Turned out to be a highlight of our trip - who knew!
THAT is what we LOVE about traveling - we just never know when we will stumble upon a really great place and have a really great day.
Saturday in Breckenridge was THE day.
A chilly start to the day. Our overnight spot at the only grocery store in town - the City Market. I don't know that we would have thought to stay here unless we were desperate the night before. We pulled in at 8:00 pm in a snow storm. We had no idea of the lay of the land but thankfully found the store more by chance then anything else. Also glad that the snow had stopped over night.
Well - let's head into town and see what there is to see. And look! We drive right under the gondola heading up to the ski hill. A LOT of snow for a family trying to get AWAY from the snow.
It was cold but not too cold to walk around and we had hope that the day would warm up.
We were a bit surprised to see this until we remembered that pot is legal here now.
Funny - trying to keep each other warm obviously. Later in the day as we passed by here again, the snow was totally gone.
Sure feels like Christmas - which is ok - we missed the whole winter Christmas thing - kinda nice.
All the BIG names are here.... I was lucky in Fredericksburg - here - I KNEW that Derek would be back when it was open. If he could - Derek would have an outdoor wear addiction - actually I guess he does, he just doesn't have the means to live it out.
Ahhh - dare to dream - a bit small for us but we LOVE all the racks - a future plan for Caballito.
Seafood in the mountains! Everything seems to be here in Breckenridge - and why not - this is a money town.
Starbucks was at the right spot at the right time - we needed some warming up. Not too many coffee shops in Breck, for some reason, so we stopped in for coffee and some wifi time. The fire and comfy seats didn't hurt either.
All Cassia wanted to do while we were walking around was to play in the snow - and challenge mom and dad to more snow ball fights.
We stopped in a the Breckenridge Welcome Center - we picked up some info but we also looked around in the two storey museum in back. A nice display about the history of the area.
LOVE these types of maps - the ones where you push a button of a particular area and it lights up. This is one of the best we have seen. Look at all those ski runs!
Following that we continued along the main strip - is actually very long with many many shops.
Beautiful items - nice to look at but not to buy.
We are really enjoying all of the river walks that we are finding in Colorado. Trinidad's was very enjoyable and although we didn't stop there I read that Pueblo has one as well. After all the window shopping we decided to take Rufus for a walk along the, well - frozen river.
A neat statue dedicated to the WWII skiers - the 10th Mountain Division.
The day was warming up - more blue sky! To the left is a replica of an original dredge boat.
I was so taken with this display that I totally forgot to take a picture of the store that it belongs too! Magical Scraps - my NEW most favourite store - I guess it has bumped Relish from Thomasville Georgia - I think. Hmmm - tough one.
The kids clothes - yep I was tempted - until I saw the price tag of course. Not saying the prices weren't worth it - maybe - but just not our reality. It sure gave me some - do-it-myself ideas for adapting clothes for Cassia. Looks like I'll be doing some sewing this summer!
L.O.V.E. - sigh
I don't buy much on our travels in the way of souvenirs, but when I find a place I really like I will at times buy something as a memento. It was a tough decision at Magical Scraps but these perfumes and lotions caught my eye from a Denver company Love & Toast. I left with a roller perfume of Clementine Crush - mmmmmm.
While we were in a shop speaking with the Owner she told us that it was free to take the gondola. WHAT! FREE! Who would have guessed?! Not us. A bit later, Derek was talking to a fellow from Denver who told us the same thing and also mentioned that today there was to be a concert up on the ski hill.
With lunch out of the way back at the van, we headed out. The really GREAT thing about Breckenridge is that the gondola leaves from the downtown area, so we didn't have far to walk to get on.
How fun! Cassia's first gondola ride and it has been quite a while for Derek and I.
It was really difficult to get good pictures of the view because the plastic was very scratched.
