Back in Vail for 24 hours! What to do for fun and where to eat for a cheaper price!
It was windy. A cold, strong breeze, with leaves flying in a spiral. Last time in Vail for this witch was 13 years ago. Social media was still on its first steps, there was not immediate sharing, only enjoying.It was the first time in my life that I felt truly happy. Until the day the hotel I was doing my internship told us we, all the student visas holders, would have to leave by the end of the season, in April. With that being said, we will not be able to renew the visa for the summer season, like planned. It was a the ice bucket challenge. But not for good cause.
Like the Coldplay song Viva La Vida says:
“One minute I held the key. Next the walls were closed on me And discovered that my castles stand Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand”.
Every time I hear this song, I’m immediately transported back to those days.
One minute I was hopping around town, filled with happiness, going to coffeeshops and bars, the next minute my castle crumbles and I’m packing my bags back to my parents house in Brazil, with a canceled visa. Only to be back 13 years later, married, with a decent job, that allows me to stay in nice hotels and with a document that allows me to stay forever, and not be shipped back home due to any financial crisis. Anyway! The mini trip was great!
Vail 13 years later! What changed? I changed!
We rent a car on Turo, which is similar app to Airbnb, but only for cars. They have all kinds of luxury cars that you can rent, but also cheaper options like the one we got. The reason why we had to rent a car, its because with the Colorado laws, you have to have a 4X4 car to go up the mountains.
Our ballerina CT Lexus would not be up to the game. It would literally flip around like its on a try out for a Broadway show. We would also face the possibility to get fined up to a thousand dollars, it was better and safer to spend about 100. We ended up getting a SUV type of Mercedes, quiet and steady. The trip was about to get real!
Vail is only 1 hour and 40 minutes away from Denver.It is a very beautiful scenery, as you get lost in the white snow covered Aspen trees. Every few miles you can spot a ski resort along the road. I did our check in online and a few minutes later they texted us telling our room was ready.
The Grand Hyatt Vail Resort is stunning! Our room faced the mountains and had a couch. Once again they had robes, or this time 1 robe. I had to share with Josh for the photos, as he embark in my madness and partake the in my adventures. The hotel is big with 3 restaurants, a spa, plenty of outside area. For our surprise the hot-tub and the pool were open. We didn’t have bathing suits. I think it was the voice of reason saving us from a pneumonia. I will be back when its warmer.
There is a way to eat cheaper while in Vail and I can prove it. As I was a local many years ago, I kept myself away from those fancy restaurants, that wants to charge you a huge amount of money for the name of the chef. I’m still a local in my heart and looked for places I used to eat when I lived there. One of them is called Route 6.
Route 6 is a dinner in Eagle Vail, nothing extraordinary, but good for a reasonable breakfast meal. I got a breakfast sandwich and Josh got a steak. He didn’t like it, but also, who order steak in a side road dinner? Well, Josh does. I always set lower expectations, and at Route 6 I knew what to expect. Meal number 1.
In the afternoon, while walking around the Vail Village, Josh got hungry again and I decided to join him. We stop at the bottom of the mountain restaurant, to have some beers and tacos. Well, I had the beer. I asked about the people coming down the slopes, only to find out that the mountain was closed due to a power outage, around 12pm. The time the witch arrived in town. Surprised yet?
At night, after walking around town and trying to take a nap, we decided to eat again. Now it was time for dinner. I didn’t want to go out again, so we ate at the hotel bar, we shared half chicken with gnocchi and wine. Plus dessert. The hotel restaurant only open the dining room Fridays to Sundays and I though this was a great idea. They should do that at my work place.
Around Vail you have some sub-divisions like Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards, Minturn and Gypsum. People usually live on Eagle-Vail, Avon and Edwards and work in Vail. Very rich people lives in Vail. The working peasants hide in smaller, more affordable places.
In the morning after breakfast at Route 6, we drove over to the apartment complex I used to live. I didn’t realize how much I had to walk to take the bus, in the cold and snow, everyday. It is a long way!
It was great to revisit and I bet the prices now are way higher than 1200 a month with utilities. The complex had a painting job and I saw some people that looked like J1 visa holders living there, like I was once. The pain of carrying your laundry basket in the cold is real.
From that memory lane, we moved to another. We stopped at Avon, to walk around and see the little town center. In my mind the supermarket was in a different direction and this time I didn’t want to cross the train tracks to go to Starbucks, like I used to. The witch is old and tired.
I wanted to go to Beaver Creek, but the wind was too strong to get the gondola up, and get the bus that take us there. Walking around was painful, as a dust particule hit josh’s eyes and he immediately freaked out. Let’s go buy sunglasses then.
Later on we took the hotel shuttle to walk around the Vail Village. Most of the bars I used to hang out are still there, including the one where me and my friend had a blast time and Jesus was the for the resident DJ for the party. Vendetta’s was the place and Joana was the queen (as I like to portrait myself in my mind)
I took more photos, tested my new phone lenses, at least tried, my hands were cold because I forgot my gloves. The streets were empty, only a few people walking around, as the season was coming to an end.
After Dinner, we went to bed at 9pm, after all, it was my day off and I wanted to sleep on the nice bed as much as I could. Early morning the next day, I took some time to take some photos with the hotel robe, which I believe is going to become a thing, because you just look fancy in it.
We check-out at the hotel and once again, stopped at Vail Village to pick up a coffee and muffin at Loaded Joe’s for the trip back, but we only had 10 minutes, because we didn’t want to pay for parking. Couldn’t even tell the barista about the time I lived in town, as I told everyone else I encountered.
It was a great short trip! I can’t wait to be back, with more time and a bathing suit packed next time! Now let me go edit the videos to post on youtube, as the channel is coming together! I have way more to show on videos!
Stay Healthy, Stay Sane!