Hi everyone! There’s no denying that 2020 has been a roller coaster for all of us. This year has brought so many ups and downs, but one of the hardest parts for me was missing the birth of my granddaughter because of the pandemic. My son and daughter-in-law live in Aspen and there was no possible way to get there during the lockdown. I was FaceTiming with her for months but aching to see her in person.
In August, my husband Michael and I decided that we finally felt comfortable enough to head out to Aspen to meet her! We made sure to get COVID tests before we left New York and luckily both of our tests came back negative.
We still social distanced ourselves from the baby but at least I was able to see all of her in person. It was a truly beautiful and emotional moment for us to meet her. . We spent a week of quality time in Aspen with them and then headed off for a road trip.
My husband loves to drive and I was nervous about being in the car for such long periods of time. We were spending four to five hours at a time in the car, with a lunch stop of course. However, there was not one moment that I wasn’t interested in the surroundings.  Our country is so majestic!
Our first stop was Colorado Springs and we drove over the Independence Pass to get there. This pass has spectacular mountain views and is closed in the winter. It’s really special to be able to drive in the summer.

Independence Pass

In Colorado Springs we stayed at the beautiful Broadmoor hotel. The Broadmoor has a rich history which we learned the next day as we had a guide who took us up to Pikes Peak. The Broadmoor is over 100 years old! And there are old photos all over the hotel and an incredible art collection to boot.  We experienced Pikes Peak with my brother and his family and even though it was a cloudy day it was so cool to be above the clouds! They’re hoping to turn the summit into something a little more high-end so there was A LOT of construction happening while we were there. And If you get there at 7:30 in the morning, like we did, you’ll most likely beat all of the crowds!

Spending time with my family and Pikes Peak!

For our next adventure we drove out to the very off-the-grid Taylor River Lodge in Taylor Canyon. It was right outside a charming little town called Crested Butte. This was total Glamping! We had a log cabin fully equipped with all of the masks, sanitizer, and soap we could need. They had such beautiful amenities here including a stocked mini fridge of beer, wine, and cool beverages.  The chefs and staff make such an effort to please and the food was delicious.
The Lodge provided all kinds of activities like rafting and horseback riding so we indulged in all of them. I felt like I was at camp.  Michael actually went fly fishing! He caught a tiny little trout, which is a lot different from fishing in Alaska like he loves to do.

Michael and his tiny trout!

We packed up our things after our time at the Taylor River Lodge and headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico! The drive through the Red Rocks and all of the vistas was stunning. We stayed at the Rosewood Inn Of the Anasazi. Everything was so lovely and everyone we came into contact with was so diligent about our safety and sanitation.
My long-time friend Park Kerr picked us up in his antique Ford and gave us a tour around Santa Fe.
He’s been living in Santa Fe for five years now so he was waving to everyone we passed as we drove around with our margaritas in the back seat.  Park started Desert Pepper Trading Company and you can find his salsa’s at most supermarkets around the country. Santa Fe is truly an artists’ paradise.

My friend Park and I in Santa Fe!

We visited many of the art galleries on Canyon Road the next day. All of the museums were closed because of COVID but we will be back one day soon I hope.
The next day we were headed back to Aspen to catch our flight but there was a fire and so many of the roads were blocked off. We found back roads to take us back to Aspen and it was an incredible drive through the mountains.
Michael drove like a champ and I told him he missed his calling in life… he should have been a truck driver! LOL
Along the way, we stopped in Durango and stayed at this old landmark Victorian hotel called the General Palmer with the tiniest old elevator and authentic furnishings from 1898!!!  The next day on our way back to Aspen we passed through an old mining town called Silverton, nestled right in the middle of the mountains. I felt like I was in an old western film! People’s fortunes have been made and lost in Silverton and believe it or not, people are still mining there!

Silverton looks like something right out of a western!

We made it back to Aspen safely and while I’m beyond happy to be back, I’m so appreciative of the natural beauty of the United States. Michael and I were impressed everywhere we went with how careful people are being in hotels and restaurants during this pandemic. Since Colorado wasn’t on the list of states with travel restrictions, I did not have to quarantine when I got back to New York, but traveling anywhere else will be pretty tricky this year, so stay tuned!
I’d love to hear from you and I’m always happy to share how we handled traveling during the pandemic. Stay safe out there!