Breckenridge, CO

Months and months ago my boyfriend, hereafter referred to as The BF, got the idea in his head  that we should get a big group of people together and go skiing. The more the merrier, we could rent a big house and all live together cheaper than any hotel or resort. At first the idea was a hit! The idea just kept sounding better and better. We couldn’t find friends to commit to the trip and in the end it was just us and another couple, The BF’s best friend and his girlfriend. I would later wonder if this trip not coming together smoothly was some kind of omen.

The BF’s best friend had family with a cabin in the Breckenridge area which they graciously let us use. It was nice to be all together but also have the possibility to split up and have couple time. The boys had skied before and loved it and the girls had never skied before but wanted to try it. Everyone was excited to relax, drink, eat and just enjoy ourselves.

I had never skied before.

I really had no anxiety, excitement or major emotions of any kind leading up to learning to ski. Everyone I told about the ski trip said not to let the BF teach me to avoid any residual damage to our relationship. The other girl, R,  and I actually devised a plan to prevent this since both of us had never learned to ski we would trade boyfriends to learn It was a good plan,  but we didn’t follow it at all.

 Snug, he said. It should be tight, he said. I could hear the words of the attendant at the rental equipment store ringing in my head as pain rang through my feet. The boys had hit the slopes earlier in the day since they had purchased passes for two full days of skiing. R and I had decided to take it easy and only purchased half day slope passes to learn and see how we liked it. Like the boys had that morning we changed into our ski boots at the car and walked to the rental store to grab our skis and poles. We hated the ski boots long before we even made it to the store. They are the most difficult things to walk in because of its design. The heels of ski boots intentionally prevent you from standing up straight and encourage the proper position, knees bent, for skiing. Needless to say walking in them was something neither R nor I had ever experienced. Then we had to continue walking with our skis and poles to the lift. It was very difficult and I had no doubt we looked like idiots. Upon arriving at the lift site we saw lockers. There we fully realized the smart thing to do would have been to carry all our equipment and change shoes at the lift. What is that saying about hindsight being 20:20?

Upon meeting our teacher boyfriends we were told that we had to keep walking to the magic carpet; a teaching area with a conveyor belt that helped you up the hill. Every step in my ski boots I was surprised that my feet didn’t just fall off.  By the time we reached it I stopped just short of crying by ripping them off and jamming my toes in the snow. I am a really horrified to think about what I must have looked like, pitching a fit, surrounded by children who were taking to the snow like mini olympians. The BF handled it like a pro, I can’t say he didn’t get a little testy in the face of my meltdown but as always he was my hero. He walked the half mile back to the ski shop and then artfully persuaded them to get me a different size. With my new larger miracle boots The BF guided me onto the magic carpet to get me up the hill. At the top I was  taught to “pizza”, wedging my skis to break and “french fry”, the normal position. I felt very comfortable with both positions so we decided I was ready for a real ski run – just a green beginners run.

The lift was thrilling. It is really high and I did not feel secure at all in my seat with my crazy heavy skis pulling me down, but the view was breathtaking. I got on and off with no mishap, which did wonders for my confidence. Maneuvering to a run was a bit more complicated. As I started out the speed I was picking up down the slopes scared me to pieces but as I got the hang of it it was so much fun. I am not an olympian but the BF said to me half way down the run, “You’re doing much better than I expected!” After he said that I was flying, mentally anyway.  The run we were on was delightfully deserted and that actually was working in my favor. When my run met up with about five others half way down the hill, I found myself crashing periodically just to slow down. I was so nervous I was going to hit someone I panicked, a lot. Thighs burning, lungs burning, butt burning, but all and all I was pretty happy. I would love to ski again.

 

This town is adorable.

 Breck is a gorgeous little town. I love calling it Breck instead of Breckenridge because it seems more intimate.  This town is literally nestled in the mountains. It is snow blanketed and picturesque. It really is all that it boasts. The main strip is like a multi-colored gingerbread village, swathed in snow. The charm is undeniable. There are a ton of shops just like you think you would find in such a commercial place but there are also home town favorites seeded between all the usual.

Upon our arrival, we were starving and went straight to Downstairs At Eric’s (DAE). I was car groggy and full of tension from the long car ride through a snowstorm. DAE was busy, loud and rambunctious. It felt overwhelming but as I got a much needed drink and stool I settled in. The noise wrapped me up and the happy people really brightened my spirits. The place is a bit haphazardly decorated but all the decor alludes to historical Breckenridge. The staff is fun and sassy, which our dining experience enjoyable. It really is a great place to be. Oh and the food! They have simply delicious food. The menu is extensive in its choices and variety, so there should be something for every member of your group or family.  They even offer a gluten free pizza dough!

The Breckenridge Brewery is a hometown favorite. They have what feels like a million brews on tap, specially concocted for you and to go along with its fantastic menu. Though many of the dishes are classics, for example meatloaf, there is a twist, the meatloaf is made with elk meat. After a hard day on the cold slopes you can get the home cooking you need to warm your tummy right here. I had the elk meatloaf which was tasty, R had the loaded nachos  which looked like a mountain and The BF had the buffalo chicken beer cheese soup; it may look small but it is very hearty.  Be warned: they get really packed and the wait can be long. When they are busy the staff might need you to give them a break.

Crepes A La Cart was my big winner here in Breck. They are this adorable little oasis providing delicious handheld magic. It was cold and snowing and totally worth the wait. The BF was feeling poorly so the other couple and I went. We all had so much trouble choosing that we ended up with two crepes each. One sweet and one savory each. Gluttons, I know, but every bite was well worth it. Yum Yum!!! I ordered the Complete Vegetarian and the Fruit and Chocolate Crepe, both of which were delicious. R got a savory Le Beach Club crepe that also smelled amazing.  You can watch your food being prepared through the window of the “cart”, which was very cool. Though they have a few tables around the cart we chose to dine beside the the communal fireplace, which was a great wintery change of pace. With double the crepes you don’t need to worry about your hands getting cold.

It has always sounded crazy to me to go somewhere even colder for a winter vacation but I can see why people do it. Winter can very beautiful with its fluffy white snow and if you do it right you can have a great time playing in it. We may have to go back next year even if only for the crepes!

 

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