10 years ago I was invited to shoot a high end wedding in the mountains of Beaver Creek, Colorado.
My childhood best friend, Jenna was marrying the man of her dreams.
The plan was for me, and my family of (4) to fly and spend the weekend in Colorado with my family while also shooting her wedding day.
One day before our trip was to take place, Juliana was hospitalized with pneumonia.
She was 2 at the time, and leaving her was one of the hardest things I ever did as a mom.
Instead of flying and spending the weekend, I flew a red eye the night before, shot all day, and caught the first plane home the next morning > > >
but I had been dying to get back ever since.
Beaver Creek is all things lovely.
It’s beautiful and expensive, but incredible.
I’d never ski-d but convinced my sister, 2020 was the year to finally make the trip with both of our families (with young children in tow)
if the kardashians could do it, so could we.
((note, i was wrong, and won’t ever plan another trip based on their capabilities and our own. . .))
we spent weeks ordering cute ski suits and matching wool sweaters for the cousins.
I lucked up and found ski jackets at our local tj maxx, which honestly saved us hundreds of dollars.
We flew delta, a
My kids did AWESOME on the flights.
It was Jesse’s first flight, but thanks to delta having on flight entertainment and limiting how many people fly, we were comfortable and the travel was as easy as it could be with 4 small kids.
We were able to catch a LYFT from DENVER INT’L and take the 2.5 hour trek to BEAVER CREEK in style.
We arrived and checked into The Park Hyatt for the next 5 days
The hotel staff was nice. We rented two rooms (my mom came along too as a birthday gift from us) and also opted to let three of our kids stay with her in a 2 queen room, while Jason and I got a King bed with a crib for us and the babe. We were able to get attaching rooms, which was also super nice. I’d encourage you to book directly through BEAVER CREEK PARK HYATT to ensure the best rates and service. FYI it says there is a starbucks onsite, but that is NOT TRUE. not only that, but there isn’t a starbucks in beaver creek AT ALL. to some this may not be an issue. but.
My sister had been ski-ing before and prompted us to get fitted for our skis the day before we were to ski. We reserved our ski lift tickets here . I am so glad we got fitted at the shop in town and did our skis that night, because it took approximately 2 hours for our family of (11) to all get fitted, which would have cost us half of our ski day.
If you’ve never ski’d before, I’d highly recommend SKI SCHOOL and Beaver Creek has one of the best in the US. Our boys did (1) day and greatly improved. Next time, we will certainly do 2-3 half day lessons for them and I am certain they’d be ready for all the green and blues their hearts could handle. I will 100% sign Jason up too. Bless him.
More about the actual trip / town / experience. . .
1.) how was it with covid
this is the question I no doubt got asked the most. the mask thing is super annoying. obviously. you had to wear a mask on the slopes, in the hotel, when not eating, around the town, in your lyft/uber, on the bus and so forth. ski-ing requires so much gear and layers anyways, that also wearing a mask was certainly an annoyance, but it did help to keep our faces warmer! as far as eating goes, all of the local eats within the town of beaver creek were open for dine in as well as delivery. we were very annoyed to not have a starbucks near by, but there is one about (15 minutes) away, but for a lyft to take you (because the hotel shuttle will not) was about $25.00 > > > steep price for a caffeine addiction. there was a cute little shop in town that had canolis, almond milk and espresso so we did settle for their coffee a few times. aside from that, it was nice. Not busy, pretty empty actually, everywhere and it peaks my interest to know how long a place of such grandeur can survive this pandemic, with minimal income.
2.) fave eats
My favorite thing we ate was the pork shank from The Golden Eagle Inn, donuts from The Northside Kitchen (conveniently located near Starbucks), everything at Splendido was delicious, but the Prime was on point (and the kids loved their cotton candy dessert), pizza from The Blue Moose and sushi from Hooked was as good as any sushi back home, and nearllllyyy everyday, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet from our hotel, which I’d encourage you to buy ahead of time. The best part is, when you’re done, you can take TO GO boxes from the buffet back to your room (so we’d get pastries and fresh fruit that kids snacked on throughout the day.
3.) kids activities
so here is what I learned. if you have never ski’d before, DO SKI SCHOOL. at least one day.
if you don’t, don’t pack all of your kids in skis, jump on the lift, and assume you’ll figure out the bunny hops when you get there.
Maybe with older kids, but for us (13,10,5,3,2,1) to say we were overly confident, would be a MASSIVE understatement.
I thought there would be more places around us (walking distance) to build snow men, have a snowball fight, make snow angels and sled. . . but taking a lift or heading to the local golf course, was the only option. Children are not allowed to sled on the slopes or anywhere on the mountain (which makes sense) and there wasn’t enough snow yet when we arrived to tube (though it came towards the end of our trip) > > > If you asked my kids, their favorite parts were
Jackson: ski-ing, before we needed rescuing
Juliana: ice skating and sledding at golf course
Joe Douglas: ski school and sledding
Jesse : sledding before the snow got too deep
The kids had a WONDERFUL time, and I do imagine we will do it again one day, but if we were to go back anywhere this upcoming year, I’d do a large house near sledding or with a big yard, so we have our own winter wonderland. . . also, a grocery store and a kitchen ((if you have suggestions, HIT ME UPPPP))
The trip overall was close to 5 figures. . .
(i know. i know. but totes worth it)
BUT this did include:
1.) flights from Pensacola to Denver
2.) Transportation from airport to hotel and back
3.) All meals
4.) all clothing (winter wear bought from TJ MAXX and then boots, gloves, undergarments, ski goggles, all ordered from amazon)
5.) ski rentals (we all ski-d or attempted, except for Jesse)
6.) ski lift tickets
7.) extracurricular (sleds, we bought, ice skating, tips to drivers, hot cocoas in nearby towns, so forth and so on)
8.) (2) hotel rooms for 6 days / 5 nights
I don’t think I am missing anything, but again, this is a pretty solid number.
Could for sure be done for less, and even easier, for much more. . . but 100% worth it, looking back.
5.) things you wished you’d done
Well we didn’t get to sled or snow mobile, because the first few days there wasn’t enough snow yet, but by day 3, there was PLENTY but we’d be leaving too soon to enjoy it. Also, I really wanted to do the horse drawn carriage / sleigh ride through the mountains. I also wish we would have been able to tube, as I know the kids would love it, and also think they’d all have enjoyed ski-ing more, with more practice. But ski-ing is a WORK OUT, and getting the kids DRESSED for ski-ing is a workout. Next winter trip, I’d like to have more time to explore and tube and sled and play, than try and do all the things necessary to ski. Also, I wished we would have had time for a spa treatment (or two) and spent some time in a hot tub somewhere. . .
OK, i thinkkkk that’s all.
I would 100% do it again, and wished I had known a few things before we went > > >
even Jason said he’d go back!
If you have never been, certainly try it!
Next time, I want to be in a big log cabin, with fluffy snow right outside, without feeling pressured or excluded, by not hitting the slopes.
Beaver Creek is a SKI TOWN. . . so that was my bad. but it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL.
here are a few pics, for proof
looking at them, it was such an amazing trip.
it was HARD AS HELL.
and when we were there, Jason was complaining that it felt like ANYTHING but a vacation. . .
but that’s what vacations are with kids. .
it’s all for the memories & time spent together,
and this was it <3
((also pictures are out of order, but I finally blogged this, and can’t find the energy to fix it))