Outdoor Activities To Add To Your Mountain Adventures

Sometimes when on vacation in the mountains I get a craving for something more than just a hike or off-roading. Perhaps I want to relax while still doing something fun and enjoying the scenery. There are so many activities that provide excitement and views without a ton of exertion on your whole body. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a ton of other activities that still provide great views, are different than the norm, and give you a great workout.

A few of the things I have looked into have been gondola rides, horseback riding, alpine coasters, and boat rentals. Most often if you are in mountain territory during the summer, you will be able to locate some or even all of these activities. If you want something more exciting and strenuous though, I would look into white water rafting, mountain biking, or zip-lining.

While visiting the ski towns, you can often get free gondola rides at some locations, on certain days of the week. Keystone and Breckenridge, Colorado have previously offered a day when you can ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for free. When you get to the top in Keystone you have the chance to do all kinds of fun outdoor games, have some drinks, sit and enjoy the views, or eat a meal at the restaurant. You could spend hours up there just wandering around.

While visiting Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, my husband and I, took time to do lots of different outdoor activities. We rented a pontoon and spent the day on the river. It was beautiful and we were able to enjoy some swimming as well. On the other end of the spectrum, we also went whitewater rafting, which was a blast. We rode two different alpine coasters, which are like roller coasters, but you have your own car and you control how fast you go. We tried out Goat’s On the Roof Alpine Coaster and the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. I enjoyed both but I think the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster was my favorite, though you were able to feed goats at Goat’s On the Roof, so that makes both totally worth it in my book.

On two different trips to Colorado I went horseback riding on the mountainside. The ride was great because you have a chance to see all types of wildlife as well as get some great photo views. I recommend riding earlier in the day because there is something serene about the earlier hours meandering through the mountains.

I can’t forget to mention taking a trip to the hot springs. While in Steamboat my family decided we would spend an afternoon relaxing at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. This particular park is very family friendly and has a more natural look to it. There are several different pools all at varying temperatures. We had a great time though the place was most definitely on the packed side.

When you travel, don’t forget about all of the other amazing outdoor adventures you can partake in. There is way more to the mountains than just hiking and off-roading, although hiking and off-roading are pretty great. Try something new; you never know you may find a new activity that you just can’t resist doing over and over again in the future. To you and yours, happy hiking and exploring!

For a little extra information, please visit: http://strawberryhotsprings.com/facilities/

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/sports/outdoors/2015/01/14/visit-one-family-friendly-hot-springs/21767959/

http://www.smokymountainalpinecoaster.com/

http://thecoastertn.com/

http://www.keystoneresort.com/activities/summer-activities.aspx?page=viewall&CMPID=PPC_DEST_KEYSTONE

http://breckstables.com/

http://www.horsebackestespark.com/

 

 

 

Explore Breckenridge, Mud Season And All

Colorado is no doubt a beautiful state. My husband and I visit as often as possible; at the very least, once each year. One of our all-time favorite cities to call a temporary home is Breckenridge. While most people go to Breck for the skiing, we go for other reasons.

Breckenridge is beautiful and has a great area for shopping and eating. The town is located at the bottom of the mountains which makes it an ideal location for snow sports. There are several condos at the foot of the ski hill, so snow enthusiasts can virtually step out their door and walk to a lift. We have stayed many occasions through VRBO rentals of the condos in Breck. All of our stays have been pleasant and relaxing.

Neal and I frequently visit in May, during mud season. At this point in time there are a lot of places in town that closed, but some of our favorite haunts, such as Downstairs at Eric’s, are still open. Eric’s has great food and cold beverages. We have eaten there many times and always been pleased with the food and the service.

On certain days during the summer, you may be able to ride the gondolas for free, to the top of the mountain. This is always a fun ride. It’s worth it to see the view.

The main reason we visit Breckenridge is because of the great hiking and off-roading that is nearby. We also visit because it’s a quiet retreat from the craziness of everyday life. Summer, winter, or mud season, you can always have fun in Breckenridge, and there is always something beautiful to explore.

For more information on Breckenridge, please visit: http://www.gobreck.com/?gclid=CO6ao_f_vdMCFQiIaQodahUATA

A Night At Treasure Island

Sometimes in the craziness of life, you just need to take a night and get away from home. Lately things have been busy. My husband and I are in the process of selling our house, so we have been working like mad to get things in order. Since we haven’t had a ton of time to connect lately, we decided to do an overnight trip to Treasure Island Resort & Casino, located in Welch, Minnesota.

