After 2 failed attempts to ski in the South (hello Gatlingburg and Sugar Mountain mud and rocks), we decided on Aspen, CO for our spring break. Never been – if CO then we typically go to Vail where family has a condo we were fortunate to use – but due to limited sale of lift tickets and insanely late timing of Georgia spring break – Vail was out of the question. Aspen it was!

Overall travel

Flying is back to normal, full planes, masks. Aspen airport – size of Dubuque or Columbia if you ask me – but you quickly figure out you are not in Iowa or Missouri – or Kansas. The ads in baggage pick up are for $29M and $18M homes, so welcome to the world of wealthy. Even the kids were like “mum, is this like normal here?” – I don’t know, sure not normal for us and I knew there was a bug in their head now on cost/spend, since they brought their money (and yes, they didn’t spend any of it which was a good lesson on affordability 🙂

Food

Some pretty awesome restaurants – with price tag as expected. We hit Jing (so so) for Asian, Alpine Bistro (my favorite) for French and Plato’s for American + lots of apres ski bites which also was pretty fancy – not your average hot dog but organic burger or ramen 🙂 I am not too comfortable paying $40 per entree but since we were stuck in the house for a year – we splurged this week. Lucas got his Wagyu burger, I got some local bass and Max/Mia went for the truffle sushi of soft shell crab. No worries, Brian ate too 🙂 escargots were his favorite. We managed to do all breakfast in our room – to the kids disappointment as they are total hogs for breakfast buffet.

Skiing

Not great. I mean, the weather, the lifts, the service were all absolutely awesome. But the snow sucked – it was either ice or slush. 2 out of the 4 mountains were closed already, 3rd one was all black so we were really left with Snowmass. If you have 5 skiers with huge variety of skill – that would have probably been the first choice anyway.

Anyway, Lucas got a little altitude (or attitude?) sickness on Day 1 so he and B stayed down in the village while I took the kids on the mountain. It was warm and my right ski went off the rail with my knee attached to it:) Click and pain out of this world and me down – kids about 100 m below me keep riding – not a great situation. Long story short – after a Masterclass in coordination b/c B who forgot his phone that day, the kids who are staring up the mountain like “what is wrong with mum?” and me thinking – well here you go Misha, you sure know how to spice stuff up – again – ski patrol it is! I never had a skiing injury and am very cautious skier but I guess the time came. A ski instructor stopped by and after a very poor attempt to get up – I couldn’t straighten it or even stand on it, she called the ski patrol.

So going down in the sled – kind of fun actually, and incredible team of people. Skiing with my weight behind her, Jen went fast down the slope to the clinic – it was like a roller coaster in snow. In the meantime, the other ski patrol guy, Wade, was skiing down with the kids to try to find Brian and tell him where I will be and why a complete stranger has our kids. Now try to explain to a stanger how to find 2 other strangers on the slope in goggles, helmets, masks (and try to remember what your 2 people were actually wearing that isn’t black). The Aspen hospital is well furnished and knee/wrists is their specialty so I was in and out with XRays in 2 hours – strain only but out of skiing for the very very short season. Kids found, husband too. Day 1 down, new experiences too.

Day 2-6 were intermittent with skiing for the rest, hiking, exploring the town, tubing, coaster + warm hot pool – so nothing to complain about as it was in general around 15C daily.

Hotel

We stayed in the Gant, excellent condo-like hotel with warm pool, hotspot, van that takes you around town for free and superior service. Really happy with it, 2 bedrooms with balcony, pre-ordered grocery for the kitchen ski service, etc. Highly recommend.

It wouldn’t be Colorado if we didn’t mention cannabis. 7 apothecaries for a town of 8K people (plus tourists clearly). While the kids were horrified as they were waiting for us outside, we went to explore the goods. Clearly we knew nothing about it – at least me. I couldn’t tell what any of it was, how strong so where to focus. Finally I asked the guy for a “starter package” – apparently gummies were out of a question for a beginner. We got red velvet cookies and an orange soda for our night at the hotel. I slept well- but we had 3 left as we were packing to go home so I took 2 in the am as we were wondering around town to wait for a flight. We stopped for a pizza slice/beer – oh boy, big mistake – thank god we had like 2 hours as I spent it on a bench, pretending to be tanning while my head was spinning (to the complete embarassment of the kids who were like “mum, stop hanging around on a bench like a bum” – to which, still fogged, I responded “IF there are bums in Aspen, then sign me up”)

Another skiing trip down then – lots more trips in planning so stay tuned!!