Ski Trip: Telluride, CO.
Dennis is turning 40 this year. Yup, that’s right, 40! So when I asked him how he wanted to ring in the milestone he told me he wanted to celebrate with a ski trip to Telluride, Colorado. I was secretly wishing for a slightly warmer local - Mexico or Hawaii anyone? But, this was HIS birthday trip so when he said Telluride I stopped daydreaming of sandy beaches and palm trees and started to wrap my head around skiing.
Now Telluride isn’t exactly the easiest place to get to - three flights plus an 1.5 hour car ride - something I wasn’t too excited about, especially since we were going to be travelling with a one-year-old. Then again, this was HIS birthday trip so I thought I’d throw logistics out the window, shut my mouth and just go with the flow.
Side note: Even though Inès was only 13 months old we made a last minute decision to book her her own seat on the plane. We only did this for the longest flight (3 hours) from Vancouver to Phoenix and vice versa on the way home. This was a big game changer as she was able to sit in her own car seat and ended up sleeping most of the way! I know this is an added expense but if you can afford to do it I would highly recommend it!
A few weeks later I found myself strapped into my snowboard at 12,000 ft. on a beautiful sunny day in mid February. Before me, an expansive vista of spiny ridges and sharp snow covered peaks, part of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.
It had been almost 2 years since the last time I had even been on my snowboard (motherhood), so I was a bit nervous. I followed Dennis down See Forever, an intermediate corduroy groomer consisting of rolling terrain, and one of Telluride’s longest runs. We carved our way back down to the Village Express lift, where there was no line - as had been the case for every lift we had taken that day!
Off the slopes, Telluride does have a lot to offer. Great restaurants, narrow streets, Victorian houses and some serious unpretentious old west vibes. The town is tucked within a tight boxcar canyon and has less than 2,500 year-round-residents and not a single stoplight!
For those people wondering, yes we did hire a babysitter so that Dennis and I could have a ski day together. I was super hesitant at first (hello mom guilt!), I mean this would be the first time that anyone other than family has looked after Inès. I was really nervous and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to go through with it. I thought about it A LOT.
But then I remembered a section from one of my favourite parenting books that I read while I was pregnant, Bringing Up Bébé - Pamela Druckerman’s très popular guide to “the wisdom of French parenting”. It was the section on the autonomy of the mother which basically states that rather than spend every moment solely focused on their children, French women are encouraged to celebrate themselves as well. “Guilt is a trap…the perfect mother does not exist,” Druckerman explains. Plus, there was no way I was going to travel all this way to one of America’s best ski resorts and not ski. Decision made: I was going skiing!
And you know what, Inès was totally fine!!! She had a great time with the sitter and was well cared for. They went for a walk, cruised over to the library and then stopped for some french fries on their way back to the hotel. She had a great time and all that nervous anxiety about leaving her was all in my head! It was a big step for me but I’m soooo glad I did it.
We stopped for lunch at Brown Dog Pizza for some deliciously ooey gooey cheesy pies with yummy toppings and the perfect soft/crisp crust.
The next night we decided to splurge on dinner out at Alpino Vino, and at 12,000 ft it’s the highest restaurant in North America! If you go to this place for lunch you can just ski right to the front door, however if you’re going for dinner you have to take a Snow-Cat to get there! We were greeted at the door with an aperitif, then settled in for a five-course tasting menu with wine pairings. Unfortunately, the service was slow (WAY to long between courses) and the food was nothing impressive, to say the least. The wines were the real highlight here. I’m glad we tried it but I wouldn’t go back for dinner - you are definitely paying for the experience, not the food! Lunch would have been better.
We stayed at the Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resort Collection. Dennis originally had us booked in a King Balcony room, but because we were travelling with a one-year-old, we decided to change it to a One Bedroom Residence instead - hello full kitchen and laundry!!! These two things are must-haves when travelling with young kids!
We had a nice cozy, roomy and well appointed condo (no flimsy pots and pans, plus a steam shower!) but with the amenities and service of a five-star hotel. I mean what’s not to love? We ordered room service twice and both times were super quick and delicious.
Now there were two things that made this hotel really awesome: the location, and the pool!
The hotel is located in Mountain Village with ski-in/out access to the slopes and complimentary gondolas. One of the gondolas takes you down to the town of Telluride, while the other gondola takes you right to the grocery store - like literally right to the front entrance of the grocery store! I was very impressed. Having the gondolas accessible within a few feet of our hotel made everything so easy and convenient. Such a well planned and thought out resort.
We totally lucked out with the weather which made it easy to spend our afternoons by the pool! It was large, heated, had two hot tubs, and a pretty amazing view. Inès also loved it so it was a win-win all around.