Torch Light Parade - Monday, December 31, 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

Part of what makes celebrating New Year's Eve so special in Breckenridge is the Torch Light Parade.  An annual ritual starting at around 6:00 p.m., the local ski resort employees travel to the top of the mountain and ski, board, or snowmobile down the mountain in perfect unison holding blow torches.  The weather has to be perfect and it has been cancelled in the past.  It is worth seeing at least once.  Usually, 9:00 p.m. is fireworks time to get everyone to bed early for some New Year's Day skiing. 

To check out the latest New Year's Eve celebration schedule in Breck, you can go to

Breaks at Ten Mile Station and Midnight Crepes in Breck - Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

If you have noticed, alot of our time on these vacations is spent planning the next meal.  Everything is governed by food and what new place we will discover.  In this post, I share a commonly known one and one that you have to patiently search and wait for because it's too good to pass up.

Starting with the better known one, a ski day is never perfect unless you have lunch at the Ten Mile Station and take the typical family and friends photo on top overlooking the mountain range and Breck below. You can take 100 pictures in 30 minutes and never get tired.  This is where everyone meets for lunch in a food court-style restaurant, takes a restroom break, and just get warm.  The Ten Mile Station is located on Peak 9 at the top of the QuickSilver SuperChair.  During the Summer, there are many weddings and receptions held at this restautrant to take advantage of the spectacular views.  This is also the meeting point of many runs ranging from Blues, Greens, and the lifts up to the Blacks. 

Now, after a heavy lunch at Ten Mile Station, drinks at The Maggie and a communal dinner at a friend's place, where else can one go close to midnight to have the best dessert around?  Just a 10-minute walk down Main Street or better yet a  2-minute drive for the warm-blooded Miamians, Crepes A La Cart is the answer. Located at 307 South Main Street, this small, food-truck sits back with a roaring fire pit for the 4-6 lucky folks to find a spot along the benches in front of it.  A long line of crepe enthusiasts wait patiently for their turn.  Bottom line...buying crepes for 10 people close to midnight in the freezing cold takes a long time especially with special orders like Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue pie. 

The best way to do this is to drive in a big rowdy group, park the car along Main Street in eye's view and elect 2-3 adults to go get the crepes.  The ones staying behind can just make fun of the ones outside bearing the brunt of the cold.  However, what they don't know is that standing close to the fire and talking with the locals and other tourists has it's perks too like learning about a cool bar in town.

Discovering the Salt Creek Steakhouse - Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

After a day of settling in, skiing lessons (much better/easier than snowboarding), and waiting for everyone to arrive, we decided to set out on foot and have dinner further into town.  Finding a table for about 24 including about 12 excited kids is not easy especially during the busiest week of the year, but we found The Salt Creek Steakhouse.  They were not only accommodating, but the food and service was excellent.

As stated on their web site, "located at 110 E. Lincoln Ave., in the heart of Breckenridge, the Salt Creek Steakhouse has catered to Breckenridge residents and tourists alike since 1997. The menu at Salt Creek encompasses the best steaks and BBQ in Summit County.  Moving into our second decade as Breckenridge's premier steakhouse our focus has continued to ensure that the quality of our food surpasses the expectations of our customers. We proudly serve only USDA prime beef which ensures unparalled quality, a tender juicy texture and outstanding flavor. Our slow-smoked BBQ, cooked daily on premise, follows a generations old Texas recipe guaranteed to sastify even the most discerning BBQ devotee."  The BBQ sauce and burgers were a hit with the kids. Check out the web site for menu and specials.

Miamians skiing AGAIN in Breck to celebrate New Year's - Thursday, December 27, 2007 - Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007 - Friday, December 28, 2007

Wow!  A year has flown since this last Colorado trip and everyone is excited to be back to Breck. That's right...once you go back for seconds, you have the honorary duty to call Breckenridge by it's nickname of Breck.  I believe many people name their sons Breck, which has it's pros and cons.  Nonetheless, we are on our way with the Ss, while others are leaving later or via different cities.  This time we had to overnight in Denver on arrival to head out first thing in the morning to Breck.  We knew the chances for weather to be bad were great, so we did not want to drive in the night.  We bunkered down, slept, and waited until morning.

