When I was a teenager I was introduced to Beaver Creek by my parents. My father, who was his happiest when shushing and yodeling down ski slopes, loved to ski the wide groomed runs of Beaver Creek, known as North Americas World Cup Mountain.
Beaver Creek is also known for being kid friendly:
With a slogan that says, “Beaver Creek, Not Exactly Roughing It,” I felt compelled to follow suit with my father and take my children there. The trip was originally planned for the winter but was canceled due to the boulder that fell in Glenwood Canyon and so we went a few weekends ago instead, on Baddy and my 12th anniversary.
We walked into our spacious three-bedroom condo at The Charter and our oldest son, with my memories embedded in his chromosomes, said that it felt like Vermont. He was right too, the condo made you want to hunker down in front of the wood burning fireplace and play card games while drinking hot chocolate and toast S’mores.
The boys scurried around exploring every nook and cranny like sugar loaded chipmunks, elated that they had an upstairs where they could escape from parental supervision, until bedtime came around where Axel snuck quietly into my bed as I lay there reading in my silk negligee, hopeful for an overdue romantic rendezvous with my husband. Changing to sweats and a t-shirt I spooned up to my sweet little boy, while my husband fell asleep with the boys upstairs.
In the morning I was drinking my coffee and gazing out of the window at the leaves of the Aspen Trees shimmering gold, remembering a similar day twelve years ago when I pledged my vows to my husband, when my our littlest sleepily came down the stairs just like a little Who character straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Instead of a teddy bear dangling from his hand, he was holding a coloring book and crayons that he had excitedly pulled out of our welcome bag the night before. Snuggling into my lap he said, “When I woke up I looked all around myself and said ‘what the,'” an expression learned from his older brothers.
When the rest of the crew awoke we descended to The Terrace Restaurant at the hotel for a breakfast buffet, serving up a heaping plate of Eggs Benedict on an English muffin and fresh fruit, while the boys poured pre-made batter into a waffle iron. Tasting their maple syrup I marveled that it wasn’t a horrible imitation, and was transported back to a snow cave in Vermont eating homemade Vermont Maple Syrup snow popsicles with my sisters.
Gathering the boys together we took the chairlift up the mountain to have lunch at the Spruce Saddle Lodge and to play in the fabricated ghost town nestled in the trees.
After lunch we want on a jeep tour with High Mountain Adventure. As we slowly climbed up the jeep road into the high alpine I thought that my particular family would have better enjoyed a tour on mountain bikes, racing on single track through the golden leaves, but the children enjoyed the historical stories told by our guide Derek and my husband got a chance to scope out the Stone Creek Chutes, “Try to get a writing gig in the winter,” he whispered to me as he stared at the plethora of signs warning away novice skiers.
That evening we walked up to the village of Beaver Creek and had a celebratory anniversary dinner at the Italian restaurant, Toscanini. The food was tasty and the casual atmosphere perfect for the children, and best of all, it was perfectly situated in front of the ice skating rink. My husband and I actually dined in peace, enjoying Chef Michael Izbicki’s authentic Italian food while watching the children skate outside. We joined the kids later after a few congratulatory drinks (we were walking back to our room) and skated under the open sky. Filled with wine induced bliss, I held hands with the boys and skated around the rink as their father became a champion ice hockey player, in his own mind. Thankfully he didn’t break any bones but most definitely came close. I felt lucky to be ice skating in the Fall and began to mentally plan a voyage to discover all of the other ice skating rinks around the world.
That night as we went to bed exhilarated from a perfect family day I thought about what a wonderful anniversary gift my friends at Beaver Creek had given to me and my family and I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you so that you can make your plans to visit as well some day.
(me in Vail as a teenager, modeling for a student photo shoot)