Today was our last day of skiing at Beaver Creek. All of the girls had lessons again. The older girls took off with their groups from the day before and Madeline had another 1-hour private lesson in the morning. After we dropped her off Mike, Peter, and I headed up the mountain. The soreness above my ankles was so bad that I just skied all the way down to where Madeline was having lessons. Her instructor was having her follow her down the longer magic carpet and eventually Mike made it down there as well. We asked her instructor if she was ready to head down the green catwalk to the bottom and she thought she might be ready. Mike and I followed them down that run and were floored with how well Madeline was following her instructor. She kept turning and following her instructor and didn’t fall at all. It was amazing to watch. When she got down to the bottom, she was so excited that she wanted to keep on skiing. So, I let Peter and Mike go off and ski and I took her back up the gondola so that she could ski down the Cinch run and take the Highlands Lift back up to the top. It was the perfect little run for a beginner, and she skied it like a champ. We met everyone again at the same place for lunch and then had fun skiing the remainder of the day. I went up with Peter to the top so that I could take video and photos of him skiing. I tried to lean forward more in my boots and that seemed to help with the leg pain. Then I skied the rest of the day with Madeline. It was so fun being able to ski with her. She was just so excited to be able to ski all by herself and get on the small chair lift. It was an awesome breakthrough to get her to this point and it made the rest of our ski trip so much fun.
Today we decided to put the girls in ski lessons. Abby skied with Level 5 and Emma skied with Level 7. Madeline skied with us in the morning until her lesson at 1:00pm. Since I took Madeline first the day before, Mike started out with Madeline and Peter and I headed up the mountain before the crowds came. We skied down most of the runs on the Red Buffalo Express Lift. I had a hard time keeping up with Peter since he seemed to be faster on his new skis. My new boots were extremely warm with my new boot liner heaters, but I was having problems with pain in my ankles, so I took it easy today and skied at a slower pace. Although Beaver Creek is very family friendly and a quaint place to ski, there aren’t that many blue runs. Everything is either green or black and since many of the black runs were not open yet, we ended up skiing more greens than anything else. We skied down Gold Dust again to meet up with Mike and Madeline and then I took over with Madeline so Mike and Peter could see for a little bit. We all met down at the bottom and ate lunch outside in a nice cozy area with a firepit next to the outdoor ice-skating rink in the plaza. Emma and Abby ate lunch with us as well. One of the biggest changes in group lessons during COVID was the fact that the kids didn’t eat lunch with their ski instructors. I actually liked that we could all eat lunch together. After lunch the older girls went back with their groups and we dropped off Madeline for her 1-hour lesson. They didn’t offer group lessons for the 3–4-year-old group this year so we opted for a 1-hour private lesson. Mike, Peter and I headed up the mountain to ski for that hour before heading back down to pick her up. We were amazed how much she learned in that one hour. Her instructor was awesome, and she did so well that he graduated her out of the 3–4-year-old group into the regular Group 1 where she would now be able to go up the gondola with her instructor. We were beyond excited. We decided to head back to the condo and drop off Madeline and then head down to Christy Sports to see if someone could help me with my boots. They gave me some heel lifts so I could wear them the next day. Then we headed back up to get the older girls from their lessons. The kids stayed at the condo while Mike and I headed over to the Park Hyatt for our reservation time to use the water sanctuary and to get massages. It was a nice treat that Mike surprised me with, and it did not disappoint.
The first day we all skied together. I took Madeline up the Haymeadow Express gondola so that we could work on remembering starts and stops while Mike took the other kids up the mountain to the top where they could get their ski legs back on the greens and easy blue runs. Madeline was a little timid at first, but she quickly started to remember how to shuffle on her skis, slow down and stop by making a wedge with her skis and following directions. After a few hours of skiing with her and enjoying a yummy snack, Mike came down the mountain with Abby and swapped with me. I headed up the Centennial Express Lift and then headed down the very icy Redtail run to meet Peter and Emma at the Larkspur lift. We headed up that lift and then skied down Larkspur which had some great sections and some icy sections which we didn’t love. We decided to head up the Birds of Prey lift and then ski down to the bottom. Since many of the black runs were still closed, we headed down the green catwalk until we met the blue Gold Dust run. That was such a fun run and a good way to get down. We headed back to our condo for lunch and relaxed for a bit before heading back out. We left Madeline, Abby and Peter back at the condo while Mike, Emma and I headed all the way to the top near the Cookie Cabin at the top of the Cinch Express Lift. We skied down Powell, Piney and Booth Gardens a bunch of times. Peter was supposed to meet us at the top but since he left late and the lifts were going to close at 3:30, he did his own thing. It was definitely a fun day for our first day of skiing in a year.
