Five Days in Colorado, One Pair of Shoes

I was getting the travel bug, so I casually checked flights to Colorado to visit my younger sister. I stumbled upon a super cheap flight and immediately booked it. Having a fun trip to look forward to helps get through the January blues.  My sister lives in Frisco, a charming ski town next to Breckenridge in the Rocky Mountains.

The weather is much colder and the air much drier than New York. There were several layers of snow on everything, giving it the feel of forever Christmas. Since it was a four-night trip, I committed to only taking a carry on,  even though I'd need to pack my heaviest clothing and lots of layers. This was a fun challenge I was willing to accept.

Most of my favorite winter outfits didn't make the cut because it is just too cold and snowy in the Colorado mountains. I had to choose function first, but I didn't want to risk style, feeling great or loving what I'm wearing. Also, my sister put together an aggressive itinerary of winter sports and outings.

Day 1:  Late night arrival

My flight was at 8pm on a Thursday night, so I brought my luggage to work and ate dinner (with a much needed glass of wine) at the airport. I chose my loosest fitting jeans paired with a tight fitting turtleneck for dual purpose of workday and flying outfit. I layered a pair of black tights underneath to stay warm, especially on the destination side. I also wore my warmest, longest coat, which got me through the entire trip.

Day 2:  These boots were made for...everything!

I slept late after a very late arrival the night before.  My sister and I kicked things off with boozy brunch, followed by mani pedi. I chose an easy jeans and sweater pairing. This turtle neck sweater is the warmest I own and my sister tells me this is the coldest it's been all winter. Awesome. I paired it with my favorite black Madewell jeans. They are the tightest I brought, which went well with my bulky boots and sweater.

Later that night we went Nordic skiing by the light of the moon and stars. It was my first time, but I picked it up fast, and it was super fun--I only fell once. It was well into the negative degrees, so I had on four layers on top and three on bottom; luckily my sister and I are about the same size. The movement and multi-layers kept me from freezing.

 Can you see the fear on my face? This jacket and fleece are my sister's.  Thanks, Sara!

Can you see the fear on my face? This jacket and fleece are my sister's.  Thanks, Sara!

We also checked out a fire festival and went out for dinner at a really cute restaurant in Breckenridge. This was about the time I realized that I was going to be wearing my Sorel boots with absolutely every outfit, even my sweater dress. This is the fanciest item I packed.  The only improvement I would've made to this outfit would be bringing leggings instead of tights. Did I mention it was negative degrees?

Day 3:  Hot Tubbing in the snow?!

The day started with snow tubing in Frisco! So much fun and I only needed three layers instead of four. We then took a gondola to one of the fanciest Breckenridge resorts that has the most elaborate outdoor hot tub set up I've ever seen. We relaxed in the warm water while surrounded by snow and sipped cocktails. This was the life.  

Afterwards, we primped for a stroll through Breckenridge to see the ice sculptures and have a nice Italian dinner. I stuck with my black Madewell jeans again and, of course, my Sorel boots.  This time I paired them with a black wool sweater layered over a lace printed button down, bringing New York black to the mountains, but adding my own flair.

Day 4:  Now this is skiing

Skiing at Beaver Creek!  I skied quite a bit in the Poconos growing up, but that's nothing compared the the Colorado mountains. I've gotten overly timid with skiing over the years, so I stuck with the green slopes, and my sister was patient with me. We got the most perfect day and conditions were awesome.  Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping (duh) and visited Vail village. Vail is so adorable. It looks like a quaint, European village was placed between two mountains and dusted with snow. I bought a warm Patagonia pullover.  I borrowed a similar one from my sister the whole trip and fell in love with it.  I also purchased a knit black beanie with a pom.  I’ve been searching for a nice one forever.  What better place than ski country to find the perfect one?  I wore my skiing gear all day long, which was consistent with most people we saw.  

Day 5: Back to New York already

Up super early for my flight home. I was actually too warm on the flight in, so I went with layers that I could remove. I started with my Paris printed tee (next trip, perhaps?) and layered on my thick knit cardigan sweater in black. I paired it with my light wash Madewell jeans and topped it off with my Colorado mainstay Sorel boots.  

I absolutely loved my mini winter getaway, and I'm proud of myself for fitting in so many winter activities and outings. I hope my sister is okay with having me as a guest each winter. I'm so glad we got to spend so much time together, just the two of us. Hopefully next time I'll be willing to tackle a blue slope or two!

What I learned:

  1. Winter boots go with everything in extreme winter conditions. But you can still look and feel great!  The pair I wore the entire trip is Sorel's Caribou boot, which is currently on sale for $111.90.

  2. Pack leggings.  They are a great layer for warmth under snow gear or dresses.

  3. It's really hard to have cute hair when you have to wear hats outside at all times. I wished more than ever on this trip that it was longer and I could throw it into a top knot.  That said, I love the new Burton beanie I bought in Vail.  

  4. Skiing is no time to worry about your outfit. It's covered by lots of layers and a serious coat. Just be warm and comfortable as you slay that mountain!

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