Presidents’ Day 2017 Weekend in Aspen

I went to Aspen for the first time over Presidents’ Day weekend this year. We weren’t able to get a direct flight so we flew to Chicago first and then on to Aspen, and on the way back our layover was in Denver. It wasn’t too bad of a flight though. Plus, Aspen is totally worth it. We got two days of skiing in on Saturday and Sunday before flying back on Monday but I would have loved to stay and ski more.

We got to Aspen late Friday evening and stayed with some friends who are renting one of the Ritz Carlton Villas. The place was really nice and much bigger than I was expecting; It was like an actual home with a huge kitchen, living room, multiple bedrooms, and a basement lounge area with a shuffleboard. After dropping off our stuff we had a nice dinner followed by seeing a comedy show. We were lucky to be in town to see Adam Sandler and David Spade who was his opener.

For the next two days we skied a lot at Snowmass, got some mogul practice in, and then the day would end with a nice dinner and lots of great wine. Saturday afternoon was extra special because we were able to get into Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. I had no idea what to expect but it was so much fun. I think this review I found on Yelp sums it up pretty well–

Also, fun fact, Cloud 9 is Veuve Clicquot’s #1 Account in the Country.  That should give you an idea of how many bottles are popped on a daily basis there.

Although we were seated outside and didn’t partake in the champagne shower, I still got a good feel for the place and I loved the energy. We had plenty of fun too sharing a magnum of wine and raclette which I had never had before. I had so much fun and it was definitely a unique experience for me.

I had been to Colorado before and skied in Vail twice, but Aspen is on a whole other level. Not only is it clean and picturesque, it also attracts the uber-wealthy. I honestly felt a little poor being surrounded by all these people decked out in Moncler uniforms dropping thousands of dollars on booze. The town itself screams wealthy too–in town you can find all designer stores.

Overall it was one of my favorite ski trips and I cannot wait to go back!

Book Review

I have been reading a lot lately and have been enjoying spending more time with  books rather than having my eyes glued to a screen…well, I guess I still do a fair amount of TV watching, but either way, below are some of the most recent books I’ve read. I’ve listed them in order from least to most liked.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – It was fantasy novel which I wasn’t expecting and it isn’t my normal genre pick but it was still entertaining and nice to read something different.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – It is her short story that won an Edgar Award in 2015…I def didn’t realize it was just a short story when I downloaded in on my phone so after I read it in like two minutes I was like, wait, that’s it? Also, am I the only one that was like wtf was that?

Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes – Consisted of a bunch of short stories. Honestly, I can’t remember most of them but they all had a similar theme.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – Was a book recommended to me since I’ve liked Gillian Flynn novels but it wasn’t that great.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – I really enjoyed this novel. It wasn’t as predictable as I had been expecting and I enjoyed the unlikely friendships that formed. It was also a good “don’t judge a book by its cover” novel.

The Possessions by Sarah Flannery Murphy–I just finished this one today and I only started it last week. It reminded me of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host.

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang – highly entertaining. I loved it and really liked all the characters in the Wang family.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler – obsessed with this book and couldn’t put it down. I was sad that I finished it. I also really liked Danler’s style of writing. I will be looking out for more of her work.

 

Christmas 2016 in Mont Tremblant

The past six years I’ve been living in NYC, I’ve always flown back to Michigan to spend Christmas with my family. This year, since I had already gone to Michigan three times for work, to see a Michigan football game with my parents, and for my cousin Dayna’s wedding, and since I hadn’t gone skiing all year, Kevin and I decided to spend Christmas just the two of us on a ski trip. We have been to Vail, Park City, and Tahoe a few times, so we did some research and ended up choosing Mont Tremblant because it was a short flight from NYC and looked nice. We flew into Montreal which was only about an hour flight and then we took a bus up to Mt. Tremblant which took about 75 minutes.

Mt Tremblant is a quaint ski village in Canada. We stayed at the Westin which was a short walk to the gondola to the chair lifts. We had three ski days and had a quiet Christmas together. There was low visibility the first day and then the slopes were pretty icy which I hate. Also, it was really cold. The temperature was down to 9* Fahrenheit. Although, the trees were pretty because they were completely covered in pretty white snow. My favorite part of skiing were the off trail moguls. The other thing I liked about Mt. Tremblant were the Beaver Tails which are a delicious desert of fried dough covered in your choice of sauce and sugary toppings.  I tried two different kinds 🙂

The last night before flying back to NYC we stayed in Montreal. I had never been to Montreal so I wanted to explore a bit. We took a cab from our hotel by the airport into the city. First we went to the Biodome to see four different ecosystems and the animals that live in each. That was my fav. The little monkeys were SUPER cute and I also spotted a sloth climbing across a pole at the top of the dome. We also got to see the penguin feeding which was pretty cute.

Afterwards we tried to see a movie after but surprisingly all of the movies were in French with no subtitles which was a little odd because it seemed like the majority of the people were speaking English. Then we walked around the city for a bit. We tried to go in the Notre-Dame Basilica which is where Celine Dion got married but they charge to just walk in and I didn’t really care that much. There wasn’t much else to do so we walked around some more and then found a spot for dinner. Luckily the restaurant we went to was very good. We had delicious homemade spaghetti and cheesy garlic bread at a place called L’Usine de Spaghetti.

Overall it was a nice trip and it was nice to get away, but it wasn’t as much fun as I had been expecting. The ski conditions were a little disappointing that weekend and I wasn’t in love with Montreal. After four days I was ready to go back to NYC. I’m glad I got to experience Mt. Tremblant but I don’t know if I’ll go back anytime soon.


The Nest and Sons and Daughter of Ease and Plenty

It just happened that I picked two books to read that had to do with families either born into wealth or that were expecting a large inheritance. Despite being in different time periods with one of the novels, The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, taking place current day and the other novel, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel, taking place in the 1970s, there were many similar themes including love, ones career, motherhood, and mortality.

One of the parallels between the two novels is that money can take over ones mind and change relationships. Another is the inevitability of getting old and how one feels invisible with age. There was an eeriness to protagonist Fern in Sons and Daughter of Ease and Plenty and her family’s belief to take one out of one’s misery when he/she gets too old to prevent tarnishing one’s image by letting others see the deterioration. Lastly, both novels explored motherhood through women with different parenting styles (some much more involved and maternal than others) and how becoming a mother ultimately alters ones career.

I loved The Nest and I like that the Plumb family’s chase of money and final acceptance that it wasn’t coming forced them to alter the course of their lives and they ultimately became happier for it. Spoiler alert, I was still hoping that Leo would come through at the end either to see the family finally take a stand against him and officially outcast him like he had done to them or to see him repair his relationships and repay his family for what he had taken, but I was still happy with the novel regardless. I suppose in a way I did like the bittersweet ending. I enjoyed Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty as well but I didn’t like the characters or style of writing as much as Cynthia’s. I am glad that I coincidentally read both similarly themed books back to back though to compare and to see how expansive with many different directions novels can go while holding similar themes.

“Nothing was more terrifying than what familiar could do to each other.” – Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty