Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tales to Tell and Selfies to Shoot ...


So, it is time to book a vacation, and you are trying to decide where to travel? What defines a great vacation? It is the tales that you will tell afterwards, right? That is what facebook is all about, too, defining yourself through experience and photos. We invite you to make Colorado the site of your vacation adventures and the background of your epic vacation selfies.  The Bed and Breakfast Innkeepersof Colorado member inns have enough opportunities to keep you posting for a very long time. We will amaze you with history, legends, stories and experiences to go with the hundreds of selfies that you will shoot in our State.
Picture yourself here!


Booking your vacation stay at a bed and breakfast is also an excellent way to get an unofficial tour guide for your Colorado adventures. Our innkeepers have located in a State that is over 1,500 square miles of varied terrain. Every area has its own fascinating history, and we will happily tell you stories and give advice to guide your daily trips. Our history is fascinating. Man was here in prehistoric times, leaving pictographs on canyon walls. Archaeology students from the University of Colorado are excavating ancient camping hearths in the Garden of the Gods, an area frequented for thousands of years by many Native American tribes. The land was considered sacred, and many tribes met there in peace.
Native American wedding ceremony



Today, Garden of the Gods is a public park with hiking trails of varying difficulty levels. A family can take a hike on gently rolling paths to accommodate the short legs of their children, or adults can choose more challenging hikes. With a park climbing permit, one can scale several of the mammoth red rock formations using climbing gear. The grandeur of the park is such that it is also used for weddings. One couple staying at a bed and breakfast  created an interesting story to tell their future children about their ceremony. Within an hour, the innkeeper at Blue Skies Inn uploaded an album on Facebook to post the wedding for all of the elderly relatives who couldn’t travel that day.

Tarabino Inn Trinidad
In the 1800's, pioneers from eastern states came to Colorado in covered wagons using the Santa Fe Trail. The long, dusty trip covered the plains of Colorado with the Tarabino Inn is in the mountain town of Trinidad near Cokedale where coal was mined for the railroads. Your innkeeper will tell you old mining stories and direct you to the nearby mining museum. Photo ops are everywhere in Colorado!
Rocky Mountains beckoning the pioneers to the center of the State. Sometimes mining towns were a destination for a new life -

Bent's Old Fort
Carr Manor Cripple Creek
It was a long trip in a covered wagon from Missouri, usually stopping at Bent's Old Fort on the eastern plains of Colorado, now a national historic site. If pioneers turned their oxen and covered wagons northwest towards the mountains of the Front Range, they might be headed to areas where gold and silver were mined. Along with enterprising miners, a merchant class sprang up that supplied the miners on their travels. The Avenue Hotel in Manitou Springs was an early lodging house for miners on their way to Cripple Creek. In that city, the old brick school was converted to bed and breakfast use as Carr Manor. Innkeepers are always happy to show their guests how their inn was used in Colorado’s early days.
Ute Pass near Colorado Springs
Wagons were loaded with provisions for the mining camps in Cripple Creek from Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Blue Skies Inn was built on the historic property owned by the founder of Manitou Springs, a small mountain town founded around sparkling mineral springs. Three bed and breakfast buildings were designed to fit with the 1872 carriage house which is now used for weddings. Located at the base of Pikes Peak, there are multiple day trips for adventuring and photographing selfies with a backdrop of spectacular mountain views. Whatever direction you head, you’ll find a welcoming bed and breakfast waiting for you.

Blue Skies Carriage House and Wedding Chapel
And, oh my!!! breakfasts at our Colorado member inns are amazing. We guarantee that you’ll be shooting selfies while you munch them. We've done the math to know that our innkeepers are baking millions of muffins for you.


Avenue Hotel Manitou Springs
Please visit our website to search for features that you want to find in the bed and breakfasts that you’ll book for vacation fun. Some inns welcome children, and we’re a State that is very educational for a home schooling trip. Other inns welcome pets. Several inns are ADA handicapped accessible. Whatever tales of adventure you’d like to tell after your vacation, or whatever background you want for your selfies, Colorado inns are your playground. Our innkeepers invite you to visit us!

