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Monday, February 26, 2018

Collective Retreats - Vail, CO (Part Two)

In case you missed Part One of this travel post, click here! I'm recapping the glamping trip that Steve and I took last summer in Colorado. We had the most amazing time trying something new together! I still have food and adventure and some miscellaneous things to discuss, so let's get started!
FOOD
One of the main draws of this glamping trip had to do with the food! We live to eat/drink! We work to eat/drink! We work out to eat/drink! You get the idea, right?? Collective Retreats has an on-site chef who prepared meals for us throughout the day! Breakfast is included with your stay. The menu changes based on the fresh ingredients the chef has to work with. I mean, can you get a more serene breakfast moment? We felt like we were in a dream.
The food is served from a tent, in a tent! You can also eat outside, which is what we did for every meal. There is also a decorated covered space. All guest can come to the tent for breakfast around a certain time, so you get to mingle and interact with the other guests. We also got to know the chef and the staff on site, which was so fun for us. This is the magician chef, Jordan, whom we loved getting to know and loved eating her food. :)
The food is locally sourced when possible and everything is made fresh on site! Before we checked in, we were able to purchase lunches and/or dinners that we wanted made for us or that we wanted to grill ourselves. We took advantage of this because we didn't know how much we would want to drive into "town" to eat. We grilled a few nights (we had a grill right near our tent). They offered steak and fish, potatoes, veggies, among other things. All of the food was prepared for us, we just did the grilling. The staff would set up the quaintest little table for two, Steve grilled, and we ate outside in the crisp mountain air. Perfection!!! We loved being outside almost 24/7 on this trip!

One night, we purchased a nice dinner to be made for us up at the tent. We ended up meeting the sweetest couple from Nashville that we are still in touch with! We drank wine and laughed the night away...one of our fondest memories from the trip. This couple just so happened to be ELOPING the next day!! Yes! Their wedding venue space was simple and gorgeous and you can check it out on Brides.com (so pretty it got some press)!

And here are a few more food shots. Needless to say, we loved the food and eating on-site and enjoying the scenery.


ADVENTURES
When Steve planned the trip, he booked a few adventure surprises. I''m all about this! I want to do all the things while we are young and able and are free-spirited! One morning we drove to Beaver Creek, CO to hike. We ended up on Beaver Lake Trail. It was soooooo hard! I was dying!!! But, we did it and pushed ourselves and made it to the top where there was a beautiful lake staring us in the face. Worth every minute! This was about a 7 mile hike (round trip), and it's straight up. It was worth being at the top of a mountain with this guy. It was so fun to do something challenging and to push each other. Beaver Creek is a ski resort, but the shops were open, dining available, and you could take the ski lifts to the top of the mountain.
Another day, Steve booked a horseback ride. I've never been on a horse before! Because Collective Retreats is located on a working ranch, it has lots of horses! We had a blast riding up and down the mountain right on site. Our guide was funny and the horses were gentle. We absolutely loved this! And yes, Steve got to ride the biggest horse at the ranch! #tallpeopleperks Take me back!
Our third adventure was fly-fishing. Our family loves to fish! That list includes Mom! This was such a cool experience for us, as it was so different than anything we have ever tried. We had a personal guide who drove us to the creek (Eagle Creek), provided us with all of the gear/poles/boots, and helped us each land our first trout! I would highly recommend this! It's fun to wear the overalls/boots and step into the cold creek. It was so peaceful and serene. Colorado in the summer is so good!


And our last adventure was to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon, CO. We had a few hours to kill one afternoon and this was recommended to us by a woman working the winery at the ranch. The drive to Hanging Lake is amazing, but once you hike up to Hanging Lake, you are in for a treat!
The hike was difficult, and it was PACKED! This is a tourist destination, so be prepared for crowds and limited parking. We went later in the afternoon, which helped us out, but it was still busy! People of all ages were climbing to get a glimpse of this gorgeous lake hanging off the mountain. Totally worth it in my opinion. It stared to rain on us on the way back down, which kind of made the experience even a little bit more cool than it already was.
MISCILLANEOUS 
Weather: We went to CR in last July/Early August. The weather was warm during the day and chilly at night. We definitely needed sweatshirts/pants. It was forecasted to rain several days we were there, and it ended up raining one night overnight and sprinkled a few other times. For the most part, excellent weather this time of year. 

Dress: We packed very casual clothes. We were glamping on a ranch after all! We took hiking clothes, jeans, sweatshirts, tennis shoes, etc. We didn't take anything "nice". It was so nice to pack comfortable clothes for an entire trip! Don't forget your backpack! 

Extras: We would suggest bringing a cooler of adult beverages with you if you are into that! We are! We also drove to CR, which allowed us to fill up our Yeti with water, wine, beer, etc. You might think about getting a disposable cooler and drinks at the closest town (Eagle Creek) if you fly in.

Expense: This experience is not "cheap", even though you are sleeping in a tent. You can check the website for pricing, but expect to pay for the "experience" of it all per night. :) We also had the luxury of being able to road trip to this location, which helped with the cost. There are other locations all throughout the US if this is something you might be interested in! It is something I would do again, and pay for again. We had a wonderful time doing something totally unexpected and different. Steve is my favorite travel partner! I will never take him or our travels or our quiet time spent together for granted!!
We are getting ready to go on our next big adventure and the kids are coming along! Travel brings you closer, opens your eyes, and gives you something to look forward to. What are you waiting for? Go book a trip! Just do it! xo




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