AvidLifestyle March 2021 Issue

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Avid vidL L ifestyle ifestyle..com

MARCH 2021

Out of AFRICA a home full of travel tales and treasures


these local gems will take you on a trip around the globe

Wanderlust Wander lust Jet set: TOM FILLIPPINI’s new adventure takes f light

MARCH 2021 | $8.95




03 >



Dreaming of destinations near and far— we explore the natural beauty of ICELAND ICELAND,, then hit the road for a change of scenery a little closer to home

Kentwood brokers continue to lead the way in production, professionalism and passion in real estate.

Kentwood congratulates

all of our Top 25 producing brokers in 2020

#1 broker

#1 team

Gina@Kentwood.com 303.570.2042

Kevin@Kentwoodcity.com | 303.520.4040 Matt@Kentwoodcity.com | 303.949.9889



Gina Lorenzen

Kevin Garrett and Matt McNeill

Visit Kentwood.re/TopProducers to view all of our Top 25 producers.

Take control of your health. Don’t put off care.

E. Hampden Ave. and Pearl St.

I-25 and Lincoln

SW corner of Arapahoe Rd. & Jordan Rd.

Our HealthONE hospitals are ready to take care of you and your family. We want you to know our facilities are safe and we continue to take extra precautions to keep you healthy. We stand ready to deliver the same care you’ve come to expect over the many years of serving the community. From emergency treatment to life-changing procedures, painful joints to a renewed passion for the things you love.

We’re here for you for all your healthcare needs.

Trust your care to HealthONE. Go to HealthONEcares.com for more information or call 303-256-1235 to find a physician.

All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) nor Kentwood Real Estate shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless.






// march 2021



THE GIFT OF TRAVELING Redefining travel: having new eyes no matter how close your journeys take you. By Hillary Locke Mujica

ON THE AGENDA Hollywood haute couture, the lasting impacts of WWII, sea mysteries and more ...


local f lavors


WORLDLY EATS Let your taste buds travel the globe and inspire your next trip. By John Lehndorff

20 24

ELIXIR OF THE GODS Explore life, culture and passion of mezcaleros. By Dionne Roberts

GET SCHOOLED Cook up some culture and enhance your culinary skills. By Hillary Locke Mujica

dwelling well



AFRICAN ADVENTURES Head off the beaten path with Donald Woods’ Indiana Jones-worthy quests. By Kathryn O’Shea Evans

RANCH LIFE Unplug on the range where deer and antelope play. By Hillary Locke Mujica


ready to wear




Come along for the journey of a lifetime. Kristina Ashkin and Chad Chisholm show you Iceland through a whole new lens. Their insights and explorations are sure to captivate all of your senses. By Chad Chisholm

WHAT TO PACK Whether you’re traveling near or far, it’s time to update your gear. By Hillary Locke Mujica


SNAPSHOT There’s an app for that. How to work your camera phone like the pros.



46 Feel the wind in your hair and embrace the thrill of the open road. We take a look at a variety of road trips perfect for outdoor adventures, cultural connections and good old-fashioned fun. By Heather Shoning ON THE COVER: ICELAND | PHOTO: CHAD CHISHOLM 6

march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

JET SET Soar to new heights with travel entreprenuer Tom Filippini. By Hillary Locke Mujica



OLD WORLD CHARM The beautiful, medieval city of Esslingen am Neckar By Jennifer Pomerantz-Elkin



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March 2021 // vol. 2 // no. 12 PRESIDENT/GROUP PUBLISHER Allen J. Walters PUBLISHER Chris Phillips art & editorial EDITOR Hillary Locke Mujica CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jani Duncan Smith CONTRIBUTORS E.J. Carr, Chad Chisholm, John Lehndorff, Jennifer Pomerantz-Elkin, Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, Dionne Roberts, Heather Shoning, Stephan Werk sales, marketing & advertising VP OF SALES & MARKETING Lori Perry DIRECTOR OF SALES Mike Carver DIGITAL STRATEGIST Lacey Colvin BUSINESS/OPERATIONS MANAGER Cindy Palmer Colorado AvidGolfer EDITOR Anthony Cotton Colorado AvidGolfer ART DIRECTOR Chelsea Oglesby

through july 18

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: chris@avidlifestyle.com EDITORIAL INQUIRIES AND LETTERS: hillary@avidlifestyle.com CUSTOMER SERVICE: 720.493.1729

Yves Saint Laurent, Paris. Dress. Haute Couture Fall-Winter 1967, Look 30 Silk cigaline by BUCOL (textile house), Lyon, France, with bead and ostrich feather embellishment by Vermont (embroidery house), Paris. Cecilia Peck Voll Collection. Paris to Hollywood: The Fashion and Influence of Véronique and Gregory Peck is organized by the Denver Art Museum and presented by Joy Dinsdale. Additional support is provided by Bridget and John Grier, the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign, and the residents who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine and CBS4. The Denver Art Museum is grateful for the generous funding of the textile art and fashion department by the Avenir Foundation and Nancy Lake Benson.


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

MAILING ADDRESS: 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180 Centennial, CO 80112 AvidLifestyle (ISSN 2642-0562) is published twelve times a year by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC, and printed by Publication Printers Inc. volume two, number twelve. 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180, Centennial, CO 80112. Order your personal subscription to AvidLifestyle by calling 720-493-1729. Subscriptions are available at the rate of $12 per year. Copyright © 2021 by Baker-Colorado Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Postmaster: Send address changes to AvidLifestyle, 7200 S. Alton Way #A-180 Centennial, CO 80112. The magazine welcomes editorial submissions but assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other material.

Visit a store like no other

2550 East County Line Road | C-470 & University

(303) 741-4240 | www.coloradostyle.com


where you





// editor’s letter

KNOW SOMEONE who should be featured in AvidLifestyle? Tell me about them at hillary@avidlifestyle.com.

Strategically connecting buyers and sellers with the best properties in Colorado.

REDEFINING TRAVEL BEING ABLE TO TRAVEL is truly a gift. One that we might have even taken for granted until this past year. To see what's beyond our front doors, to study different cultures and see new landscapes—these are what connect us on a global level and help us gain insight into the world. Travel opens our eyes and gives us greater insight into the world, as well as into other cultures. I know it has made me a wiser, more understanding human being and, yes, even more appreciative of what I have. And as poet Marcel Proust famously said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” But how do you have new eyes, or travel to see new landscapes during a global pandemic? For me, the key has been getting out of my normal routine to try new things, and food is a great way to let your senses travel. Trying ethnic restaurants will instantly take you to far away locales like the ones on pg. 16, or learn about mezxcaleros and a delicious cocktail on pg. 20. And if you're up for a more intense immersion, the culinary schools we spoke with on pg. 24 will have you ready for Iron Chef with global gourmet dishes. If you're looking forward to bucket list journeys, Donald Woods will have you dreaming of African skies with his rugged adventures featured on pg. 26. Or stay closer to home in the Rockies to reconnect with nature and your family on pg. 30. Epic photos and insights from a recent Icelandic trip (pg. 34). And you'll want to hit the open road with our round up of roadtripping romps on pg.46. As for what to take on your travels ... whether you’re heading far away or day tripping to one of the hundreds trails ... update your go-to gear with our picks on pg. 56. And if you can't hire a professional photographer to capture the landscapes and family moments, we have the next best thing—a round up of the latest photography apps to enhance your skills on pg. 58.