If you stacked all of the muffins baked at every bed and breakfast in Colorado each year, would they reach the moon? To enjoy a taste of Colorado bed and breakfasts right in your own home, visit our website at www.InnsofColorado.org and take a tour throughout Colorado to see why you should book now to create new opportunities for your own selfie!

Special thank you for this blog edition contributor Sally Thurston, Blue Skies Inn Bed and Breakfast

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Colorado Bed and Breakfasts Light up the Holidays with Traditions and Treasures...

by Linda DuVal (special writer to Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado)

Holidays Suit Newest BBIC Member Just Fine
Edgewood Inn, Woodland Park
 Set on a ridge outside of Woodland Park, overlooking snow-capped Pikes Peak, the Edgewood Inn makes the perfect winter retreat. This newest member of the Bed-and-Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado association celebrates winter and the holiday spirit in a big way.

Last year, they decorated 45 Christmas trees! They had help, says innkeeper James Maloney. Tweed's, a home decorating store in nearby Woodland Park, aided their efforts when they were the focus of a holiday home tour. This year, they did it themselves and cut back to about 20 trees.

"It was still a lot of work," admits Maloney, who manages the inn for owners Kathy and Dean Buysse, a couple who hail from Minnesota.

The inn is relatively new - it opened in 2012. It's a modern geothermal house, but the look is old-fashioned, with window seats, glass door knobs and lovely woodwork, a la early 1900's Arts and Crafts design. The main floor has public areas and one guest room, There's a loft over the garage and
three guest rooms on the lower level.  A farm-style breakfast is served every morning, with lots of variety, but the homemade hash browns are a guest favorite, Maloney says. Cookies and muffins are usually available for nibbling and there is a light snack with libations provided every afternoon. Dinner can be found at one of Woodland Park's nice restaurants, just five minutes away.

But back to those Christmas trees. Each one has a theme, but Maloney thinks his favorites are the "bird tree" and the "angel tree."  The 5,000 square feet of decking also gets the holiday treatment with wreaths and garland.  After Christmas, the obvious holiday stuff is removed, but the winter theme remains till spring, Maloney adds. Guests also can go for winter walks, take up snowshoeing (you can borrow some on-site) or curl up by the fire with a good book or movie.

It's a real retreat," Maloney says.

The Edgewood Inn is getting into the events and wedding business, too. Though it only has the five rooms, it can handle up to 150 people for a party. The public areas include a 900-square-foot dance floor in the Saloon and a gazebo out back is complete with a stage for a band.

"We have journals in all the rooms, so guests can write down their impressions of their stay," Maloney says. "The words we most often see are 'gracious' and 'hospitality.'"

For more information, access the Bed and Breakfast of Innkeepers of Colorado website and the Edgewood Inn page.

More holiday d├ęcor
Avenue Hotel B&B, Manitou Springs
In response to our query for holiday decorating ideas, innkeeper Gwenn David of the Avenue Hotel in Manitou Springs, says: "We put up two trees, one in each of our parlors. One is our family tree and the other is the library parlor tree, the fancy tree. The latter tree is themed, with burgundy and silver bulbs, delicate bird ornaments, hand-tied ribbons and a gorgeous tree topper. Beneath it is a vintage village with hundreds of classic village pieces.

They make a 7-foot-tall snowman from papier mache and batting. He greets guests, standing in the entry on his glistening snowbank. For
instructions on how to make the snowman, visit their blog link on the Avenue Hotel page at the Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado website.
The staircase is wrapped with greens and ribbons. The mirrors and chandeliers also are decorated. A snowman figurine collection and snow babies are all about. Each of the nine guest rooms is decorated with greens and bulbs and a small tree, she says.

Outside, icicle lighting hangs from the soffits, the hand rail is adorned with giant pine cones and hand-tied ribbons and blows, and the rail around the porch and doorway are swags with greens, more ribbon and bows. At night, the vintage Santa and Tin Soldiers light up and a laser light show dances across the face of the house to the tune of Christmas carols.

That's the spirit!

 
Grandma Bea's Melt in Your Mouth Sugar Cookies for the High Altitude
 
1 cup butter at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3+ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
 
Instructions: Cream butter, sugar, powdered sugar and vegetable oil. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to cream mixture. Roll into walnut size balls. Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Sprinkle with colored sugar for the season. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on rack. Store in airtight container. They can be frozen

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Autumn paints Colorado in a palette of colors...perfect for a bed and breakfast leaf peeping stay!!!

