Estes Park is about 1 1/2 hours north west of us. It is such a beautiful area, and people flock there from all over, both tourists and locals alike. Estes Park is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, here in Colorado and The Stanley Hotel is nestled right at the bottom of the foothills in Estes Park. It is beautiful any time you go, but it is especially beautiful in the fall, as all the colors are changing and the elk are out in force. Fall is also elk season up in Estes Park, and the elk are all over town, doing whatever they please. Seeing the elk is always a big highlight. I never get tired of seeing them. They are big animals, and the big bull males can be very dangerous if you get too close, so I definitely advise seeing them at a safe distance. Estes Park is a destination we take all our visitors when they come out, so we have been there quite often, but we had never stayed the night before until now. Estes Park is also home to the world famous Stanley Hotel. Larry had booked a night for us to stay at the Stanley as our main anniversary celebration months ago.
Pictures of the Rocky Mountains changing into their fall colors.
Elk making themselves at home right as you enter Estes Park, right at the start of the Downtown area.
Elk on the golf course.
Elk making themselves right at home at someone else’s home, in their front yard. We could hear them bugeling all night. They were out in force.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado.
Enjoying a glass of wine out on the veranda before dinner.
The Stanley Hotel has been a landmark in Estes Park and Colorado forever. It was built in 1909 by Freelan Stanley, the same Stanley who made his fame and fortune from the Stanley Steamer automobiles. It was the first grand, luxury hotel west of the Mississippi, and has been apart of Colorado’s history ever since. It is indeed very grand and very luxurious, with no detail left untouched. In its beginning, it was where all the rich and famous people of the day stayed and played. Usually they would come and stay for the whole summer, since it was only a seasonal hotel up until 1984. But the Stanley Hotel is also famous because a lot of movies have been inspired by the hotel, and some have featured the hotel as well. The most famous movie inspired by this beautiful hotel was The Shining, by Stephen King. It is also famous because many have said it is one of the most haunted places in America, as well as in the world. So many people, myself included, want to to stay for the ghosts. We did do the ghost tour, but we did not have any encounters. Maybe next time.
Aside from the ghost tour, we toured the beautiful grounds and dined in their restaurant, Cascades. Our dinner was very, very good. Larry had the wild game meatloaf, and I had elk medallions in a raspberry demi-glaze. Everything was served ala carte, so we also ordered roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus. I ordered a very smooth, fruity pinot noir that paired prefectly with my elk medallions. Those were cooked to perfection. They were so tender and moist, and not gamely at all. The meal also came with a rosemary-parmagian cheese bread and butter. We finished the meal with a creme brulee, topped with berries. Then we waited until dark and took our ghost tour.
We only stayed one night. We had to come home to all our fur children and back to work and reality. It’s nice to escape every now and then though, even if only for a short while. Before leaving Estes Park, we stopped at a cute little breakfast cafe, called Claire’s. We ended our stay with one more tasty meal before heading home. Even though we were up in the mountains, at an elevation of about 8,600 feet, it was actually warmer up in the mountains than it is at home. We breakfasted out on their deck, and had breakfast al fresco, with a gorgeous view of the mountains. Larry ordered a chorizo omelette and I had a Cuban Benedict, with pulled pork, ham and poached eggs over an English muffin. Both were served with seasoned home potatoes. It was just a short little get-away, but it was very refreshing and beautiful. Even though we were only gone for one night, all our fur-babies thought we had been gone a lifetime, and are following closely by my side today, making sure I am not going to leave them again and go anywhere without them anytime soon. They get well cared for when we travel. We have a friend who stays with them and spoils them rotten (even more than they already are), so you would think they would actually like it when Mommy and Daddy go away. But they prefer it when both Mommy and daddy are home with them.