The Not-So-Typical Winter Mountain Vacation - My Family Travels


When most people think of Colorado, they think of the Mountains. And when people (or at least the people I know) think of the mountains, they think of skiing and snowboarding—two sports that I, a resident of Colorado for more than half my life, have never put into my definition of this grand state, let alone experienced.

When my dad hopped on the RCI website and found a deal for Thanksgiving weekend in Breckenridge, I was confused. My family doesn’t ski at all. In fact, my mom is the kind of person who walks so that she won’t trip running down our driveway.

If we weren’t going to ski in Breckenridge, what would we do? Also, what about Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving meant my parents and I cooking up some fantastic meat concoction that usually took the entire day to create, while my brother played XBOX with his similarly bored friends.

I guess that would have to change, because before I knew it, we were on our way up, and there was no beef brisket in the cooler.

We arrived the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at our cottage, unpacking quickly—my brother and I fighting over the best room was probably the longest part—went downtown to buy some groceries (still no brisket!) and came back to watch news, or SportCenter, or whatever else my brother could find. So far, I wasn’t very impressed. While the place was nice, what would we do here? I imagined myself doing homework for the rest of the weekend, for lack of anything better.  Frustration built as I drifted to sleep.

The next day, (Thanksgiving day, by the way) we got out some snowshoes and decided to try out our favorite summertime time hike, Mohawk Lakes, with a few feet of snow. We parked at the trailhead and strapped those weird contraptions onto our feet and headed up the trail. The whole mountain seemed to be still, and even though there were footprints heading up the trail, it seemed like no one had been there for years! My brother and I ran up the trail, racing and then jogging as we got tired. We got a spot where fork in trail gasping, and waited there, munching on trails mix for our parents, who, for as much as I love them, are extremely slow hikers with or without the snowshoes.

When we got back, it was still early, so my brother, my dad, and I headed down to Carter Park to sled, which was the closest we would get to skiing, but so much fun (especially when my burly dad goes down the sled with me, and completely changes the center of balance so that we spin in circles and eventually fly off the sled in opposite directions).  

 That night, we had dinner, which, while not the same as the usual thanksgiving creations, was just as good after a day spent snowshoeing and sledding. We headed down to Main Street and walked into Mimi’s fried pie shop, the type of place that I would never have entered on my own (I was hesitant on the idea of a fried pie) but enjoyed immensely. With a pie warming each hand, we strolled down the streets, admiring a winter wonderland (which while cliché, is the only way I can describe it correctly!).    

While my winter experiences in Breckenridge don’t follow the usual ski trip, they showed me that there is more to places than what they are known for, and when you are with your family, any place can be made fun if you let yourself have fun. 

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