In case you’re a newer reader, Ben and I have been coming to Colorado almost every year for the past seven years (recaps at the bottom of this post if you’re looking for some vacation ideas!) My younger brother lives there so we enjoy spending time with him on his own turf, plus we just love everything Colorado has to offer. Good food, the great outdoors, and…fountains. I’ll get to that in a bit.

The past two times we’ve come to Denver, Lincoln and I have flown while Ben drives out a day early then picks us up from the airport. When I tell people this, they look at me like we’re crazy, but Ben’s idea of Heaven is road tripping, flights are incredibly quick and inexpensive, and then we don’t have to rent a car while we’re in town. Boom – everybody wins!


Eventually we’ll start taking the road trip as a family, but when I can cheaply fly with our 2 year old for an hour and a half, vs strapping him into a carseat for 10+ hours, AND we get picked up curbside at the airport with coffee and juice, we’re definitely taking advantage.






The verdict? TOTAL. BLISS. I would come back to Vail every single year for the rest of my life!


We stayed at theVail Marriott Mountain Resort,位于滑雪镇的完美位置。Vail有两个主要的村庄,狮子头和沃尔村,距离脚或免费公共汽车无障碍,我们的酒店距离Lionshead Village村有2分钟步行路程。它有一个很棒的游泳池,骑自行车租赁服务,酒吧(哪个Ben强烈推荐,)池畔S'Mores每晚,为孩子们提供免费的自助早餐,我们喜欢所有关于它的一切。vwin游戏


Right behind the hotel was a nice walking path leading down to a bike trail running next to Gore Creek, which flows through Vail. The path, like most of the town, was very peaceful and secluded. Perfect for a twilight walk on our first night there.


无论我们一天中的什么时候经过,戈尔溪总是到处都是会飞的渔夫,水在岩石上呼啸而过的声音是我们耳边的音乐。我会的loveto come back someday and rent a condo or house right on the water. So, so peaceful.



And cold!!! No idea what feeds Gore Creek, but it felt glacial!




The architecture made me think I was in Switzerland or a little village in France. Quaint, quaint, quaint. I’m sure these streets are packed in the wintertime, which made us appreciate the atmosphere even more in the off-season.


One thing I definitely was not prepared for was how kid-friendly Vail is. I lost count of how many little playgrounds and splash pads there were throughout both villages. Lincoln was in HEAVEN!!


Fountains are currently his #1 obsession, so we’d end most nights with a soak in one of the villages’ many offerings then wrap him up in a blanket when the sun set behind the mountains and carry him home. He had so much fun.




Bright, beautiful flowers everywhere…




我无法决定我更喜欢什么 - 花在夏天的村庄整个村庄展示,或者在冬天燃烧的闪烁灯和火坑洒。猜猜我们必须回到一些时间来比较。


Ok, let’s talk food. There actually weren’t atonof gluten-free-friendly restaurants in Vail – as many as I was expecting anyway, so that’s kind of on me – but there were two stand outs for sure. One wasThe Tavern on the Square, located just beyond the gondolas at Lionshead Village. While they didn’t have any GF entrees, there was plenty to pick from in terms of salads, appetizers, and small plates. Everything we had was just delicious and I had zero problems with getting sick


We ate at The Tavern twice and both times I ordered their enormous Cobb Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing. Super fresh, filling, and they replaced the standard hard boiled egg with a fried egg. So smart and unique.


Ben and I adore poutine, and The Tavern has two gluten-free options, so we tried them both, of course! The goat cheese, crispy mushroom, and oxtail jus version was mouthwatering, and the short rib poutine with morel gravy and fontina cheese was EVERYTHING. We cannot wait to recreate this dish at home!


The Tavern’s kid’s menu didn’t have any dairy-free options for Lincoln, but it was no problem – they grilled him some chicken and paired it with fresh fruit, which was a hit. “Mom, take a picture of my fruit in the air!” Mmkay!


我们真正喜欢的另一家餐馆是Bolin Vail Village. We were starving one afternoon for lunch, and truth be told this was the closest GF-friendly restaurant we could find, which is why they won our business, but they totally ” bowled” us over with their food…lame pun intended. They have a bowling alley inside the restaurant, you see. Uh, nevermind.


Anyway, once I told our waiter I needed to eat gluten-free he suggested their GF flatbread, telling us that nobody can believe it isn’t the real thing. HE WAS SO RIGHT!!! I actually had a minor panic attack after I ate the first piece because it was perfectly chewy and doughy like a real pizza. I think I asked at least three times if he was当然it was the GF pizza, because it wasthatgood. Highly recommend.




Like I said, we were in Vail for work, so one night while I had a dinner commitment Ben and Lincoln went on a man hike. They just wandered around the village until they found a trail and off they went! Lincoln loves the outdoors and would hike for hours, I think!


More like, I KNOW. Ben had to bribe him with candy from a village candy shop to come down off the mountain and eat dinner, bahahahaha.


On our last full day in Vail, we bought gondola passes at Lionshead (there’s another gondola in Vail Village though we heard there’s not much to do at the top – correct me if I’m wrong!) then trekked up the mountain. They slow the ride down in the off-season so we really got to enjoy the views.






Alas, there was stuff to do on top of the mountain!


Most of the activities were for kids 5 and up – giant slides, rope courses, trampolines, etc – so we hiked around and just enjoyed being in nature. (Where’s Waldo?!)


有很多小径探讨 - 一些信息。很高兴我们没有遇到任何山狮子!


