Alright- picking up from where we left off….
After a morning of hiking in Steamboat and lunch at Sweet Pea’s, we walked around town for awhile and did some shopping.
I encountered the World’s Largest Fire Hydrant.
Ok, I don’t know if it is the World’s Largest Hydrant, I’m sure it’s not, but I was impressed!
After some money was sufficiently spent, we headed to our hotel on the mountain, The Steamboat Grand.
Frankly, I’m not including a link here because I didn’t think it was all that “grand” and I wouldn’t waste your money. We’ve stayed at the Sheraton Steamboat before which is across the street and lovelier (in my opinion).
Overall I thought the Grand was a pretty expensive hotel for being the off-season and I found it pretty outdated- but luckily, we didn’t spend too much time there. We did pay for location, however, so I guess I can rationalize that.
After checking in, we promptly went to the pool for some R&R.
Unfortunately, the pool area was swarming with
screaming jovial children- swarming to the point where it was extremely difficult to relax or hear each other- and every ounce of my being was cringing (hey, not all women yoga teachers love children, but that’s another post for another day)- my husband and I don’t have kids and aren’t used to being around them, so we decided to move on to a Happy Hour snack at the hotel bar.
The Steamboat Grand does get an A+ for having vegetarian-friendly bar apps!
Later in the afternoon, we took another stroll around the ski village before getting ready for dinner.
Now dinner was a whole other story. We had dinner reservations at Cafe Diva (www.cafediva.com) We hadn’t been there in over 7 years, since our last trip to Steamboat, but I remembered it being elegant, unique and vegetarian-friendly.
Well, I shall make this short. It was, by far, the best meal I have EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. In fact, there are NO pictures of this experience because Tim and I were both enjoying ourselves SO MUCH that I couldn’t be bothered to take out my phone and snap away. It was THAT GOOD. You know it’s a grand meal when you don’t want any distractions from your taste buds.
We had exceptional service, exceptional Pinot Noir, and exceptional food from their summer menu. At Cafe Diva, they start you with some exceptional french bread, warm extra virgin olive oil with herbs, and Spanish olives. Usually all three of those in high-quality form is enough to make me happy. We also noshed on the corn falafel pockets, avocado watermelon green gazpacho and a Fattoush salad. I thought it was a bit risky, choosing the Fattoush salad, seeing as I’m Lebanese and a bit biased, but turns out the chef also comes from a Lebanese salad and let me just say, she NAILED IT. Even my grandmother would have been impressed. Tim also got the duck which was “oooohhhhhmmmmmmgggooooodd” (his words).
Overall, if you are ever in Steamboat Springs, you must call Cafe Diva, make a reservation and treat yourselves. You cannot go wrong.
The next day, we woke up STILL talking about the previous evening’s dinner and decided to hit the Yampa Core Bike Trail to work off the glorious indulgences of yesterday.
The Yampa Core Bike Trail is pretty much a 7 mile bike trail (one way, we doubled back to add more mileage) along the Yampa River. It’s an easy, relaxing ride and a popular route without too many hills, so it’s perfect for a Sunday “tootle”.
The paved trail crosses over bridges, where you can get a view of the tubers going down the river, and past the botanical gardens before bringing you into downtown- where, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that we ended up back at Sweet Pea for one last lunch before hitting the road back to Denver.
Overall, it was a glorious weekend in Steamboat that included all our requirements for weekend/vacation fun: good food, great activities, and just a bit of R&R. Of course, we did hit some gnarly weather on the drive back, as well as horrific traffic, but hey, it was worth it.