Hello my cafecitos,
Over MLK weekend, I traveled with ten of my friends to Colorado. This is the second time I’ve been to “Colorful Colorado” in 7 months, both times I’ve been taken away by its beauty. After a quick flight to Denver, we made the three hour drive to Frisco for a weekend in the mountains. We rented a cozy Airbnb, big enough to fit all of us comfortably. Upon walking into the house, it was a mix of luxury and comfort. With a hot tub and a huge kitchen this place was designed for amazing post ski relaxation sessions. The kitchen gave us the opportunity to cook most of our meals at home, really letting our group create meaningful memories (as well as saving my wallet from immense strain). If you end up in Colorado for a fun weekend on the Vail slopes, my biggest recommendation is to have your own car or rent a car. The drive to the slopes was about 30 minutes away, Lyfts + Ubers are unreliable, and most won’t drive that far.
Eagle River Preserve:
On our way to Vail, we had a “if we see something interesting, we are going to stop” game which was a great change from the fast city pace. We stopped at the Eagle River Preserve, parked the car, explored the 72-acre land, and walked down to the river. Beautiful is an understatement. After exploring and taking some pictures, we felt ready for a fun weekend ahead.
Now for the main event! Skiing — like Rachel Green we wanted “shoop shoop shoop” down the slopes in Vail. I only skied one day, and once was enough. If you love hitting the slopes, I recommend going around to the different resorts. Buy any ski passes ahead of time as it will save you so much money. If skiing isn’t really your thing, Vail Village has so many cute shops, and restaurants to stop at during your day. We decided to end the day at the Ski Lodge for the coziness of the fireplace. We drank Irish coffee and snacked, as we talked about our crazy day on the slope. Thankfully, I was able to practice my ski skills on the bunny slopes at the children’s teaching school.
Continental Divide Winery:
The next day we went to Breckenridge and explored the town. Our first stop was the Continental Divide Winery – a hole in the wall, locally owned winery. We originally went there with the intention to participate in a wine blending class, but unfortunately they were booked up, so I suggest making a reservation. Instead we did a wine tasting, which was super affordable. For under $20 we were able to try 5 pours of wine. It was so fun to taste all the wines, and laugh around the large tables. The perfect apres ski activity.
After being tipsy from the wine, we needed food. We headed to Empire Burger for good old american post drinking food burgers, fries, and boozy milkshakes! A great place for a large group to meet. The burgers were juicy, and the shakes were delicious, but what really got me was the full range of sauces to choose from. Anywhere from parmesan peppercorn to wasabi mayo — a wide variety of 20 sauces is the way to my heart.
Cabin Coffee Co.
Another stop in our day in Breck was for a “pick me up” coffee break. We stopped by Cabin Coffee, a local coffee shop, in Colorado. The coffee shop was spacious, warm and had a lot of instagramable photo ops.
We mainly ate breakfast at home, but on the last day we gave cooking a break and stopped by a small breakfast restaurant. This ski themed restaurant in Frisco was a few minutes walk from our Air bnb. We started with Irish Coffee’s and had delicious meals that kept us perfectly satisfied until lunch. They have homemade bagels which, along with 20 sauce options, is a key to my heart. I had lox and a bagel and it was so delicious. Definitely a hot spot for a morning outing.
I have been waiting to check out these stores for over a year now. My friend’s cousin owns these two stores nestled in Beaver Creek Colorado. Siempre Viva is a boutique that ethically sources homemade clothes from Mexican artisans, and only works with companies with ethical morals. I wanted to buy the whole store. Lucky for me they ship all over the United States. Across the courtyard is there bookstore Los Libros — a coffee shop and bookstore heaven. For a break from all the skiing, stop by grab a coffee, buy a book, and sit in the nook that overlooks the village.
Vail Brewing Co
You can’t be in Colorado without stopping in one brewery. We had some time to kill so we stopped by Vail Brewing Co at Vail Village. To be honest what made this experience great was the customer service. I am not a big beer fan, but the server at the counter was so helpful and sweet. He knew so much about flavor profiles and helped me pick something I would like. They don’t sell food, but you can bring our own. It’s a great place to watch a sports game, play board games (we had a blast playing Scrabble), and drink good beer.
We were celebrating our friend’s birthday so we needed a place that can fit 10 people, and this worked really well. This restaurant did have a higher price mark, but worth the while, they had everything from duck ramen to pizza flatbreads. They have a bowling alley we wanted to check out, but it had a 2 hour wait, so make a reservation!
Ollie’s Pub & Grub + Co. Bar
With all the skiing and wandering around, I really only had the energy to go out on the last night. We headed down to a few bars in Frisco to celebrate our trip. First we headed to Co. Bar for darts, pinball, and cheap drinks — something we don’t see often in Chicago. They played all latin hits and I was all for it. The bar got crowded so we decided to end the night at Ollie’s for a ski shot — Phi Phi Alpha, I’m ready for my close up.
I am so grateful that I get to travel with my friends. I’m hoping this can be a yearly trip, but hopefully next year we can travel somewhere warm.
Photos courtesy of Allie Klawitter Photography