12 Most Sanity Saving Reasons We Escape to Breckenridge, Colorado
My name is Brian Vickery, and I am…uh…oh how do I put this…I’m a timeshare owner. Yes, I admit it, and I have loved every minute of it! We actually have two timeshares, and we enjoy both of them tremendously. However, our favorite and most accessible timeshare is through Hilton Grand Vacations Club. Nope, I’m not trying to sell or promote them. But it was because of their timeshare that we fell in love with a mountain town: Breckenridge, CO.
It is rumored that I have a Type-A personality. I apparently feed into this rumor because I start reaching the boiling point around the second week in October each year. Perhaps it is a Pavlovian thing because that highest stress point coincides with my daughters’ Fall Break…which means help is on the way in the form of a picturesque mountain town. Read on to see how sanity is saved and all is made right in my little world.
1. Stay at the Valdoro Lodge
Our timeshare is located in the Valdoro Lodge. Some people like to hike up to cold, forlorn huts on the side of a mountain when camping in the Rockies. My approach: the more stainless steel appliances, granite counters, jacuzzi tubs and wireless internet, the better. They do not have Blu-ray, so there is your “roughing it” (except I do not own any blu-ray discs).
2. Walk the town
Breckenridge is a quaint mountain town, so the views are everywhere. However, the restaurants and shops are where you get a good sense of the culture. We love reading the t-shirts, bumper stickers and magnets. You can also see creative art and craftsmanship in several of the stores. And the Breckenridge Hat Company provides hysterical pictures every time!
3. Visit Silverthorne outlet stores
My daughters love Breckenridge and the Valdoro Lodge, but I think they secretly rate those outlet shops in Silverthorne high on the list. This is where they get to hit all the cool places like Rue 21 and Aeropostale. I am cooler for just walking in those places; however, my youngest daughter just told me that black jeans were “too young” for me…hmm, I guess working through college could be an option for her, and we could spend her college fund on more vacations .
4. Enjoy the pillows and down comforters
Who likes sleeping in a cold room? Even when it is 30 degrees outside, I am the kind of guy that likes to crack the window and then burrow under the covers and sleep until about 9am! Valdoro takes it a step further with fantastic down comforters and lots of pillows.
5. Workout in the on-site gym
This may sound crazy, but my wife and I use a vacation to do a reset on our exercise routines. We have been in a great routine ever since joining Lifetime Fitness, so the other reason for exercise come into play: maintaining while over-indulging on good food and desserts. We managed two hard workouts and two light tennis sessions on this last trip. Loved it!
6. Eat favorite meals
Remember that over-indulgence admission? Our kids decide the menu, so that means I am generally frying something at least once. My wife makes mashed potatoes as a side dish, and I make enough milk gravy to feed a platoon. This is not the week to pretend we are cutting carbs and going gluten-free. This trip also involved grilled steaks, chicken fajitas, hamburgers…I’m going to have to loosen my belt just writing about it!
7. Hit the jacuzzi
This is another nightly tradition. Whether we play hard all day, or lounge around catching up on our reading, we end the day with a great meal and then hit the over-sized jacuzzis on the covered deck. It is especially fun to be sitting in that hot, soothing water while it is snowing and the air is cold and crisp.
8. Ceremoniously enjoy Klondike bars
The nightly ritual continues with the handing out of Klondike bars. Now this can be a mental teaser because you have to remember how many Originals you had versus Heath because you do not want to short-change yourself. Now comes the ceremony: Do you completely unwrap the bar or peel the wrapping back as you savor every bite? Do you nibble away all the chocolate first? Do you lick your fingers? Do you fold the wrapper when you are done, or do you wad it up and “go for 2” in the nearest trash can (or person’s lap)? Another part of the jacuzzi/Klondike tradition is that we all wear those luxurious spa robes throughout this not-so-solemn ritual. Now you know why those mountain huts just would not work out for the Vickerys!
9. Talk about getting the 2-for-1 massages
My wife and I can be frugal to a fault. Every year, we get in the elevator to go to our room for the first time, and we see the advertisement for 2-for-1 massages. Fall Break always lands in the quiet season between summer and ski season, so many of the local businesses run great specials. However, we always get caught up in other activities or feel that we cannot afford it this year. Together we agree we will absolutely do it next time. One of these years…
10. Have Netflix marathons
Netflix has now lost 800,000 subscribers due to the Qwikster fiasco. They could have read Guy Kawasaki’s book on Enchantment, raised prices, and kept everything as one service with minimal consumer grumbling. Instead, they did a knee-jerk company spin-off followed by another knee-jerk strategy retraction.
However, the Vickerys still love this streaming service. I think our girls went through the entire Psych series in one week last year. This year we watched some Bones, some Lie to Me and that cinematic masterpiece: Charlie’s Angels.
11. Visit Downstairs at Eric’s or Mi Casa
We love to cook our own food, and it saves a lot of money. However, we have to visit at least one of our favorite restaurants while in Breckenridge. We can always get good hamburgers, wings or pizzas Downstairs at Eric’s. Sometimes the palate craves chips, salsa, and great Mexican food in a nice atmosphere at Mi Casa.
12. Stop by Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs
Beau Jo’s has great pizza, and we were massively disappointed when they closed the Parker location. However, the Idaho Springs location is alive and thriving with TVs to catch the Denver Broncos game wherever you turn your head! We highly recommend Beau Jo’s for “something extraordinary” pizza.
Where is your sanity-saving escape? Where do you go to get away from it all, and do you take anyone with you? And what are your favorite activities when you get there? If you ever plan a vacation in Colorado, we highly recommend visiting Breckenridge regardless of the season.
Featured Image Courtesy of Brett Gullborg licensed by Creative Commons.