303.921.2964 csanders@livsothebysrealty.com

For high flying inspiration, read about entrepreneur and travel industry expert Tom Filippini on pg. 60. Finally, get lost in the charming views from a German medieval city on pg. 64. I cannot wait to fly the friendly skies again and see new landscapes, but I highly recommend challenging yourself to seek out the unknown and explore your own backyard—sometimes the greatest adventures in the world can be found just outside your door. With Gratitude,

Hillary Locke Mujica


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

BE ENRICHED BY NATURES BEAUT Y at Gard e n of th e Gods!

CHOOSE ONE OF OUR W E L L - D E S E RV E D S T A Y C A T I O N S We invite you to explore our Colorado Springs vacation packages and special offers. Take advantage of these exclusive savings, and start planning your unforgettable wellness and destination spa experience for a welldeserved getaway at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club. An intimate resort and club experience with abundant space for distancing in natures playground of Colorado Springs.


*Cancellation information – Reservations may be cancelled, or stays shortened, up to seven (7) days prior to arrival. Cancellations or shortened stays will forfeit deposit if made within seven (7) days of arrival. Deposit information – Your credit card will be charged immediately upon booking for the first night’s room rate plus 2.50% property improvement fee and 8.25% tax fee. Upon arrival to the resort, your card will be authorized for the remainder of your stay, as well as an incidental authorization equating to $100 per night. Any authorizations not used will be refunded to your card within five to seven business days. Resort Fee Additional – $38 per room, per night + tax. Resort Fee includes valet parking, in-room Nespresso Coffee & bottled water, PressReader digital newspapers/magazines, WiFi & access to club amenities, dining outlets, and group fitness classes.


Mesa Road

Colorado Springs






// can’t miss events

BLACK AND WHITE IN THE 21ST CENTURY Explore the work of seven contemporary black and white photographers and gain insight into their philosophies of subject selection and their reasons for choosing a B&W presentation for them. Varied subjects are represented here – from beautiful traditional landscapes to abstract explorations of the aged human body. Photographers include: Jim Sidinger, Eric Biggerstaff, Tom Finke, Jeff Graves, Keith Pitman and Bruce Zander. This exhibit will also feature Anastasia Pottinger’s series, “Centenarians,” a photo essay of images of the human body at age 100. CURTIS CENTER FOR THE ARTS, greenwoodvillage.com

KD Kitchen Door Landscaping that elevates life inside and outside of your home

www.kitchendoor.co 12

march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


March 6 — April 24




March 14 — June 20 PARIS TO HOLLYWOOD: THE FASHION AND INFLUENCE OF VÉRONIQUE AND GREGORY PECK A selection of haute couture, fashion sketches, photographs, film clips, family snapshots and documents will be exhibited publicly for the first time, providing a unique look into the style of one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples. Through more than four decades of material from the 1950s to the 1990s, the presentation provides an overview of how fashion changed as the roles of women in society evolved in the 20th century. In conjunction with the exhibition, Véronique and Gregory’s daughter, Cecilia Peck Voll, has gifted the Denver Art Museum 20 of her mother’s iconic looks for the museum’s collection. DENVER ART MUSEUM, Denver, denverartmuseum.org

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Due to the everchanging updates regarding COVID-19, events may have been canceled or postponed. Please check with each organizer regarding event changes. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) and the Tri-County Health Department (tchd.org) for the latest news and guidelines for staying healthy and slowing the spread of COVID.

Through June 4 WORLD WAR II AND YOU 75 Years Later – Explore World War II’s lasting impact on your life today. While this year marks the 75th Anniversary of the end of WWII, the amazing technological developments of that period are still affecting your life today. In this exhibit, you’ll learn about technologies and ideas developed during the war that are impacting our lives in surprising ways today. WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES, Denver, wingsmuseum.org there’s more ➼


// can’t miss events PHOTO: COURTESY LONE TREE ARTS


// what’s online

March 31 LIVESTREAM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE: MYSTERIOUS SEAS Get a glimpse into the ocean’s greatest depths— and the fascinating creatures that live there— with two leading marine biologists. David Gruber searches the oceans for bioluminescent and biofluorescent marine species and designs delicate and noninvasive tools for studying and interacting with deep-sea life. Diva Amon participates in expeditions around the world to study the unusual animals living in a variety of deep-sea habitats—and how humans impact them. Through stories and conversation, they’ll shine a light on this dark, cold and mysterious world. This is a virtual ticketed event. LONE TREE ARTS CENTER, lonetreeartscenter.org


5 Pro Tips to Prepare for Selling Your Home This Spring By Melissa Millan IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO SELL your home this spring, you’re likely already prepping for the process. Much needs to be done in advance of putting the “For Sale” sign out front. This is especially true in a market as hot as Denver. Being ready to list as soon as you want to sell takes planning, but will have a positive impact on how much you fetch for your much-loved home. Visit avidlifestyle.com for your “Spring Home Sale To-Do List”


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


// behind the bar


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


// behind the bar

Smoke on the Water: Elixir De Los Dioses By Dionne Roberts

MEZCAL, the mystifying and versatile Oaxacan-born spirit, ranges from a variant in Moscow mules to making for some ultra strong and smoky margaritas. This “elixir of the gods,” known as the ancient Mayan people’s nectar, shares biological ties to tequila (also derived from the agave plant), but discerns itself due to its point of origin and earthy distillation process. The unique liquid continues to gain momentum as it lights up modern cocktail menus but also transitions well beyond the bar, serving as the poignant epicenter of a tight knit sect of Mexican brotherhood. In the documentary Sons of Mezcal, debuting this spring of 2021, Stephan Werk, director and executive producer, curates an in-depth look at the sanctity of this libation and its all encompassing contribution to Zapotec families.


“As we say in our tagline, the film transports you into this living history,” says Werk. “You’re naturally going to learn how mezcal is made from start to finish, but the goal is to show a different culture. We want to immerse you into the everyday life of what it’s like to be a mezcalera.” Werk acknowledges that although the process of making mezcal is fascinating in itself, his three-year passion project is not to be interpreted as a technical google search. Instead he hopes to illustrate his respects through “cinema veritas,” paying homage to the people who are answering their true ancestral calling.


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle



forests. It ties everything and everyone together to focus on the heart and soul of mezcal, the plant and the pivotal source of where this hypnotizing beverage really begins. “We thought of every step to keep it in the agave,” says Werk. “I’m really proud of showing this unique landscape and this amazing process with free rein to tell the story about mezcal and its people.” Do you want to experience the magic of mezcal locally? I recommend hitting up Palenque Cocina y Agaveria in Littleton, to sample the collection amassed by owner, Brian Rossi, who also subscribes to the notion that mezcal personifies “family, tradition, passion, hard work, integrity, quality, expression, love, friends and of course, an amazing spirit.” “Grab a couple Espadin mezcals from Santiago Matatlan (the largest mezcal producing town), then start reaching for bottles in other villages,” instructs Rossi, who references the individuality of production from town to town. “When your palate starts to get in tune, and you lose the smoky flavor profile, dive into more exotic agave. It’s a fun journey.” “There is no recipe book, there is no formula,” says Werk. “It’s being there and learning by sensory overload—seeing, watching, smelling and tasting, that’s passed down from generation to generation.”

