Travel Diary | ASPEN, COLORADO.

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Last week we took our kids out West to ski for the first time. I was really apprehensive about it at first, thinking it was too big of a trip for them, and that it would be too hard on us, and maybe they would complain the whole time. One of my hardest parenting struggles is – how hard should I push them? On one hand, I don’t want them to miss out on any opportunities because I failed to do my duties and force them to, say, practice piano. On the other hand, who doesn’t have miserable memories of practicing piano as a kid- and now you only know one song?  I really believe that hobbies, alternate skills, creative thinking and confidence are the most important things you can give your child. But I have one kid that would prefer to stay home and watch youtube videos of other people playing video games on his iPad continually on a loop, and another who can barely get her homework done by 8 pm…sooo yea, the idea of FORCING them to do things they don’t want to do, even if I know they will like it, it weighs heavy.  You know that feeling when you get into a road rage moment with someone in the morning and then your day is ruined because of the rage/adrenaline that you’ve had to express? That happens to me every time I have to raise my voice, every time I have to get forceful in the morning so they don’t miss their bus. Parenting is ROUGH, its been extra hard for me lately. My kids are out of the toddler stage, which has its own challenges for sure, but now that they are KIDS, they fight with each other, they are snarky and disrespectful. It’s obviously all my fault because they are great kids, and it’s just life I guess. Yea, I’m struggling. I think that is why I am enjoying my baby so much. I know how relatively simple and joyful the baby stage is.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong about the ski trip! It was our single best family trip to date. The kids LOVED skiing. LOVED it! Cookie, who can be really shy and tearful in new situations, was amazing! She got SO good at it, and the best part, she made all new friends at ski school and was SO freaking outgoing and confident. I was soooo happy I almost cried. Plus the ski school is fantastic! An amazingly well run operation that the kids LOVE, and relieves a lot of the parenting struggle I was worried about.

I love the American West so much. It’s visually stimulating, emotionally and physically stimulating.  The drive from Denver was amazing. It was hard to get direct flights, and the Aspen takeoff/landing situation is known to be really scary, so we landed in Denver, rented a car and road tripped there.


We stopped at Glenwood Springs on the way. They have a 1 million gallon pool of natural hot spring water – it comes out of the mountain at 122 degrees, they mix it with spring water to cool it to 95-104 in the different pools. It’s insane and ridiculous and feels like something out of a Slim Aarons shoot. It’s open to the public year round, and costs $15.

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Check out Hotel Jerome – the oldest hotel in Aspen. It was founded in the 1880s when Aspen was a mining town. It is the only hotel that was continually operational through the quiet years (after the mines went dry and before Aspen was reimagined as a tourist ski town after WW2. It is said to be haunted, and many many celebs- writers and actors and such, have called this place home over the years. The aesthetic and the drinks at the J-Bar, are amazing.

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Skiing and views of Aspen from the Mountain.

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Poppycocks for pancakes with the kids is a MUST!  IMG_2067

Lunch at Bonnie’s was so nice… On the flip side, lunch at Cloud 9 on Highlands was a scene. (Think champagne spraying and metallic trucker hats.) IMG_1598 FullSizeRender 34
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Jacuzzi’s après ski… Remember sitting in the snow as long as you could then jumping back in? Keeping the traditions alive!

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Aspen trees… are watching!


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Hope you enjoyed my little travelogue! All iPhone, I didn’t bring a camera with me on the mountain, too much other stuff to worry about!

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  1. Stunning travelogue!

  2. Robin C. says:

    What a great post – thank you for sharing!! I feel your struggle with forcing the kids and the stressful mornings. Still trying to get it right and my kids are 18, 16, & 14. It was sooo much easier when they were little!

  3. Love it nicole! If you guys are skiers, check out my brother’s fabulous Passover program at the Four Seasons in Whistler, BC. Whistler is magic and the skiing is great all the way thru the spring

  4. Manuela says:

    Loved reading about your trip! The pictures are fantastic. Definitely would consider this trip next year with my kids!

  5. Lauren says:

    Beautiful photos!

  6. Marielle says:

    Great post!

  7. Eileen Millan says:

    what a fun trip i feel like i was with all of you! i hope the hotel hires you for your fab photos!

  8. What a great family trip! Such wonderful memories for your little ones.

  9. What a great post. We LOVE Aspen as a family. The Jerome and the J Bar is the best. I am going to have to stop in Glenwood Springs. That looks great!

  10. Cristy Giddings says:

    That photography is incredible! Very impressed and can’t believe it was all from your phone!

  11. hey!! this is where we went as well. And it was A’s first time skiing as well…such a hit! we are going again for Spring break. loved your photos!

  12. Meghan says:

    I live just off I-70 in Denver and head west to mountain resorts to ski regularly throughout the season each year. These photos were unbelievable! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how you captured scenes I’ve seen many times before in a way that was so worth it. I have to ask: “How in the world do you get such great pics with an iPhone?!” I know how-tos aren’t normally your gig, but could you please, please, please do a post on how to take amazing photos for instances when using a fancy camera isn’t ideal? (I leave mine home when I’m on the slopes, too. No way would I lug that thing or risk damaging it from a fall, collision or harsh weather.) And do you edit the pics after the fact with a specific app/program? I’m dying to know! P.S. I love your blog.