aspen adventures

One week ago, Z and I returned from a long, fun, action-packed weekend in Aspen, CO.  We booked our trip for a wedding of our two friends, Joey and Stefanie.  We flew to Denver and met Z’s cousin and his friend who were flying in from NYC, then we picked up our rental car and drove through the mountains to Aspen.  It’s about a 4 hour drive, but it’s the most beautiful drive.  After passing popular ski towns like Vail, Beaver Creek, etc., we headed into the river valley, that is, (in my opinion), one of the most gorgeous drives in the USA.  We started to head south around Grand Junction, and eventually got into Aspen.  I snapped a shot of this *perfect* mountain when we were almost to our destination.

photo 1 (9)By the time we got in, it was early evening, so Z and I settled into our hotel, and then walked into town to get Z measured for a snowboard and boots to get ready for the next day.  I have never been skiing or snowboarding in my life, and I didn’t think many of our friends were beginners like me, so I decided not to ski.  I could have taken a lesson and gone on the bunny hills by myself, but I knew I’d be just as happy enjoying the town and hotel during the day.  I would really like to learn someday, so I’ll will definitely try when I’m not in town for a big event.  It would be nice to learn on one of Minnesota’s big hills, to start.

Here’s Z and his new bear friend.

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That night we met a big group of friends at a local restaurant, Jimmy’s, then had some drinks afterwards at a little lounge.  We had a LOT of friends in town for this wedding, so it was a fun, big group.  Speaking of friends in town, through texting and social media posts, I figured out that I had 3 friends from my college sorority in town, all for different reasons!  I got to see Kate and Ally, but didn’t make it work with Jess, who I hope to see soon.  I love it when that happens, such a nice surprise!

The next morning, we awoke to a sunny, gorgeous day. This is the view from our hotel room (with an equally nice view the other direction towards the ski hill).

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We popped downstairs to enjoy our hotel’s AMAZING complimentary breakfast buffet before heading out.  This was the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever seen!  A yogurt/granola/fruit/fixins station, a bagel station, hot food like eggs, sausages, pancakes, pastries, cereal, THE WORKS.  Our hotel actually didn’t serve lunch since most people are out skiing during the day, so they definitely made up for it with this breakfast.  Z got all ready to go boarding, and I got dressed to wander the town.

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I met Ally that morning for coffee and catch-up, then wandered the shops.  Aspen has a lot of high-end designer shops, as well as cute local boutiques.  Nothing was cheap, but it was fun to peek around.  It was mid-40s, sunny and calm, a gorgeous day.

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That evening was the rehearsal dinner, which was held on the top of Aspen Mountain at the lodge.  We all met at the gondolas at 6pm to ride up to the top.  The theme of the evening was “western chic”, and they handed out cowboy hats to everyone getting on the gondolas.  Now, I am not afraid of heights, but for some reason, those gondolas were a bit frightening to me.  Especially when they stopped, and swung, and dipped.  It was a 3,000 ft. climb up the mountain, and at the top there were incredible views.

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*Top of the mountain*

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(Note: my hat didn’t fit well because I have a giant-sized head)

*Views from inside the lodge*

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Z borrowed some cowboy boots from Leo, the boys loved them.

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We made our way back down the mountain at 10pm, in the dark, with strong winds.  That part was NOT my favorite, eeep!  We met everyone at a ski bar and then home to sleep.

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The next day, Z went back out to board, and I met up with some non-skiers, then hit the hot tub before getting ready for the wedding.   The wedding was held at the St. Regis hotel which was GORGEOUS.  We arrived a little early, and hung out in their swanky lounge by the fireplace.

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The ceremony was out in the courtyard, in a totally clear, heated tent.  It started snowing just as the bride came into the tent, like it was on cue.  The ceremony was in the middle, with chairs surrounding on all sides.

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After the lovely ceremony, we all went downstairs  for cocktail hour.  There were passed hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and an incredible all-female musical group that all played string instruments.  They played high-energy songs from classical to pop and were practically dancing while playing, they were so fun to watch!

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We found our plexiglass-etched placecard on a 6 ft. tall ice sculpture/tree.

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photo 1 (5)Once in the reception room, we sat down at our big rectangular table for dinner.

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Our menu, was again, etched plexiglass.  (Notice the bomb menu selections)

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I don’t have any good pics of the ceremony, probably because I was too busy dancing to their 15-person band, having fun in the photo booth, and sitting down at the oxygen bar.  Yes, oxygen bar.  It is the mountains, after all. 🙂  We had such a great time with wonderful friends, a truly memorable weekend!!

 

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