We loved skiing at Beaver Creek so much last season that we thought it would be fun to go back again this season. We found a nice condo at the Centennial Lodge just down the street from the main resort area. It was a short walk to get to the ski lift. After settling in, Mike and I headed into the village to walk around. We went to Christy Sports and another ski shop to look at new ski boots for Mike. He ended up not getting new boots, but it was good to try things on to see what may work for when he is ready to grab new boots. Everything in the village was decorated for Christmas. We loved all the cool ice-sculptures everywhere. It was fun to be in the mountains before Christmas.
Being Epic Pass Holders, we were able to take the ski lift to the top of the mountain which was so much easier than hiking or biking up! We took the Royal Elk trail over to the lake and sat on the far side of the shore. It was so pleasant. We then hiked back down to the hotel. Why do trips like this have to end? It seems like it would be better if we could work 2 days a week and take 5 days off. I think life would be better if we didn’t have to work so much.
On Friday, we got up and road our mountain bikes uphill and took the village connector trail all the way through Beaver Creek. It was a bit of a beast to start climbing right away up the mountain, but once on the main trail, it was pretty spectacular. The views, the flower, and the flowy single track were pretty great. The downhill was fun as well. We had lunch down by the Westin in Avon, and then took the bus back up to the hotel. It was a beautiful day with great weather. The best part of the day, of course, was getting massages at the spa. The Spa at the Park Hyatt is one of the best we have ever been to. It’s just great and never disappoints.
There are just some places that are great to go with your spouse. Beaver Creek is one of them. It’s such a beautiful place. We took the weekend to spend without the kids at the Park Hyatt, which is one of our favorite places. The hotel is great, but there are lots of fun things to do there. Soon after we arrived, we headed over to eat dinner at Splendido. The food was wonderful, but the best part were the souffle’s for dessert. They were ridiculously good. Our dinner was a great way to start our awesome weekend trip.
We put Madeline in one more day of ski school. She willingly went again, and we were so grateful. The rest of us, including Abby, skied straight out the back of the Charter to the Elkhorn Lift. We rode that and then skied the blue runs to get to the main area of the ski resort. We headed up to the top of the mountain and skied down the green runs, but this time Abby took us to some of her favorite runs that she did in ski school. We discovered that we really liked Powell and Piney. The kids had fun going through the Mystic Maze adventure zone. It was basically a fast and curvy narrow run through the trees. Mike and I went down it once and then enjoyed watching the kids speed down it. We had a really fun time skiing together. Eventually Andrew and Peter took off to go do the black runs off of Grouse Mountain while the rest of us stayed on the main part of the mountain until lunchtime. We headed back to the resort and ate lunch and by this point most everyone was tired from the last few days of skiing. When we picked up Madeline, she was beyond done with ski school. She had improved so much over the last few days. She completed everything on her checklist except stopping on command. She was pretty good about stopping some of the time and she even tried going down the steeper magic carpet run because her instructor thought she was ready. After one run of that she was ready to be done. Later that night Mike had a fun date planned for just the two of us. We took a sleigh ride up to Beano’s Cabin where we had the most fantastic dinner. It was a cold ride, but we cuddled together under the blankets and it was quite romantic. It was the perfect way to end our time up at Beaver Creek Resort.
