Archive | January, 2013

We used to mine gold in Breckenridge. Now we just win it.

31 Jan

booze

One of the coolest aspects of my job (and I suppose a big part of moving someplace new) is the fact that I get to take advantage of all of the interesting activities in the area so I can effectively provide guests with an experience of a lifetimeThat said, I recently sent one of our guests to the Breckenridge Distillery to take advantage of their complimentary distillery tours. The other day, on my way out of Breck, I found myself in the area of Breck Distillery’s 4000 SF facility, so I popped in to get a taste of what I’m sending Lodge patrons to enjoy.

Despite a lackluster tour–the “tour guide” barely even looked up at me before waving me off to wander their distillery room–it was very interesting to check out the tools used to create their award winning Bourbons, Rums, and Vodkas. The distillery utilizes open-top Scottish style fermenters and a 700 Gallon Vendrome custom copper pot to mash, ferment, and distill their one-of-a-kind products and takes some serious pride in the creating multi-dimensional flavors that separate their spirits from the masses.

At the end of our “tour” we were given the opportunity to sample a few of their award-winning products. While I enjoy a good Mount Gay and Tonic every now and again, I generally consider myself to be more of a wine (champagne if we are being entirely truthful here…) and beer kind of girl. However, I can honestly say that one swig of the Breck Bourbon had me sold. The flavor was deep and round and filled my palate completely. It was rich at start, spicy at the finish, and smooth as smooth can be. Even the vodka had me reconsidering my vodka boycott that was instilled promptly upon graduating from Miami of Ohio back in 2008. It was bright and refreshing, crisp even. I can honestly say that I’d go back for more, perhaps even buy some for myself.

As they so confidently declare on their homepage, Breckenridge Distillery is number one and they know it. That said, the next time you’re in Breck it’s worth it to check out the distillery, if only to see the huge vats and experience the flavors created by the “world’s highest distillery”.

Breck Distillery Accolades 

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hello snow.

30 Jan

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You’re a sight for sore eyes.

The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships

28 Jan

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What began as a local event celebrating the creativity of local vendors, The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships (let’s call it BISSC for short, shall we?) still celebrates creativity in its most chilled form; however, the event is now a melting pot of cultural history from nations across the world. 

Featuring 15 teams of five from countries such as Russia, Mongolia, Australia, Great Britain, USA, China, Japan, Morocco, Belize, Canada, and Bulgaria to name a few, the BISSC is now in its 23rd year and shows no evidence of slowing down.

Sculpting kicked off with a shot-gun start at 11:00am on January 22. Prohibited from utilizing power tools, each team sculpted these spectacular sculptures with saws, chisels, and various other hand tools. Sculptors worked day and night until 10am on January 26, building and carving away at 12ft tall monstrosities that delighted the eye and sparked the imagination.
 
Prizes were awarded on the 27th in categories that included Kids Choice, Artists Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and of course the usual 1st, 2nd, 3rd, place prizes. 
 
In many cases, the artists were working not only against the clock, but also the elements. As a sign so aptly noted, near Ecuador’s fallen structure, “Snow is an inherently temporary material”.   That said, with this past week’s extremely mild temperatures, it’s a feat in it of itself that these stunning sculptures are still standing. 
 
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Sculptures will remain on display until February 3; so if you happen to be in the area, stop by the Riverwalk Center in downtown Breck and take in the sights.
 
  • First Place, Peoples’ Choice, and Artists’ Choice was awarded to Team Mongolia for their sculpture titled “Mongolian Warriors”. 
  • Second Place awarded to Team Catalonia-Spain
  • Third Place awarded to Team Estonia
  • Kids’ Choice awarded to Team Canada Yukon
If you’re itching for more information, check out the trailer for the upcoming BISSC documentary.
 
“Mongolian Warriors”
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Cook County takes Summit County

27 Jan

Worlds collided this weekend when visitors from the Windy City blew into the High Country for whirlwind weekend of skiing, eating, skiing, distillery touring, more eating, shopping, and general hang out time. It was AWESOME. I don’t think I realized how much I missed spending time with the people that know me inside and out. I love meeting new people and making new friends, but sometimes you just want to hang with the ones that know and love you, no matter what. Thanks for a fantastic weekend guys!

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UnVailed

24 Jan

Yesterday we woke up with the birds to hit Vail before the crowds. Lucky for us, there were no crowds! It was a beautiful day–40 degrees on the hill, bluebird skies, wide open runs, and still air, but for a slight breeze at the top of Blue Sky Basin. I was flattered to have been invited by my favorite Aussie, Tom, to ski with his “Kiwi” (that’s New Zealanders for you Americans) buddies and could not have spent the day with nicer people. There were lots of laughs, laps on “Lovers Leap” offshoots, non-stop bump runs with some of the fittest women I’ve ever met (my thighs are still burning…), collisions with ski schoolers, and capped off the day with a little apre ski action at Garfinkel’s.

The only thing that got me down about Vail was their extreme lack of snow. After about a week of daily sub-zero (I am talking -28 degrees here) temperatures, we’ve spent the last several days in the 40s. Considering we’ve only seen about 8″ of snow this month, 40 degree temps have done some serious damage to our coverage. Therefore, we spent a lot of the day dodging muddy spots in the snow. See Exhibit A below.

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Exhibit A

If you need me tonight, you’ll find me on the deck doing my Ullr dance. In the meantime here are some PODs.

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Beetle me this.

22 Jan
Let’s talk beetles. Mountain Pine Beetles to be exact. I’ve never liked bugs, so I will make this quick.
Mountain Pine Beetles are a species of bark beetles that are native to the forests of North America. At one point Pine Beetles played an important role in controlling the life of a forest, in that they attacked older, weaker trees, allowing speedy growth of the younger trees. Unfortunately a series of long, hot summers, paired with mild winters, have caused a Pine Beetle epidemic that is wreaking havoc on the forests of North America. In Summit County alone, the infestation has wiped out thousands of Brown Lodgepole Pine Trees causing the scenic vistas surrounding the area to become a patchwork quilt of green and brown.
To combat the beetle epidemic, the National Forest Foundation has cut down a wide number of trees within the county and will be burning the trees in an effort to stop the spread of this invasive little bugger. It’s a heartbreaking sight to see, and is a blatant reminder of the fragility of the cycle of life.
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view from the “office”

21 Jan

#nottooshabby

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