Palenque Cocina y Agaveria 2609 Main St, Littleton 720.245.0195; palenquecya.com

Sons of Mezcal is not to be taken literally as a gender-driven interpretation, despite its depictions of strong father-son relationships. The real message of mezcal is its commonality, a thread that runs through all of these collaborative families and a catalyst for celebrations ranging from baptisms to weddings to funerals. “We want to show people that mezcal is more than just a spirit you enjoy like whiskey and rum, mezcal is used in every stage of your life,” says Werk. “It’s a connection. Everybody is a son of mezcal.” Staying true to that sentiment, the film unfolds in thoughtful layers, from its beautifully haunting original score (composed in Mexico City), to the narrator’s distinct dialect and the cinematic b-roll of lush jungles and cactus 18

march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

Hey, Bartender Still amidst the pandemic, it’s exciting to invite some staycation options (through food and drink) into our own homes. Since traveling too far is not on the docket for most, Rossi shares an approachable mezcal recipe that can take your typical Taco Tuesday to the next level.

ORANGE CRUSH Ingredients 1 oz. Mezcal 1 oz. Fruitlab Ginger Liqueur 1 oz. Orangecello 1 oz. Apple cider ½ oz Lemon juice Rim with cinnamon and sugar Method Combine all ingredients, shake and serve over ice. Salud! Recipe courtesy Palenque Cocina y Agaveria

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Landmark Lincoln 5000 S Broadway Englewood, CO 80113 www.LandmarkLincoln.com


// dining out

Have Fork, Will Travel

Greece LOCAL EATERIES take you where Ethiopia At the Portico, you forget about utensils and Sample Mediterranean joie de vivre with you’ve been … and where you’d use pieces of injera flatbread to grab bites from showstopping saganaki, grilled cheese served love to go a communal platter. Mildly spiced Ethiopian flaming at the table, and shots of ouzo. Seafood By John Lehndorff I’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS. At least, I’m there whenever I taste an exceptional ripe cheese, a buttery croissant and a café viennois at a little French café. The flavors jet me back to a longago family taste tour through the Left and Right Banks. Places like Paris still seem a little far away, although the time we’ll be able travel again is getting closer. In the meantime, just because we can’t go away does not mean that our taste buds have to stay put. A world of local family-owned eateries offers food, drink and interactive dining moments that can eject you from your Taco Tuesday rut. Make it a project to drive a few miles to taste something completely different every week. As you eat, look at a map and discuss whether you’d like to learn a new language and visit that country.

entrées include buttery beef, lamb and chicken stews and a host of veggie side dishes and salads. This is one of the great communal dining experiences. Portico Eritrean and Ethiopian Restaurant 1050 S. Havana St., Aurora 303.343.1390; porticoethiopianrestaurant.com


Fast casual Shondiz makes Persian fare accessible, including kabobs and lamb and beef doner sandwiches. The must-taste dinner favorite is fesenjoon, the authentic Iranian stew with bone-in chicken and a tangy walnutpomegranate sauce, always sided with saffron rice and stuffed dolmas. Shondiz 8000 E. Quincy Ave.,1000, Denver 720.541.7742; shondiz.com

Consider the following destinations: 20

march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

is a specialty here including lemony char-broiled octopus and swordfish. There’s always room for honey-soaked, nutty, buttery baklava. YIANNI’S 5425 Landmark Place, Greenwood Village 303.692.0404; yannisdenver.com


La Merise dishes the greatest hits of the French bistros, ranging from escargot in garlic-herb butter and duck foie gras to warm ahi Niçoise salad and red wine-braised beef bourguignon. One simple pleasure is a glass of Sauternes and a French cheese plate. La Merise 2700 E. 3rd Ave., Cherry Creek North 720.596.4360; lamerisedenver.com


The owners of this popular Englewood eatery celebrate their Vietnamese, Chinese and American roots with a totally fun menu. What’s


EXERCISE because it has the ability to boost your immune system EXERCISE because it's been proven to relieve stress EXERCISE because you are practicing social distancing EXERCISE because it burns calories (for those who want to offset the increased convenience of snacking that home confinement provides)

denverhf.com | 720.253.3537 6801 S. Dayton St. | Greenwood Village, CO 80112


More Take-Me-Away

// dining out

DINING OPTIONS JAPAN: Kiki’s – Japanese Casual Dining, 2440 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, 303.504.4043, kikisjapaneserestaurant.com KOREA: Bop and Cogi Korean Grill, 10639 E. Briarwood Ave., Centennial, 303.799.1139; bopgogi.com NATIVE AMERICA: Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery, 8181 E. Arapahoe Road C, Greenwood Village, 720.485.6738, tocabe.com ARGENTINA: Maria Empanada, 1298 S. Broadway, Denver, 303.934.2221; mariaempanada.com GERMANY: Gaby’s German Eatery, 245 S. Harlan St., Lakewood, 720.329.8188; gabysgermaneatery.com

Old West


not to love about zesty green papaya salad, Vietnamese meatloaf, Kansas State Fair eggrolls and banh mi bites? Kids can choose a small pho with veggie or beef broth, noodles and beef, tofu or shrimp. For the grownups: Boozy Thai Tea.


Cherry Crest Seafood Restaurant & Market 5909 S. University Blvd, Cherry Hills, 303.798.2600; cherrycrestseafoodrestaurant.com

BUCKHORN EXCHANGE 1000 Osage St., Denver, 303.534.9505; buckhorn.com PHOTO: CHAD CHISHOLM

Zomo Asian & American Eats 3457 S. Broadway, Englewood, 720.739.8882; zomoeats.com

chowder, whole Maine lobster) or Northwest (grilled king salmon).

Tired of the same old, same old? Change up your proteins tonight at the Buckhorn Exchange, an eatery that looks like a natural history museum. Have an adventuresome bite of juicy Rocky Mountain “oysters,” fried alligator tail, yak, elk or rattlesnake. To be perfectly honest, none of them really taste like chicken.


Forget the sesame chicken and discover authentic Chinese fare at this tiny café. Taste Denver’s best potstickers, soup dumplings and wontons in spicy peanut sauce with a malty Lao Wang Lager.

Authentic Hawaiian surfboards welcome you to this Pacific escape. Commence with raw ahi poke salad and iconic musubi: seaweed-wrapped grilled SPAM and rice. Big plates of kalua pork, chicken katsu and macadamia-crusted mahi are sided with mac salad and fried rice.

Lao Wang Noodle House 945 S. Federal Blvd, Denver, 303.975.2497; laowangnoodlehouse.com

Ohana Grille 2240 Mercantile St., Castle Rock, 720.458.0920, ohanagrille.com PHOTO: COURTESY OHANA GRILLE VIA FACEBOOK

India & Nepal

Vegan and gluten-free families should trek to Shangri La. First up are vegetable momo, delectable Nepali steamed dumplings. Joy is grabbing chunks of paneer cheese from the creamy spinach saag with potato-stuffed alu paratha bread. Charcoal-grilled eggplant takes a Bollywood star turn in baigan bharta with ginger and garlic. Shangri La 5969 S. University Boulevard, Cherry Hills 303.955.8014; shangriladenver.com

The Coasts

No matter which where you grew up, the 30-year-old Cherry Crest dishes fresh seafood classics, whether it’s the Mid-Atlantic (lump crab cakes), Midwest (broiled Great Lakes walleye), Northeast (New England clam

Miami and Cuba

Imagine a humid, languid summer evening in Miami and the quintessential sandwich, a Cubano boasting roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread pressed until the contents meld. Cuba Cuba represents the cuisine well with platters of lechon asado, tender roast pork in garlicky mojo with white rice, black beans, plantains and a ham croqueta. Toss it back with a mojito or a caipirinha or an iced sweet Cuban coffee. CUBA CUBA SANDWICHERIA 5322 DTC Boulevard, Greenwood Village, 303.741.4634; cubacubadtc.com


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


y Take a moment to ref lect. Unwind. And realize what truly matters. This is The Canyons, in the city of Castle Pines. A new way to live that feels close and away all at the same time. M O D E L S OP E N . H O M E S AVA I L A B L E .

from the low $500s to over one million

I- 25 and Castle Pines Pkwy; east and follow the signs.


This is not an offer for real estate for sale, nor solicitation of an offer to buy to residents of any state or province in which registration and other legal requirements have not been fulfilled. Pricing does not include options, elevation, or lot premiums, effective date of publication and subject to change without notice. All square footages and measurements are approximate and subject to change without notice. Community amenities are proposed and preliminary, and are subject to change without notice. Views not guaranteed and may change over time. Models are not an indication of racial preference. Maps and renderings are artist’s conception based on preliminary information, not to scale and subject to change. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Equal Housing Opportunity. © 2021 Shea Homes, Shea Canyons, LLC. And The Canyons.




Class is In Session Grab your apron and CLASS-UP YOUR CULINARY SKILLS


March marks The World of Taste series at Cook Street. This cheflead culinary journey around the world offers global inspiration from Peru, Thailand and Vietnam. You’ll learn how to make dishes such as Suspiro de Limena, Crab Fried Rice and Lemongrass Chicken. Whether in-person or remote with live instruction, these chefs will discuss the ingredients unique to each region and the techniques that make the flavors shine.

By Hillary Locke-Mujica WHEN I TRAVEL, I love indulging in local cuisine. Street food or Michelin Star, domestic or international – it’s all about distinctive local flavors that allow me to soak up the true culture of the destination. Even though a bon voyage isn’t in my near future, I spoke with some culinary experts who are bringing faraway dishes to Colorado. In person or virtually, check out these cooking schools and let your tastebuds travel.


Create Cooking School 2501 Dallas St., Aurora 720.573.9949; createfoods.co


From novices to more advanced cooks, the online cooking class subscription from Stir Cooking School brings over 50 years of combined culinary and teaching knowledge to your fingertips. Their custom recipes and videos guide you through how to make different dishes perfect for pantry cooking, international dishes, one pot meals, baking and beyond. Whether you sign up for one class, a subscription or cooking parties, each recipe is taught by different Chef Instructors and Professional Restaurant Chefs, both in person and virtually.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts 43 W. 9th Ave., Denver 303.308.9300; cookstreet.com

Stir Cooking School 3215 Zuni St., Denver 720.287.4823; stirtolearn.com COOK STREET


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


For over 25 years, The Seasoned Chef Cooking School has taught a wide range of ethnic styles and specialty cooking classes for every interest. Their focus on culinary skills will boost your kitchen confidence, whether you’re trying your hand at traditional Confit de Conard, Risotto alla Milanese, Greek Moussaka or Moroccan Kefta Tagine. With guest chefs offering their expertise, you’ll be transported to faraway places as you learn to prepare these dishes. Not only do they offer classes inperson or live remote, but you can also savor gourmet meals to go. Plus, their young chef program will get your kids excited about cooking (and traveling) too. The Seasoned Chef Cooking School 999 Jasmine St., Denver, 303.377.3222; theseasonedchef.com PHOTO: COURTESY COOK STREET SCHOOL OF CULINARY ARTS

Since traveling to exotic locales isn’t on the menu right now, Create Cooking School offers gourmet classes, in person and virtually, from different regions of the world – think chimichurri steak from Buenos Aires, paella from Spain, Korean BBQ or Cuban citrus pork chops – and signature cocktails and wine to highlight the unique flavors of each region. Join their virtual kitchen with real-time instruction or cook side-by-side with Chefs Erasmo, Diego and Nicole and create delicious scratch meals worthy of your passport.



// momentos



march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


Out of


A TRAVELER’S TREASURED memories from the land of the Sahara By Kathyrn O’Shea Evans

LOOKING AROUND Donald Woods’s home, it’s easy to see he is nothing short of a globetrotter—he’s visited 43 countries and counting. Case in point: the wall of spears, all souvenirs from his trips to Africa. “They all represent different tribes from different parts of Africa, and have different uses,” Woods says. “They’re all special to us; every one of them represents a trip or a place, it’s not just stuff we got. Whenever we go on a trip, we always like to bring back something that’s a memory.” And his memories are as cinematic as they come. The regional Chief Executive Officer for USI, a national insurance brokerage firm, eschews pre-planned vacations at all-inclusive resorts and things of that ilk, opting instead for Indiana Jones-worthy adventures, like biking, hiking, fishing and hunting trips in decidedly untrammelled places—often with his now-retired wife, Kathy Woods, along for the ride. “I’ve always been really very interested with different countries, different cultures, different histories,” he says. “I’ve been lucky and blessed to travel all over the world—throughout South America, Central America; I’ve been to Alaska close to 18 times and Africa 7 times. I’ve also been all over Europe, because I lived in London for five years and traveled extensively—that gave me such easy access.”


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

// momentos


// momentos

It’s nearly impossible for him to name a favorite trip, though he can rattle off plenty of contenders—including dog sledding in Sweden and sleeping outside in the dead of winter under the glow of Northern Lights, and exploring Botswana’s swampy Okavango Delta, where everything from cheetahs to spotted hyenas and blue wildebeests roam. Remoteness is key: “I like to go off the beaten path and get into the bush and meet people in the villages, rather than the people in the hotel lobby,” he says.

