Falling in Love with Telluride

You know how there are times in our lives where we look back and think, “wow. That was quite some time.” Telluride will be one of those for me.

When we first ventured out into what we’ve been calling our “LifeVenture” over a year ½ ago, we had planned to pack up our belongings, put them in a storage unit, live on vacation rentals in Austin for 3 months, and then travel for 1 month to Costa Rica and work remotely. The idea was to get a combination of the local feel and a tourist feel. We still haven’t made it there.

It turns out, being away for that timeframe required some changes in our businesses and in life.

So, while the mountains aren’t exactly Costa Rica, we found a sweet town to live in for a month this January. I also didn’t have to attempt my terrible Spanish here, so that’s something. We rented a home with a few additional bedrooms. With some prep and invitations to friends a few months out, we set up our “hotel.” Friends would come and go the entire month to meet us in a winter wonderland.

Location: Telluride, Colorado. (with the closest stoplight being about 1 hour away, it’s far out)
Duration: one month (with 1 short 48 hr visit back to Austin for a meeting)

There were so many amazing moments. Of course, just like life everywhere, not everything was rainbows and butterflies the entire time… (also known as what you see on a Facebook stream).  I spent 2 weeks with a sinus infection. I turned into a bit of a brat because of this. I worked insanely too much leading up to the launch of Reset Retreat. Above all, this was the month that my Man found out his dad had leukemia.

But this is a “Lifeventure” not a vacation, and with that, life wasn’t put on hold. We kept on moving, but did so with our eyes wide open.


Telluride is the perfect small town. It has everything you need, but it’s a little dot on the map. Instead of the small town mentality, tourism brings unique people from all over the world. It’s a place that is difficult to travel to and not cheap to live in, thus attracting people who really want to be there. It creates this little bubble of happiness.

 Friendly: These people are happy
I’ve never met so many friendly people in one place before. Because the gondola is like the city bus – it’s filled not just with skiers, but people coming and going from work between the Mountain Village to the Town – you get cozy with people very quickly. It’s a 15 min. ride, so it’s enough time to learn about someone … and a bit awkward if you don’t. I loved chatting with people and learning their stories.

Fat tire biking expedition in some deep snow!

Walking everywhere:
We had a car, but there was never a need to drive anywhere. I think I drove in the car a total of 6 times and that was to go sightseeing further away and then taking a shuttle bus to the airport. Our home was centered in town, so the Post Office, grocery store, liquor store, gondola, and bars/restaurants were only 1 to 5 blocks away – what else do you need? We even had amazing hikes that started 2 blocks from our house. I took quite a few hikes after closing my computer for the day!

My girls came to visit!

Friends! Friends! And more friends!
Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 3.15.02 PMThroughout the month, we had more than 10 friends visit us! Some of them are people I very rarely get to see! Honestly, some of them I didn’t even know all that well, but they were down for an adventure. It was amazing having a mix of new friends and old friends collide in such a fun, adventurous place. I played “hotelier” by turning over the rooms every day or so. By the last week, one of the shuttle drivers noted, “I’ve come to this house a lot this month!”

And I learned that my “Mermaid Sister” (Mans’ sister) loves Legos as much as me. I really love Legos. Like a lot. 

Our house. Good God, our house!

We rented a real house. Not a 500 sq. ft. studio like we’ve been living in during this LifeVenture, but a real house with 3 floors, a dining room, multiple bedrooms, an entry way, and multiple fireplaces.

 The views from every part of the house were breathtaking. I had an office with a fireplace and a bedroom with a fireplace. (this was quite exciting for this fireplace-loving-girl). It was perfect, and I want it. Now I just have to make a couple million $ come out of my piggy bank.

 Living in a vacation:
I went to school in Tampa, and I will never forget going to the Don Cesar Hotel on the beach, enjoying a Pina Colada with tourists. Then realizing how luckily I was … living where people vacationed. My studies and work would go on, but I could venture to the Don Cesar Hotel and find that little piece of heaven any weekend I wanted.

