I’m in a Colorado state of mind this week – probably because I had so much fun there. I was lucky to get a surprise extension on the end of my trip, so I got to explore a new city, Denver! The original plan was to drive back from Vail Monday afternoon, spend an evening in a nice hotel in Denver for some R&R and fly home Tuesday. However, when Southwest cancels your flight, you know there must be something terribly wrong (I’m a big fan of Southwest), and unfortunately, that something was Polar Vortex Round II. So, while the East Coast was being pummeled with freezing air and snow, I was “stuck” in Denver enjoying the sunshine and 60 degree weather. Things could be worse, right?
First thing worth mentioning – the drive between Vail and Denver is absolutely beautiful. It’s an attraction in itself! It takes about 2 hours in good weather, and I took approximately 400 photos during that time. Luckily I will only make you endure this beauty…
The Mile High City is not big by any means (particularly compared to my present home of New York City), but there is definitely enough hustle and bustle to keep tourists and locals entertained. It’s trendy, new and clean and kind of reminded me of a small, outdoorsy Chicago…if that makes sense to anyone.
This is the coolest post I think I’ve ever seen on Buzzfeed, and that’s saying something since I read Buzzfeed approximately 14 times a day. I love a good vacation (…obviously…) and I’m not terribly bothered about where I stay. No bed bugs please and a bathroom are requirements but besides that, I’m pretty ok with roughing it if it means I get to travel somewhere cool.
That being said, if the opportunity were to arise where I could stay at literally the coolest hotels ever, I’d probably be pretty ok with that too. So, below are my favorites from the list of the coolest hotels on the planet. Um giraffes to share your breakfast with? Yes Please!
Where else in the world could you make friends with a giraffe?! At Giraffe Manor in Nairobi you can get up close and personal with these adorable creatures, who freely roam the property.
2. Kakslauttanen in Finnish Lapland, Finland
At Kakslauttanen you can stay in a snow igloo, a log cabin, or the coolest thing ever…a glass igloo! Lie in your bed with your loved one and watch the Northern Lights for a one of a kind vacation.
Colorado – land of the free. Particularly as of late, since the implementation of their own set of laws around certain….substances….But my trip this weekend had nothing to do with politics. It had to do with skiing! And my oh my did I choose a good place to do it.
Vail is one of the best known ski resorts in Colorado and rightly so because it’s awesome. Despite being there on one of the busiest weekends of the Winter, because of the size of the mountain and the number of slopes, it never felt crowded. Actually, in some places (particularly the backside of the mountain), you are left feeling almost alone.
It’s pretty tough to do Vail wrong – there’s loads of nice hotels and fun restaurants and bars. However, I had a really really great time, so I figured I’d give you a run down of how I did it…really really right. Most importantly, I was with five of my very favorite people – friends I’ve known for years and all, conveniently, different level skiers.
Some of my favorite couples (me included in the middle!) out to dinner in Vail
Today I’m in Vail, Colorado for an epic ski weekend!
Courtesy of Vail.com
YES this is me gliding down the slopes like an absolute pro…. oh wait I’m actually totally lying. I’m in ski school today with all the beginners making pizza slices with my skis on the bunny slopes…
Venice, Venezia, La Dominante – whatever you call it, it is without a doubt the most magical city in the world. It’s romantic, picturesque, charming and so much more. No words can describe the absolute unparalleled beauty that is Venice, Italy.
Do I really need to go on? I think we’re all convinced….go to Venice. That is all.
Canale Della Giudecca at Sunset
Views of Beautiful Venice
Just kidding I’ll tell you more. To start with, these are real photos. I know, I know, they don’t look it. That’s just too pretty a place to be real! But I actually took these, so I know Venice is real…at least I think it was…
New York Print from Rifle Paper Co.
I’m loving these Rifle Paper Company prints right now. Check out their array of calendars, cards and stationary here. They’ve also got the most adorable city prints perfect for any passionate travelers out there like me!
So, what’s the best way to see Paris? Ask a local, of course! …No, I do not have the audacity to mean myself, after visiting a only handful of times. I asked a real local for recommendations – one who grew up in the city.
At La Maison de Champs Elysees Hotel
On my last trip to Paris, her city guide opened up a whole new realm of Paris to me. While I do recommend visiting the monuments, museums and tourist hotspots, combine them with a few trips down the Parisian backstreets to find some local restaurants and hidden bars. It’ll be worth your while, I promise.
I’ve spent a good amount of time in Paris and its surrounding areas, having first been there at age 12 on a school trip, living in a suburb of the city for a summer and having been back to visit a few times since. So, you’d think I’d be sick of it there, right?
My attempt at a Parisian attitude
Oh, how little you know me.
I’ve never been great at keeping resolutions, but this year I’m really motivated. 2013 was a year of pretty epic change for me. I settled into adulthood with my first (and second) grown-up job, I moved countries (and continents), rented an apartment in New York City (the most difficult thing in the world) and somehow found time to start a travel blog.
I’ve thought a lot about what I want out of 2014, and besides never moving in this city again, here’s what I’ve come up with:
1. Travel More: I figure this one is pretty obvious, but also I want to be more creative with my experiences. Living in Europe made me spoiled. Every two hour (cheappp) flight was a new country, a new language and a totally new experience. But moving back to the US, I’m not as excited to travel. I need to change my attitude, since I’ve still got approximately 20 states left I’ve never even been to! It may not be a new country or a new language, but every state is different and worth a visit. So, my resolution is really to make every place I go to an adventure. Because even if it’s just down the road, you’ve got to travel to get there!
2. Be More Selfish: I know this sounds weird, but I’ve actually always been kind of bad at this. I worry too much about what others might want or need, even in situations where making one choice isn’t really going to be very good for me. But I make that choice anyway. So, whether it’s choosing to take that trip I can’t really afford for a long weekend because it’s going to make me happy or just making my friends go to my restaurant of choice, I’m going to be more selfish (sometimes) in 2014!