我们花了几个小时在走之前上面to the bottom, and then onto Denver the next day. I can’t remember the last time I was actuallysadto move onto another part of a vacation. We completely fell in love with Vail in just three days. Full of fun, incredibly family-friendly, and so, so beautiful. We will definitelyreturn.


一个人谁不伤心继续前行长是林肯 -Denver’s Union Station喷泉叫他的名字!我们首先找到了这个去年一站式创业板and honest to goodness, he has not stopped talking about it since. For an entire year. We walked down from our hotel after arriving and it was like a moth to a flame. Like he never even left. Loved it!


On our second night in Denver, after a quick day trip to Boulder and lunch atShine(谢谢你的Insta建议!)我们清理干净,然后前往晚餐Rootdown

We’ve been meaning to eat at Rootdown for the past three years, since我患有乳糜泻, actually, because the restaurant group that owns it is极其关于食物过敏和不容忍vwin游戏的美妙。他们的菜单专注于有机和局部采购的食物,老实说,我从来没有在一家餐馆决定我的订单 - 我想要Evvvvvverything!(顺便说一下,我们在他们的妹妹餐厅吃,Linger, back in 2012 and the food was also insane!!)


The weather was gorgeous the entire time we were out in Colorado, so we chose a seat on the cool, covered patio and after our waitress welcomed us to the restaurant, she asked if there were any food allergies or intolerances she needed to let the chef know about. Ben almost had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Dining out can be the cause of major anxiety for people with food allergies (like Lincoln, whose allergic to dairy,) intolerances, or in my case, an autoimmune disease, so to have the restaurant address our biggest fear about eating out before we even opened our menus was the BEST feeling.




Like I said, I’ve never had a harder time deciding on what to order off a menu, but finally Ben and I decided on a couple of plates to share, starting with a Burrata & Heirloom Tomato with pine nut and black current relish. It was basically a seared, whole tomato topped with silky burrata cheese, nestled in the most delicious dressing. Heaven. The grilled fresh peaches on the side were a nice, sweet touch.


We also split the Sweet Corn Risotto with mushrooms, heirloom tomato salsa, corn pudding (!!!!!) and kale pesto. INSANITY!!! The corn pudding, which the fried kale is perched on in the photo below, was so sweet. The perfect contrast to the creamy, cheesy risotto. Two diver scallops rounded out the dish.




唉,我觉得我不能更适合这个28周怀孕的身体 - 没有更多的空间!然后本不得不去做该死的事情,并用香草奶油和橙色焦糖命令无麸质巧克力炸弹。omg omg omg。不知怎的,我找到了一个小的extra room for a few immaculate bites.




Not only did the adults eat incredibly well, but Lincoln loved his pint-sized steak off the kid’s menu, then inhaled his vegan chocolate ice cream! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE THIS PLACE? My kid gets to choose something other than cheese quesadillas, mac and cheese, and cheese pizza, AND he gets to eat dairy-free chocolate ice cream? Total home run.

Rootdown has created customers for life. Ben and I always say the mark of a truly great restaurant is being served dishes that come out in a way you never expected, both visually and taste-wise, and Rootdown certainly delivered. Be sure to head there the next time you are in Denver!


在我们的最后一天的假期,我们在红色岩石上徒步旅行了一小部分。Ben and I went in 2010(!) but wanted Lincoln to see it, and to get in one last hike. There are a couple trails around Red Rocks, but we chose the “Geological Overlook Trail”. Baha!


Kind of a funny name, but a great, 1 hour hike nevertheless. It was just the right length and skill level. Lincoln stumbled a few times (nothing serious,) and was covered from head to toe in red dust by the time we walked out, but he was ready to keep going at the end so we considered it a success. The views alone were worth it!!






Awww, Colorado, you just get me!


After a nap, shower, and outfit change, we met my brother and his fiance Kelly (who is anINCREDIBLE pastry chef顺便说一下,专业从事手绘未曾s (which are GF and melt in your mouth,) and custom wedding cakes – call her if you are getting married in the Denver area!!!!) at奥菲莉亚的在丹佛的最后一次晚餐。


俄亥俄州的另一个由脱盾/滞后餐厅集团拥有的另一个机构,所以我们知道我们在我们面前拥有充满无麸质和素食选项的美食体验。Ophelia的内部非常质朴,臀部是非常时髦的,并且还有一个凉爽的舞台沉入着乐队戏剧的用餐区的中心。如果我们在丹佛住在丹佛 - 他们的鸡尾酒列表是为了死!



Reunited and it felt so good! We had met my brother for a drink the first night we got into Denver, but it was our first time seeingKelly既然我们到了(他们白天都有工作),我们就喜欢了解婚礼计划、生活以及裸体和恐惧的一切。




我有另一个病例everything looks good!!!” menu-wise, but finally decided on their Kale and Brussels Sprout Cobb Salad for dinner. Again, I had an idea of what this dish was going to come out looking and tasting like, but it was totally different in a really great way. So, so delicious – I already bought all the ingredients to remake it at home!


After dinner we went back to my brother’s house to hang out for a bit and meet his new puppy, then it was back to Iowa the next morning. This trip was one of our very best to Colorado and, while I was ready to come home and sleep in my own bed, I could have stayed for another entire week – we never run out of things to do there. I absolutely loved staying in Vail for part of the week, then wrapping it up with family, and a little bit of familiarity. We cannot wait to return next fall when my brother gets married!



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