During the drive to Breckenridge, we stopped at Beau Jo's Pizza in Evergreen, Colorado.   S had eaten there before and the pizza was good and quite popular in the area.  Beau Jo's Pizza started in Idaho and spread throughout the western states.  From Mountain pies to Praire pies, this thick crusted pizza is made to order and provided with a side of honey for all of the leftover crust.  A delicious dessert made on the spot right after your meal.

In addition, we stopped by the Safeway in Frisco, CO for some grocery shopping.  Over $150 spent, but it would last us most of the week knowing we would have a full kitchen in our room.  Regardless of kitchen or not, it is always a good idea to go grocery shopping for at least water and snacks. 

This time we booked closer to the ski lift in a place called The Village at Breckenridge.  Check out their site for the latest promotions. As stated on their web site, this has long been a favorite year-round destination along the river with a ski-in/ski-out lodging facility and ideally situated at the base of the ski resort with ski school and ski rentals just steps away.  In addition, it has convenient access to the town's shops, restaurants, activities and events.

We checked into room V4610 and it was one large studio room with a bed, sofa bed in living room, dining room, and full kitchen.  We were somewhat cramped, but it was fine for the amount of time we were going to spend there.  However, we made it a point that during this trip, we were going to visit many real estate companies like Great Western Lodging to name a few.  We saw other options for the next time to look at privately owned homes and condos.  We also inquired about purchasing a place amongst a few of us to have as an investment property.

Just steps from the hotel, we rented our equipment at Charter Sports.  With a convenient web site to search for the nearest locations and best rates, you can book everything ahead of time to save time after you get to the store.  One thing to always get is a helmet no matter how old you are.

We them met up with everyone and went to the Quandry Grille in Breckenridge right on Main Street.  A good restaurant for large groups it was perfect for ending to the day.  Check out the web site for their hours of operation and menu.

Daytripping in Honolulu and around Oahu - Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

We woke up at 4:00 am...jet lag is very confusing for a body!

Once we were up we went to breakfast and then got our car so we could explore the island. Honolulu is small enough that you can drive around the entire island in one day. Unfortunately, we did not have time to do so, because we had to be on our cruise in the middle of the afternoon. Regardless we were able to go to Diamond Head and see the view of the city from the 350-acre volcano crater. We continued driving on the coast to Hanauma Bay.

Hanauma Bay is a semi-circular bay that is a protected conservation area. The bay floor is the crater of a volcano that flooded when its wall collapsed and the ocean came in.

We continued to drive around the island. We discovered several beautiful sites for photographs. We also found a coffee plantation where a movie had been filmed that had lush tropical landscaping.

On our way back to Waikiki we found a family that had caught a giant squid. The kids enjoyed this unique catch.

WE had to rush back to the hotel to pack and go to the port for our cruise of the Hawaiian Islands.

Aloha time to celebrate the Big 4-0! - Saturday, September 1, 2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007

For my 40th birthday we traveled to Hawaii. We took the children out of school for the trip therefore we couldn't leave for very long. We flew into Honolulu through Dallas from Miami. It was quite a long trip, especially traveling with a 3 year-old and 7 year-old. They are good travelers, they enjoy the entire adventure, and they know its not always easy. They really try to cooperate. WE always travel prepared with books, board games, movies and video games.

After 13 hours of flight, we arrived to a beautiful day in Honolulu. We were greeted by a ______________ with beautiful lays to welcome us. We rented a car and drove to the hotel. The hotel was ______________________ and it was spectacular! The lobby was all open with tropical foliage throughout as is customary at most Hawaiian hotels.

Our room had a gorgeous view of Waikiki beach. Al and I had traveled to Hawaii in 1990 while working for Pan Am. I was 22 years old then. Not much has changed with the beach, however the city is full of upscale shops and restuarants that weren't there during my first visit.

We left our things in the room and went down to the beach. We had a great time just playing and running around on the sand. When the sun started setting the surfers came out and it was a beautiful sight to see...

Later we saw a show with various hula dancers. We enjoyed the show and even danced a little ourselves.

Due to our extreme jet lag we were exhausted so we went back to the room and to sleep.