“I like to go off the beaten path and get into the bush and meet people in the villages, rather than the people in the hotel lobby,” he says.

recommends hiring local guides who know the area well and can take you to things you’d never otherwise know were there. “It’s not just about safety, but about what are the things you might miss that are exceptional to see? You wouldn’t know about it if you didn’t have somebody to help you navigate through that.” Adding to the romance factor of his exploits? Woods is a pilot. About fifteen years ago, he bought a plane in South Africa and spent several weeks hopscotching the bush in South and East Africa with a friend. “We had a long leg from Nairobi to Djibouti, and we were halfway across Ethiopia in our small plane and they rejected our flight approvals while we were in the middle of country. They told us to turn around or they were going to send jets up and redirect us to Mogadishu, Somalia. We had to turn around and didn’t have enough fuel, so we had to land on a dirt strip in northern Kenya on the border.”

Even for a seasoned daredevil, it was a hairraising experience. “We weren’t prepared; we had no way to protect ourselves and we just sat there because we were out of gas. We were on the ground far away from anywhere for several hours, communicating through radios to commercial planes, and nobody was coming to help us.” Suddenly, a man came walking out of the bush and spoke “ in perfect Queen’s English: ‘What are you chaps doing here? Nobody lands here, this is a dangerous place.’” They explained the situation and two hours later a Land Rover of German missionaries arrived with a 55-gallon drum of fuel, and they were able to take off. “They couldn’t have been nicer and absolutely refused payment,” Woods says. “When you get in situations like that, special people show up in your life and help you out and you never forget it.” And sure, he’s been all over the globe, but he 28

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No surprise: his jaunts throughout the African continent have provided scores of movie-ready moments. “Once in Zimbabwe, we were actually sitting having lunch leaning against a tree and heard noises behind us,” he recalls. “We turned around and four rhinos walked right by us within five feet, which is very, very dangerous! We sat very still and didn’t move, and they never saw us and walked by.” Phew. Woods

finds plenty of off-the-beaten-path exploits right here in Colorado. When we asked him for his favorite secret spots here, he demurred. “If I told you and you printed it then they might lose their special status!” But Woods has some words of wisdom to get away from the crowds: “First: stay off the I-70 corridor. Second, bring your hiking boots.” Some of his preferred spots to get into nature without seeing another (human) soul: the Weminuche Wilderness and the South San Juan Wilderness; the northwest corner of Colorado around Dinosaur National Monument; and the canyon country between Cortez and Gateway. “The drive along the Dolores River Canyon is epic.” Spoken like a true adventurer.



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// luxe life

Homestead on the Range How one COLORADO RANCH celebrates the Wild West, with refined luxury. By Hillary Locke Mujica PHOTOS: COURTESY VISTA VERDE RANCH

PRESIDENT LINCOLN was a true visionary when he signed the Homestead Act of 1862, and so were the pioneers that heeded the call to head west and claim 270 million acres of land. Can you even imagine? Well, Loren Blair and John Hay sure could. They were the original homesteaders of a plot of land in the Elk River Valley that would come to be known as Vista Verde Guest Ranch, a luxury dude ranch and winter resort. The ranch sits on roughly 600 acres, surrounded by the 1.1 million-acre Routt National Forest, a mere 7,720 feet above sea level. With deep Colorado roots dating back to 1919 when the couple received the deed to the land, the guest ranch honors the heritage of the wild west culture while offering a luxury resort experience throughout the year. “By walking the line between resort and guest ranch, we still maintain the feel of an old working ranch with a focus on authentic relationships, connecting

with people, and soothing the soul through dirt, sunshine and connecting with animals,” says Stephanie Wilson, Director of Hospitality, “yet we elevate the experience with the upscale amenities guests expect today.” Over the years, guests from all over the world have come to unplug and fully connect with each other and nature. With extensive kids’ programs, culinary adventures, spa experiences and all the outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding, yoga, skiing, sleigh rides and more—there is literally something for everyone, every day of the year. Regardless of the season, you’ll notice how the entire ranch is integrated with nature. The facilities compliment the stunning landscape and extensive access to the National Forest. From the hallmark post and beam construction of the Great Room to the spacious indoor riding arena, to the 12 cabins named after local moun-


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

SEATTLE: 206-275-3399 | DENVER: 303-856-6610



// luxe life

tains, lakes and rivers—they have maintained the authentic rustic feel of a working ranch, while bringing the comforts and visual appeals of a luxury resort. But the best amenity of all is the opportunity to leave work and responsibilities behind, to be truly present to each other and to nature. Sari Earl of Atlanta, GA can attest to that. “After twelve years of family trips to VVR, we can’t wait to go back. Reconnecting as a family and with the staff is something we all cherish. Sharing meals together, taking cooking classes with Chef Cholly, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, talking about our day, stargazing at night: the simple rituals of daily life that get lost in the shuffle at home are really celebrated here.” Vista Verde Guest Ranch proves that it’s not always about how far you go to getaway, but it’s about embracing the present and reconnecting with each other that makes the journey worth it. Reservations: 800.526.7433; vistaverde.com PHOTOS: COURTESY VISTA VERDE RANCH

STAY & PLAY HIGHLIGHTS Horse Tails—Vista Verde is home to over 100 horses that eat roughly 360 tons of hay every winter and dine on fresh grass all summer long. With all those horses, that means they go through over 1,300 horseshoes each summer. Wish Upon a Star—Vista Verde is one of only 3 ranches in the U.S. to be awarded the AAA Four Diamond Rating. Talk about an out of this world experience! Culinary Cowboy—Chef Cholly’s made-to-order meals are legendary. Try his honey wheat pancakes with caramelized apples for breakfast and don’t miss his three-course candlelit dinners. Plus he has over 150 wines that have been recognized by Wine Spectator with the Award of Excellence for several years—talk about a gourmet getaway! Spring Break Bound—Celebrate the end of winter as the snow melts and days grow longer just like a true Colorado Cowboy. It’s the perfect time to watch Mother Nature do her thing and get ready for spring flowers.


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle



march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

Adventure Wandering in the Land of Fire and Ice By Chad Chisholm


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


A SUBTLE FOG lifted as we made our way from the airport to the capitol of Reykjavik, Iceland. Craggy lava fields covered in deep green moss emerged from the mist, the rugged shore peppered with harbors and bobbing boats came into view. A large golf course appeared in stark contrast to the texture surrounding of the meticulously manicured greens. Kristina Ashkin and I stared at the landscape as the rain dissipated and the splendor of Iceland began to reveal itself to us, knowing we were in for a journey of a lifetime.

THE CAPITOL: REYKJAVIK The cobblestone streets of Reykjavik are a perfect groundwork for the charming architecture of downtown. Historic buildings join new, sleek architecture in an appropriate yet chic intersection of past and present. Extremely walkable, we decided to explore the city on foot, marveling at the cute shops and cafés, hotels and historic buildings. Opting for lunch near the heart of the city, the offerings were profuse: Iceland



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Aspen 970.925.8579

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is known for their culinary excellence. Everything from 5-star dining with regional delicacies of whale and puffin to more approachable international fare can all be found within the same block. We couldn’t bring ourselves to try the whale or puffin, but the Döner Kebab I had was fantastic. Sipping an Aperol Spritz in a Parisian-inspired café, Kristina and I took in the afternoon people watching as visitors and locals alike traversed the streets.

