Sheer Bliss in Aspen
Last year, my husband came to me and said, "Honey, I'm going on a boys trip to Vegas and I'm going to miss your birthday. To make up for that, I'll send you to Aspen. Just pick a friend to go with." I promptly replied: "You've got yourself a deal"!
I had always dreamed of going to Aspen. It was hard to believe that dream was about to come true...
When it came to choosing a partner to travel with this for this particular trip, there was no question it was my friend Ady. This is a friend who I've known for 20+ years, lives in Toronto and loves to ski + party. Just like me. It was a no brainer.
When I told Ady the plan, she immediately got packing. We booked our flights and off we went without any hesitation. We met in Aspen and quite literally had a weekend that was so great, we were depressed when we came home.
A year passed and I called Ady and said....so? Are we going back to Aspen? I think we have to right? Now that we went on that one trip....we're ADDICTED! So we booked it. This time, with no good reason aside from getting to spend quality time together and skiing our buns off.
When we were there last year, we stayed at the St. Regis and it was pretty incredible. The rooms were super cozy, the service was impeccable and the location is in the heart of Aspen which doesn't get more convenient. So this time around...I just booked it again. However this time, I used my new friend, Tate of Tate Escapes to make all of the arrangements for my trip. When we walked off the plane and into our hotel room I yelped....look at what Tate did! #LMPTravels treats?! AND....a full Bloody Mary bar for us. Does it get better than this?! No. No it does not.
For this year's trip, Ady and I planned our flights so we'd meet in Chicago on our layover. It was so perfect. We boarded the plane together and when we got off the plane in Aspen, we noticed Jon Bon Jovi was on our flight (he happened to be sitting right behind me). Oh to the Em to the Gee. LOVE HIM! After we got over the fact that we flew with Bon Jovi we got our bags and a shuttle from the St. Regis took us to the hotel. We always use night #1 as our night of "business". We unpack, grab a coffee and hit the ski shops to prep for the days ahead. Ady rents her skies and I had to buy a new set of poles. Lucky for me....I found a bright and colorful pair that matches my personality exquisitly....
Last year the shock of the altitude (was my first time skiing on the west coast) kicked my butt. I couldn't make it out the door on the first night, I just had to sleep. This year was a different story. It was like my body said alright alright alright...I know where I am! Let's do this. We had dinner plans at Matsuhisa which we were dying to try last time and didn't make it. It was FABULOUS! Just like eating at Nobu - one of my fave sushi restaurants. My favorite dish is the yellowtail with jalepeno. I could eat this all day long...
Now after a good night sleep, we woke up and got ourselves ready to hit the slopes. Normally, we would spend the day skiing at Snowmass. It's a chill mountain that's got a ton of stunning runs at all different levels. However this year, day 1, we hit the ground hard and kicked off our first day at the Aspen Highlands where we had a 2pm reservation at Cloud 9.
Now I can't get into too much detail here but I'll tell you this....things got messy.
Cloud 9 is an Aspen hot spot where people of all ages go to party. To get to Cloud 9 you need to ski to the top of the mountain to find the chairlift that takes you up to the restaurant. You can only get in with a reservation. Now don't worry. If you want to go and you don't have a reservation, just sit outside. You'll still have fun!
The restaurant keeps you on a tight schedule and it starts at 2pm sharp:
Order + eat (make sure you get a bottle of champagne)
Around 2:30pm you'll hear the music getting louder, this is your cue to DRINK UP.
At about 3pm the music is blaring and by now every person in the place is standing on their table dancing and/or spraying gun. You heard me. It's the ultimate party!
At 3:30pm sharp the music shuts off and you're all kicked out of the place.
The trick here is you have to ski down the mountain to get home. And...that's not as easy as you'd think after having a few glasses of champagne.
We stalled by purchasing Cloud 9 truckers hats and then suited up and got ourselves down the mountain. It was touch and go. But we made it.
At the end of a long day of skiing and drinking champagne, we hit the hot tub. I continued to wear my new Cloud 9 hat throughout this trip because well you see, people thought I was 25 years old with this hat on and I loved every moment of hearing that.
Ask me what we did that night after Cloud 9? I have no idea. Can't remember a damn thing. And nothing can top Cloud 9 so it doesn't matter. Moving on to day 2....
Ok so day 2 was a tad more low key. We suited ourselves up and got on the shuttle to SnowMass. Staying in the town of Aspen is key because they have a shuttle station that has buses that will take you to all of the ski mountains - for free! Brilliant. We skied for a few hours and the whole time all I could think about was our next meal. This became the story of our trip because every restaurant is better than the next in Aspen.
A friend of ours who we met last year, suggested we meet him and his son at Gwyn's which is nestled right into the mountain. Our meal was absolutely delicious and of course we paired it with a couple glasses of wine to make for an exciting afternoon on the slopes.
We don't do Aspen without a trip to the spa. First off, the spa at the St. Regis is gorgeous. Second, our body is wrecked after skiing west coast mountains. Knees, back, arms....ya I'm old. What can I tell ya?!
We each booked a 1 hour massage and enjoyed every moment of it. We followed up by parking ourselves in the oxygen room. It takes some getting used to in there but once you let yourself relax you can exhale and enjoy the sheer bliss.
Truth be told, that spa knocked me on my ass. When we got back to the room I crashed and woke up at 11pm. Guess we're not going out! We grabbed a snack (an indulgent one of pate and truffel fries) at Ajax Tavern and called it a night.
Day 3, final day on the slopes, we skied all of our favorite runs. Our fave? Sheer Bliss. It's the most dreamy slope in Aspen. And at the top of this mountain - there is the best ever pizza + chocolate chip cookie place. Obviously we stopped in there.
After hours of skiing I was basically a dead person. Time to call it. We went to Sam's Smokehouse for our final lunch and enjoyed Bloody Mary's and way too much food. You only live once right?!
Our day ended with Apres at Venga Venga, a tequila bar that is at the base of Snowmass. This is where you go to people watch for all the amazing outfits, you dance your pants off and enjoy cocktails by the fire.
What a trip it was you guys. Hard to explain just how you feel being in this special place. If you ever get the opportunity to go, do it. You'll love every moment of beautiful Aspen.