Monday, January 30, 2012

Breckenridge: Skiing and Sleigh Riding Pleasures

The lure of fresh powder…the choice of 155 trails…the convenience of 31 lifts: the slopes of the ski resort at Breckenridge, Colorado, summon you. You’ve heard the ski report and are itching to let go of your workday worries and flee to the mountains for a few days of fun in the snow, testing your mettle in the pristine alpine air in the heart of Colorado’s ski country. Then, that night, you’ll settle into a sleigh ride and sumptuous dinner: it’s a getaway that is guaranteed to change your attitude.

Breckenridge is less than two hours from Denver and it’s the perfect antidote to quell that ski slope itch. If you’re bringing your family along, not to worry—there’s something for everyone on the mountain.

The skiing at Breckenridge caters to skiers of all skill levels, from rank beginners to bump skiers and boarders.  The ski school is family friendly, with lessons for the newbies and refreshers for those who want to refine their mogul techniques. If you’re feeling really adventurous you can ride the Imperial Express, North America’s highest chairlift, to ski some of the high country’s finest powder in the alpine bowls. 

THEN, after an exhilarating day of playing in the powder, it’s time to really relax and unwind: it’s sleigh ride time. Gather your friends, your family, or maybe just that one extra-special person, bundle up, and snuggle into a horsedrawn sleigh to be spirited away under a blanket of stars. The mountain views are spectacular in the evening light, and as the night deepens the twinkle of the lights in the valley are reflected in the starlight in the heavens. Pulled behind two magnificent Percheron or Belgian horses, your hand-crafted sleigh will glide over hill and dale across the white expanse of snow to dinner designed to warm you up and leave you happily satisfied. The guys from Two Below Zero are known for having the best sleigh rides Breckenridge has to offer and they’ll make it an evening you’ll long remember. They’ve been doing this since 1983 and have refined it to a world-class performance.

The dinner that awaits you is nothing short of absolutely delicious. You burned a lot of calories on the slopes and it’s time to replace them! You’ll warm up with a hearty Southwestern soup and artisan rolls. Your New York strip steak AND marinated chicken breast both will be grilled to perfection. They’ll be accompanied by a baked potato with all the trimmings, mixed vegetables, and topped off with a dessert of warm apple pie and whipped cream. The grand finale is a cup of fresh roasted coffee, hot chocolate, peppermint schnapps, or a selection of unique teas. Then you’ll head back out to the sleigh to be returned to your lodging, pleasantly worn out by a day you will recommend to others.

The slopes by day, the sleigh by night—what could be better? And Two Below Zero is the name to remember for that perfect Breckenridge sleigh ride finish.

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