Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sky High Vail

Trip date: April 2020

When a friend with a house in Vail say's "come visit", the only correct answer is yes! I'd never been to Vail, hadn't seen my friend in years due to the fact that he lives in Australia and Covid, and was more than happy to get away for a weekend with friends!

Another friend Gail, decided to go as well so we used her Alaska Airlines companion fare. Unfortunately Alaska was having lots of staffing issues at the time and our flight got canceled a few days prior. I was able to call and get them to reschedule us on United for the same price but the different schedule meant we had a while to wait for our transfer from Denver airport to Vail. Luckily my Priority Pass covered us in one of the restaurants so we just did a little work with some wine.

The cost to fly into Eagle County Regional was ridiculous so we booked a shuttle with Epic Mountain Express which runs from DEN to Vail and other surrounding destinations. It's a 2 hour drive through the mountains and we were very happy to let someone else navigate the snowy roads. There was another couple in the SUV with us and we all decided since we were vaccinated that we were ok going mask free for the ride making it much more comfortable. 

It had taken a whole day to get out to the mountains! Our friend David met us at the transfer drop off and we headed to Deca+Bol for drinks and dinner. Deca is a nice bar/restaurant connected to Bol, which is a very swanky bowling alley. Very fun and delicious!

It was the last weekend that the ski resort was open, but none of us were skiing. Instead we spent the first day exploring Vail village. We also spent it trying to catch our breath!! I hadn't realized that Vail is 8150 feet in elevation. That is higher than Machu Picchu by over 1,000 feet! We were all really feeling it, even just going up and down the steps in the house!

It was a gorgeous day in the village, perfect for walking around in the warm spring weather. We had a pretty good lunch at Segundo Mexican and took a break from shopping for some wine on the patio at Pepi's. 

One of the better shops in the village is the high end western store Kemo Sabe. They have a pretty incredible selection of hats made specifically for them by Stetson as well as boots, clothing, and jewelry. David found a gorgeous new hat that they branded with his initials and I left semi in love with a diamond necklace. Definitely not a typical western wear shop!

We continued with some wine in the hot tub back at the house; such great views of the surrounding mountains from their deck! That night we had an excellent dinner at Slope Room. All our dishes were cooked perfectly, the wine list was great, and they even brought out a special dessert for David who's birthday had been earlier in the week.

After dinner we headed to the Four Seasons to check out their cocktail bar Remedy. It was incredibly basic and the bartender didn't have much of a clue about anything other than vodka or gin and tonic. Not recommended. 

The next day David drove to us to Beaver Creek Village to do some exploring. First up was Golden Eagle for lunch where I had some excellent elk tacos! I thought this village seemed even nicer with its outdoor fire pits, lots of public seating, and sculptures dotting the property. We did a bit more shopping before heading back to the house for wine and hot tubbing.
Before we went to dinner I decided I wanted to buy the necklace at Kemo Sabe so I texted the sales guy and arranged to stop in. When we arrived he invited us upstairs to their private bar for a few drinks! 

We had a great time at our little private happy hour! If you aren't in the market for expensive jewelry, the upstairs is able to be rented out for private parties. It's a cool space filled with taxidermy, antiques, and booze!

Dinner afterwards at Mountain Standard was very fun and delicious. But the gem of the night ended up being King's Club! As there were no Ubers to be found, we ducked into the Sonnenalp Hotel to have them call us a taxi. When they said it would be a while we grabbed seats at the bar and were treated to some live music, and great people watching!

I'd definitely head back here and make a full night of it next time! 

What a relaxing and fun weekend catching up with David and having him introduce us to a place he absolutely loves! Gail and I caught our Epic shuttle the next morning for our ride back to Denver. This time we were in a minivan packed like sardines; not a pleasant trip. But the scenery heading over Vail Pass, at elevation 10,666 feet, was stunning and I was very happy not to be driving!

We had Premium Class flights on Alaska Air on our way home, and half way through the flight they announced that the mask mandate was over. An end to Covid? Obviously not, but at least progress!

All photos from Vail here

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