Thursday, March 15, 2018

ASPEN

I can not believe it is mid March and here we are in the midst of our third Nor'easter this month. Winter being my favorite season, it always seems to fly right by! Meanwhile, I finally found a little time to go through photos. Here's a look at our trip to beautiful Aspen, Colorado back in January.

Good friends of ours have lived in Aspen for years so a visit here was long overdue! 
Here is my Aspen bucket list / a nice guide of to-dos if you go. 
(At the end of the day really just everything we did - with locals to lead the way.)





#1 Highland Bowl. A hike up highland bowl is a right of passage! Some gnarly heart pumping terrain brings you to an elevation of 12,392'. On this day the hike was made even more challenging by the weather - blinding 50+ mph winds. One local quoted it was his toughest bowl hike in 10 years of living there - meanwhile a few of our crew got frostbite. On certain days a cat runs the initial ascent, but it was not running due to the weather so we really earned this one!
A Highland bowl hike will take about 45 minutes to an hour. It's an intense workout and crazy adrenaline rush. The powder runs from the top are worth it!

Above is the bowl and the ridge line (hiking trail) from the vantage point at the top of Loge Peak lift.
 Alex and Bob hiked the bowl on our last day when it was sunny and perfect visibility. You can't beat clear views from 12,000 feet! Leah and I oped to ski the main trails at Aspen Highlands since we hadn't yet. 

#2 Cloud Nine. Post Highland Bowl hike, celebrate your accomplishment at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro with a bottle of Veuve.
Fun Facts: Cloud Nine is Veuve Clicquots largest account in the world! And umm....Veuve is the least expensive bottle you can purchase here. 
We reserved a table for lunch a few weeks in advance - the food is good but expensive so if you aren't looking to splurge or did not make a reservation then a drink on the hopefully sun drenched or snow covered patio is where it's at! 


#3 Ski Ajax. This IS Aspen Mountain. We had a gorgeous bluebird day at Ajax following a small storm the night before we arrived. We almost didn't make it out of Denver because of the storm but thankfully the snow gods, flight gods, whoever, were on our side. (Actually, we were very proactive at the airport about re-booking each time our connection was cancelled and managed to make it on the last flight out that night.)
 
My recs for a solid day in Aspen:
Grab Breakfast at: Jour de Fete
Enjoy Lunch on piste at: Bonnie's
Ski gear or rentals: Hamilton Sports
Fun Shops: Kemosabe, Sweaty Betty Pop Up


#4 Cocktails at J-Bar inside Hotel Jerome - Check out the alpine-luxe hotel lobby space and then tuck into Jbar for a round or two. Try the Cranberry Spice Manhattan made with Woody Creek single barrel "Hotel Jerome" Rye, Bittered Sling Autumn Bog Cranberry and + Carpano Antica or the J-Bargarita with Cazadores Blanco Tequila, lime, grapefruit, Ancho Reyes Verde + agave.




#5 Crispy Chicken Sandwich at The White House Tavern this heavenly sandwich comes on a house made torta with swiss, tomato and spicy slaw, and is a must order when visiting Aspen! The ambiance at this cozy, historic house turned tavern at 302 East Hopkins Avenue can't be beat. It served as a miner’s cottage at the turn of the century and it remains one of the oldest structures in Aspen. 


Also pictured is my Gibson Martini with cocktail onions and the Gulf Coast Style Fish Sandwich with red onion and thousand island slaw. Our group had such a nice time at The White House Tavern, I'd highly recommend a visit.


#6 The Peking Duck at Bosq. Serving innovative and inspired new world cuisine with flavors from the Mediterranean to China in a modern alpine setting, everything at Bosq feels extremely unique. The intimate space envelopes you in shades of gray and light wood accents with elegant lighting and flickering candles, creating a soothing Scandinave ambiance. The Peking Duck is a chef perfected dish and a must order, served simply with cucumbers, leeks, pancakes and hoisin sauce.


The rest of the menu is not to be out shined by the duck, though. From sides like garlic chili rapini and butter poached shitakes to shared dishes of octopus with lime, black chili, parsnips, tamarind and grilled peanut oil and sweet and sour crispy eggplant - every dish was outrageously good.

There were also short rib blue corn tacos with kumquat foam and tomatillo emulsion and citrus chicken with roasted brussels sprouts and chestnut crema. This was a group consensus, one of the best meals we've had in a long time!

#7 Don't forget your fur! ;)
Thank you for an amazing time, Aspen!!

Up next: Telluride!