JP’s 24 Trips in 12 Months!
Trip No. 5 Breckenridge / Denver, Colorado
Dates: December 10 – 13, 2017
Hotel: Beaver Run Resort (Breckenridge) and Super 8 Downtown Denver
- I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Colorado Mountain Express is a great ride service up to the ski towns from Denver airport!
- Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center: I highly recommend staying here if you’re in Breckenridge.
- Epic Pass: If you’re going to ski or snowboard more than three days out of the year, look into whether or not a season pass is right for you.
- Denver Central Market is a great place to stop by for food and drinks with friends.
Best tips and lessons learned:
- If you’re going on a trip with different geographies, it’s best to prepare your body for the change. For being in the mountains I like to prepare by taking altitude supplements to avoid altitude sickness.
- When you are ready to rent skiing and snowboarding gear, make sure you ask your hotel if they offer any sort of discount because most of them do.
- When you use your miles to purchase wifi inflight on United, you may be able to alternate between devices, switching the wifi to whichever device you want to use.
- Anytime you go wandering around a new town and have a scheduled departure coming up, plan ahead… whether it’s getting lost or car accidents on the highway, your plans can get derailed and you can be late really quickly…. Build in cushion time, be flexible and figure out public transportation and/or directions before you start to wander.
My Colorado Trip:
Colorado is one of my favorite places, and I intend to spend more and more time there as I am able, so it had to be featured in my 24 trips in 12 months. I’m learning to snowboard so I went to Breckenridge and stayed at the Beaver Run Resort, as well as making a quick stop in Denver before coming home.
When I was driving into ABIA, I saw something I had never seen before at an airport: someone had driven down the wrong way on the street to departure dropoffs. Thankfully for them, the officer that approached just waited till they turned around and went about his day. Heads up for people taking early flights, make sure you read the signs extra carefully, and maybe even check out the map online ahead of time. When I got in the airport, I realized my phone didn’t charge all the way, so my battery was super low, which is always a problem when traveling. Double-check before you go to bed with a morning flight to make sure your phone is charging!!
We when I landed in Denver, I had two interesting occurrences: First, I didn’t notice an emotional support dog near baggage claim and got shocked awake when it started barking at me right next to me! I’m not sure about this over allowance of emotional support pets… Then, I was making a fat fuel instant coffee by shaking it, but the pressure in the canister built up so high, when I opened it, the coffee basically exploded all over myself and the bathroom. Luckily, I had a sense of humor about it all.. .
Once I cleaned up the mess up ,as well as myself, I caught the Colorado Mountain Express ride that would take me to the resort. I love using CME (Colorado Mountain Express), it’s a shared van service I’ve used before and I always seem to be accompanied by the nicest people. This trip was no different, I was able to get some work done and had some great conversations.
Driving into Breckenridge was absolutely beautiful. Rolling hills of snow, huge mountains, and blue skies I chose Breckenridge because I enjoyed my last trip there, and Colorado has been having a very warmest winter but Breck’s mountain happened to have the most snow. The CME stops at a small town called Silverthorne for a small break so it was nice to get out and enjoy the light snow falling. Perfect little mountain town feel, made me even more excited for my resort.
Before I had arrived I made sure to call and let the hotel know I would be arriving before check-in. A lot of the time if you call before you arrive the hotel will do their best to accommodate and get you in a room early. Thankfully, they could get me in a room and it went really smoothly. I recommend this if possible, it’s just so nice to relax after a flight. I guess it was my lucky day because I also got a room upgrade! It included a kitchenette and living room, very nice.
I arrived with much of the day to spare so after check-in, I decided to head to the Copper Top Bar. (I also popped my altitude supplements — got to prepare for altitude). The Copper Top Bar is awesome!I had a Santa Fe chicken salad while taking in the scenery and over heard that a lift had got stuck. made a note to keep that in mind. After a great lunch, I decided it was time for me to take a nap.