Autumn paints Colorado in a Palette of Colors
By Linda DuVal (Special Travel Writer to Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado

Autumn creeps across Colorado, swiping at stands of aspens, cottonwoods and scrub oak with its bright brush, starting at high altitudes and working its way down to the river valleys and foothills.

Fall is the perfect time to visit


Sometimes it lingers; sometimes, it’s gone in a flash. No one can predict when and how long it will put on its brilliant show. But while it lasts, it’s glorious.
It’s time to book a few nights at a Colorado bed-and-breakfast inn which has been inspected and approved by high standards through Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado and take your chances on catching the annual display of spectacular fall foliage. 

Conejos River Ranch - The Conejos River Ranch was homesteaded by a Frenchman in 1894, says manager Shorty Fry. In 1913, local records called it Jacob’s Ranch and listed it
Conejos River Ranch near Antonito
as a fishermen’s lodge. It has had several owners over the years, mostly taking in guests, and gradually morphed into a full-fledged bed-and-breakfast inn after Leonard and Kathy Romero bought it in 2002. 

Situated about 14 miles west of the tiny Southern Colorado town of Antonito, it’s far enough from anywhere that guests get breakfast with their lodging and can buy dinner, too – there aren’t a lot of other options in the area. It also opens its restaurant doors to the public, which happily takes advantage of it.  

Aspens are the hallmark of Colorado
Fall is a great time to visit because “the colors are absolutely gorgeous, usually. And this year, with all the rain, they promise to be even better,” Fry says.  Normally, the aspens start turning gold by mid-September and finish by mid-October, and the cottonwoods linger even longer, and with brighter and more varied hues – orange, gold and scarlet. 

Much of that color flames along the banks of the Conejos River, where fishing is the main draw. Few fishermen go away without a batch of rainbow or brown trout.
Other visitors go hiking, or drive into Antonito to catch the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, which also does fall color rides until mid-October, usually.  “It always depends on the weather,” Fry says. “We can get our first snow in mid-October, sometimes.”  The lodge has eight rooms and an on-site rerstaurant. To find out about rates or make a reservation, call 719-376-2464 or go online to the Conejos River Guest Ranch

Frisco Inn on Galena- Up in the high country – at 9,000 feet in Summit County – fall can come earlier.  And leave earlier.

Dining Room at Frisco Inn on Galena
Aspens burst into gold almost overnight, surrounded by the reds and oranges of scrub oak and other shrubs, then the flame is out. You don’t want to miss it.
Bruce Knoepfel, co-owner of the Frisco Inn on Galena in Frisco (near Breckenridge), has seen it come and go quite a few seasons. Before purchasing the inn with a partner in 2012, he owned another inn in the area. 

“Frisco is a great town in the fall, surrounded by aspen forests in all directions,” he says. “The colors are magnified by the cobalt skies at this altitude. Frisco's quaint, historic Main Street with its variety of wonderful shops and restaurants complement all of the fall activities available, whether it’s a hike in the forest, a bike ride on the 80-mile network of paved bike paths or unlimited mountain bike trails.”

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a huge lake nearby.  “Lake Dillon is just down the street, (and)
Beautiful guest rooms
offers a unique perspective of the colors from a sailboat, canoe or kayak (all available to rent). The inn has free bikes available for guests to ride around town. (Some) also enjoy a scenic drive on one of the many scenic byways in the area.”

Or catch an autumn celebration – the Frisco Fall Spectacular or Oktoberfest, both local favorites. 

Frisco Inn on Galena near Breckenridge
This spacious, comfy contemporary mountain inn has lots of room options, with 15 rooms ranging from two doubles to queens and kings, with flat-screen TVs in every room. They serve wine, cheese and other appetizers every afternoon, along with hearty gourmet breakfasts. There are also lots of great restaurants in the area. The inn also has spa services available, and fitness classes. 

After the leaves are gone and the snow flies, they’re near great skiing and other winter sports, making the inn a terrific base camp all year round.
For fall splecials, to make a reservation or see pictures of rooms, visit the Frisco Inn on Galena.