TI was nice enough to offer us a free night stay, but we chose to upgrade our room to a whirlpool suite. We arrived at 3pm for check-in and the line was minimal. We received our room keys and went up to inspect our room. Upon walking into the room we were happy to see that we had a living room which a couch and television, kitchen table, and mini kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave. Each fridge has free water and regular, as well as diet, Pepsi. You are left coffee, popcorn, and some small packages of Oreos. I found this gesture to be very kind since it seems so seldom that hotels offer free food and beverage amenities anymore.

The bedroom was separated from the sitting area by a set of white French doors. Inside was a king size bed, another television, and our whirlpool. There was also a vanity with sink and mirror outside of the bathroom as well as inside. The shower curtain in our bathroom was kind of yellow and old looking, but otherwise the room was clean. There was also a second bathroom with stool and sink in the entryway to the suite.

After stowing our items in the room, we decided to go check out the buffet. We have eaten at TI’s buffet on several occasions. While my husband loves this buffet, I only like certain things about it. The coffee is great; I cannot get enough of it. They have a great selection of desserts. The food, however, can be hit or miss. Last time I visited, the ribs tasted great but were cold. This time they were hot but tasteless. Neal always gets the Pad Thai, which has been pretty consistent.  They have great potatoes, pizza, and pot roast. If I could change one thing, it would be that the food would be consistently hot. I don’t like cold food; I see no excuse for it.

After dinner we did hit up the casino for a little fun. If you are non-smokers, they now have a great non-smoking section, which has its own bar. This section was newly added in February and they are currently using the bar located in this area to test different beverages and wines on customers to see what people like. They usually have a signature drink and so far, of the two we have tried, they have both been tasty.

The bed and pillows in our room were quite comfortable, once I got everything adjusted. The only problem I ran into was that apparently our mattress cover had ripped and was completely bunched up under the sheets when I got into bed; I found this to be slightly irritating, but minor. I slept well and awoke feeling quite rested after my time in the whirlpool and a good night’s sleep. We were not disturbed at all by the neighbors, which was also a win in my book.

Overall I give Treasure Island a 7. The buffet is decent but not always consistent, and we have run into issues with our rooms missing light bulbs and having broken items a couple of times. This resort does have great amenities though. We have never checked out the water-park or bowling alley, but we plan to on a future visit. We always have fun at TI and we will definitely visit again.

For more information on Treasure Island Resort & Casino, please visit: http://www.ticasino.com/

Beauty On The Strip

One particular aspect of Las Vegas that I truly enjoy is all of the beautiful architecture. As I noted previously, my husband, Neal, likes to call the hotels of the strip museums because there are so many wonderful things to look at. If you like fine art, architecture, and exploring, wandering the Strip with the decision to just appreciate the structure and beauty of the different hotels and casinos, can be a lot of fun.

It is hard for me to choose one particular casino/hotel that I find the most interesting. I have a very strong appreciation for the Bellagio because this hotel has a gorgeous Dale Chihuly installed in the ceiling of their lobby. Dale is one of my favorite artists because his glass is so beautiful. If you like his work, you can also find one of his galleries located at 3600, South Las Vegas Boulevard. You will see his pieces in some of the other casinos and hotels as well. Aside from the Chihuly; the Bellagio also has their fountains and conservatory which are very much worth viewing.

Another casino and hotel that I love is the Venetian. They have their gondolas, and beautiful building exterior. I love the frescoes on the ceiling. There is so much to look at within and outside the Venetian. It is definitely worth a look.

You cannot go wrong wandering through the Luxor or Paris. Every casino has their own theme and they are designed accordingly. Take pictures, have fun, check everything out. If you like art I would suggest photographs of your favorite views and then creating a tabletop album out of the photos. Your family and friends will love looking at all of the interesting things you saw.

For more information on the casinos in Las Vegas, please visit: https://www.venetian.com/offers.html?&gclid=CPzcnKW-uNMCFca4wAodpnAN7w

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/las-vegas/in-depth/art–architecture

http://www.chihuly.com/

http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/7-wonders-las-vegas.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas_Strip

Sexy Fun For Every One

When it comes to Las Vegas shows, I have taken in several. I have seen almost every Cirque; several of them, more than once. I have gone to multiple comedy shows. I have watched and enjoyed Rose. Rabbit. Lie., Absinthe, Zombie Burlesque, The Evil Dead Musical, and more.

Of all the shows I have viewed, my favorite have been the following: The Beatles Love, Cris Angel Mind Freak, Zumanity, and Rose. Rabbit. Lie. The other shows are wonderful; don’t get me wrong, these particular shows just have something extra to pull the crowd in.

