Skiing in Steamboat

I spent all of last week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for a ski trip and – oh, boy! – I am definitely still recovering. I don’t think I’ve skied that much ever – 3 full days and 2 half days – but it was so much fun!

Here’s the thing about me and skiing:

Pretty much everyone knows this story by now, but for those of you who don’t: I broke my arm skiing when I was ten. It was quite dramatic, but then again I was at that age. We were skiing our last run of the day and for some reason I thought I stood a chance at beating my brother down. I tried to go down the whole mountain making as few turns as possible to gain speed…I was going very fast and hit a patch of ice. The rest is a fall and crying and pain. They had to give me a temporary cast of bubble wrap and cardboard so we could drive the 1.5 hours to the nearest hospital and I was in a little cast for what felt like forever.

Since then, I never got back to the level of skiing I was at. When I was younger, I was so confident and absolutely loved it. As I grew up, I didn’t ski nearly as much and had a huge mental block when I actually went. With Sean in my life, though, I feel the need to get back into it – and I really actually want to.

 [I obviously need to get back into skiing to keep up with this stud!]

In terms of progress, this trip was amazing! We took a half day lesson our first day there and Sean took up skiing for the first time, so we were able to stick together on the mountain (as annoyed I was at the fact that he was immediately better than me…stupid naturals!). By the end of the trip, and after a few highs and lows, I felt more confident on skis, stopped caring about steepness (I still don’t like ice, though), and left Colorado excited about skiing as opposed to scared. There was one moment where I just about gave up on skiing permanently and asked for a ride down the mountain with ski patrol (low visibility in the middle of a snowstorm at the top of a really steep trail I hadn’t skied yet), but I pushed through and made it down…and it ended up being our best day out on the slopes!

  

[At the time of my panic attack, the visibility was probably half of this and we were on a harder run…believe me, I would not have been taking pictures at that point!]

 

Steamboat is an adorable little town – we would wake up early and spend the days skiing, stopping for lunch on the mountain before skiing it all off, then head back for dinner, ending the night with drinks and board games at the house. We went downtown for a couple of dinners and even turned a whole afternoon into a date night with just the two of us – shopping downtown, a trip to the Old Town Hot Springs, happy hour at the Old Town pub, and then dinner at Mahogany Ridge Grill. After visiting both Aspen and Zermatt, I have come to realize that I absolutely love mountain towns and this was no exception!

  
  

[Necessary relaxation after a long day of skiing]

 

[The Old Town Hot Springs were such a nice break from the mountains – so warm in the water, but so refreshing to still be in the cool Colorado air!]

We are heading to Zermatt next weekend with my brother and his wife, and our friends Sara and Hope. I’m so excited to visit Zermatt again, but also itching to get back in skis and keep this high going!  Follow us on Instagram for live updates!

 

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Anniversary Weekend in Florence

10-14 June, 2015

I don’t even know where to begin with Florence because it was probably one of the best (and most beautiful) weekends of my life! We stayed in an airbnb (our new favorite thing) that was right on the River Arno and Ponte Vecchio – honestly the greatest location for exploring the city. We walked absolutely EVERYWHERE and with the warm weather I wasn’t even complaining (except during the spontaneous downpour)!

[The view from the airbnb]

After an outdoor breakfast at Café Rivoire, we spent most of our first day inside, visiting both the Uffizi and Academia Galleries. I hate people who take pictures in museums but I became one of those people because everything was so incredible and I want to remember it all forever. And the statue of David just doesn’t seem real, even up close.

   [Our spread at Cafe Rivoire – OJ, croissants, and cappuccinos]  [David, in the “flesh”, was so magnificent]

To make up for the time we spent indoors, we opted for a long walk in the evening – perhaps too long, and too uphill, but lovely nonetheless. We explored an old fort and watched the sunset at Piazzale de Michelangelo before heading back towards our flat for dinner. I remember going home after dinner, taking a cold shower to try to get some of the sweat off me, and then just passing out from such an exhausting day. Not before enjoying our river view, though!

