Vail, Colorado

As I welcomed in 2017, I knew I was inviting a bunch of new places, new people, and new cultural experiences into my life. My first trip of 2017 was to Vail, Colorado, a much different place than where the rest of my travels will be leading me. I headed off to Colorado mostly to spend time with family, but, of course, couldn’t neglect the fresh ten inches of snow on the ground.

img_5595

I started off my trip by taking a relaxing yoga class at the Vail Vitality Center. There is something so soothing about taking a yoga class on vacation.

The next day we decided to go on a snowshoeing nature tour atop the mountain. Although it was during a huge blizzard, I was able to take in the natural beauty of the mountain while also learning a lot about Colorado’s wild life. Did you know that mice are resisters and do not hibernate or migrate during the winter? They actually bury themselves into the layer of snow closest to the ground, building tunnels deep throughout the snow. However, although this sounds like an intelligent way to escape preditors, foxes have the ability to use Earth’s magnetic field to hunt them down for dinner.

img_5660

After the snowshoeing adventure, we went on an art walk of Vail Village, a free tour that the town holds every Wednesday at 3:30pm. The guide pointed out independent art works that you definitely wouldn’t pick up at first glance. There are intricate tiles that makes up the paths of the village that represent different rhymes and riddles of the various ski slopes.

img_5611

One of my favorite sculptures in the village is the one pictured above. This structure is called “The Water Tree”, constructed by artist Lawrence Argent. It lights up the town in various shades of blue, purple, yellow, and green at night. Jen Lewin Studio installed 52 LED forms in order to make this light show come to life.

When traveling to a ski town like Vail, don’t forget to take in everything the city has to offer. Ski by day and explore the culture by night! You will be surprised by how many hidden gems you can find and all of the new things you can learn.

Keep up with more of my travels by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Foxfire Mountain House

(Warning: this may be my most aesthetically pleasing post to date.)

house

Last Thursday I was wisked away to the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York for a creativity summit with Free People and Polaroid (read more about this experience here). After being in school for nearly a month and barely surviving the stress of moving houses and starting classes, an escape to the woods was much needed. You know you’ve reached a place of tranquility and relaxation when you no longer have cell phone service.

bunny

As a girl from Pennsylvania I usually traveled to the Poconos for my dose of nature, or to the creek two minutes down the street from my house. Needless to say it was not hard to find little wonders around me.

bath

Being surrounded by mountains brought me back to my childhood trips to the Poconos, watching the deer outside my uncle’s cabin. It was the simple things like placing corn cobs outside for them to eat and jumping in leaf piles that made me so happy.

chair

The Foxfire Mountain House reminded me just how enjoyable unplugging and taking in your simple surrounding can be.

doors

My favorite part of this hotel is all of the history built into it. The building opened as an inn in 1914 and has been passed down through generations of families. In 2015, a couple restored the house after it had fallen into overgrowth and decay, bringing it back to its original state.

bedroom

The hotel now has 11 rooms for guests to stay in, each with their own unique attention to detail. They even have a private cottage available, equipped with your own kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom.

outside

All of the unique design elements of this inn come together to make a place that is truly magical. From the lily pond outside to the vintage Sari curtains, no detail goes unnoticed. It is inspiring to be in a place with so much character rather than a commercialized chain hotel whose decor is the same around each corner.

couch

This yellow velvet couch may be my favorite thing in the entire house. Secretly storing the image of it away so I can someday find one for my apartment.

If you’re in need of a city escape or are looking for some creative inspiration, take a weekend trip to Foxfire Mountain House. You can look forward to fresh air, home-cooked meals, and a surprising elements of design in each room.

 

#FPMeGetTheShot Creativity Summit

Who knew adding one simple hashtag on one of my Instagram pictures would lead me on a trip to the Catskill Mountains with Free People early Thursday morning?

welcome

I was invited by Free People and Polaroid to a creativity summit hosted by the Foxfire Mountain House in upstate New York as reward for posting one of these images using the hashtag #FPMeGetTheShot. When I found out that I had won I was honestly shocked that an opportunity as unique as this one could come from a little hashtag I added to one of my pictures on Instagram.

c05a0162

I began my day by waking up at 5am… Yes, 5am exactly. Free People is the only thing that could ever get me up before sunrise. At the crack of dawn, all thirty of us girls met in front of their 5th Avenue store and loaded onto the bus to start our journey up north.

We were greeted by Free People’s Social and Public Relations team as well as photographers from both Free People and Polaroid. Foxfire Mountain House had a buffet of homemade baked goods and fresh juice set up in the cozy little lounge of their big white house. Nothing beats being greeted with cinnamon buns and fresh country air!

c05a0121

After breakfast we began a panel discussion with Free People and Polaroid employees. The girls and I all received tips and tricks from expert photographers that will help bring our photos to the next level. We also heard from various employees of Free People, hearing about how they got started with the brand and what creative roles they fill.

After the panel they let us loose to explore the hotel and all of its natural beauty. One of my favorite parts about this mountain getaway was the little wooden bungalow in the yard (pictured on left). I can’t even imagine how nice it would be to sit out there in front of a fire pit on a chilly fall night, s’mores in hand.

c05a0168

Following another amazing meal provided by Foxfire Mountain house (I would visit here again just to eat!), Free People and Polaroid gave us a challenge to style different outfits in different locations, using FP’s fall muses as inspiration. How beautiful are their fall velvet pieces? I need to get my hands on these mustard pants!

c05a0570

Once the challenge was over the FP girls announced their favorite Polaroid pictures that were taken, judging on creativity of the shot and how well the looks represented the brand’s muses.

Getting the opportunity to work with so many amazing women from all over the country (Nebraska, California and Texas to name a few!) and two iconic brands made for an unforgettable day. The next time you see a giveaway or contest on Instagram… jump on it and enter! You never know what it could lead to.

Read Free People’s blog post about the event.

(photos by Jana Kirn)