BESERKER LAVA FIELD HIKE Our first day-long outdoor adventure was in Grundarfjörður, a small coastal town notable for not only its stunning scenery but as a filming Location for movies and TV shows such as Game of Thrones and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Kirkjufell mountain was instantly recognizable right off the harbor. We took a bus to the lava fields for a hike, the local legends were explained to us about this particular spot: in the 10th century, two Swedish berserkers (warriors) were working for a farmer, one of which fell in love with the farmer’s daughter. Fearing the berserker but not wishing his daughter to marry, the


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march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


famer devised a plan to grant his daughter’s hand in marriage if the berserker could complete the impossible task of creating a road through the lava field in one day. Enlisting the help of his fellow warrior, the two worked at a frantic energy and completed the task. Stunned, the farmer still did not want his daughter marrying the man and lured the two berserkers into a sauna he had built to rest their tired muscles. In their weakened state, the farmer trapped and killed the two men, burying them on the site. Long thought to just be a legend, bones of two Swedish men of a large stature were found and verified anthropologically that the legend was indeed, true. Despite the gruesome tale, the hike itself was beautiful and well worth the trek. Stopping by a placid waterfall after the oceanfront hike all but washed away any memory of the betrayed berserkers.



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march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

ISLAND OF HEIMAEY: POMPEII OF THE NORTH My favorite part of our journey was the fairytale-like island of Heimaey. Soaring, emerald green cliffs that jut out of the cerulean ocean into bright blue skies and are speckled with roosting seabirds and are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Opting for a jet boat tour of the island, Kristina and I donned our rubber ocean suits and strapped into our seats. With typical congenial Icelandic hospitality, our tour guide explained the history of the island, how a volcanic eruption in 1973 destroyed half of the town (many buildings are frozen in time and half-submerged in sooty black lava) but how no one was killed; due to a storm the night before, the fishing fleet was able to evacuate all. Playing music through an impressive speaker system while jetting around the island makes us feel like we had our own movie score, flocks of sea birds and adorable puffins took to the skies. “They’re like little rocketships!” Kristina beamed as a fine sea mist covered our faces.


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


Getting to Iceland was surprisingly easy with a direct flight from Denver to Reykjavik. A cab ride from the airport to downtown made for a seamless experience. icelandair.com

WINDSTAR CRUISES is an excellent way to see a lot of the country without having to spend hours driving the interior of Iceland or flying/ferrying to Heimaey. The ease of having our suite with our layers of coats, hats, and luggage all within our boutique cruise ship made for a wonderful escape. windstarcruises.com



march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


Transcend Traditional Dentistry We strive to provide an exceptional experience so unique to dentistry that our guests will feel inspired to invite their friends and family. Our holistic approach offers the best there is in dentistry combined with our patients personal health goals.





march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

Open Road Cruise into spring with a road trip By Heather Shoning

AHHHH, the open road. Bust out of the pandemic paddock and take a trip. Grab the kids and a cooler full of snacks and embark on any—or all!—of these trips. Whether you’re longing for outdoor recreation or fine-tuning your cultural acumen, we’ve got the perfect destinations for you.


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


Cultivate Culture MARFA, TEXAS 11.5 HOURS

Marfa is but a blip on the map in an otherwise fairly dull, brown area of West Texas. But if you’re an arts and culture lover, this is the place to go. The drive offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities and “hold on, kids, we’re pulling off here” moments as you go near Taos and the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, both in New Mexico.

what to do

With less than 2,000 residents, the town is possibly best known for Prada Marfa. Artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset collaborated with Prada to create a permanent mini Prada store along a desolate section of highway northwest of the town. Never open, but punctuated with actual Prada shoes and handbags, the artists dubbed it “pop architectural land art.” It’s often interpreted as a criticism of consumerism, but it’s a driving force behind tourism. 48

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In addition to this pop culture icon, Marfa is home to a host of other arts venues and events. You’ll find large-scale architecture pieces, paintings and furniture at the Chinati Foundation and Judd Foundation. Be sure to wander through more than a dozen other galleries and museums. This tiny hot spot is host to various festivals, including the TransPecos Festival of Music + Love, normally held in September. Check visitmarfa.com for up-todate information.

sleep & eat

There are plenty of options for overnight accommodations, but one of the most fun is El Cosmico, where you can stay in a retro camping trailer, a tepee, a yurt, a safari tent, or you can pitch your own tent. When it comes time to eat, you’ll find everything from quick coffee shops to Texas-style barbecue served on paper-covered trays to fine dining with prix fixe dinners in Marfa. Outdoor dining here— even at the most upscale eateries—is casual and comfortable. If you’re really in it for the art, do take a side trip to Taos. You’re in for a real Southwestern treat. 50

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Enjoy Nature

(and a bit of science) GRAND STAIRCASE-ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT, UTAH 8 HOURS If your idea of a road trip includes adventure, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is the destination for you. Often overshadowed by Zion and Bryce, this is a camping and hiking paradise, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It consists of vast, remote areas—especially the Grand Staircase region— with excessive temperature swings from day to night, sudden heavy rains in summer and four-wheel-drive roads to reach many trails. If you can handle that, you’ll be rewarded with the most extensive network of gorgeous slot canyons in Utah. On the beaten path—the Escalante Canyons area—you can see waterfalls, sculpted slickrock formations, arches and more. It’s considered to be in the neighborhood of 200 million years old. It’s well-loved among scientists because fossil excavations here have yielded more information about ecosystem change at the end of the dinosaur era than any other place in the world.

what to do

For an easy day hike, head to Lower Calf Creek Falls in Escalante. The 6-mile round trip hike is relatively flat but takes you through a broad canyon with stunning views to a gorgeous 126-foot waterfall. The area is peppered with campgrounds—both developed and not—but check blm.gov for rules, restrictions and reservations before you go. For a multiday camping excursion (you’ll need a permit for overnights), head to Coyote Gulch. It’s a much-photographed and awe-inspiring iconic sandstone structure. The 17-mile hike takes you along the Escalante River with slot canyons, arches and natural bridges to explore along the way. Be sure to get out at night and look up. The stars in this neck of the wilderness are unparalleled.



march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

OTHER AMAZING ROAD TRIPS for shopping ASPEN, CO 3.5 HOURS LAS VEGAS 11.5 HOURS for arts & culture TAOS & SANTA FE, NM 4.5–5.5 HOURS CODY, WY 7.5 HOURS for enjoying nature MESA VERDE, CO 6.5 HOURS VALLES CALDERA, NM 7 HOURS

Close to Home

BUENA VISTA/SALIDA, COLORADO 2 TO 2.5 HOURS Make it a staycation and enjoy a scenic road trip to Chaffee County—Buena Vista, Salida, the Arkansas River Valley and gorgeous Collegiate Peaks vistas. Salida has long been a hot spot for kayaking enthusiasts and lately, many Front Rangers have moved there to work virtually and raise children in a town where they bike everywhere and play kickball in the streets. To say it in a word: quaint. And Buena Vista is quickly following suit. In both towns, you’ll want to wander the shops and enjoy topnotch dining.

