3rd Annual Birthday Celebration at The Broadmoor

This was Hadley’s third birthday we’ve celebrated at The Broadmoor, which means it’s a tradition, right?  While my previous trip was a working vacation for my write-up about Broadmoor Outfitters, this one was all relaxation and play.


We started with bowling and delicious food at their high-end alley PLAY. Something you should know about the boys: they’re sore losers and were grumpy that Hadley and I started out strong.  Of course, we didn’t rub that in one bit.


Everyone had a strike near the end of the game except for Bode. He grabbed Hadley’s jacket and bowling ball and, with it awkwardly tucked under his arm, he chucked the ball down the alley. We tried to stop him…until we realized he had just bowled his first strike. I’m not sure what to make of that other than maybe having her vicariously closer to him was like a security blanket?

Fly Fishing

Usually, we spend a good portion of our day lounging poolside but with Colorado’s rainy weather, we had to get creative. We played a lot of heated Checkers matches in the lobby and teamed up with Broadmoor Outfitters for a  fly fishing expedition at the Lake House. This Adirondack-style lodge is adjacent to a scenic lake stocked with carp, rainbow and brown trout on one of the resort’s famous golf courses.

We had only fly fished once before at The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley a couple of years ago so we welcomed our guide Tyler’s expertise. As he was just about to explain how to strip the line to reel in the fish, he got a bite and was able to not only explain but show us how to do it. The guides are just that good. And so are the views. Can you see the deer on the shore just behind Bode?

The fish must have received the memo it was Hadley’s birthday because she was reeling them in like crazy! Jamie and I had quick success as well but then there was poor Bode who couldn’t even get a nibble. We’d have him switch places to where Hadley was finding all the fish and he’d get nothing while Hadley would catch them in his previous spot. With rain clouds about to burst, he’d about reached his breaking point when I uttered my first fisherwoman’s prayer: “Dear Lord, if you’re listening and able, could you please help The Boy catch a fish?”

Within a minute, he caught one hook, line and sinker. Turns out fisherwoman’s prayers really work.

The Others

We were pleased that The Broadmoor opened a game room specifically for Memorial Day weekend and we had a fun playing ping pong, air hockey, bean bag toss and foosball. This photo was supposed to be representative of Hadley and Bode learning to play pool.

But really, it’s all about Jamie’s photobomb.

And even though the Memorial Day carnival was moved indoors due to the weather, the kids had a blast.

Who am I kidding? We all had a blast going down that slide and launching into the pit.

We had a brief window of sunshine on Saturday so we swam.

Or rather, the kids did. It was still a blustery 50 degrees so Jamie and I joined the other lame, fully-clothed parents on the chaises while a small a handful of hearty kids played.

Later that afternoon, we stopped at the resort’s eco-chic eatery Natural Epicurean that features organic food. How often do you have the chance to eat healthy desserts that look like this?

We were so nice that even though Jamie didn’t join us, we ordered an extra treat. P.S. Don’t tell him that.

Believe me, we weren’t lacking in food. One night, we ate at Ristorante Del Lago, the resort’s newish Italian restaurant inspired by a luxurious villa in Lake Como. It was there that I informed Bode “Did you know if you can tie that maraschino cherry stem with our tongue, that means you’ll be a good French kisser?”

He’ll never order a Shirley Temple again.

As we lounged fireside after dinner, the kids played tag with Jamie and roasted s’mores. I am 100 percent grateful every time we’re privy to The Good Life and observed, “I know we’ve had an amazing day but just remember that money doesn’t buy happiness.”  Hadley responded: “Could have fooled me.”

Note to self: Save life lessons for when they are not currently in the moment.

The Brunch

The Broadmoor’s brunch is, hands down, our favorite part of every trip with more than 150 enticing choices alongside sculpted ice and live piano music. Jamie ensured he was first in front of what he deemed “the gateway to heaven.”

Now I know what the pearly gates look like. At least there won’t be all the calories in heaven, RIGHT?

We all enjoy the brunch but Hadley LOVES it and eats more than any of us with favorites being the pastries, breads and bananas foster.

This picture is very telling of our brunch experience:

Hadley is in sheer bliss, Bode (my pleaser) is posing but really thinking “hurry up and take the picture so I can get some more food” while Jamie has a mouthful of it.


I always wake up at dawn to hike North Cheyenne Cañon by myself and this time, I was so overwhelmed with its forested red-rock beauty (it’s one of my Top 10 Hikes Ever), I did a second trip with the family. The Broadmoor offers a free shuttle to the Starsmore Discovery Center at the mouth of the canyon.

If you’re going to build a nature center, I highly suggest you do it in this beautiful setting.

The Birthday Girl

Hadley’s birthday fell on Memorial Day so she requested a room service breakfast of Belgian waffles and we were happy to oblige.

For presents, we bought her some clothes, a weaving loom, the Maze Runner movie and book series, some drawing paper and sweet Bode gave her a purse he had woven in art class.

I’ve long wanted to climb the Manitou Incline a.k.a. The Holy Grail of Cardio, which gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation over less than 1 mile. Hadley agreed to do it with me and it was to be our day of triumph!!  Until it wasn’t. You see, the Incline is one of the most unique and challenging trails in the country, attracting runners, Olympic athletes and cyclists from around the world. By the time we arrived at 10 a.m., the base area was a madhouse. We circled around for 45 minutes trying to find parking before finally driving down the mountain and parking in town. The problem: what comes down must go back up so we had to trek about a mile to even get to the start of the Incline. By then, I could tell Hadley wasn’t doing very well, complaining that her throat hurt.

“Let’s just hike a little bit and see how you’re feeling.”

It was steeeeeeeeep. Could we have done it? Sure. Hadley is in great shape after training for a Pentathlon all year and while I’m not where I was physically at this time last year, I could have toughed it out. But after climbing 1/5 of the way up, she looked miserable. If it wasn’t her birthday, I would have pushed her farther but I’m glad I didn’t–she spent the next day in bed with a cold.

At that moment, I noticed the sun was shining for the first time. “Here’s a plan, Hadley. Why don’t we race back to The Broadmoor, hit the pool, order lunch and strawberry milkshakes before going home?”

If there’s a way to salvage a birthday, that is it.



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