Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Couples' Vacation to Winter Park, Colorado

Peter and I just returned from a wonderful 4-day vacation in Winter Park, Colorado with Ryan and Julie Dillingham. They (the Dillinghams) have been planning this vacation for about 6-12 months with another couple who had to back out just a few weeks before departure. So...we were asked if we would want to go. We couldn't say no to the wonderful deal! Time to pay them back for the condo and free airfare!!!
Here are a ton of pictures from our WONDERFUL vacation. Of course, the pictures from my small camera do NOT do the beauty and awe any justice! It was so relaxing and fun. Although we're all glad to be home...this is something which I'm really looking forward to doing again in the future!

We left Friday morning around 6 a.m. and arrived in Denver around 10 or so. We got our bags and rental car and headed to Winter Park...about an hour (or so) drive from Denver. We were a bit early to our condo, so we stopped at Randy's for lunch and then hit the grocery store (where Ryan and I bought awesome neon pinkish chapstick that Julie just LOVED). We headed back to the condo, checked in, and fell in love. We hung out for a while and relaxed. Then Peter made chicken-fajita quesadillas and we enjoyed some margaritas. Afterwards we relaxed in the hot tub with some wine and played (Heath Bar) poker (at which I am HORRIBLE).

Our Condo The kitchen fireplace
The kitchen table
The kitchen
The family room: Ryan and Peter chillin' and trying to figure out the TV. A few minutes after this picture was taken, Peter took all the cords out of the TV, and had to completely re-configure it all. We were all laughing.
The family room TV and corner fireplace. Through the window is the kitchen.
The stairs: going down to the front door, or down again to the garage, spare bedroom, bathroom, and path to our private hot tub. Up to two other bedrooms, two bathrooms, and the laundry. Oh, and going up and down these stairs in that altitude was breath-taking. Literally! It took our breath away; we were so winded.
Spare bedroom in the downstairs: Twin bunk beds, full bed, and private full bathroom.
Master bedroom (Dilly's room)
Second bedroom upstairs (Our room).
Peter making some yummy quesadillas for dinner---chicken fajita with margaritas!
Ryan and Peter doing the cooking. So nice!
Yum! Dinner is ready.
Uh, oh! Breaking out the "Daisy Don'ts" the first night...and for dinner.
Ryan wondering why they invited us on this trip...ahahhahah
Julie and I at dinner. And, no, we did not all plan to wear white shirts! ahhaha
On Saturday we slept in, as much as parents can. Then we headed over to the mountain (Julie and I unsure of what we were going to do...ski, take snowboard lessons, or just hang out). Peter and Ryan were ready to go! Julie and I ended up renting our gear and heading out on the mountain after a DELISH soup in a bread bowl for lunch, while Peter and Ryan ate chilli atop the mountain. Peter took his time re-teaching me how to ski (as I've only gone twice in my life...and the last time was about 13 years ago). He was (thankfully) so patient with me. By the end of the day, I was cruisin' and LOVING it! Thankfully Peter took some longer runs with Ryan earlier that day. Because the rest of the day he was with me on the "baby" runs. We ended the day at Randy's (the bar and grill near our condo) after I did some homework. We met Ryan and Julie up there for the Illini-MSU game (Illini won). We had some tacos, some cocktails, and headed home to bed.

Peter and I outside the condo

Julie and I, ready to go to "The Village" (base of Winter Park Mountains)
Ryan and Peter, both excited to go skiing.
Ready to SKI!
Our ride from parking to The Village

The Village...So picturesque!
Winter Park...just a few of the trails/runs
Me...on the mountain! Go me. This was after I became a bit more comfortable, or, as PJ would say "got my ski legs."
After skiing, my camera was a little cold. But, even fuzzy...here we all are at Derailed at the base of the mountain ready for cocktails and appetizers.
Peter and Ryan
The Dilly's
Julie and I
Peter and I...both exhausted. Peter and Ryan...got smart and began to ski to the car!
Sunday, Peter, Ryan, and I went skiing again. Julie's ankle and knee were both a little swollen and bruised. Instead, she went shopping and went back to the grocery store to get ready for the Super Bowl. We skiied for a while--Ryan went higher and to tougher runs. Pete challenged me to go a bit higher today after a few runs on the ones we did on Saturday. After a few of those, we met Ryan up for lunch...another amazing soup in a bread bowl. Then we took the higher lift--to Winter Park, elevation: 10,700. Then I freaked out a little. It took me a while to get down the first steep slope, but then I was fine. We had a great day and ended with a SAINTS win in the Super Bowl over the Colts and then a short stint in the hot tub.
Peter on the lift, first run of the day
Me on the lift, first run of the day
On the higher lift (my first challenge)
Atop Winter Park: Elevation 10,700 (not the highest of the mountain, just the highest we made it).
We were supposed to go tubbing on Monday and then to a winery. However, we checked Chicago's weather for our travel home (Tuesday) and there were several "winter weather warnings" and such...so we decided to see if we could change our flight. Luckily we were able to--7:25pm on Monday versus 11am on Tuesday. All of Tuesday flights ended up being cancelled...so we just made it home. Whew! Our last day we packed up, went shopping, and then headed back to the village. There we bar hopped: DOC's Roadhouse, Derailer Bar, and Lime Cantina. We had a drink at each, and then ate at Lime. Pretty good, pretty spicy. Then we headed to the airport. It was a nice relaxing last day.
At the base of the mountain, outside of Derailer's. Last day of our vacation.
After lunch at Lime...ready to head out of The Village and back to the car.
So much fun! What a great couple to travel with!

Ready to head home, after a WONDERFUL vacation together!!!
In the car to the airport


The Dilly's: who invited us on their trip and are giving us time to pay them back for the condo and for the free airfare!

Our brothers: Brian, Joe, Wesley, and Leann for their generous Christmas gift (which was to be a night in the city, but we transferred it to this trip).

Nana: who took off two days of work and watched the girls Friday-Monday.

Grammie and Poppy: who took Rowena for the weekend and watched the girls on Monday.

It really was nice to get away from all of the day-to-day choas: work, school, homework, housework, internship, etc.

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