In one of my favorite songs, Idina Menzel "lives for the perfect day." I do too. Those days where everything comes together. The kids get along, the sun comes out and you get to do what you love most in a beautiful place.
We arrived to find that our room was not quite ready -- no surprise since it was before 9:00 in the morning -- so off we went to explore the hotel. We stopped for a friendly game of pool, bookmarked the indoor pool for later, found our way to the ski lockers and got an overall lay of the land. By then, our fantastic two-bedroom condo was ready. It was perfect with high ceilings, gorgeous views, two bathrooms and a full kitchen -- key to making a family ski vacation easy. But the perfection was in the touches ... two gigantic glass bottles of crystal clear water that was refilled each day, a bed that made it difficult to leave in the morning and a small second bedroom that was the perfect nook for my tween.
But there was no time to dilly-dally ... the snow was calling. So we geared up and headed down to the One Ski Hill Place Ski Locker. I don't think I've ever written about the joy of a resort's ski locker room before. Usually, they smell slightly of wet wool and, best case, offer a warm dry place to drop your soggy clothes and dry your wet ski boots. But oh, the ski locker at One Ski Hill Place ... dare I say it was perfect? Warm and inviting, the perfection came from Nate, who greeted us by name (nope, I still don't know how he knew we were coming), cheerfully carried four sets of skis and poles outside to the lift line, shared the latest intel from the mountain and sent us off with a smile.
If you are a skier, you know that some days, you just ski better than other days. Breckenridge delivered the perfect ski day. With a huge mountain to explore (2,906 acres) and terrain suitable for everyone, Breckenridge deserves its reputation as one of the biggest, most beloved ski resorts in the US. I had a day exploring Breckenridge's five inter-connected peaks in which every turn was perfect, every cup of hot cocoa was precisely the right temperature and every run gave me the chance to explore a different part of the mountain. The company was excellent, the sun was shining and it was a perfect family ski day. Alas, the just-opened Peak 6, representing a huge expansion in the skiable terrain of this huge mountain, was closed the day we visited, but the chance to explore Peak 6 is, itself, worth coming back for.
One of the best things about a ski day is when it ends -- when you take off your boots and have the chance to share the tales of the day. "Mom, did you see my jump?" "There was a cute boy in my ski school class and my teacher was funny." On this perfect day, the family reconnected at the cafeteria-style restaurant at the base of Peak 8. It was typical for its genre: crowded with skiers ending their day, enjoying that last hot cocoa or first apres-ski beer, stripping off their top layers. It was, as these places usually are, boisterous and loud. But just down a hallway was a magic door, opened by my hotel room key. On the other side? The elegant, warm, comfortable oasis that is One Ski Hill Place.
My kids are old enough that we are comfortable leaving them alone for short bits of time. And leave them we did, to sneak down to One Ski Hill Place's jacuzzi for a half-hour soak. After a beautiful, sunny day, it began to snow and if you've not tried it, soaking in a hot tub after a full ski day as it begins to snow is, well, perfect. Then it was time for the kids to swim in the large indoor pool where they quickly made friends with a family from Germany and swam and played for an hour. After that, it was movie time in the private One Ski Hill Place screening room. It took minutes to get set up and settled down because Shaun White was in the next suite filming an interview.
By then, even this hard-charging family was done in.
There are many great restaurants and shops in Breckenridge to choose from and a fantastic old mining town to explore. But on this perfect day, we choose to stay in our perfect room and order in an Italian bonanza from a local pizzeria. Truthfully, we just didn't want to leave the room.
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