If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not the fanciest gal in the gang. My travel style borders on vagabonding, and my adventures are always executed on a fairly frugal budget. However, my trip to Vail, Colorado was a glaring exception, thanks to my phenomenal parents who spoiled me with three days of indulgent mountain vacationing.
After a gnarly day of skiing in a mild snowstorm left me too exhausted and sore to hit the slopes again, I joined my mother for a morning spent exploring the charming (read: expensive) area of Vail Village.
We strolled through the cobblestone streets, admiring enticing window displays with exquisite clothing, not daring to enter the shops for fear of the inevitably outrageous price tags attached to everything. Alongside the exclusive boutiques sat restaurants, gear rental shops, and a handful of lodging establishments.
As two women who pride ourselves on bargain bin finds and snagging swag during sales, we didn’t even bother stepping inside the ritzy shops – a 10% discount on a $200 jacket doesn’t quite tickle our fancy. Instead, we played with our cameras and searched for a tempting eatery as we planned the evening’s dinner.
Aside from the absurdly priced shops that line the quaintly designed streets, Vail Village is a great little area to spend a few hours meandering around, taking in the snowy sights, and ogling crowds of bundled-up skiers and snowboarders heading towards the slopes.
Some of my favorite stops included the pedestrian covered bridge in the heart of the village, the Colorado Ski Museum (which is FREE), and the two ice rinks that sit in the middle of the shopping areas.
Okay, so maybe the Colorado Ski Museum is more of an extensive giftshop with a lot of really cool ski and snowboard memorbilia – and maybe it’s attached to the middle of the giant Vail parking garage – but check it out, it’s pretty cool!
To be fair, not every shop is loaded with overpriced clothing; we went into a few little stores that were pleasantly full of unique items and gifts. My favorite encounter was as my family during the morning before we jetted out of the mountains. My father realized something he’d forgotten and loudly said “Crap!” An eccentric woman standing in on of the shop doors, and proceeded to inquire if my dad planned on coming into her shop, since it was the least he could do considering he said “crap” in front of it. We all laughed, and proceeded to get lost in the beautiful ornaments and little decorations she housed in her shop. I’ve generally found that the folks who live and work in Vail are always in good spirits – and it’s no wonder why.
While I won’t likely return to Vail on my own dollar, it was a wonderful experience to spend a few days there with my family. Any occasion when I can share adventures with my parents is always thoroughly enjoyed, and it was great to finally try skiing in the Rocky Mountains before I left for Florida.