Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving getaway in Durango, Colorado

Man, Thanksgiving was awesome. Amy and I went to Durango, Colorado to an award-winning b&b called Apple Orchard Inn. It actually wasn't terribly expensive; the place was top-notch; and we were treated like royalty. Since Amy and I don't really have family here in Utah (other than a sister of mine and her extended family), we wanted to do something fun and unique without having to drive or fly all the way to Texas or Kentucky -- where our families both live.

We'd heard about this bed and breakfast and -- from the photos we saw -- we fell in love with it. It's nestled in the beautiful San Juan mountains of Durango,'s as picturesque as can be. Lovely rocky mountains covered with evergreen-conifer trees, water falls, little rivers, streams, rapids, etc... and quaint & idyllic farms with fat animals and beautiful fruit orchards are EVERYWHERE. Durango is a snow ski/tourist town, and it's simply one of the loveliest places to visit in all of North America.

Here's the cottage Amy and I stayed in. It had a nice country front porch with a swing and two rocking chairs.

Our cottage was called "Wolf River".

Here's the view from our front porch. There are about eight cottages, I think. Ours was at the end of the cul-de-sac. Towards the left (but out of view) is a duck pond and the main house.

This is the view of the duck pond and the main house directly across from our front door. The dining area is there on the left side of the house behind that tree. It has floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides, except for the kitchen side. The owners, Celeste and Jon, live in that house, and they rent out several of the rooms in the house for people who'd rather do that than rent a full cottage.

Your breakfast or dinner is cooked for you right when you walk into the dining area and sit down. We had apple pie on Thanksgiving, as well as Belgian waffles topped with cinnamon apples that were grown right there on the orchard. There are apple trees on the entire premises, along with aspen and fir trees.

Everything is from scratch and is gourmet, as Celeste received culinary training in Europe.

While you eat, you can talk with other visitors and watch the ducks, mule deer, and hummingbirds feed outside right from the dining area.

This is the west side of the facade of Wolf River. There's a stony creek (that is connected to the duck ponds) that runs in front of each cottage.

Wooden bridges pass over the stony creek in front of every cottage. This place was right out of a Thomas Kinkade painting.

A duck pond and the "back 40" of the orchard behind our cottage. Mule deer were constantly playing, foraging, and bedding down back there. Elk and Black Bear sometimes pass through also, though not very often.

On the southeast side of our cottage was this cottage and the view of the main house to the right.

Apple Orchard Inn was perfect for just meditating and kicking back.

Amy's version of heaven was hanging out in a bath robe by the fireplace, her skin smothered in baby oil or lotion, and kicking back with a book on an oversized wicker easy chair. That fireplace was so warm we had to turn it off every hour or so. She was never far from her favorite chair. The girl was lovin' life.

See what I mean?

Just when you thought things couldn't get more perfect, it started snowing on Thanksgiving Day around 12:30 in the afternoon. The whole scene epitomized holiday coziness.

Amy and I decided to go out and brave the snow for an afternoon tea. Celeste bakes delicious cookies every day, and so we headed over to her kitchen to swipe a few.

About two or three hours later, this is what it looked like outside. This apple tree was completely covered about an hour before Thanksgiving Dinner. It continued snowing well into the night.

Awwwww yeahhhh! The private hot tub on the patio. Ours was the only cottage to have a private one. What a perfect getaway only six hours from home.

Amy was loving it.

She took many more pictures with her newer, nicer SLR. She'll be posting those soon, hopefully.

And finally, here's a video. There are more videos we took, but they need to be rotated 90 degrees...anyone know how to do that? Some are also over 100MB (Blogger only allows up to that size). Any suggestions for posting those?

More soon!


Dusty and Amy said...

Thanks for posting this honey. Yes! It was AMAZING! I will be posting more pics. I took a gazillion with our SLR. It was taking FOREVER with the camera to pull them off so I will do it soon. I recommend this place to everybody. It was so cozy and just the perfect way to spend the holiday with just the two of us! ~Amy

Angela said...

That looks so fun! Thanks Dusty for posting about it!

Rebecca said...

Wow! How perfect that it started snowing Thanksgiving day! That place seems picture perfect and just as cozy and harmonious as can be! I'm jealous of that apple pie!

Dusty Rhoads said...

Thanks for the comments, y'all.

Hey Becky,

I saw your pictures of visiting the UK and Iceland. Did you get to go to Yorkshire like you wanted? Last week, someone from the Yorkshire Dales bought a book from me as a gift for someone, and they wanted me to sign it "To Sue, Happy Christmas".

That was fun to do that.

Anonymous said...

The place looks beautiful. I'm glad you had such a good time. The snow was a nice touch as well.


Anonymous said...

You are both homos



rana said...

ya'll look freakishly happy.