With a close family friend getting married in the Colorado Rockies, we decided to jet west and take advantage of a long weekend in the mountains, leaving from work and arriving in Loveland, Colorado late Friday night, May 29th. From there we had a great extended weekend enjoying a lovely wedding and the family time in Estes Park afterwards.
Saturday May 30th
The wedding itself was a beautiful outdoor ceremony at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, with a lovely intimate reception on the ranch in the afternoon. The day was absolutely beautiful and the bride even more so. We had a pre-wedding morning hike nearby with family and friends before the ceremony, and all the guests went celebrating late into the night.
Sunday May 31st
The following day we (including Garret’s family who attended the wedding) made the short drive to nearby Estes Park for some more outdoor fun. We spent the afternoon taking the Estes Park Arial Tramway to the top of Prospect Mountain and exploring the picturesque town of Estes Park, which has a main street full of restaurants, stores, and a disproportional number of taffy shops for some reason.
That night we took some risk and slept at the Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for Steven King’s Shining. The Stanley Hotel is a traditional hotel (time period furniture) with the important upgrades (our bathroom was amazing) where needed. Sleeping there did not reveal any ghosts, but because of our room location above the restaurants we could hear the staff all night unfortunately.
Monday June 1st
For our final day out west we took a short hike, the Lump Loop, in Rocky Mountain National Park. Before heading back to the airport in Denver we finished with an official tour of the Stanley Hotel. The tour was a little cheesy, but provided great insight and also took us to the secret tunnels in the basement the staff still take to transport goods throughout the hotel.
(De)parting words of advice!
- The Rocky mountains in May provide lots of outdoors opportunities (in a sweater).
- If you have an opportunity to do something “above normal” (Stanley Hotel over a typical lodging) you should capitalize.
- Direct flights make all the difference for these weekend trips.