Ski Trip to Aspen/Snowmass

Another wonderful ski trip, this time with the Chagrin Valley Ski Club and our friends from Ohio, to Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado. A destination with four mountains: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk; and two incredible towns, Aspen and Snowmass. We flew from San Diego to Denver to meet up with the group flying from Cleveland but arrived too late to catch the bus so we took a small van with the five others who were late arrivals as well. It was a long drive to Snowmass from Denver, four hours with a stop for groceries and beer. We stayed at the Top of the Village Condos, a perfect ski-in/ski-out location, and shared a two bedroom condo with Karen Moyer and Bruce Kahn. Lucky us, because we flipped for the Master bedroom and won. The first two days at Snowmass, the weather was picture perfect, blue skies and lots of snow. Monday night we took the free shuttle into Aspen to see the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour playing at the old Wheeler Opera House, built in 1889. We had dinner with the group at the Red Onion Restaurant, Aspen’s oldest historic restaurant and bar established in 1892, dating back to the silver boom of the 19th century. Continue reading

The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia is the most visited monumental site in Spain, over 3 million visitors per year, and our bus tour of 34 people with a guide was a small impact on the number of people already there. The challenge of making a half-completed building the most visited monument in a country, could only be achieved by a great, unigue architect, one of those that emerge only very rarely, one like Antoni Gaudi. On March 19,1882, the first stone was laid by the architect, Francecs de Paula del Villar, who submitted his resignation shortly after over a disagreement with the director. In November 1883, Gaudi began work on the Sagrada Familia, combining Gothic and Art Nouveau forms, and continued until his death on June 10,1926 after an accident, when only a quarter of the basilica was completed. This year it has reached its final stage of construction, and 2026 as its estimated completion date,100 years after the death of Gaudi, (1852-1926). Continue reading

Ski Trip to Chamonix, France

Courmayeur Italy-8

Our first trip to Chamonix, France, we went with the Cleveland Metro Ski Club and our friends Karen Moyer and Bruce Kahn, plus 97 other skiers from Cleveland. Chamonix is the the site of the first winter Olympics in 1924. One of the oldest ski resorts in France and is known as the “gateway to the European Cascades”. We arrived in the morning after a long night flight and wandered around the quaint town of Chamonix until we could check into our room at the Hotel Prieure. There were 30 of us staying at this hotel and 70 staying at the Hotel Alpina. At night the narrow streets are lit up with bright snowflakes of all sizes, the shops and restaurants are open late, as the French begin their evening after 8pm. We had dinners in the hotel and also breakfast every day, (included in the package), and then hit the slopes right after breakfast. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading