The Rockies: Winter Park Wonderland!

I spent a lovely Christmas Eve at my sister Christian’s with her husband Craig and the kiddos who are grown up now! She is one heck of a cook, and provided me an awesome brie cheese recipe.

Christmas and the next few days were spent with my mom. It was great. We made a delicious pot roast and went to three movies, American Hustle, Philomena, and Saving Mr. Banks. I recommend them all!!

Just after my mom left (who brought nice weather from Texas), my friend Deb came to join me, and we headed to Winter Park. It snowed on us daily, but not too badly. Just enough to allow for fun winter activities like snowmobiling and tubing!

The snowmobiling was fantastic! We followed a two lane trail up to the Continental Divide. When we weren’t watching for ongoing snowmobile traffic, we were admiring the snow covered trees as well as the magnificent landscape, including a COOL, old bridge. Once we arrived above the treeline, there was an open space where we could get up to 35 mph speeds.

We took a late trip up the mountain which began at 2:30, so the sun began setting upon our return home. It was magnificent. Our guide asked if we wanted to extend the two hour session an additional 30 minutes…um, twist my arm YES! We steered our machines along a single track trails down steep inclines. It was exhilerating, and quite fun despite now being frozen in the dark!

The tubing was fun too! Two folks on the snowmobile tour gave us all the tips on which tubing to do…”not the one at the mountain and for the two in Fraser”, go to the one on the right, they said. An hour is about all the entertainment we needed, and we learned as soon as we finished twisting, turning, and going down the hill backwards, to jump off the tube and get out of the way, or we might get decked. We watched one poor kid get knocked down, landing on his chin, get back up, and proceed to get knocked over twice more. He landed forward, backwards, sideways and more…just not on his feet. I would have been sore.

Aside from winter activities, we also strolled around the shops in town, tried out Deno’s, Moe’s BBQ and even the Chinese food place. They were all good. When we weren’t out and about, we finally conquered a 1,000 piece Chihully jigsaw puzzle that was basically all the same color…OUCH!

On New Year’s Eve, some friends from Denver, who own condos (we rented ours), came up for a nice party. We first met at Serena and Chris’s before we went to the Library for dinner and Deno’s for drinks. Live music and only $5 for a vodka soda at Deno’s…what a treat! Actually the whole night was quite fun. I haven’t celebrated New Year’s in ages.

Football games were in the making on New Year’s day. We eventually made it out to Devil’s Thumb Ranch for a really nice dinner. I had abalone for the first time…good! The Devil’s Thumb Ranch was rustic and quite nice with a spa and the option to snowshoe and cross country ski. I could totally stay there for the weekend!

Happy 2014 to everyone! We started off with a bang.  ETB


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