2009-2010 Our Life in the Vail Valley, Colorado During the Ski Season

We're back in the Vail Valley for our Tenth Entire Ski Season Skiing Somewhere in the World and our second entire ski season in the USA!

One of the first events of the season is the annual chocolate chip cookie-making contest. Of course we went and sampled the cookies of all of the finalists. Imagine our delight the next day when we saw a picture of us munching on cookies in the Vail Daily!
Audre and Dimitri have a snap of them published in the Vail Daily, eating of course!

Before we even arrived in the Vail Valley, we had been invited to Thanksgiving Dinner at our friends the Bigsby's house in Vail. Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday and to share it with people we really like is a delight.

Nancy Bigsby shows off her gorgeous and delicious Thanksgiving turkey

We orginally "met" Claire Walter in 2007 when we read her blog posting from 2006 on Punta Arenas, Chile from Puerto Natales, Chile. When we arrived in Denver in the Fall of 2008, Claire and her husband, Ral Sandberg invited us to a lobster feast at their home in Boulder. It was the start of a great friendship! Before we left Denver in 2008 we reciprocated at our Denver Digs. During the 2008-09 ski season we didn't see Claire. But she and Ral popped up in Beaver Creek in 2010 and we had them over to our apartment.

Ral Sandberg (on the left) and Claire Walter (second from the left) come to breakfast at our apartment in Avon.

Soon after we arrived in Vail, the Vail Athletic Club had its open house-free use of the facilities for the public. Of course we went and we loved it, as we had during the 2008-09 season.

Another early season event was a free reception at Sweet Basil Restaurant in Vail hosted by Hometrax, P.O. 246, Edwards, CO 81632, tel. 970-926-8922, web: www.hometrax.com (Matt Harmon, CEO, e-mail: matt@hometrax.com, www.hometrax.com/harmon). It was a lovely event and the appetizers that Sweet Basil served were very good. At the Taste of Vail in April 2009, many of the chefs included the recipes for the offerings they made for the Grand Tasting. Paul Anders submitted his recipe for Whiskey Spiked Chicken Liver Pate that we loved when we tasted it at the Grand Tasting. Audre has made that recipe several times for dinner parties and everyone loves it as much as we do. We have wanted to try a complete meal by Paul Anders at Sweet Basil but the restaurant never offers early or late season discounts. So we have never gone. 

After the Hometrax reception, we had dinner at La Tour, a restaurant we went to three times during th 2008-09 season. (122 East Meadow Dr., Vail, CO 81657, tel. 970-476-4403, web: http://www.latour-vail.com/) La Tour was offering a 50% discount on entrees. We had a delicious meal, with two entrees, a bottle of wine and dessert that cost about $95.

The award winning cumin scented grilled Colorado Lamb Rack Chops, Roasted Baby Beets, Haystack Farms Goat Cheese Gougere, pickled red onions, chanterelle mushroom, smoked red wine sauce at La Tour

Another early season activity was our volunteering at the charity fundraiser called the Black Diamond Ball. This is an annual formal affair and the guests were decked out in tuxes and over-the-top designs. It was really an impressive show of the latest in evening wear. Each year there are silent auctions (where we volunteered) and an auction at the sit-down dinner. One of the more memorable bidding wars was between two couples who each wanted to win the bid and be photographed for the front of next season's trail map. The bidding war was "solved" when each couple was awarded the prize for one of the Vail and Beaver Creek trail maps for a mere $20000 each--all of the proceeds going to charity.


  1. Claire here. Loved spending time with you again. My/our fault that we somehow missed the 2008-09 ski season. I'm heading to Cody this weekend but will be in touch to set another date after I return.

  2. Where will you be heading after the ski season? We love your blog!!
    Josh and Tara from Vancouver, BC

  3. Hi Josh and Tara, We are thrilled that you love our blog. Stay tuned! On April 20th we will start a road trip that will take us to Vancouver!! Can we actually meet on the ground??We plan to stay in Vancouver for a few months. We would be happy if you would send us an e-email with your co-ordinates in Vancouver so we can call you. Our e-mail address is: aleanddm@gmail.com