For the past four years, my family has vacationed in Turks and Caicos for winter break, blissfully basking in the Caribbean sun and bathing in the crystal blue seas. This year however, we decided (me really) to turn down the heat and head west to Colorado for a week of snowboarding and s’mores. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, nestled at the center of the village which caters to families.
The children’s ski and snowboarding school was literally a 1 minute walk from our hotel, the ice skating rink was at the center of the village and most restaurants were within walking distance; it was “parent heaven”.
All our children were enrolled in snowboarding school for the week, though my son was the only one who made it through successfully without an injury.
Our girls were still able to enjoy other activities such as snow shoeing, snow tubing, spa services and the use of jacuzzi and sauna. The town was also safe enough for them to roam on their own and meet up with friends.
At the end of each day, chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate were served by the hotel to all the kiddies, making for a sweet ending. For children (and parents—- ahem) in need for more of a sugar high, the Candy Cabin, a most charming old fashion candy store located at the top of one of the main chair lifts is a must .
A highlight for all was Adventure Ridge, located in Vail, a 15 minute drive from Beaver Creek. Our younger kids were able to ride snow mobiles and all of us were able to snow tube which was scary fun!
Though I snowboarded most days, a couple of days I ventured to McCoy Park to snow shoe and cross country ski. This terrain is reserved exclusively for both sports which I and took an immense liking to. They are both an intense workout, amidst a picturesque landscape.
For lunch, our favorite restaurant was the Blue Moose, a yum yum pizzeria with great salads.
For dinner, we loved Coyote Cafe, a super casual Mexican restaurant as well Chop House, also super casual, serving American fare.
On the fancier side, there is Beano’s Cabin which is located at the top of Beaver Creek Mountain. The only way to access the restaurant is via an open-air sleigh pulled by a snow cat. On a night when the temps are bearable, I can imagine the ride would be magical. Not in our case as it was snowing and freeeeezzzing!!! The restaurant itself is quite charming with open views, a fire place and fine dining.
Our children’s favorite was Matsuhisa, a sushi restaurant in Vail. We ate their twice and the food never disappoints.
After a week of below freezing temps, we decided to hit up LA for some sun and west coast vibes.
From the moment we landed, smiles were permanently plastered on all of our faces.
For three days and four nights, we pimped out at the Peninsula, one of the most elegant hotels with impeccable service, attentive staff and a dreamy roof top garden restaurant.
With only 3 days to explore the Golden State, we came, we saw, we conquered. Below is my itinerary with my faves for dining and sight-seeing.
Start the day off with an invigorating hike at Runyan Canyon.
Next, head to Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach, with uber cool and unique shops. Definitely check out Satine, Flannel and The Piece Collective boutiques.
Gjelina restaurant for lunch is a must.
Next, head over to Muscle Beach in Venice. Lots of people watching.
End the day off at Santa Monica Piers for a ride on the famous ferris wheel with spectacular views.
A sunset dinner at Nobu is a dream.
Take an early morning run along picturesque Beverly Gardens Park.
Next, take a tour of celebrity homes, then off to the Hollwood Walk of Fame and the Hollywood sign for some family photo ops.
Head over to the trendy Ivy for lunch. Loved the staffs sunny attire and floral ties.
Walk along Rodeo Drive for some major fashion eye candy. Next head over to Il Pastaio for a bella Italiano lunch and then to Ice Cream Lab which serves made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Dinner at Cecconi’s is always a winner.
Though we never made it, Universal Studios and the Warner Brothers tour are both highly recommended.
Cheers to good vibes in 2016. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday wether on vacation or staycation!