Friday, September 14, 2012

Touring and Tasting Telluride

It was our first visit to Telluride, Colorado, and my friend Lisa and I were blown away by its beauty. Fortunately, we had a full day to explore it all.

We started with a fresh and healthy breakfast at LumiereTelluride of yogurt, fruit and just baked bread. We enjoyed it out on the patio, admiring the mountains in the background.

We were up early waiting for our guide from San Juan OutdoorSchool to take us on a hike. I’m definitely not as experienced a hiker as Lisa and was in fact having a bit of trouble with the altitude, out our guide Lexi said it wasn’t a problem as there was plenty to see without getting into difficult territory.

It turned out she was telling the truth and we enjoyed the river, mountains and even the butterflies along a path just outside of downtown. We could see Mount Wilson, best known as the mountain in the Coors logo, and Lisa took off a little further for a look at Bridal Veil Falls.

After the hike, we were starving. We found a Mediterranean food truck downtown and ordered a Greek salad and a Vegetarian Sampler Plate with hummus, tabouli, baba ganouch, spanakota and falafel. Everything was delicious and we finished it all.

We enjoyed walking in and out of the interesting shops in downtown Telluride, where we picked up a few things, including a cowboy hat.  We then took the gondola back to the Lumiere resort to complete our afternoon of relaxation.

The Lumiere Telluride is an intimate getaway and has an area in the middle of the hotel for guests with plunge pools and lounge chairs. We relaxed for hours in the warm soaking pool and nibbled on a cheese platter with a very good Colorado wine, a Viognier from Sutcliffe Vineyards.

Lisa stayed at the pool while I took the relaxation one step further into the spa area. I had originally been scheduled for a facial, but my body was more than thrilled to hear a mix-up was leading me to a massage instead. By the time I was done, a steam shower in my master bath and a nap completed a perfect day.

We dressed and took a short walk down to La Piazza DelViaggio for dinner.  I loved this quaint Italian restaurant in the middle of what looked like an Italian Piazza. There were tables inside and out, and we decided to compromise by one inside by the window.

The wine list was quite thorough here and we toasted our final night in Colorado over a Caprese salad for me and Brescola (thinly sliced beef with mushrooms and walnuts) for Lisa. The pasta courses all looked delicious and it was hard to narrow it down, but I finally made the wise choice of getting the Parpadelle ai Funghi (pasta sautéed with oyster shitake and wild porcini mushrooms) and Lisa had the Spinach Ravioli in a cream sauce, which she also enjoyed.

We decided to share a main course and after much thought picked the Vitello ai Capperi e Carciofini, a veal scaloppini with artichokes and capers in a white wine and lemon sauce. It was delicious. We didn’t have much room for dessert and decided to go with Affogato, an Italian specialty that I had actually discovered in Australia. It is simply espresso poured on top of vanilla ice cream, but it tasted like something even more delectable in this perfect setting.

It was an early night as we had a very long drive home ahead of us. It had been a great week discovering two new places in Colorado – Aspen and Telluride – but it was time to head home and get ready for the next adventure.

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