what to do

Buena Vista (the locals pronounce it b-yoo-nah) is home to the beautiful Surf Hotel overlooking the Arkansas River and the Buena Vista Whitewater Park and within the South Main neighborhood. There’s a skate park and dog park nearby, and don’t miss the hiking trails on the river’s east side. This town offers easy access to Cottonwood Pass and its amazing views,

various festivals and outdoor concerts (check for COVID-19 restrictions before you go), and the Comanche Drive In—one of about eight drive-in theaters left in Colorado. Cash only, so hit the ATM before you go. Roam about Salida. Its downtown area is not only charming, but it’s full of fun and funky shops. After a long day of kayaking, hiking or biking, refuel with a wood-fired pizza or a hearty bowl of pasta from Amicas and top the night off with live music and a handcrafted cocktail at Wood’s High Mountain Distillery. Take a side trip southwest of Salida to Great Sand Dunes Nation Park and Preserve. And don’t miss the opportunity to take a relaxing soak at Valley View Hot Springs at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range— clothing is always optional. Reservations are required. 54

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// what to pack

Take Me With You

Whether you’re heading to the mountains, planning a European tour or hitting the sand and surf, we’ve corralled some of our favorite TRAVEL ESSENTIALS to take you far—or near, as the case may be this year.


By Hillary Locke-Mujica


From the urban jungle to far-flung corners of the planet, the Half Moon Weekender Bag from local company Fishpond is a multi-functional carry-on dream. It can accommodate several days of clothing and organize your gear, plus it’s just so ruggedly handsome. “We rarely embark on an adventure without our Half Moon Bag, from a quick jaunt up to the mountains to a long weekend across the country. At this point, it’s just another companion to some of our best memories, and it shows. Over time, the lines and markings on the organic, waxed canvas exterior serve as a reminder of journeys-past.” — Jack Reis, Director of Marketing. $200 at Orvis, 8465 Park Meadows Center Dr., 303.768.9600; fishpond.com

You don’t have to be shooting for Nat Geo in order to capture epic moments. The new GoPro Hero9 takes crisp, pro-quality 20MP photos with SuperPhoto to ensure you get the shot. Plus, you can wow your friends with the stunning 5K videos that maintain serious details even when zooming in. It’s truly like having a professional photographer and videographer with you at all times. $450 at Mike’s Camera, 9197 East Westview Rd., 303.708.9655; mikescamera.com

Bandolier’s sophisticated style is the ultimate statement in chic utility – it’s high tech and high fashion that takes you from day to night no matter the agenda. It comes with two slots to accommodate credit cards, driver’s license and/ or cash for true liberation from the necessity of carrying a heavy handbag. And with their new Ultra Slim on-thego Power Bank, you can literally go all day. Personalize it with the Billie Utility Strap with three distinct compartments to hold everything from your charger to lip gloss to keys to eyeliners, you name it. Or if you’re looking for something a little more delicate, the limited-edition Elise features a classic floral leather case and gold-tone details with an adjustable shoulder strap. From $105 at bandolierstyle.com


It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and the cocktail kits from W&P Design allow you to celebrate no matter the time zone. These go-anywhere kits are TSA-compliant for carry-on and have all the essentials for two craft cocktails anytime, anyplace. With top-notch ingredients like fresh citrus, curated spices and pure cane sugar, these kits can go headto-head with the finest of bars. And the presentation is all about the details with a linen cocktail napkin, combination spoon-muddler and instructions from Brooklyn’s finest bartenders. From $24 at wandpdesign.com



Speakeasy Travel Supply’s infinity pocket scarf adds style and function to any outfit – add a hidden zippered pouch and you’ve got yourself THE go-to travel accessory. Securely store a wallet, phone, keys, glasses, tickets, medication, boarding passes, doggie treats and more. Handcrafted in Massachusetts by globetrotting journalists, these washable and soft scarves enhance any outfit and allow for hands-free shopping, sight-seeing and much more. $55 at speakeasytravelsupply.com


Rumpl blankets use 100% postconsumer recycled NanoLoft™ insulation, which is made of tiny circular fiber clusters that mimic the properties of down. Each blanket reclaims at least 50 post-consumer plastic bottles. These blankets can stand up to the elements, whether that’s damp backyard turf or your furry friend’s muddy paws. Just toss it in the washing machine afterwards.We love their National Parks Collection and the newly launched Teton Dreams by artist Rachel Pohl. From $129 at rumpl.com

march 2021 // AvidLifestyle




The perfect view. The perfect meal. The perfect company. With exclusive getaways just down the road, it’s all closer than you can imagine. Right now, book one night and receive a complimentary second night. Available to book now through March 15, 2021, for stays through September 7, 2021.

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Hotel guest safety and wellness is top-of-mind, and an integral part of Fairmont Scottsdale’s ALLSafe initiative. *

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Buy one night and receive a complimentary second night during the same stay. A one night prepaid fully-refundable deposit is required. Daily resort service charge of $39 per room, per night (plus applicable tax) applies. This promotion is subject to availability and may not be combined with any other offers, promotions or packages. For stays through September 7, 2021. Blackout dates may apply. Rate displayed is the average rate per night and includes the complimentary night rate. For more information or to book the Stay Close offer, call 480.585.4848. The Stay Close offer has been extended for booking until March 15, 2021.

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// snapshot



DEVELOPER: elfinda apps PRICE: Free; enable locations for $1.00 AVAILABLE in the App Store on your device

Top 5



WITH PHONES ALWAYS at the ready, photography is more approachable and available than ever. Whether snapping memorable moments or artfully directing complex scenes, the power of the camera is only accentuated by the plethora of apps now available to professionals and hobbyists alike. We asked professional photographer Chad Chisholm to give us a list of his favorites.

ADOBE LIGHTROOM PHOTO EDITOR For a more professional approach, Adobe Lightroom is available as an app on your phone. Signing in to your Adobe account allows for access to the professional editing software. From presets to color enhancements and level adjustments, cloning tools to remove objects and perspective correction, this is the ultimate editing app for your smartphone. As a cloud-based service, edits made on your phone are stored and shared to your other devices, allowing for editing from professional cameras or your smartphone. Community presets are also available, so playing with a wide array of tools can really elevate your photography through this app. DEVELOPER: Adobe Inc PRICE: Subscription Service AVAILABLE at adobe.com

Whether taking a striking sunset landscape photo or finding the perfect time to shoot senior portraits, Magic Hour is a must for finding that perfect golden light. A count-down timer lives on the main screen, letting users know when “magic hour” is coming, when sunset is and when the light is gone. The forecast for your location, notification reminders, and calendar syncing are all great tools within the app to make sure you are in the right spot at the right time to capture the beautiful golden light of Magic Hour.

