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September 05, 2013

Colorado | Labor Day Road Trip

When we woke up last Saturday morning the temperature was predicted to be 100 degrees that day.  We had thought about going away for the weekend, but hadn't made any plans - we'd been discouraged by high temperatures everywhere within driving distance.  

As I discussed my frustrations with Mike he said, what are you looking for?  I said, a really nice hotel, a spa and cool, refreshing weather - someplace that feels "away from it all."  

We looked at the national weather map and determined the closest cool temps were in Colorado... a measly 10 hours away.  Living in New England for brief stint spoiled our impulsive traveling spirit - with mountains, beaches, big cities and countryside within an hour or two.

Mike got on the phone with Marriott rewards and by noon the three of us were packed in the car Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch bound. 

The scenery on the way was simple, and so serene.  Above, grass-fed beef. 

Classic Kansas landscape, windmill and all.   You can literally see for miles and miles.  That storm in the distance is probably 20(?) miles away.  

 The temperature had dropped 30 degrees by the time we had crossed the state.  As we were crossing into Colorado, the rain brought with it a cozy, Fall feeling. 

The first glimpse of the mountains... 3 more hours to go.

Emma was such a trooper.  After the long drive, we reached The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch at 10pm and were welcomed into the most cozy and stunning mountain lodge.  Here, Emma and Mike snuggle by the fire before we checked in.

This is one of the hotel's photo, but I wanted to show you just how stunning it was.  This was my favorite room of the hotel (that Emma was lounging in in the previous photo) - it could've come right out of a Ralph Lauren photo shoot. 

Her favorite part was the dark chocolates on her pillow.

She settled in just fine - I think she's singing "I Think I'm Gonna Like it Here" from Annie.

This is a view of the hotel in the daylight.  It was so fun to arrive at night, driving through the dark mountains, because when we woke up in the morning it was like we were transported.  It felt just like when we drove through Tuscany in the middle of the night on our honeymoon and woke up to the most stunning countryside view outside of our room in the morning.

It was one of THE most stunning hotels I've ever stayed in.  It is tucked away by itself from all of the other resorts in the Vail-Beaver Creek area.  It was absolutely perfect.

In the morning, we set off for Piney River Ranch for fishing, hiking, etc. - all of the stuff you do in the mountains.

After 11 miles on a gravel mountain road.


Waiting for our boat.

While we waited, Emma visited with the horsies... who she didn't like nearly as much in person as she thought she would.

Getting ready for the hike up to the falls.

I didn't lug my camera on the hike, but I did take some instagram photos (above) - you can see all, here

We made it back to the hotel in time for a little afternoon nap (for Emma) and trip to the spa for me.  This is a hotel photo - I didn't bring my camera with me, obviously.

 The rainbow appeared just as I was coming back to the room.

A rare family photo before our dinner "date."

Here is another view of my favorite room.  Makes me think about what rustic elements I want to add to our house - especially this time of year.  So cozy.

Would love a big hearth room like this... but 30 foot ceilings aren't in our near future!

Emma arranging her napkin at Spago... didn't last long!

Once the firepit was lit - she only wanted "Marsh Marsh"... s'mores.

It is so easy to settle into our comfortable little life and just go with the flow, but it was so great to be out exploring again.  We all came back refreshed and exhausted at the same time.  Such a good feeling to have gotten out there and follow our whimsy.  

Now I'm completely in Fall mode (weather, please catch up!) and ready to get back to business.  Emma is at her fist day of school this morning after the 6 week summer break.  I'm missing her this morning - and am feeling a little lonely at home without her buzzing around.  However, my to-do list is a mile long.  Stay tuned for the next couple of weeks as a organize and re-organize our house, cook our fall favorites and introduce new Fall products to the store!


  1. What a beautiful hotel! It looks like you had a great time. I love, love, love the last picture of Emma. Just so stinkin' cute!!! - Anne

  2. What a wonderful getaway! I am thoroughly inspired :)

  3. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Jenny, On a different note: we're thinking of getting a second dog, and I was wondering what kind of dog Mr. Darcy is. He's so adorable and looks like he has a great disposition. Thank!


    1. Anne - here is a post all about Mr. Darcy. He is THE best dog!

    2. Anonymous5:28 PM


  4. Your weekend away sounded wonderful but I laughed outloud when you said it was only a "measly 10 hours away". 10 hours drive??!! Here in UK we wouldn't dream of driving that long for a short break. My son complains bitterly about getting back from us in south England to his base in Germany; driving to the Channel Tunnel, crossing the Channel, driving though France, Belgium and Holland before driving on home. it just goes to show our differences in perception depending on our situation - and the vastness that is America.

  5. Gosh I've lived here in Denver for about 6 years and still haven't made it to Beaver Creek/Vail-- your 10 hour journey has reminded me that I need to enjoy what is just beyond my front door. 2 or so hours to Vail sounds easy for me and I might just find myself at the same hotel, it looks gorgeous! Glad you enjoyed your visit to CO!

  6. I love this story! Can't believe you just hopped in the car for a 10 hour drive with a little one in tow. Reminds me of our life before baby. I guess we need to be a little more brave even though we have a little one now. I also loved this story because I grew up in Denver and was married in Vail. Colorado is the best place on the planet (in my humble opinion). Brings tears to my eyes to think about it. Gotta get back home one day!


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