Mile High Mamas Monday

Ever had a trip that went terribly wrong?

That was actually my shtick back when I was a travel writer. Because every trip went terribly wrong in some way.

Like the time I boasted to my friend John that I had packed for our trip to Southern Utah in less than 10 minutes, only to discover I had forgotten the tent. No problem. It was the desert and clear temperatures were in the forecast.

It rained (those sordid details are here).

Last week was no different. Jamie and I decided to take the kids on a mid-week trip to YMCA of the Rockies, my absolute favorite destination in Colorado. Seriously. If you are planning a vacation here and want something beautiful yet affordable, this is the place.

Unless you get snowed out like we did. And end up leaving your winter paradise a day early….

Tune into Mile High Mamas on Monday for all the details and tell me about when your vacations went terribly wrong. Just to make me feel better.


Hands down, my favorite Colorado getaway is YMCA of the Rockies. I have been to the Estes Park Center once in the summer and we recently went on our third getaway to Snow Mountain Ranch in the wintertime.

It is tough to qualify why I love YMCA of the Rockies so much. The cabins and lodges are extremely affordable but very basic; the facilities are plentiful but worn. It has more to do with the abundance of activities, the majestic Rocky Mountain backdrop and the sentiment you are in a magical place that truly celebrates family.

Unless you happen to visit during a huge snowstorm on a weekday.

Our latest trip started as fabulously as any other.

Last Monday, we checked into our three-bedroom cabin, consumed about 2,000 calories and then decided to go for a walk to burn about 30 of them off. We made snow angels, raced down the slopes and breathed in the crisp air.

Later, we went to the Kiva Center – land of indoor recreation – and were thrilled to have the place to ourselves. We shot some hoops, flexed our ping-pong chops, peppered the volleyball and I gave my 3-year-old daughter Hadley her second roller-skating tutorial.

I then went for a whirl around the abandoned rink. Despite the fact my Canadian parents stuck me in figure-skating lessons, I have always fancied myself a speed skater. I have it all: velocity and a speed skater’s physique.

Well, minus the muscles.

We returned to our cabin, snuggled on Haddie’s bunk bed and planned to spend the next day at the Nordic Center. We would shoot down the steep sledding hill, race around the ice-skating rink and snowshoe on the 100 km of world-class trails through pristine hollows and bowls.

Until the snow came. An overabundance of it. In its defense, the name of the place is Snow Mountain Ranch so there was full disclosure. But try telling that to someone who has a full slate of outdoor activities planned. The resort is certainly not lacking in indoor diversions but our midweek stay proved problematic in that the pool and gym didn’t open until later and the craft center was closed all together.

Instead of relishing the crunch of our snowshoes on bejeweled blankets of snow, we were relegated to playing tedious puzzles in the lobby and watching Amber is Grouchy Elmo in Grouchland in our cabin.

But we will return to play another day. Let’s just hope Snow Mountain Ranch implements rainchecks in the future.

Or at least one involving snow….

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