PHOTOPILLS An absolute MUST for anyone looking to shoot the Milky Way. I use the Night AR (augmented reality) most often in this app when I am scouting locations. It allows me to line up where the Milky Way is going to be in relation to my subject and a time code—invaluable information when on location: avoiding sitting outside in the cold waiting for the world to turn for countless hours. Meteor shower forecasts are also in the app, including a star trail calculator for those photographers looking to create dreamy contrails of light across the sky. A focal length match allows for photographers to drop in their camera type and calculate the near and far limits and depth of field. Another fun aspect of this app is the time lapse calculator, letting you know shooting intervals, number of photos and the total memory usage needed. DEVELOPER: PhotoPills S.L. PRICE: $10.00 AVAILABLE in the App Store on your device 58

march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

If looking for a quick edit in your phone, turn to Snapseed. My favorite trick is the HDR scrape effect (lifting the shadows and boosting contrast and color). Users can also adjust the white balance, perspective or tonal contrast, or add fun effects like grunge, Retrolux or vintage. Save to your phone or share directly to your social media; the editing tools in Snapseed are easy to use and very effective. DEVELOPER: Google LLC PRICE: Free AVAILABLE in the App Store on your device

LUMOS: SUN AND MOON TRACKER Since photography is literally “to catch the light,” it’s important to know when and where the light source is coming from. Lumos is my go-to app to check where the sun (or moon) will be when taking outdoor shots. The augmented reality shows exactly where the sun will be at what time and also notes sunrise and sunset at your specific location. You can also check shadow lengths based on the height of objects at any given time. The pro version has searchability for sun/moon info for any location in the world, the ability to save locations, to take notes and integrate Google Street View. DEVELOPER: Luminous Labs PRICE: Free; Pro version available for $4.00 AVAILABLE in the App Store on your device

CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK OUTSIDE? Can’t wait to reunite with friends? Can’t wait to spend time with family? Can’t wait to laugh over cocktails and dinner?

IF SO...


// the game changer

Clear for Take Off

How one entrepreneur is CHANGING THE WAY WE TRAVEL. By Hillary Locke Mujica


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle


TOM FILIPPINI is a travel connoisseur and a seasoned entrepreneur with a successful track record in private aviation and luxury travel. His entrepreneurial successes have held a consistent theme – they all have involved creating companies that introduce innovative and financially attainable ways for consumers to enjoy life’s greatest, most unique travel and private aviation experiences.

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// the game changer

under-utilized assets to drive value for affluent consumers. From a rudimentary online “flight sharing message board” for aircraft owners, FlightLink has created an industry-defining aviation platform. “I felt there had to be a way to bridge the gap between private and commercial to allow travelers to share the costs of private aviation and book flights on their schedules,” shares Tom, “I was chatting with friends about how to travel safely (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic) and one of my friends basically said, ‘I wish there was a platform were we could post our flight schedule and pool our resources to make it more affordable,’ and a light bulb went off—I could use this technology to pool the private travel economy.” Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been devastating for the airline industry and the tourism industry, which will take years to recover. “If you look at AirBnB, you’ll notice the phrase ‘Go Near’ is front and center. I believe—at least for the next

“My lifelong travel journeys have undoubtedly had a major influence on my career. I’ve always been a ringleader of adventure and when I started my first travel venture—Exclusive Resorts—in my mid-20s, I was at crossroads in my career. I wanted to do something where I could really apply my travel passion forward while having a meaningful impact in creating something new.” It’s that go-getter spirit and big picture vision that has led Tom to be a pioneer in the travel industry, and he hasn’t been resting on his laurels, or his wings. After creating Exclusive Resorts, the world’s largest luxury destination club, Tom set his sights on making private aviation more accessible to more people. “Being able to travel shouldn’t just be for the uber wealthy. Technology has had a huge impact on the ‘ground-based’ travel industry. Look at AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, and VRBO —they have completely revolutionized how consumers buy travel, and the aviation industry needs to use that same technology to evolve.” Enter StraightLine Private Air, where member flights are operated by the preeminent aircraft operators with the most impeccable safety records in the world. By working with a select group of operators, Tom designed a unique supply solution, allowing travelers the broadest selection of aircraft at the lowest price to members. What that means–you get access to more planes and more airports without the billion-dollar bank account.


So it’s no surprise that people have been taking note, especially in the past year. “Private aviation has seen a massive surge and record growth since the beginning of COVID-19. Travelers that historically had difficulty justifying the incremental cost to fly private, now have a compelling reason to bite the bullet,” says Tom. Plus, with the ‘work leisure trend’ on the rise, private jets are not just for business travelers any more. More families are booking private planes to combine their work and personal time. “There’s a fundamental shift in how people work. Working remotely allows people to work hard so they can play hard and make the most of their time as a family.”

12-18 months—that consumers will continue to focus on backyard adventures instead of bucket list trips, but those trips can be just as memorable. There is value in any and all travel.”

And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year, it’s that life is short. Time with family and friends is more valuable than ever, and people are prioritizing that over everything right now. It’s that mindset that propelled Tom to look at how an invitation-only air pooling platform might work. The goal was to allow like-minded travelers to connect, make private flights more affordable, and travel more easily.

As if that weren’t impressive enough, Tom recently became a pilot, and by the time this article comes out, he will have his instrument rating. “I feel as though I’m just beginning my career in aviation. Earning my license to fly my own plane ensures that I’m fully ingrained in the industry, without constraint. I’m never more inspired than I am when I’m flying above our beautiful Colorado mountains, and ideas occur to me each time I’m up there.” We can’t wait to see what his next highflying act might be. flystraightline.com

So he introduced FlightLink—a technologyenabled sharing economy focused on optimizing 62

march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

For Filippini, traveling is all about entering the unknown and discovering the new. Despite his luxury travel career, he prefers “raw” destinations over those that have been developed and ‘westernized.’ His idea of a good trip is leaving behind the familiar and taking on a world of new things. “I’m always learning through my travels, with new cultures, friends, foods and languages to explore. What’s cool about travel for me is the excitement, that sometimes borders on fear.”


// traveler’s choice


A Wall With a View “A trip to Germany to visit family in February 2020 brought me to the beautiful, medieval city of Esslingen am Neckar. After climbing the 300-plus stairs from the Marktplatz to the Esslinger Burg, I was rewarded with this stunning view along the old city wall. Vineyards on the hillsides and half-timbered buildings below make this such a charming city.” ─ Jennifer Pomerantz-Elkin


march 2021 // AvidLifestyle

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SCHOMP MAZDA | schompmazda.com | 720.863.7252 1. Total MSRP includes $1,100 destination charge (Alaska $1,145) and additional costs for selected packages, options or accessories. Excludes tax, title and license fees. Vehicle shown may not display selected options. Actual dealer price will vary. 2. EPA-estimated mileage. Actual results will vary.

THE COUNTRY CLUB AT CASTLE PINES A WORLD CLASS TRANSFORMATION HAS BEGUN The Country Club at Castle Pines has broken ground on their transformation project that will bring stylish new indoor and outdoor dining, bar and patio features to the clubhouse along with new cliffside amenities that showcase our views over Castle Rock and the entire Front Range. The cliffside village will include an infinity edge pool, new dining and bar, fitness and racket sports. 2021 will also bring the formal grand opening of The Crags, our one acre putting course perched at 6700 feet and literally built upon the rocky crags behind our Clubhouse. Complete with lighting, music, fire pits and a new bar, Golf Members and their guests won’t ever want to go home.


MARK LEWICKI, Director of Membership 303.660.6807 | mlewicki@ccatcastlepines.com 6400









*project details subject to change as project develops