Heading up - we can see all the runs. It was a great ride with two stops along the way. We weren't quite sure where to go for the concert but decided to go to the end and go from there. Good decision - at the end of the ride was where we wanted to be.
Busy! Full of skiers and concert goers.
Fun to watch the skiers and snowboards in the background. Guess we'll have to take Cassia skiing one day - soon. We'll save it for next year or so.
We had to wait for about an hour or so but it wasn't bad, it was actually very warm - the air was warm and the sun was out most of the time. It was neat just to be among the gathering - 80's music was playing while we waited for the band.
And who was that you ask!
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones no less.
Funny movie right! Derek REALLY close up!
Don't worry - I hadn't heard of them either - not my scene in my youth. But of course Derek had heard of them. It was great fun and if it had just been Derek and I we would have been there for the afternoon, but of course it didn't hold much meaning at all for Cassia. She had been a real trooper to this point, so after four songs or so we headed back to the gondola station.
Almost back to Breckenridge.
We finished off the day with dinner at the Breckenridge Brewery. Who are we to pass up sampling another breweries beer - right.
Just before that we had to move the van. Unfortunately, we somehow missed the sign that said we could only park on main street for three hours. When we returned from our gondola ride we returned to a parking ticket - darn! We weren't quite sure where to park but did find a spot a few blocks away. Funny, there was a Class A motorhome parked along the street where there were no signs posted. We figured we would park with them - might as well break rules with company if we were indeed not to be parking there. Later Derek talked to the Owners of the motorhome who were visiting with Rufus - a young couple from Seattle looking to relocate - with their friends. They were planning on spending the night there - we were too!
By the time we arrived it was too cold to stop and take a picture of the exterior of the Breckenridge Brewery. Yep - that's me! I like beer - dark beer just like Derek - I just don't usually order it at the restaurants. I couldn't pass up the Vanilla Porter though at the happy hour price of $3 for a pint.
And the food?! WoW! Great! I just had to show you! I had the Buffalo Chicken Beer Cheese Soup - man oh man was it good - with a caesar salad. With being in Mexico it has been forever since I've had a caesar salad something we eat several times a week at home.
Derek ordered the burger topped with prosciutto, garlic goat feta and roasted red peppers - amazing! In the end we were happy with the $32 bill - two great dinners and three pints of beer.
What was really neat that I should have taken a picture of - WAIT - I just scrolled up and it is in the picture! Instead of giving kids a placemat and crayons, the Brewery gives them an etch a sketch. Cassia's first time with one of those - she had a lot of fun with it.
Dinner at the Brewery was a fine way to finish off our awesome day touring downtown Breckenridge and our trip up to the ski hill.
We strolled around a bit - we wanted to see all the amazing lights along main street that we had seen the night before on our way in. In the end it was too cold so we headed home.
Later, once it was dark and Cassia was in bed, I walked down to look around and take some night time pictures.
Breckenridge obviously has a vibrant nightlife as well - there were quite a few people on the street and many of the stores were still open at 8:00 pm.
Thanks Breckenridge! What an unexpected treat. Although we are learning to expect the unexpected on the road we are still caught off guard at times of the neat places that we stumble upon and how much we end up enjoying ourselves.
Days like this are why we road travel. (If you were wondering).
And Derek was totally off the hook with Breckenridge because he was the one that decided to reroute us and take us in the back way - through the mountains and INTO a snow storm!
And in the end Derek didn't find anything to buy at the outdoor shops - but oh he tried!
Loving Colorado - looks like we'll have to come back one day to take a better look - with less snow!
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: While we have been happily trapped here in the hotel because of the snow storm I have been trying to plan the rest of our trip to the border. Sadly we are going to skip South Dakota for now and will try to get there next fall. The badlands have received as much or more as the Denver area so it probably wouldn't be worth the detour.
Rather than take us into Denver I'm thinking of turning at Golden and going through Boulder - maybe we'll stop in for the day. Looks like they have a brewery or two - ;).