CO BCchefNothing stirs up the appetite for chocolate chip cookies more than a day on a chilly snowy mountain. It’s a good thing, then, that at 3:00 every afternoon at Beaver Creek Resort, chefs magically appear at the base of the slopes with trays full of cookies hot out of the oven. Whether you’re on skis, a snowboard, snowshoes, ice skates, or simply trudging around in your snow boots between sessions, the cookies await your indulgence, distributed out by proud smiling chefs.

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Mountains are rather stunning any time of year, but blanketed in snow they look like white frosted cakes. Very white, like piles of sugar. And very pretty, easily wetting the appetite for all things sugary and sweet….like cookies.

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See? Now doesn’t that photo tickle your sweet tooth?

I haven’t even seen snow in years, apart from the stuff that falls on Main Street during Holidays at Disneyland after the fireworks show. Just as the snow falls on Main Street at a precise time, so it is with the chefs and the cookies at Beaver Creek. Show up 10 minutes late, and you’re likely to miss the magic. When that happens, clear the way, for some of the grumpiest of grumpiest start stomping around, frantically chasing a scent in the air, and staring longingly at those chocolaty smudges left on your gloves and mittens.

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Perhaps those most deserving of the freshly baked treats are those who have just completed a lesson in skiing or snowboarding. Such was the case for my daughter and myself. In other words, we earned our cookies!

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This was our family’s first ever vacation getaway to a winter ski resort. When we told people we were going to Beaver Creek Ski & Snowboard School, they assured us we could not have picked a better place to learn the joys of winter sports on mountains covered in snow. And we wholeheartedly agree.

Fortunately, the fine folks at Vail Resorts did all the planning in hosting us, and we did a lot more than learn to ski and snowboard at Beaver Creek. We went tubing – what a blast! We ice-skated in the town square to disco music (my poor embarrassed 9 year old daughter), after which we enjoyed delicious hand-warming treats from Beaver Crepes. Speaking of food, we ate lots of it, finding good vegetarian-friendly meals in town at Black Diamond Bistro and the more casual Blue Moon Pizza. We shopped, which seemed the thing to do in Beaver Creek Village. Apparently, the entire resort was designed on a computer, and they sure got it right by putting all of the retail shops right smack in the middle of everything!

We especially loved our adventures at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center. We rented snowshoes and took a family snowshow tour, which is offered weekly for free. We had a great time. Going up the mountain was fun, but who knew there were two ways to come down?

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The adventurous way, staying upright and stepping with sort of a controlled fall all the way down. And the “chicken method”, scooting along something like this:

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It was a good thing that we started with this activity, as it gave my daughter confidence, which carried over straight to her ski lessons. She began her lessons enthusiastically, and continued with the attentive instructors each day, improving her skills and mastering the sport that neither of her parents ever managed to get right.

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So now my daughter craves the snow. When the temperature hits more than 70 (which it often does in San Diego), she’s complaining. She’s wishing for cold weather. She’s wishing to go skiing. She’s wishing for snow.

Me? I’m wishing for chocolate chip cookies.

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