After a nice power-nap, I went and got some groceries since my room featured a kitchenette. This is awesome because you end up saving so much money making your own meals. While I was out I made sure to go pick up my “Epic Pass.” If you are going to snowboard or ski more than three times, a season pass is definite worth looking into. The trip would have been much more expensive without it and having to pay daily lift ticket fees…
Another tip when it comes to actually heading to the mountain is to check with your resort before renting any gear. A lot of the time, ski resorts will offer a discount valid at the rental shops just for staying there. Luckily, I received a 20% discount, geared up and was ready to go. It was pretty funny, I started on a blue because I have been skiing before. Way to sure of myself, it was a little rough since I hadn’t been in a while and I took a couple falls. Once I had had my fun of skiing, and falling, I went back to the hotel. They happened to be having a Kahlua night so I warmed up with an Irish Coffee (Kahlua and Coffee) at the bar. Other than the bartender, it was just me and another person who turned out to be the bartender’s boyfriend (locals). I talked to them and found out at this particular resort you can rent to buy a condo and then once you own it, they rent it out for you when not in use. I definitely started dreaming about owning a Breckenridge condo like that…
The next morning I woke up and went to go get breakfast at a convenience store at the resort. I had some bacon and eggs to fuel up for the mountain — really good and extremely convenient to not have to leave. After breakfast, I made sure to get my work done before I set out for a day of fun (the fact is, if you’re going to work and travel, you can’t slack off just because your’re traveling).
I checked out a snowboarding class that was being taught at the resort and I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite philosophical things my teacher said was that, when snowboarding, you should “be your own consciousness.” This resonated with because it reminded me about the active thinking that skydiving coach discussed with skydiving (I guess flying through the sky and flying down a mountain are pretty similar).
After the lesson, I was pretty wore out so I hit the hot tub. After this, I ran into two negatives with the hotel: first, they showed on-demand movies, but I actually couldn’t order one, and (2) I ordered delivery from the hotel restaurant, but they never brought my order. order an on-demand movie as advertised on the little flyer by my bed, but when I went to, they had no movies. Eventually, I decided to grab my laptop to work and head down to the hotel bar. The hotel was throwing a Christmas party for all the locals in the conference center, and it was great to see and connect with a lot of locals. (Also, a big group of college kids came in causing the only bartender to have to I.D. and wristband anyone under 21 and kick a bunch of kids out… pretty funny to watch).
The next morning I woke up with sore from the snowboarding and, as I was leaving today, I decided to take it easy. Before heading to Denver, I decided to head to downtown Breckenridge. The town has an awesome feel… in fact, I heard three songs in a row coming from different shops and restaurants that I loved including some Pink Floyd, Sublime and Rusted Root… I knew I was in love. I stopped and had some coffee and chorizo tacos from a coffee shop; however, I was not prepared for getting back to the hotel… I ended up getting lost, and then having to walk up a massive hill just to be late catching the CME to Denver.
The CME to Denver ran into an accident on the mountain that rerouted and detoured traffic for 3 hours. Thankfully, I didn’t have a flight to catch, but this may be something you want to prepare for and leave early. Others were a little perturbed and some even missed international flights, but I basically got an unexpected scenic tour. We went higher into the mountain on the detour and saw some awesome views. My favorite scene was a frozen lake we saw visiting the highest town in North America, .
I stayed at the Super 8 in downtown Denver and really enjoyed it. Of course, this hotel is a silver level hotel, but it was relatively clean and had a great view of downtown. The only problem was I noticed my window lock was broke. This freaked me out even though I was on the second floor. I made sure to go see if there was any way someone could climb into my window and thankfully there wasn’t. My hotel was across the street from Elitch Garden Theme Park, which I wish I had enough time to check out.
A local friend and I were going to meet for dinner, so we went to a great place called Denver Central Market. It’s not a “central market” grocery store, but, rather, it has six different food options to choose from and a deli and bar. Dinner was amazing… bar service wasn’t great though. We went out for drinks in the area and then called it a night.
I ended my time in Denver with some continuing legal education I had scheduled, and then headed to the airport. Went to Lounge 5280 while waiting for my flight… loved it. Definitely recommend it next time you’re waiting at DIA. Easy flight home… did some work and used United miles to buy wifi inflight, which then let me alternate between devices throughout the whole flight (laptop for work, cellphone for messaging).
I learned a lot of new things this trip, all while enjoying one of my favorite new hobbies, friends, snow and education. Solid trip! Thanks for reading about my trip, and safe travels my friends!