We had initially only signed Abby up for one day of ski lessons but after such a great day in lessons we decided to give her one more day. She moved up to Level 5 and would be using poles so I ended up getting new poles and passed my old ones down to Emma who passed hers down to Abby. Abby was so excited when she found out that Garret would be her instructor again. She even found one of the girls she met the day before and immediately bonded with her. Madeline was a little more timid about riding in the elevator without me, but like a brave little girl, she went with the nice ladies without crying.
The rest of us spent the morning riding the green runs up on the main part of the mountain like the day before. The reality is the blue runs were closer to the bottom and somewhat icy so we stayed as close to the top of the mountain as we could. After getting bored of the green runs, Emma, Peter, Andrew and I headed back over to the double black so that we could get to the Grouse Mountain Express Lift. Mike was a good sport and skied down some of the other runs while we tried the harder stuff. I didn’t like the double black as well as I liked it the previous day. But the kids thought it was pretty awesome. We took Emma on Screech Owl and she loved it. I got lots of photos of the kids going down the moguls and off the jumps before leaving them to head to the Spa at the Park Hyatt to sit in the hot tub with Mike. Since Mike booked us massages for the evening time, we had access to the spa all day. It was so nice to sit and relax before heading back to the resort to each lunch with the kids. Just like the previous day, we ate, relaxed, watched TV, and then Mike and I headed back to get the girls from their ski lessons. We made dinner for everyone and then Mike and I went to get our massages. That was the way to do it. It’s fantastic to have built in babysitters to watch Madeline.
We took our time in the morning getting everything ready and packing the car for our ski trip to Beaver Creek. We arrived around lunchtime and headed first to the grocery store for some lunch from the deli. We ate in the car and then headed to the Charter at Beaver Creek which is where we would be staying. Since our room was not quite ready, we parked in front of the resort and then got on our ski gear and piled into the resort shuttle and headed over to the main ski area. Mike took Madeline first while I went up the mountain with the older kids. We skied up near the Red Buffalo Express Lift and did a few of the easy runs up there before Abby and I headed down to switch with Mike. The kids met Mike up at the Cookie Cabin and they skied until the end of the day. Madeline was pretty much done skiing when I got her and so we just waited at the bottom for the 3pm free warm cookies that Beaver Creek Ski Resort is known for. Madeline, Abby and I were in heaven. We decided to head over to the Charter via the shuttle to check into our room. We were pleasantly surprised by how nice the Charter was. We got settled and then Mike and Andrew headed to get groceries for the next few days.
On our first full day at Beaver Creek I got Abby and Madeline ready and headed on over to the ski base to get them checked into their ski lessons for the day. Mike bought Abby a one-day lesson and Madeline a 3-day lesson the previous day. After speaking with the instructors, we ended up putting Abby in Level 4. We wanted her to focus on more parallel turns. For this level, she didn’t need poles. Madeline went into the beginner level with the other 3-5-year olds. I was a little worried about how she would be when I had to say goodbye to her at the elevator. A sweet lady helped me label her skis and then she held Madeline’s hand and took her down to the kid center on the lower level of the resort. Madeline spent most of the day on the magic carpet with plenty of fun breaks like story time, snack time, and play time. Abby had a great time in her lesson and picked up a few new skis on parallel turns. She was excited that they made her one of the kid leaders and she had nothing but great things to say about her instructor Garret.
While Abby and Emma were in lessons, the rest of us took the Centennial Express Lift to the Cinch Express Lift and to the Cookie Cabin Summit. We spent most of the morning skiing down the easy green groomers as that was where there was the most powder…so we thought. We skied down the Red Buffalo and Booth Gardens runs the most. After a few hours of exploring this area, Andrew, Peter and I headed over to the Grouse Mountain Express Lift via the double black Golden Eagle run. It was way easier since it was mostly powder. The steep moguls would have been nearly impossible without all the powder. Once on Grouse Mountain we skied down the single black Screech Owl twice. It was definitely more fun to navigate those moguls. The boys had fun speeding down the moguls and going off some jumps. From there we headed all the way back to the Charter via the Creekside Skiway. It was so much fun to ski all the way to where we were staying. We met Mike and Emma back at the room for a late lunch. By the time we ate and relaxed, no one really wanted to go back out. Mike and I headed back out to ski for just a little longer before picking up Madeline at 2:15pm from her ski school. We hopped on the shuttle and headed back to our resort to drop her off before heading back to pick up Abby at 3:00pm and grab our free warm chocolate chip cookie. We spent the rest of the day just chilling at the resort, watching movies, and eating.
