny (as he is so affectionately called), Gerona, is the nice guy I’m referring to here. He and his wife, Janice, took the leap in May by opening up The Village Table, a fresh and inviting dining establishment in Telluride Mountain Village where everyone feels much at home.
It’s no wonder, since Johnny, a longtime Telluride local, puts a lot of love into his food. He learned to cook initially from his mama, an Italian, who, like most Italian mothers, devoted her time to making sure that everyone within her reach was well-fed and happy. After going to school to learn classical French culinary practices and working in some of the top restaurants in New York, the ski bum in Johnny finally landed in our beautiful mountain town of Telluride. He’s owned restaurants before in T-ride, worked for others and also operated a catering company for primarily loyal clients that have called upon his fine culinary services for years. And then the call came again to operate his own place, a restaurant where people could gather for lunch, tapas and dinner and enjoy the heartwarming European tradition of gathering for a delicious meal around the table; in this case, The Village Table.
Colorado Hotels Podcasts Restaurants Telluride: Colorado Hotels Podcasts Restaurants Telluride
Phew! What a holiday weekend it was! Tourism here in Telluride, Colorado, was cranking. I think half of Texas and Arizona found their way here at some point this past week. Not to mention all the east coasters that were surely breathing a sigh of relief when they found themselves away from the humidity and hubbub of their densely populated places of residence. And who could blame them? It has been hot, dry and sunny here in Telluride but our warmth is nothing compared with what most of the rest of the country has been experiencing. During the summer, we still enjoy cool interiors without the need for air conditioning. Evenings require a blanket—perhaps two, if you’re camping.
I’d like to take this opportunity to salute all those that work in the hospitality world in Telluride and other big vacations spots around our country. Here, as in many other locales, the period surrounding the Fourth of July ranks as crazy-busy as the week between Christmas and New Year’s. What’s even more of a challenge for Telluride hospitality workers is that our season goes from just a smattering of business to sold-out-status within just a few week’s time. Finding good, reliable help in such a seasonable environment is always a challenge but somehow most establishments—from a high-end hotel to the local pizza place—pull it off, for the most part flawlessly. Unfortunately I think a lot of the stress and strain of doing business in such a fickle environment falls on the ownership and most definitely the management.