Where to eat in Aspen/Snowmass you ask?

Who knew you could get a meal in Snowmass for just 8 bucks? Well, it’s true when you dine at Crazy 8’s, the bar located at Eight K Restaurant.

For a day on the slopes, don’t forget to hit the ski-in ski-out hot dog bar where you can ask for a bun-only version. But seriously, why bother with that? Just eat the dog, hit a few rails and trails and it’s all good. Ride over to Nest where hot dog dreams are made of.

But when your mouth is watering for something more sophisticated, like lobster and kale salad, Eight K has you covered with lots of savory choices.  Don’t forget to mark your calendar for a few important dates. For the wine connoisseur who likes to sip but not spit, sit down to enjoy elegantly arranged wine dinner events planned throughout the entire winter ski season. See Eight K Winter Wine Dinners schedule. $150 per person, includes wines.

All this can be yours when you check in at Viceroy Hotel and Resort, in Snowmass, Colorado.

Traveling no further than your own backyard

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

To travel across the world invigorates the body, mind and soul. And if you’re like me and you love to plant your feet on new ground, then anywhere but home feels like the right place to be–for a specified period of time. But today, I realized, sometimes we rarely have to travel further than our backyard to feel like we’ve entered into a new world or wilderness, in my case. That’s because I noticed the downy woodpecker gnawing away at the suet block I placed on the berry tree in my backyard.

When I noticed the red tuft of feathers crowned atop his head, it brought me instant joy.  And his presence in my backyard, especially during the holidays, transported me to a place way beyond my family room where I voyeuristically shot photos of him–before I conjured up this blog post.

Sure, downy woodpeckers aren’t the most rare species of bird, but then again, it’s not a bird that visits my yard everyday. So, I felt honored and humbled that he chose my yard today. Plus, because of these teen temps in Denver made me feel like he needed my yard as much as I needed a glimpse of his beauty today.

I assume he is a he, though I have no way to know his or her gender.

I encourage everyone to be content in between travels to those far flung destinations–and instead try to enjoy what’s in your own backyard at the moment. Because it may make you feel as if you’ve traveled further than you really have. And that’s the beauty of noticing what’s in the here and now–what’s right beneath your nose.

Super scallops with stunning lake views

Diver Sea Scallops Entre

Diver Sea Scallops Entre

Want a melt in your mouth meal? I found just that when I recently ate a decadent meal at Beverly’s, at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, in  Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, just 30 miles from Spokane, Washington.Layered in flavor and carefully prepared, the Diver Sea Scallops entre sent my taste buds into overdrive. With earthy notes, the pan seared scallops swim in a white wine and lemony drizzle that delivers a burst of satisfying flavor.  I more than enjoyed my pleasantly plump scallops that left me feeling like the well fed traveler. And the side offered just as much excitement. Polenta–with its savory, unexpected hints of Rosemary, bacon and mushrooms transported me to Thanksgiving Day.

Eric Cook, Sommelier, pours wine for all.

Eric Cook, Sommelier

Paired with a white wine, this dish lends itself to a near perfect meal. Not sure which wine to select? Just ask the sommelier for a few suggestions. And don’t forget to ask for a window seat. That way you can enjoy a pleasant meal with views of Lake Coeur d’Alene–where the soft clouds and rolling hills blend into the lake to create stunning views.

A little sand and sea

Pristine Beaches in Riviera Maya

Enjoy the powdery sand all along the Riviera Maya Coast.

When you life gets too serious and you can’t keep stop daydreaming about sinking your toes into the cool, powdery beach sand–that can mean only one thing. It’s time to book a flight and find a hotel with a teasing ocean view. But don’t wait until life gets too overwhelming.  Instead, make travel plans with ample time to anticipate the excitement as your trip countdown begins. If you’re like me, you don’t take such advice. Instead, you fly by the seat of your pants and let the wind blow your wings into the next town, villa or deserted beach hut with vacancies.

Foot massage feels oh so good–on the beach makes it even better.

Secluded beach huts along Riviera Maya provide privacy + relaxation.