Friday, February 22, 2013

A Few Days In Breckenridge

If things slowed down around here for a few days last week it was because my family and I were out in Colorado playing in the snow.  Most of the trip was spent in Breckenridge and in hindsight I wish we would have been able to spend a couple more days there since we had such a great time.  Our children, ages three and seven, skied for the first time and there have been few things as fun as carving green runs with my daughter and seeing her confidence on skis.

Planning a ski vacation takes quite a bit of time on the internet and I figured I'd give a quick breakdown from our trip in case anyone might be planning a spring break trip to Breckenridge with your family.


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THE LODGING
The last couple trips to Breckenridge we have stayed at a property managed by ResortQuest.  On our trip a few years ago we stayed at Main Street Station and on this trip at a condo at Der Steiermark which is just across the street from the Village area.

Main Street Station is one of the nicest places we've stayed at.  Built at the base of the Peak 9 area it makes for easy access to the slopes and town is just out the front door.  Our room there was spacious and was very comfortable.  We'll stay there again.

The condo that we stayed at Der Steiermark on this trip was really nice but just a bit small for a family of four.  We managed just fine but it would be nice to have some more space on next year's trip.  A friend of mine owns the condo and knew going out that we'd be in a smaller space.  The Der Steiermark condo would be perfect for a getaway for two and the location is great as Peak 9 is just across the street and Main Street is just around the corner.   

SKI SCHOOL
Since this was our children's first exposure to skiing, we really wanted it to be a good one.  There are several choices for ski school for each of their age groups and we spent a lot of time researching and figuring out what would be the best choice for each of them.  Our worry was that we'd spend quite a bit of money on ski school and it would end up being some sort of glorified day care.  What we found was that if your child wants to learn to ski then they will spend as much time on the slopes as they can handle learning the skills to ski which certainly makes that expense worthwhile.   

A few days prior to the trip I signed our three year old son up for the Children's Ski School and our seven year old daughter in the Ultimate Four class.  Upon arrival on the first day of ski school we were met by very courteous staff who answered all of our questions, reassured my wife that they would do great, and it was easy to see that this was a well run program.

Finn was in a group setting for most of his ski school and spent a lot of time on a short slope with a carpet lift going up and down learning how to ski and stop.  He made a couple runs down the mountain with an instructor and did great.

Hadley's Ultimate Four class could easily been called an Ultimate Two class since after a short group session on day one she was on the mountain with the instructor and one other student.  She skied green runs from mid morning on day one and then on day two did an easy blue run as well.  Her instructor was David Florez, a retired police officer from California, and we could not have been more impressed with how he got her confident with her skiing skills.

Ski school was money well spent and it also allowed my wife and I to ski together for two days straight which was a great bonus as well.

Check out the Breckenridge Ski and Ride page for more information.

THE MOUNTAIN
We were really fortunate on this trip that it snowed a few inches each day and conditions were excellent all around.  We stuck around close to the Peak 9 area since there are a lot of green and easy blue runs there and both children's ski schools were in that area as well.  Week days crowds weren't bad at all and most of the time we skied right back on to the lift again for another run.

My wife skied better on this trip than she ever has before.  We're both self taught skiers and likely it wouldn't hurt for both of us to spend a day at ski school ourselves.  This trip Melissa gained a lot of confidence in her abilities and we had a great time skiing together.

After not skiing for a few years we were both completely whooped after our first day skiing but still were up on the mountain first thing the next morning for a day of fun.  Day three Melissa sat out to spend the day with Finn and Hadley and I were able to ski for a couple hours before she started getting cold and I spent a couple hours skiing alone. 

THE TOWN
Breckenridge is certainly one of the most perfect ski towns for families since there is a lot to do and places to eat and drink when not on the mountain.  Everything is really just a short walk away and there are to many places to list in this post to shop or eat.

I will say that by far our best meal in Breckenridge was Park & Main for a carry out breakfast.  My wife had a breakfast sandwich and I had a burrito.  Beyond tasty and our food was ready in the time it took me to walk across the street.   

A highlight for our kids in their down time from skiing was the Mountain Top Children's Museum which was right across the street from Der Steiermark and gave the children hours of fun play time.  Both Hadley and Finn found interesting things to do and their exhibits were impressive with a lot of hands on play for the children.

RENTALS
We handled all of our ski, boot, and helmet rentals through Resort Quest Ski & Sport, who are just a short walk from where we stayed.  For convenience we were able to email a rental form a few days prior to the trip and everything was waiting for us when we got there.  Upon our arrival it took just a few minutes to pick everything up for all four of us and make sure everything fit correctly. 

This was the first trip where I've worn a helmet to ski and you know I'll likely not ski again without one.  There really isn't a reason not to wear one and being safe on the mountain is important.  Also, the helmet coupled with a light fleece skull cap it was all I needed to stay warm.
 
NEXT YEAR
The only thing we'll change for next year's skiing trip is that we'll add more days.  Likely we'll do two days of ski school for the children followed by a down day to play in town and then a couple more days of skiing together as a family.  Hadley was a really confident skier by day three and I'm sure that it's just going to take Finn another couple days of school and be a year older before he's ready to do the green runs with us as well.

In short, ski town life rocks and we can't wait to get back out.  Before we had children my wife and I used to take yearly ski vacations out west.  With both children taking to skis like they did this year I expect we'll start back taking winter ski trips out west again which I am really happy about.

Oh yeah...and a half day on the Blue River would be stellar as well.

Check out the Breckenridge website to start your trip planning.

1 comment:

Middlemac said...

Fabulous. Dammit.

Kev