Rocky Mountain High

I was in Colorado last week skiing and visiting my Mom who has a house there.  She and her husband Bill have a place on Buffalo Mountain in Summit County.  This above photo is of the view driving down into town from her house.

I am a big fan of  Summit County.  You can ski Keystone, Copper, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Vail, Beaver Creek and Loveland. All accessible, close by and hard wired to accommodate all the visitors. I love all the ski options and every place is super kid friendly, especially Keystone (that’s where our family cut out ski teeth because my parents bought a place there in the early 80’s). As a Mother of a 5 year old, kid friendly places are paramount when planning a vacation. Days of skiing past I was in search of the best happy hour with the cutest boys.  Now I am figuring out ice skating rink hours and making ski school reservations.   I have to be honest, now a day of skiing wears me out and I end up collapsing on the sofa under a big blanket instead of dolling up and hitting some hipster establishment for a night out.

We did however, make it out for dinner one night.  We bundled up ourselves and the kids and headed to Keystone Ranch for a sleigh ride dinner.

I was sceptical, it seemed kind of touristy and a smidge cheesy, but the ride through snow covered Soda Creek Valley was so breathtaking and beautiful I didn’t mind the bad jokes our guide was telling us.  It was actually all quite charming and I quickly got into the mood.

 We were pulled by 2,000 pound draft horses named Bert and Ernie and given warm plaid wool blanket lined in shearling. We snuggled in close for the 20 minute ride to the historic ranch homestead where we were to have dinner.

It was a rather chilly excursion,  but the promise of home made Hot Chocolate, Beef Barley Stew and piping hot biscuits with honey butter waiting for us when we arrived made me muscle through it.

The meal continued with steak, potatoes, veggies and finished with a warm slice of apple pie a la mode.  They had a great musician with an awesome voice playing the guitar and singing.

The ranch was indeed beautiful.

The sky crystal clear and  the air crisp and clean.

There is nothing better than spending an evening with family, singing and dancing to some knee slapping guitar music.  It warmed me up for a long time.  That and the shot of Peppermint Schnapps they handed out right before we got back on the sled for our ride home.

xoxo Carrie

Cabin Fever

It’s a rainy day in February and I figure there is no better time to plan a summer get away. I can’t wait.  We are going with my sisters and their families to one of our favorite places on earth…Wisconsin.   Yep, it’s true, Wisconsin.

We have been going to the same place and staying in the same two cabins since were kids. Nothing has changed, especially the routines.

Mornings begin on Adirondack chairs sipping strong, freshly brewed coffee under 50 year+ Hudson’s Bay Blankets, no one talks until bellies start growling. We then venture off to pick wild blue berries for muffins or pancakes and wild flowers for the dining room table.  Days are spent swimming on the crystal clear lake, fishing, canoeing, the kids run free through the woods and only show up for food.  Evenings we sit on the old porch swing enjoying cocktails while watching the sun set, play family games such as Sardines, Charades or Scrabble, and when the cocktails have been plentiful, full on renditions of old camp songs start. Just before bedtime we will venture down to the dock to gaze at the amazing constellation of stars, often sharing the moment with a family of deer drinking from the lake. It is magical.

I can’t wait to go back to a place were simple things still exist and cell phone towers don’t.

What are your summer plans?

Photo 1, 2, 3, 6, & 7 from my camera Photo 4: dann-online, Photo 5: And All The Trimmings Blog