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Thanksgiving Staycation Part 1: Cookie Competition and A-Basin Ski Day

November 26, 2012

I was lucky enough to get Wednesday through Friday of Thanksgiving week off from work.  While I was disappointed to spend it away from my family (I’ll be going back East for Christmas, it’s hard to pull off two trips so close together), I ended up having a fantastic 5-day “staycation” at home.

Wednesday was Beaver Creek’s opening day, so I decided to head up around noon to meet a friend for a couple runs and then hit up the Beaver Creek Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition (!) afterward.

In a typical early season like this one, most resorts in Colorado don’t get enough natural snow to open all of their terrain.  Most, including Beaver Creek, will focus all of their snow-making power on getting one run in good enough shape to open to the public, then open up the rest of the terrain as the season goes on.  Accordingly, opening day is usually overcrowded, with way too many skiers crammed onto one run.

Since skiing amongst crowds of questionable skiers freaks me out, two runs were enough to get my fix and head down to the village for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition.

Beaver Creek is famous for “cookie time,” at around 3 p.m. every day throughout the season, when you can ski to the base and be greeted with a platter of warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  It’s as amazing as it sounds, and you’ve never seen so many millionaires fight each other for a free cookie.

Anyway, at the beginning of each season there is a competition to pick that year’s official recipe.  The winner also gets $1000.  Anyone who wants to compete can submit a batch of their best cookies, and the top 5 battle it out in the public tasting that I attended on Wednesday.

Along with a couple thousand other people.  It was mayhem trying to get to each booth to sample a cookie and then vote for your favorite.

A friend of mine made it through to the finals, and her buttery white chocolate chip cookies got my vote.  Other standouts included a sea salt and caramel chocolate chip cookie, and the Girl Scouts’ entry that had a roasted marshmallow on top.  The competition was stiff!

The most traditional chocolate chip cookie ended up winning… not my pick, but it was a blast to be a judge.  All that was missing was the milk.

The following day was Thanksgiving, when a friend generously hosted about 15 of us for a delicious and fun dinner.  My boyfriend and some wonderful friends from Denver even made it up for the feast, making it a perfect day.  It can be tough to be away from my family for the holidays, but my Colorado “family” made up for it this year!

On Friday, I headed to Arapahoe Basin for a ski day with a couple of friends.  A-basin is at a higher elevation than most ski hills in the area, so their season tends to start earlier and end later than most.  The snow there was better than the beav and crowds were thinner, so we stayed for quite a few runs.

The rugged surroundings at A-basin make it seem like your ski day is somehow more hardcore even when you spend the day cruising groomers like we did.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Either way, it’s beautiful.

Also, the resort is much more low-key than the Vail Resorts mountains I spend most of my time at.  All in all, it was the perfect place for a Black Friday ski day.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. donna permalink
    November 26, 2012 7:25 am

    I didn’t know there was a competition each year. My vote would have been for the Girl Scouts!

    • November 26, 2012 9:33 am

      The Girl Scouts’ cookies were awesome! We might have to try to replicate them when I’m home for Christmas this year!

      • Brooke permalink
        November 27, 2012 7:48 am

        I think you should make them for Christmas!!! YUMMM 🙂

  2. Stanley Carpenter permalink
    November 26, 2012 11:45 am

    A-Basin is one of my favorites. It has such a beautiful back drop and a low key style of escape that one would hope to achieve in a back country style ski environment. I am so jealous that you were able to partake in the festivities. Just looking at all those cookies makes my mouth water.


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