There is a distinct crispness to the air I breathe at just over eight thousand feet sea level. There even seems to be some sort of shortness in supply, as my California lungs aren't yet adjusted to the thin yet clean air found at this outer sphere of the Rockies.
Thinner though it may be, it still whispers and sings as it swims through the branches and needles of the evergreen trees standing tall around me. I close my eyes and the stress of civilization as I know it blows away.
Our suite is just some three hundred feet away through the pines and aspens and offers itself, whenever I’m ready, to be a quiet and comfortable return to the comforts I am accustomed. For now, the bubbling water of Beaver Creek has captivated the imagination of my three oldest boys. I watch my four-year-old select blades of grass and fallen leaves to individually toss into the flowing water. “Know why I’m putting them in the water, Dada? So ants can hold on if they fall in.”
We strolled south along the creek and happened upon a handsome little playground set in a sort of glade between the trees. Just in view over the top of the play structure were the rich green snow-barren ski slopes. I could imagine Julie Andrews dancing and spinning in joyous circles with her arms outstretched at the top of their grassy peaks. After what feels like two hours pass by, I announce to the boys that it will soon be time to head back to the room. “Why, Dada?” Some Boy asks desperately. “Because Mama’s massage is almost over and we want to meet with her in the room when she’s done,” I reply.
Sure enough, I had to pry the boys away from the slides and zipline to meet up with Chelsea back in the room where she sat comfortably on the couch, waiting in front of the dormant fireplace. Despite the weather being warm, I contemplated grabbing some of the golden wood stacked neatly on the balcony to make a picturesque fire. Fortunately, logic prevailed and the wood was left to rest and continue its role as summer ambiance.
Chelsea and I planned out the rest of the day and concluded that dinner would be made in the room's fully-stocked kitchen. We're here working with Wyndham to celebrate National Vacation Rental month and as much as I want to be lazy and head down to the on-site restaurants, Chelsea insists that we need to take advantage of the “home-like” atmosphere of our unit to get the real rental experience. It actually wound up being easier than dragging all the kids out of the room, as I had already picked up some delicious corn dogs. I mean, why not?
After a quick dinner together as a family, we swapped day clothes for board shorts and white robes. We made the short trip to the pool area and set ourselves at a table under an umbrella before hopping into the 2-foot kiddie pool. The boys splashed and played until I was tired and had to head off to the hot tub. I was soon joined by Minion, who just wanted to hang out with Dada while his older brothers imagined themselves as some type of Colorado alligator (of course).
Just as the water began to wrinkle our fingers and toes, we opted to hop out and find a nice place to dry off. With the sun setting and the temperature cooling down, the gas fireplace was our destination. Especially since I picked up a pack of marshmallows and chocolate earlier in the day. What can I say? I’m a planner.
After consuming half their weight in s'mores, we headed up to the room to relax before going off to bed. The boys put on their night time clothes and plopped themselves eagerly on their two separate beds to watch their favorite cartoons. Chelsea and I took up a position on the couch in the living room. Of course, our entertainment came in the form of the babbling creek and the soft whisper of wind through the trees just outside. I made sure to check on the boys and found them gleefully burying themselves in a small mountain of pillows.
Overall, The Charter at Beaver Creek wound up being the perfect host and the ideal combination of family-friendly space plus high-end amenities. We were able to strategize our trip details with ease using the detailed itineraries on the new Wyndham Vacation Rentals planning site. Chelsea even loved exploring the local town shops of nearby Vail and Edwards. To my surprise, she commented that she liked seeing all the trucks and off-road vehicles in town. “These all seem to be our sort of people.” We made day trips to the local Nottingham Lake and Eagle River for the boys to try their hand at fishing. We watched thunderstorms roll in to perform an impromptu light show before passing through to some new venue. We were even treated to a solo performance by a young buck while making a last minute trip into town for dessert.
The air might have been thinner up there, but the experience was thick and will last for a long time.