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Why I Love Having Company Part I: Playing Tourist

January 16, 2013

In about a week, I have friends coming to visit and I couldn’t be more excited.  I know that sometimes having house guests can be stressful, but living across the country from most of my family and friends makes me really treasure getting to spend time with them.  I also love having visitors for one simple reason: I tend to have more fun when I’m busy trying to make sure someone else has fun.

I’ve been thinking about what to plan for my upcoming visitors and keep coming up with ideas that are touristy but totally fun.  I’m a bit of a nerd and love doing the kind of activities that might seem cheesy at home but perfectly acceptable on vacation.  Entertaining visitors is the perfect time to indulge in these kinds of activities. Like…

Ski biking at Adventure Ridge in Vail 

Ski Biking

I actually tried this a couple of seasons ago when they were running a locals special and it was so. much. fun.  To go ski biking, you strap mini skis to the bottom of your boots and sit on a “bike” that has skis instead of wheels.  Then, you follow a guide around the closed ski mountain at night with a head lamp on for once it gets dark.  Our group all caught on pretty quickly, so our guide even took us through trees. Insanity.

How awesome do we look?

How awesome do we look?

Cross country ski up to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse for dinner

Tennessee Pass is a small ski area near Leadville, CO about 40 minutes south of Vail.  The Tennessee Pass Cookhouse is a yurt restaurant at the ski area and its slogan is “Fine dining… Backcountry Style!” which pretty much sums it up.  When I came to Vail on a family vacation in high school, we did dinner at Tennessee Pass and it was a memorable experience.  You strap on cross-country skis or snowshoes and ski or hike up to a yurt for a gourmet dinner.

Getting to and from the yurt was quite an adventure because knowing how to downhill ski does NOT mean you know how to cross country ski.  Those skis don’t have any edges! So we were falling all over ourselves on the way up and complete disasters on the way down.  I’m pretty sure the dinner was awesome too.  I haven’t been since that trip years ago and would love to go back.  For $80 a person (excluding alcohol), it’s not something I would do all the time, but it could be a fun place to bring company.

Relax in a hot tub apres ski

Could you imagine a more perfect setting?  Unfortunately this hot tub is thousands of miles away. (Source)

Could you imagine a more perfect setting? I wish this hot tub was next door rather than thousands of miles away. (Source)

Let’s be honest – this is something I would happily do after every ski day, company or not.  But since I don’t live somewhere with hot tub access, it’s not something I do often.  However, one of the nice things about living in a valley full of hotels and high-end condo developments is that with enough resourcefulness, you can always find a hot tub to “borrow.”  Do any of my friends belong to fancy gyms?  Don’t I know someone who lives in those condos with the awesome outdoor pool and hot tub?  Having visitors to entertain is the perfect motivation to find the answers to those burning questions.

Ice skating in Beaver Creek or Vail

Beaver Creek Ice Rink

There are ice skating rinks in Beaver Creek and Lionshead that I walk by almost every time I go skiing, but I haven’t skated in a long time and think it’s about time to remedy that.  I went ice skating in Beaver Creek with friends a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun.  Before that, I hadn’t skated since the Beginner Ice Skating class I took senior year of college (yeah, my school was cooler than yours).  It’s a sport where I have some muscle memory, but it’s definitely not like riding a bike.  For me, that semi-awkward feeling makes me let go of inhibitions and feel like a kid again.  Until I fall and bruise the crap out of myself and can barely walk the next day.  Regardless, for me ice skating is a goofy/fun activity that I’d love to do with the right friends, preferably followed by dinner in Beaver Creek at The Golden Eagle.

Those are just a few of the ideas I’ve come up with.  I also plan to take my friends to a few of my favorite local spots. I love showing off places and doing activities that a typical tourist wouldn’t know about without some local knowledge.  More to come on that in part II of this post, so stay tuned!

What are some of your favorite “touristy” activities to do with guests when they visit you in your hometown?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa Hull permalink
    January 17, 2013 4:53 pm

    Love it:) Can’t wait!!


  1. Why I Love Having Company Part II: Playing Tour Guide « Peaks and Passports

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