Exploring Aspen With Parents & Grandparents
For many of us, the reason we ended up in this playful town is in part because we hail from adventurous and sporty parents who either live here in some capacity, or come to visit as often as they can, and it is when these parents and grandparents come to visit that we take the time to slow down from our frenetic lives and take these precious moments to organize quality time together that is not all about getting our heart rate up.
My 76 year old charmingly British mum, Muti (a.k.a. G-Dog dubbed by a grandson now at Middlebury) came to Aspen a few weeks ago with her 90 year old current love of her life, Joe, and we had a wonderful week slowing down and experiencing the off-season through their eyes (my father got taken down by Melanoma the year before I married Baddy).
Joe was a surgeon back in the day and is a great intellectual companion for my mother and Joe and Muti spent many a moment reading and discussing current world issues and taking brisk but short walks in the too beautiful November 65 degree weather.
Although the stresses of every day living and the election threatened to tear me apart, racing over to Joe and my mother who were staying at my sister’s house, helped me to sort out all the information and not plunge into complete despair.
When we weren’t taking walks on the dog path of the Aspen Golf Course we were exploring the valley.
Letting the Grandparents Show Us Around Aspen
The Little Nell’s “Best Hot Chocolate in Aspen”
The Little Nell Hotel lobby, designed by Aspen resident Holly Hunt, is a blend of modern and classic fabrics, woods, stone, and metals with leather and lacquer side tables and a reclaimed black walnut tree coffee table. Offering a not too stuffy living-room atmosphere it provides a cozy and elegant spot to sip hot chocolate with the grandparents and grandchildren next to one of Aspen’s few working fireplaces (not gas), with logs continuously sending a whir of sparks as they are tended to from the other side.
[su_box title=”Best Hot Chocolate in Aspen”]The Nell’s Hot Chocolate has been hailed by Travel + Leisure as “America’s Best Hot Chocolate,” by Buzzfeed as “Best Hot Chocolate Ever,” and tastemakers of all ages as their go to drink at The Nell, our cocoa has made waves for quite some time and in every season. Pastry Chef Curtis Cameron and his team create this concoction daily – sometimes upwards of 150 in a single day between orders in the dining room, living room, on the patio patio, via room service and taking to go. Made with Valrhona’s single origin chocolate, cocoa powder, half-and-half, granulated sugar and a pinch of salt, this decadent recipe can be “Supersized” with Amaretto, Bailey’s, Frangelico, Kahlua or your favorite coffee liqueur. INGREDIENTS 2 cups half-and-half 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon Valrhona Dutch process cocoa powder 1.5 ounce Valrona P125, an 80% dark chocolate Pinch of salt DIRECTIONS Bring the half-and-half to boil, and whisk in sugar. Bring back to a boil. Whisk in cocoa powder, chocolate, and salt. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate chips or a peppermint stick. (Or all of them!) [/su_box]
Joe remarked that the hot chocolate was so much more than he expected, rich and chocolatey with home-made marshmallows and whipped cream on top (it was good that he did not see the five-star price at $12 a mug). As delicious and chocolatey as they were, presented in beautiful mugs with swirling handles, perhaps next time the kids can share a cup. Grandma said the $11 rum with hot cider was the best she had ever had, “not too sweet or with too much cinnamon, and just the right amount of alcohol,” so good she considered having two.
One does not have to stay in the hotel to experience the luxuriousness of Aspen’s only five-star, five-diamond resort.
*The Little Nell offers a resident rate through December making it more affordable for we locals to stay there. Proof of local residency must be shown at check in. Click here for more information.
** Two complimentary ski passes to four incredible mountains — Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Ski passes do not include guest arrival and departure days (as most prefer to acclimate to the altitude upon arrival and soak up town on departure). The Ski Free package is eligible to guests who stay 3 nights or longer. Based on Availability. Black Out Dates May Exist. Click here for more information.
Breakfast in America
“Serving breakfast all day every day,” Breakfast in America was voted (by somebody) as serving the best hangover food, this greasy spoon that freshly squeezes their own OJ is a refreshing departure from many of the “chichi” Aspen breakfast joints (Poppycocks and Over Easy aside) and Joe loved being able to watch the skilled chefs cook right in front of him while having a conversation with him. He also was entertained by the regulars who came in, “mostly in baseball caps”.