The show I want to talk about today is Zumanity. This show is a part of the Cirque Du Soleil family and is very much styled after a cabaret. I have seen it twice. The first time I went was about six years ago and then again this past October. My husband, Neal, has seen this show three times now, because I wanted to see it twice. This last viewing of Zumanity had new acts, but provided just as much provocative, sexy fun, as it did the first time.

If you want to be a part of a sexual dream world, this is where it’s at. You get great music, beautiful costumes, sexy actors and actresses doing exciting things and you feel like you could be asked to join in at any moment. The Mistress of Sensuality does a great job of wandering out into the crowd and asking guests questions about their relationships. Someone always blushes, refuses to answer, or says something completely off the wall.

The feeling is surreal as you watch the actors and actresses methodically move together, or at times, even alone. The music chosen for this show very much helps the audience feel like they are in a sensual play land right along with the stars. By the end of the performance, everyone in the audience is feeling their pent up sexuality and wanting to leave with a playmate of their own.

If you like cabaret and you have a little bit of a freaky side, this particular show would be a great choice for you. However, if you are a bit reserved and uncomfortable with sexuality and innuendos, then you should stay far away from Zumanity; you may learn things about yourself that you never wanted to know. This show is definitely not for children, but then in my opinion, most of the Las Vegas night life and some of the day life, is not for children either.

For more information on Zumanity, or to book your tickets, please visit: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/zumanity?kbid=2584521&cvosrc=ppc.google.zumanity%20las%20vegas&cvo_crid=190590367083&Matchtype=e\

***Note that the photo included in this post is from the end of the show. No photos are allowed during the performance for the safety of the actors and actresses.

Hanging Out In Denver

If a trip to Colorado is in the near future for you, I just want to note that aside from all of the wonderful mountain towns, there are still a lot of things to see that do not involve the mountains. Don’t overlook Denver and its surrounding cities; you will miss out on some great things if you do.

The last time I visited Colorado, I spent some time with family checking out places such as the Molly Brown House, and the Coors Brewery, which is actually in Golden, Colorado. Both experiences were fun and I very much enjoyed them. If you are looking for some outdoor activities, there are some pretty great parks around Denver. If you are looking for other great things to see in Denver, check out downtown.

The Coors tour was quite a bit of fun, but does require some waiting. We stood in line for about 45 minutes waiting for the bus to take us to the brewery. Luckily the day wasn’t too sweltering and the wait time seemed to go fast.

The tour of the brewery is self-guided and has a stop to taste some Coors along the way. You will see everything from start to finish in the process of making beer, including the history of Coors. At the end of the tour you will have time to try three different beers. Overall the tour was worth it and it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

If you enjoy learning about the history of mining, the Titanic, and other fun facts, the Molly Brown House may be a fun stop for you. Molly Brown was a prominent socialite who played a huge part in the rescue of several people from the sinking Titanic. Her husband made his money off of the silver rush and Molly used that money to help fund several other causes. Once a young girl from a poor family, Molly brown (whose name was actually Maggie) worked very hard to improve her life so that she could bestow comfortable and secure living upon her aging parents.

These are just a few of the things to do in the Denver area, for more information, please visit the following sites:

http://www.lodo.org/?gclid=CPuQsfSas9MCFVm4wAod2EcOVQ

http://www.mollybrown.org/

https://www.millercoors.com/av?url=https://www.millercoors.com/breweries/coors-brewing-company/tours

https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/day-trips-around-colorado/colorado-state-parks/

Hiking To Judd Falls

If you happen to be visiting Crested Butte during the summer, you definitely want to spend time outdoors. There are so many outdoor activities to keep you busy. You could bike, hike, or go off-roading. There are quite a few different types of trails to choose from. If you like waterfalls as much as me, you will want to check out Judd Falls.

Judd Falls can be a longer hike, or a shorter one, dependent on where you start from. When we did this hike we drove our jeep up to the parking lot closest to the falls. It was very muddy out and we were being threatened with the possibility of more rain, so we kept our hike short. You will be hiking over some rough terrain, but it is a pretty hike. If you start from the upper parking lot, the trek is a mile. The lower parking lot is an additional mile.

Once you get to the falls you must pay attention to the signs. Do not climb down to get closer, it is not safe. This is not the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen, but it is a neat view and you will be able to check out the memorial that is located at the viewing site as well. This is a very popular trail, but since it was about to rain, we saw less people than may have been normal. I felt that this hike was worth it even though you were a little way out from the actual waterfall once you reached the end of the trail.

For further information on hiking Jud Falls: https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-hikes-judd-falls/

Adventure is wherever the desire takes us.