  [The sunset over Florence, from Piazzale de Michelangelo]   [We explored an old fort that led us to an odd art exhibition and an incredible view of Florence]   [Our little window onto the river all lit up at night]

Our second day (our actual anniversary) was the most perfect out of all of them. We spent it with gorgeous surroundings, excellent wine, and some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had. Seriously, I’m starting to turn into the biggest fan of organized tours because of my two most recent experiences (Munich’s castle tour and now Florence’s wine tour). A full post will follow on the wine tour because I can’t fit it all in here!

[A little look into the world of the Tuscan hills]

After the tour, we went back toward the apartment and picked up pizza from Gusta Pizza, which our tour guide recommended. They had house wine for sale so we got a bottle to take back with us, opened up the window, and sat there staring at the view and allowing all of the mosquitos to come in. I know I mention this view and this window a lot, but that’s how great it is!

[I was very excited for the pizza – maybe too excited]

On Saturday, our last full day, had a nice long breakfast (late too – we really slept in), went to the Central market, and browsed the gold shops on Ponte Vecchio. Our most cultural experience was that night, when we went to Calcio Storico, the historical soccer match. This will also get its own post because I’m still trying to understand exactly what was happening. This match exemplifies one of my favorite thing about airbnbs – you get a real person who gives you phenomenal and personally recommended recommendations, allowing you to find out about things you never would have otherwise.

[Pre-Calcio Storico parade, which lasted about an hour before the match finally started]

We let Saturday night be our official date night, with a fancy dinner of three courses, a phenomenal bottle of wine, and tiramisu to top it all off. We went to a restaurant down the street and I highly recommend it for anyone visiting Florence – the staff and food were both amazing!

[Date night at Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco with a great bottle of wine]

On our final day, we returned to Café Rivoire (Sean for some reason was obsessed with it) and made a few purchases back on Ponte Vecchio before heading to the airport. We made sure to make one final stop for gelato, though, at Gelateria dei Neri, which is apparently the best in Florence. It was definitely the best of our trip, and I ate a lot of gelato, so I don’t doubt it!

  [His & Hers gelato]  [We didn’t leave without a little gold shopping on Ponte Vecchio!]

It was honestly such a great extended weekend, especially for the occasion given the romantic atmosphere of Tuscany. I’m already planning the next trip to Italy – just don’t tell Sean as I’ve been banned from planning more travel…. 😉

Easter Weekend in Zermatt

I have one word to describe my weekend skiing in Switzerland: ouch. First my face, then my knee, and then just my dignity. It was a painful weekend, but I loved every single second of it.

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[The incredible view we got to wake up to every morning]

Sean’s family has a lovely condo in Täsch, right outside of Zermatt, with an incredible view (above!). We flew Swiss Air over to Geneva and then drove to Zermatt. It was dark and foggy and rainy on the drive there but the drive back to Geneva consisted of absolutely stunning views of Lake Geneva. I cannot wait to go back!

After a short night of sleep upon arrival, we started easy (not) with a snowshoe adventure. I started off by saying how I had been snowshoeing before (in Aspen) and how I absolutely loved it…and then I changed my mind when I struggled throughout the entire hike. The downhills were terrifying and the uphills were exhausting so it was a pretty intense “walk.” However, as always, the views at the top made it all worth it!

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[Being what feels like “close” to the Matterhorn made the entire snowshoe adventure worth it]

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[Still in relatively good spirits at the end of our tour!]

Being the absolute idiot that I am, I forgot sunscreen. Which resulted in a severely burnt face and neck (we are talking tears, pain, and sun stroke) that left me in bed pretty much the entirety of the next day.

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[Sunburned faces and ski helmets – the true mark of a weekend in the mountains]

That night, we went for fondue, which was by far the best part of the trip. It was just endless meat, bread, and cheese, with escargot as a starter. That night it was flurrying in town and it was such a beautiful and romantic scene that I didn’t even bother to take a picture.

When I actually got to the skiing part the next day, we skied over to Italy. It was so cool to say I skied in two countries in one day, but that’s about all the bragging I can do because I a) hurt my knee with my terrible, out of practice form; b) let the steepness of essentially every slope freak me out; and c) at one point let the two come together and actually cried. On the mountain. Somewhere between Switzerland and Italy.

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[The view from our quick stop in Italy]

It really was a nice trip, though, and it made me want to get good at skiing again. So, next time – if there is a next time – I’ve decided I will take a lesson and see what happens!

Next stop: Milan