7.20.2011

Off to Hawaii...

(via)
I'll be in Hawaii for the next few days so please excuse the lack of bloggin' but I've got some snorkelin' and mai tai sippin' to do! Have a great week!!

7.15.2011

Feature Friday: The Aspen Life

" A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aspen." ... I can't refuse a good Dumb & Dumber quote and especially, because I'm from Capistrano.

I went to visit a friend last month in Apsen and it was no doubt, breathtakingly beautiful. With the exception of the mountain caps, which still appeared to be dusted  with powder sugar, the winter's snow had melted away. The mountains had left the entire mountain town green and gorgeous. I hear Aspen is the place to be for skiing but I am not much of a snow bunny, so I was beyond pleased with the time of year I went. The Food & Wine Classic was going on the weekend I was there so the town was bustlin' and the wine was aflowin'. Saying the town is small is an understatement, but it definitely is one of the most beautiful. It's a place like Cheers, where everyone knows your name... good or bad thing? You be the judge. With the ability to walk everywhere in town (although, most people do have drivers) and its Victorian architecture, the words "quaint" and "cozy" are pretty good adjectives to describe Aspen.

My friend and I took the ski lift up to the top of the mountain for some amazing views of the mountains and city. Like I said, if the mountains weren't dusted with snow, they were a beautiful forest green. 

Being the ultimate dorky tourist that I am, I learned that the Aspen trees are all one organism - meaning that there is a mother tree and from that one mother tree, the roots sprout out and form new trees. So basically, the trees you see are the roots of the mother tree - the root system can live for thousands of years, constantly sprouting up new roots/trees. Pretty unbelievable, right?!


It has been said that Aspen has the most expensive real estate in America - I find this shocking considering there is no ocean, but I guess that's why I live in Southern California. The truth is, Aspen definitely is not cheap and although you can certainly find the forty million dollar homes there, you can also find some more humble homes in the 2-5 million dollar range (yes, that is the price of a "humble" home in Aspen). The homes closest to town are in the humble zone and I found them absolutely charming!

Only adding to the charm on the town, lush lilac trees line the neighborhood streets. To get an idea of just how charming it is when I say, "charming," the gutters are lined with pansies. The "gutter" is not a big obtrusive slab of cement either, no in Aspen, the gutters are like a babbling brook, a stream flowing over small pebbles down your street...and no, I am not exaggerating.
We went for a hike at Maroon Bells, the most photographed spot in Colorado. Once I arrived, I finally got why people love taking photos here - It's stunning! The whole time I was there, I kept thinking how much it reminded me of the Swiss Alps - not any old mountain spot gets the honor of that comparison.




We saw a marmot! I never even knew they existed... just thought it was an outdoorsy brand.




From Maroon Bells we hiked to Crater Lake, which of course was also beautiful. However, we hiked for maybe an hour to get there but then had to turn immediately back around because it started to rain. We heard later that it was snowing after we left so we definitley were glad we didn't stick around for that.

Aspen is a great place for relaxing and hiking but just be aware that you won't find your typical hikers and outdoorsy fans here. Don't be surprised if you overhear the man next to you talking about his castle in Scottland or his 20 bedroom home. Aspen residents and visitors are in a world of their own. This is not to say that they aren't lovely people because that certainly is not what I am saying BUT it is a different place, a different world.   

Photos: Love.Inspire.Create