Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back to the mountains, please?

I'd like to go back to the mountains for a plethora of reasons.  Very near the top of the list is absolute relaxation, which is due in large part to Day 3.  For Day 3, we spent an obscene amount of time basically living at the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt.  Massages, spa lunch, poolside time, excessive amounts of reading and relaxing in these amazing heated stone chairs...pure and utter bliss.  Now THAT is vacation.  No pictures necessary.  Not even small children poolside with plans to flood every possible dry surface could dampen our relaxed spirits.

After becoming semi-human again (since our spa experience transformed us into blobs of happiness and not much more), we had high, high hopes about an evening at the Ritz in nearby Bachelors Gulch.  Just look at these smiling faces ready to go.
Maybe we were setting our expectations a little too high.  But the Ritz...the Ritz was a bust.

Fail #1 - lack of options for drinking and/or dining.  As in...apparently the Ritz is the place to be in the winter only.  So many things were just closed!  How sad.

Fail #2 - table stealers in the form of sweaty mountain bikers.  Noodle-heads.
Fail #3 - incompetence and basic lack of caring from wait staff.  And bar staff, for that matter.  Even if you don't know how to make a champagne cocktail, you pull out the interwebs and just look it up.  So much for customer service.  Not that we don't love just plain ol' champagne...

...but come on, even the Blackberry browser with spotty mountain reception can get you to a champagne cocktail.

So we gave up on the Ritz and headed back through the Beaver Creek gates for dinner at Rocks Modern Grill.  And it was pretty tasty, and they took good care of us, and they sold us another bottle of wine to take home when we realized we all just needed one more glass and everything was closed.  Thanks, Rocks.  Rocks 1, Ritz 0.  Day 3 in the books.

Day 4 dawned...well, it didn't really dawn because it was pretty rainy and kinda gross.  We kept our hopes up, though, and drove over to Vail to check out some different hiking trails.  It took a bit of doing to actually find the trail we were going for, but our brave mountain driver got us there safe and sound!  However, when we got there...

...we encountered this kind man, a real hiker, with poles and shoes and double layers of clothes and the whole shebang...and he basically told us we would die if we tried to tackle the slippery trail.

So...we turned around and went back home.  But at least we got to see Vail.  And we proceeded to take our hiking picnic and turn it into a living room picnic, which isn't entirely a bad thing.  It also gave us the chance to do some fireplace testing to make sure our s'mores plan for that night was a go (and by "fireplace testing" I mean "stuck our heads into the fireplace to make sure the flue was actually, truly, 100% open"), and I brought in wood, which made me feel like a good provider...or something.  Really don't be impressed, though - the wood was pre-chopped and sitting on the deck approximately ten feet from the fireplace.  Still, it had to be done.
Then to work off our picnic, we made the uphill trek back into town, stopping along the way to make some more new friends.  With inanimate objects.  But friends all the same.

We chilled around the fire pit for a bit...

...and then some ominous clouds starting rolling in pretty quickly, so we decided it might be in our best interest to hurry home and have a roof over our heads.

Ahhhh, more relaxation at our home away from home.  Thank you, mountains.  At least until the bat showed up.  Next installment.


Emily said...

We spent out honeymoon at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch and we LOVED it there. Granted, it was late October and we had the "honeymoon" package. We didn't see any other guests until our last day - it was wonderful! Wish it had been a better experience for you, Erin!

Erin said...

I'd love to go back in the fall or winter! I mean, it was absolutely beautiful, just not quite what we were expecting - I'm so glad you had a good experience, though. Good to hear from you, Emily!!