For Mike's birthday this year I booked a weekend away to Beaver Creek at the Park Hyatt for some relaxation and outdoor adventure. Since the weather was a bit colder than we had anticipated, we left our mountain bikes at home and planned on doing some hiking instead. We left on Thursday evening and got to the resort a little after 9pm. The hotel was exactly like I had remembered it a year ago with some slight updates to the lobby. We headed up to our room, which we got upgraded to a suite, and turned on a movie and ordered room service while Mike finished up some work from the day. It was nice to just sit and watch TV together before drifting off to sleep.
The next day it was so incredibly cold and snowing and so we decided to sleep in. We ate a very yummy breakfast in the hotel restaurant before walking over to the Allegria Spa to check out their services. We booked a massage for the following day and then grabbed our coats from our room so we could head to the village to do some shopping. We went into the various shops and didn't buy much except for a cute pair of ski socks for Madeline. We stopped at Rimini's for a warm ham and cheese sandwich and a Nutella and banana crepe. It all tasted so good. After a few more shops, and talking with some pretty great locals, we headed back in the hotel to grab our suits so we could spend some time in the outside jacuzzi. We love sitting outside in the jacuzzi when its cold and snowy outside. There is just something so magical about it all. The rest of the day was spent napping and relaxing before heading to dinner at Hooked which is a seafood restaurant. We ate the most delicious Japanese rolls. They were like no other rolls we had ever eaten. Then we headed out to find some yummy dessert. We decided to drive down to Vail to grab some dessert at a local Ale House. It wasn't quite up to par but that was ok because the fries we had were delicious. Then we headed back to the hotel and grabbed our free s'mores kit and headed up to the room to eat the chocolate and go to bed. It was much too cold to actually go outside to the fire pit and roast s'mores.
The next morning, we woke up to cold temperatures but sunny skies. We ate another fabulous breakfast and then headed out on our hike up to Bear Lake. We took the Bear Lake trail which followed the creek. It was awesome to be able to hear the creek alongside the trail almost all the way up to the lake. Most of the trail was snow covered with the snow that had fallen the day before. It was actually really great to hike in the snow. The hike up to the lake was relatively easy and we enjoyed being together. It was super peaceful up at the lake and we enjoyed playing with two little birds who enjoyed our crumbs. We decided to head back a different way and took the Overlook trail which had us venture across the various slopes. It was pretty spectacular hiking through dense forests before popping out on the open slopes only to cross and then hike once again through another set of trees. This went on for quite some time and eventually we lost count of how many sections we went through. As we looked at our watches it became clear that we needed to pick up the pace if we were going to make it back in time for our 3:00pm massages. At one point we actually started running on the trail when we could. With only 15 min before 3:00pm, we were getting desperate to find a short cut back. So, like idiots, we decided to get off the wooded trail, and just walk/run/slide down the last sloped mountain straight back to the hotel. It was kind of crazy going straight down the mountain. Mike used his hiking poles and glissaded down some of the snowier sections. We just laughed and laughed all the way down. We made it back to our room with only a few minutes to spare. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting pampered and then relaxing in the 5-Step Aqua Sanitas Water Sanctuary. It was the perfect way to unwind after our 8-mile hike. After showering and getting ready for the evening, we headed down to the bar in the lobby area and ordered the most amazing appetizer while we killed time waiting for our dinner reservation at Mirabelle's. We ordered the Cheese and Charcuterie Platter and it was DELICIOUS!!! Then it was off to Mirabelle's to eat some tasty French cuisine. It was the perfect way to end a pretty perfect day and a pretty fantastic getaway to Beaver Creek! Of course, it snowed throughout the night and when we woke up to go home it was all snow covered. That was pretty magical!