Being around tourists is one of my happy places because they remind me to enjoy the moments: they fill each day. There wasn’t a day that passed in Telluride where I didn’t meet someone who said with a long face, “we have to leave tomorrow.” I had to contain myself every time by childishly wanting to announce, “NOT ME! Na na na na boo boo.” 

  Free gondola until Midnight:
Taking that daily gondola ride up to the Mountain Village above Telluride showcased some of the most magnificent views of mountains I’ve ever seen. And I grew up in Washington state.

The gondola is FREE and you can ride it until midnight! As far as I’ve heard, it’s the only free gondola of its kind in the U.S. So many days I just wanted to get away for :30, so I would ride the gondi up and down. Strangely enough, I wasn’t the only one doing this.

View from the bar on top of the mountain, a quick gondi ride up.

Best views around:
Because I was working remotely, a view from home made all the difference. There was an awe-inspiring view from literally anywhere you looked. I could sit in front of the fire, type away on my computer, and look up occasionally to remember, holy crap, I’m in Telluride!

Discovered on a hike about :15 min. from downtown. Amazingly pretty!

No traffic:
We were up at a look-out for happy hour one day and were watching the town from above. We started laughing when we noticed the one roundabout in town had 4 cars back-to-back. This was rush hour.

US Postal Office made me smile:
(Insert shocked face). Have you ever walked out of a USPS happy? Me neither. Until Telluride. Because the USPS doesn’t deliver to houses in Telluride (only to the Post Office), we had to ship to General Pickup. Picture this: hundreds of Christmas cards from residents were displayed all over the wall. The man working there knew everyone by name. Each kid got candy if they said hello to him. One employee actually gave me her phone # and said, “just call me if you have any questions at all about your packages.” What? I know! Crazy.

A hike behind our house one day.

I practiced my “professional hot tubbing” skills:
Let’s get real here: I don’t ski. Maybe someday I’ll enjoy the idea of putting something unnatural on my feet that make me fly down a mountain (or tumble), but right now, I think I’ll enjoy watching with a Rum Butter drink from the hot tub. Our house had a great hot tub that I got some good use out of.

Happy hour sledding after work. Never too old to play.

‘Happy Hour’ sledding:
Going alongside my “professional” hot tubbing skills is my semi-pro sledding skills. I’m tiny, ya’ll. This makes me go zoom zoom. We spent many “happy hours” sledding with friends. Nothing like pretending your 5 years old for an hour or so.

Anasazi ruins about 2 hrs away from Telluride. We climbed in some.

I love me some adventures.  Between exploring a completely frozen waterfall to elk spotting to Mesa Verde Indian ruins, I had a great dose of exploring every couple days.

Fire Festival in Telluride

The fire monster we met during a free fire festival one weekend. Must watch the video below!

One of the most random things we’ve stumbled upon (which says a lot):

A free fire festival was happening one of the weekends. No words are needed, just watch this … mechanical fire dancing alien video.   

When I returned to Austin, it was a massive shock to my system. Everything felt so spread out, traffic-filled, and fast paced. Just going to the grocery store was exhausting. Or getting from one side of town to the other was frustrating.

The view out one of our windows.

“So do you live here in Austin?” My initial reaction was, “No,” Then I realized what I said. “I mean, yes. I live here, but it’s confusing.”  A Freudian slip? It was the 1st time I didn’t stamp Austin as my own with magnificent pride.

I think a little part of my heart was left in Telluride. I love that town so much. Hopefully I’ll get to experience it one summer, because let’s be honest, this gal could do without 20′ weather. Either that or I need to grow some fat to keep myself warm.

View more pictures of the LifeVentures from Telluride on Instagram. Check out the road trip from Austin to Telluride here.

If you’re interested in renting the home we stayed in or traveling to Telluride, be sure to visit Latitude 38, vacation rentals. They were wonderful to work with and we highly recommend their services! 

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