Colorado Travel Diary – February 2017

The weekend of February 25 – 27, I flew out to Colorado for the first time.

It was initially a cabin/skiing/hot spring/hiking trip but turned out we could only do 2 out of the 4 things that we planned. We chose to stay at an Airbnb house in downtown Denver for the whole trip to avoid driving since we left at different time and day. It was overall a really fun trip. I’d definitely come back in the near future for more skiing and hiking anytime! Keep on reading for funny stories and my experience there:


The mini-van and getting stuck in the snow: We rented a mini-van from Dollar Car rental, worst car to drive in the snow ever. Even though it was nice and sunny the whole weekend that we were there, we forgot to take into consideration the drive up to the mountains in Keystone. It snowed a few days before we got there, so roads were super icy! We got stuck once on the way there while trying to stop by the side road for a picture. The snow was up by a foot. On the way back, after skiing and hot spring, we took a turn according to the GPS. We weren’t aware of the fact that our car was a bad choice until we backed up into a rock while trying to get our car back to the main road. The guys ended up walking away to get help. Us girls suddenly thought of the mango cardboard box that we had in the car, so we flattened and put it underneath of the left front wheel. There was another car got there right behind us, so with the help of everyone pushing and the cardboard piece, the car was centered and out of that road. Thank God!

» don’t ever hesitate to get that 4 wheel drive car for your own safety in the winter! worst case scenario: remember this tip to get your car unstuck from the snow: use cardboard box, make sure you flatten it, lay right underneath and in front of the wheels/tires, use the car’s floor mat (which we didn’t think of at the time!), or towels (we did bring some for the hot springs but didn’t use them!) Everyone should get out of the car to push, put car at N or L gear, and good luck! Call roadside assistant or 911 if the worst of the worst case ever happened. «


The cooking challenge: This unexpectedly turned out to be so much fun! We picked up the van and headed to H-Mart, a Korean grocery store in Denver, to buy fruits and food needed for the cook in which was a part of the Saturday night agendaAirbnbairbnb house didn’t have any sharp knives, as predicted. So we ended up splitting the group, half buying some knives and another half buying the rest of the grocery. Maximum was $50 per pair. Jen and Chloe did salmon and Tra Cuc. Well, Tra (Jen’s Vietnamese name) means tea, and Cuc (Chloe’s Vietnamese name) means chrysanthemum. I literally died when hearing their little intro to their dish with the chrysanthemum tea served as a side, haha. John and Ngan did a Korean-inspired hotpot and some shrimped stuffed omelet. Toan and I did a steak/potato dinner plate. Well, I’d got to give the winning credit to Toan ’cause I was just helping. I made some orange Jello shots though.

Skiing: Let’s forget about the tough drive up the mountains. We bought lift tickets online for $112/person plus $4 shipping fee, and cards were mailed to us which was a lot cheaper than at the window purchase. We booked ski/boots/sticks rentals online also at Christy Sports and picked them up at the downtown Denver location for $30/person without a helmet. Some shoes were in pretty bad condition, so make sure if you go, do come in the shop and take your time to try out your boots. We were confused as to where exactly to park our car because we wanted it to be near the Learning center aka the Bunny hill for some of us beginners. We ended up following the traffic and parked at the next available parking lot, took a bus, and was dropped off at the River Run village. We had to carry our heavy ski gears plus the high altitude that caused us sick and some troubles getting in the village. Once we were in, we hopped up the gondola lift, and off we went. The views were TO-DIE-FOR!!! I didn’t take any photos because my phone was dead. Sometimes, the best moments in life must be felt. In fact, I enjoyed the ski ride down the mountain so much that I fell only once or twice. The one time that I fell was because I was tired and lost focus since the ride downhill was pretty long and steady. That was literally my first time being able to ski left and right and was able to use my legs to control which way I was going. We only made it down to the mountain once and called it a day since everyone was exhausted.

Hot-springs: The place convinced us to get the pool/cave combo for around $33/person. The cave located downstairs near the locker room, female and male separated. Right when we walked in, there was naked women. Yes, I mean it! Naked women. Entering the cave, there were signs everywhere that prohibited cameras and talking for it’s a sacred place. Inside there were about 5 pools with the water being at different high temperature. Women were meditating in there. The hot water, in fact, was really relaxing. However, stepping out to the community pool was a mistake. The water was so cold. There was roof atop of the pool, and a variety of plants were planted around the pool’s perimeter. and I saw steam was coming out from the water. So maybe it was just a really chilly day! This place was just convenient since it was on our way back to Denver from Keystone, but it definitely was an experience.

Places we went to:

our Airbnb house: 2852 N. Monroe St, Denver, CO 80205

groceries at H-MART: Shoppes At Parker, 2751 S Parker Rd, Aurora

 lunch at Katsu Ramen: 1930 S Havana St #4, Aurora

sight-seeing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison | was freezing and out-of-breath due to the change in elevation.

herb-shopping at Kind Love: 4380 E Alameda Ave, Denver | tried the waffles and caramel candies

skiing at Keystone ski resort- River Run Base area: E Keystone Rd, Dillon 

lunch at: Pizza on The Run at River Run Village

hot spring at Indian Hot Spring: 302 Soda Creek Rd, Idaho Springs

dinner at Funny Plus: 2779 S Parker Rd, Aurora

shopping at Cherry Creek shopping center: 3000 E 1st Ave, Denver

bubble tea at Lollicup: 1589 S Colorado Blvd, Glendale

lunch at Pho Duy: 925 S Federal Blvd, Denver

shaved-ice desserts at Snowlab: 4360 E Evans Ave, Denver

happy hour at Green Valley Ranch Beer Garden: 4995 Argonne St, Denver

 Enjoy the photos.
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Thanks for reading!

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An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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