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Weekend in Aspen

Weekend in Aspen
and the scenic drive from Denver
October 2014

We've never been to Aspen.  But a gorgeous weekend weather forecast and a free 3 night offer from Exclusive Resorts was enough to seal the deal for the nearly 4 hour drive from the southern Denver burbs.  As JetLinx clients, we were given a complimentary three day stay at one of 15 different Exclusive Resorts properties around the world, by November 15th.  We've always wanted to go to Aspen, so decided that this was the weekend to check out the fall colors.

Mercifully, not much traffic today on I-70 which is a very scenic drive thru the Rockies.  Although even it gets a little much after 3 hours.

Our home for the weekend was The Timbers Club in Snowmass, and a spacious 3 bedroom home.  Since it was off season, we didn't have a lot of company this weekend.

Our home for the weekend.

More beautiful scenery from our balcony

Since it is off season, there is absolutely nothing to do in Snowmass.  All restaurants are closed until ski season.  So we're to cutesy Aspen where there are real restaurants that don't close between seasons.  Our concierge recommended Acquolina, which turned out to be a great find.  Wonderful atmosphere, great staff and terrific food.

And one of the official Acquolina T-shirt, one of the funniest we've seen in a long time.

Heaven:
Where the Chefs are Italian, Police are British, Mechanics are German, Lovers are French and It's All Organized by Swiss.

Hell:
Where the Chefs are British, Police are German, Mechanics are French, Lovers are Swiss and It's All Organized by Italians.

With clear skies, overnight temps dipped below freezing and produced a spectacular morning in the mountains.

Up next:  Iconic Maroon Bells 

 

One of the most photographed mountains in the country is Maroon Bells.  In theory, the only way to get there is to take a $6 shuttle bus from Aspen Highlands.  I say in thoery because there were lots of cars at the top and seemingly nothing to stop you from driving up if you tell the security guy as the base of the road that you are going for a horse ride at the ranch up the road.  But I digress.   It was a beautiful day and a relaxing 20 minute ride.

 

Aspen is an attractive mountain community that thrives on the big spending out-of-state tourists and multiple home residents.    Lots of big name designers in a lovely setting near the base of the mountain. So great to come during the off-season when crowds are thin and you can get into any restaurant.  This place must be an absolute zoo in season.

And a stop for lunch.

On the short drive back to Snowmass, we drove right by the airport.  Mrs. SFO rolled here eyes and said, OK go ahead.  :)

And the beautiful drive up to Snowmass.

 

We enjoyed Nobu in Malibu and Dubai, so Mrs. SFO's first pick tonight was Matsuhisa, Nobu's Aspen restaurant.   I called Thursday and was offered any time we liked on Friday or Saturday evening. Wow, the wonders of the off season.   What a wonderful two hour meal.  Always a treat to sit at the chef's counter at a great restaurant.

 

With constuction on I-70 and horror stories of 7 hours back to Denver, we opted for the "back road" and the beautiful drive to thru 12,000' elevation Independence Pass.    

Back thru Aspen.

But first a stop for gas.  LOL.  Must be Aspen... at least $1.30 a gallon higher than in Denver.

Back on CO-82 to Independence Pass.

And back down the long and winding road.

And the major contrast as we headed east.

Amazingly, today's return trip took only 3:40.   What a great weekend in beautiful Aspen.  Thanks for reading my report.