Tis the season for snowboarding and skiing! Outside of boating and golfing, snowboarding is Cameron’s favorite thing. But for once, I had never been! So when my aunt asked if we wanted to join her, my uncle, and cousin Amanda to visit my cousin Sean, we said yes! Sean had been living and working there for a while and it was time for a snowy visit.
Our small group turned into the entire family once we started booking! Cam, myself, mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephews, aunt, uncle, cousins. So we found a 3-story condo on Airbnb that could accommodate us all, rented two minivans, and bought our tickets!
We visited in March and flew directly from Tampa to Denver and picked up our rentals. My grandfather is a retired commercial airline pilot and he suggested not trying to fly into Aspen… apparently it’s one of the most difficult runways in the country to land. So if there is any inclement weather, chances are you’re going to be delayed or cancelled. Thank goodness we took his advice because we ended up driving through a very heavy snow! The drive takes about 4 hours from Denver to Aspen but the scenery is so beautiful that it doesn’t seem that bad.
When we arrived, we decided to divide and conquer since we still had some daylight. A few went to the grocery store to stock up on food and the rest went to rent gear for the week. There are tons of rental shops so just try and find one online that has the best price and go with that one. Then we went to the condo to play in the snow!
The next day was so perfect! It had snowed all night so the mountain was nice and powdery and the sky was a gorgeous blue. There was a bus stop right outside of our Airbnb so we ate breakfast, got dressed, and were off.
Cameron, Amanda, Sean and my uncle jumped on the lift and were gone as soon as we arrived. “No time for family on powder days” said Sean. The rest of us had no idea what we were doing so we opted for the bunny hill to start. *I refused to book a lesson because that’s just how I am. Please take my advice and book the damn lesson!* I did great on the lift and cruised down the bunny hill with ease. Obviously, I was a natural. So when Cam and the group came back down, I decided to go back up the mountain with them!
Biggggggg mistake (see advice above). I was a disaster and it was very obvious that I was a first-timer. Half way down, I took my board off and sat on it to use as a sled. We still had about a quarter of the way to go when a nice ranger on a snowmobile stopped and picked me up! At this point, my family thought they were never going to see me again so I took out my phone and texted them to look for a snowmobile. They thought I was kidding…
When we woke up in the morning, Cam asked how I was feeling. “Well, my hands don’t hurt…” I couldn’t move. He brought me some ibuprofen as I struggled to roll over. Once I got moving I felt better but I decided to stay off the mountain that day so my body wouldn’t decide to completely give up on me. My favorite spot to hang out during the day was the New Belgium Ranger Station. They had great apps, mimosas, and adult hot chocolate. So I hung out with my nephews and mom for a bit in the morning then made my way over there to wait for our group to be done snowboarding for the day. We were so lucky with weather and it was another gorgeous day to just enjoy being outside!
The next day was St. Patrick’s Day and I was feeling so much better! It was definitely the mimosas and hot chocolate. We all went out for a bit and then decided to call it an early day and go party. Another mistake of the week. We started a little too early and things got crazy. Long story short, my mom was brought to the bar by a cop, Amanda was later brought home by a cop, and we happened to find my uncle stumbling down the road with no jacket around 6 PM. Yay family vacation!
On Thursday, everyone was hurting from celebrations. We all took it relatively easy for the day and went out in Aspen that night. You won’t have to worry about finding good restaurants, bars, and breweries in Aspen or Snowmass. They are everywhere! Some of my favorites were New Belgium Ranger Station, HOPS Culture, Ajax Donuts, and Venga Venga.
Friday, we hit the mountain for a bit and later the whole family went to Ullr Nights at Elk Camp. It’s a family-friendly event that takes place every Friday night with tubing, slides, snow bikes, s’mores stations, and hot chocolate stations. We all had fun and my nephews especially had a blast!
Saturday was back to Denver to catch our flight to Tampa. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to message me!