2010 Aspen Labor Day Vacation – Part 4

This is the fourth and final installment of our our Labor Day vacation in Aspen.

A highlight of our yearly trip to Aspen over Labor day is our Sunday morning trip to the top of Aspen Mountain.

But before we get there, we’ll start with breakfast.   I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating.  The Limelight has a great buffet breakfast and a wonderful, large, beautiful and comfortable lobby.  My standard breakfast has become their granola smothered in blueberry yogurt.  Maybe a muffin to top things off.  Today, instead of a muffin I went for a donut glazed with chocolate.  Of course there was coffee involved and lots of it.  Donna likes a blueberry muffin and fresh fruit salad and water is fine, thank you.

After breakfast we usually will take a stroll through downtown and maybe stop in a shop or two.  About 10:30 or so we’ll head over to the base of Aspen mountain and get a couple of gondola tickets and head up to the top of Aspen mountain.  The 3000′ ascent is beautiful although this day a bit windy and as I sat and watched the gondola cars ahead of me swaying in the wind, was just a tad apprehensive.

We arrived safely about 15 minutes later and as we’ve learned, were glad we dressed appropriately as it was both breezy and chilly.  I’ll include some pictures taken on Sunday, but the best one is the panorama shot from my nephew Kevin that appears on the top of this blog.  At over 11,000′ you are at eye level with the majestic mountains tops surrounding Aspen and the panoramic shot of helps do such a vista justice.

The Sundeck on top of the mountain is a very popular place to have a wedding.  In fact here is a picture of  them  setting up for one as I walked around.

We also always eat lunch at the Sundeck.  I guess we shouldn’t be surprised as it’s Aspen, but the food is very good.  They always have a variety, from burgers and Pizza to wraps and Chinese food.  The prices are Aspen reasonable.  I had a pulled pork sandwich with chipotle barbecue sauce with a side of pineapple slaw.  Donna had a Chinese something or other.  I liked mine a lot and she loved hers.

Every Sunday during the summer, at noon, the Sundeck  features a bluegrass band.  I’ve never been much into bluegrass until we started this tradition.  Specifically it was two years ago when I heard a band called The Greencards.  I liked what I heard and since then have purchased all four of their CD’s and listen to them regularly.   I highly recommend them, even if you, like me, have no interest in bluegrass.  They write great songs which transcend the genre and, I think, appeal to anyone who appreciates  good melodies and vocals.

This day, the band was Loose Cannon.  Based in Denver, they don’t quite measure up to The Greencards but we enjoyed them none the less.  They performed a variety of bluegrass standards, covers of others songs along with a few they wrote.  Here is a very poor picture of Loose Cannon.   Weather permitting, the bands play outside but today, with the wind, they played inside and with the stage against the window, presents a beautiful site in person of the band playing with the mountains showing through the huge windows behind them  Getting a picture with a camera phone doesn’t work so well, hopefully you will get a feel for what we enjoyed.

Earlier, before lunch, a chipmunk was kind enough to pose fort this picture.

The ride down was less windy which was nice.  Another walk around town including the eastern  part of town where we had never previously ventured.  Our dinner was at Brunelleschi’s which is another tradition.  Like most other places, it’s expensive.  A single serving, cheese only, pizza is $11 while their specialy pizza’s are $17.  Yes that’s $17 for a single serving pizza.  However, they are good although maybe not to everyone’s taste.  They are thin, very thin, extremely thin crust pizza’s.  We like that style though.  Despite that, I got a meatball panini because, well they make maybe the best meatball panini around.

Back to the hotel in time for a last dip in the hot tub.

Thus ended another Labor Day in Aspen.   Next years visit is up in the air.  We’ve got a wedding in June and as I heard Donna say to someone on the phone, our vacation next year may be an afternoon and evening in Broomfield :)

I was thinking about going to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival next year but that’s a week before the wedding and the timing is just not right, but 2012, yeah, that just might work.  A reasonable thought for next year is the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival which is in August next year.  It’s close so we can make day trips.  I’m not ruling out Aspen, especially if they book someone we like.

If we do go to Aspen I will be changing up our return plans.  Up until Monday, we’ve never had problems getting home.  We would leave Aspen about 9:00 and be home by 1:30 or 2:00.  Yesterday we hit traffic at Silverthorn and it was very slow going until Idaho Springs.  Very frustrating and no way to end a long holiday weekend.  What I would like to do is stay an extra day and leave on Tuesday but the budget may rule otherwise.

For those of you who were able to make it through all 4 parts, I’m both thankful and concerned about your sanity.  I’ll leave you with a few more pictures from atop Aspen Mountain.

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