Freed Up Girl

Exploring Telluride

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

There is nothing quite like the first sight of snow and the crunch beneath your shoes to get you excited to play in a winter wonderland. 

We arrived to Telluride late in the evening after a very slow drive due to snowy conditions. We stayed at the Madeline Hotel & Residences in Mountain Village. It was in the perfect location. Just a short walk to the Gondola that takes you to Telluride and the lifts that you can test your skiing/snowboarding skills. 

The first morning we pulled back the curtains and were greeted by sunny skies and views of the mountain. We dressed (in what seemed to be) a thousand layers and hit the slopes. 

Chair lift after chair lift and fall after fall was the theme of my day. Who can complain with views like this?

By the end of the day I got my groove back and was zipping down the mountain passing many 5 and 6 year olds. Shaun White has nothing on me. 

I found my better half patiently waiting for me at a rustic bar perched mid way down the slopes. We ordered a few cold beverages to quench our thirst while taking in our beautiful surroundings. Cheers to a great first day.

The next day we slept in and grabbed a light brunch before making our way to Telluride Outfitters for our snowmobiling adventure. 

The windchill was no joke and the snow was coming down hard. We were greeted by our guide whose beard was full of hanging icicles. I had to mentally prepare myself for the frigid temperatures. 

We were offered goggles and helmets and were instructed how to properly operate the snowmobile. Then we were off...

It took all of five minutes for us to get stuck and lose the pack. Luckily for us they had others following a bit behind that came to our rescue a little while after. 

It did not take long before we took a wrong turn. We found ourselves at a dead end with no means to turn around. We were not starting off very well and had to be rescued for a second time.

We wound our way through tree lined paths covered in fresh snow and felt the crisp air on our face. The visibility was limited due to the snowstorm so we were unable to see the mountain views. Still, it was like we were driving in a post card.

 I only took over driving because the handles (if that is what you call them) were heated and I could not feel my fingers. I preferred being a back seat driver. First time snowmobiling and it will not be my last.

On the last day we had finally made our way to the town of Telluride. The gondola takes about 13 minutes from Mountain Village to town. We walked the quaint streets peeking in the shops and letting our nose guide us to breakfast. 

After filling our bellies with endless amounts of eggs and pastries we wandered around town and played in the endless white snow. Taking in all things winter before heading back to AZ. 

Check out our video of our experience below:

Tourists at the Grand Canyon

Friday, December 2, 2016 you hear that? It's so quiet. It has been a few days since Jer's family left and I flipping miss the chaos of having nine people under one roof. The chit chat, the laughter, the skateboarding in the house, the trying to control our dog so she didn't eat the little one, the constant nagging for the girls to hurry up and get ready...I miss it all.

It was everyone's first time to Arizona so we played tour guide for the week. Their main request was to visit the Grand Canyon. I mean, who wouldn't want to see one of the seven wonders of the world, right?!? This would be a first for everyone since we had yet to visit.  

Jer took it upon himself to watch a very informative YouTube video and he advised he had our whole day planned out. We packed up the van and headed north to the South Rim of the canyon.

We followed our tour guide with confidence until he kept switching directions and would constantly check his YouTube video for reassurance that we were at the right spot.

Mather's Point is one of the first view points you will come across after parking your vehicle near the visitors center. This was our first location for multiple photo ops. 

Would have been nice if a map would have been in that back pocket...

I really thought that we were going to pull a National Lampoon's Vacation and get out of the car, take a look, and head back home. Not the case at all.

The views were hard to pull yourself away from. 

That is, until the boys decided to test their rock climbing capabilities. Leaving my anxiety level at an all time high. There may have been a few high pitched screeches on my part.

After they had their thrills we headed back to the van for a quick bite to eat and to warm up. It was freezing which I was not prepared for. 

We followed our trusty tour guide to the shuttle buses to take the blue route (Village Route) to the red route (Hermits Rest Route).  Our end goal was to stop at Hermits Rest. 

Well, once we got off the bus and saw the long lines to the other view points we took a vote. The teens were getting a little grabby and wanted to head back. We did what any clever adults would do and handed them the keys to the van and told them we would meet them there. The rest of us decided we wanted to take the scenic route. We walked the Rim Trail. Taking in the crisp air and dramatic views along the way.

You can spend days here and still not see everything that it has to offer. The South Rim has three trail routes. (The Village Route, Hermits Rest Route, and the Kaibab Trail Route). We mainly stuck to the Village Route. 

There are shuttle buses that run every 15 minutes or so. They stop at the majority of the view points which is convenient if you don't want to hike the whole way. 

The Rim Trail is about thirteen miles starting at the Kaibab Trailhead and runs to Hermits Rest. It is mostly paved so it is an easy hike offering killer views. 

We took in the final views and made the trek back home. Pat on the back to our trusty tour guide for a fun filled day.