Aspen Art Galleries
The Aspen art galleries represent a wide variety of artworks ranging from contemporary art to traditional fine art, Western and Southwest art, glass art, prints, paintings, sculpture, fine art photography and other types of visual art. Cruising the art galleries makes for excellent conversation and provides a wonderful opportunity to bring your parents and grandparents into the core of the culture of our town. Visit ArtCollecting.Com to find out where to go.
A totally free experience, Aspen Art Museum offers weekly art tours on Saturdays and Wednesdays at 1pm and is an excellent choice to begin an art tour in Aspen. While there lunch at SO is a must.
With a menu changing weekly and one of the cheapest glasses of wine in town, SO, the Aspen Art Museum cafe is a bright and cheerful place to mix and mingle with the locals and art connoisseurs. Encased in glass windows that open up to the outside seating in the summer, SO doesn’t need to hang any art in the cafe as Aspen Mountain sits as the centerpiece directly outside.
Currently open during the off-season 10:00am – 5:00pm. Open Tuesday – Sunday.
** SO has one of the best Grilled Cheese and S’more kid’s plate in town
[su_box title=”SO”]SO is named after a type of free-flowing Japanese brushstroke as well as, of course, an English expression of quantification and excitement.[/su_box]
The Art Base in Basalt, Colorado
The Art Base is a treasured gathering place for creativity, community and art in historic downtown Basalt, Colorado.
UPCOMING ART TALKS
Anderson Ranch Fall Artists-in-Residence
Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 5:30pm
Charles J. Wyly Gallery
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 5:30pm
Art Base Annex Gallery
Anderson Ranch Arts Center is a place for artistic discovery, community and dialogue.
HAND FORGING FOR LOCAL ARTISTS
Sculpture Studio FREE, Public Invited.
RSVP and more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
KIDS’ THANKSGIVING CRAFT AT ANDERSON RANCH
Wood Loft, FREE, for kids of all ages!
“CIRCLE OF FIRE” KILN FIRINGS
Lyeth/Lyon Kiln Building, Public Invited.
RSVP and more information at email@example.com
VISITING CRITIC LECTURE
Schermer Meeting Hall
FREE. Public Invited.
Followed by dinner in the Ranch Café, $20.
[su_box title=”About Anderson Ranch Arts Center”]“It is a center, not a school. We’re different.” — Paul Soldner, Founder of Anderson Ranch Arts Center In the beginning… It was the vision of prominent American raku ceramist Paul Soldner combined with an incredible land opportunity that paved the way for what Anderson Ranch is today—one of the most respected visual arts programs in the country. [/su_box]
Ann Korologos Gallery has specialized in Contemporary Western art & artists influenced by the West for over 20 years.
Ann Korologos Collectors’ Holiday November 18, 2016 – January 10, 2017
The Launchpad in Carbondale, Colorado
The Launchpad is a community ‘Space for the Arts’ and a partnership between Dance Initiative and theCarbondale Council for Arts & Humanities (CCAH).
Sightseeing in the Roaring Fork Valley
There are many lovely roads to travel on to capture the mountain vistas but worried about the decreased oxygen supply we stayed away from driving up Independence Pass, The Maroon Bells and Ashcroft and instead drove up Red Mountain Road where the views start immediately and over Watson Divide in Old Snowmass to visit the St. Benedict’s Monastery.
There is a daily public liturgy schedule where the community can meditate together and practice community prayer. Join them for their Christmas and New Years Eve liturgies.
[su_box title=”The Monks of the St. Benedict’s Monastery “]The idea is that the monk’s life becomes prayer. From liturgy celebrated with his brothers (Vigils, Lauds/Mass, Sext, None and Vespers / Compline) and in his own personal prayer, each monk carries his prayerful attitude into his work, whether on the ranch, in the cookie bakery, or doing house chores. The monks life is based more on how he lives than on what he does, and how he works more than what that work is. While prayer supports the apostolic work of members of the active Orders, prayer is the apostolic work of a monk. [/su_box]