My family likes to eat—a lot. And when we go skiing to some of our new favorite resorts in Colorado, we eat, well, a lot. Still, with differing appetites, tastes and hunger levels, sometimes lunch can go completely awry. I’ve found myself wandering aimlessly through cafeterias without a clue of whether I want the bison chili, the Greek salad or just a Clif Bar to get me through the afternoon. Meanwhile, my husband, Carlton, my 12-year-old daughter, Dillon, and my 10-year-old son, Harper, will have wolfed down their french fries and mac ‘n’ cheese before I’ve made it to the table.
It’s a good problem. Back in Vermont, we’d pack up sandwiches, soups and Oreo cookies. But in Colorado, the tasty fare tempts us to wing it (even if we don’t end up with wings).
Our first time at Copper, I suggested a sit-down burger spot. No go. Everyone was too anxious to get back out on the hill.
So I came up with a plan for our next trip to the mountain, having spied a tasty-looking food court with plenty of options at Jack’s Slopeside Grill in Center Village. We grabbed a table, and together, did a loop of the choices: would it be pizza, panini, salad, pho or burgers? Typically a sucker for the salad bar, I decided to cave to my cravings and ordered a chicken and cheese sandwich with guacamole (gotta hit my daily avocado intake) while Dillon opted for the mac and cheese. Carlton got spicy at the pho bar while Harper loaded a baked potato with chili and cheese.
Yes, there was a lot of cheese involved. And not to get to cheesy, but it was one of the most fun and memorable lunches in all of our ski trips.
“If I could choose one place to eat for the rest of my life,” said Harper, “this would be it.”
It was music to my ears.
So here are the lessons I’ve learned:
- Time it right. Lunchtime is, not surprisingly, the busiest time. We usually eat a very early breakfast on our way to the resort so that we’re hungry by 11:30 or so—before everyone else decides it’s time for a break.
- Scout out the table first. Avoid hovering, but keep an eagle eye out for families who might be finishing up hot chocolate and reaching for their jackets.
- Divide and conquer. One parent goes with one child (or two), one goes with the other (or others).
- Be decisive. Sure, pretty much everything looks and smells great, but you can always come back another weekend.
- On a budget? Feel free to pack your own PB & Js. All CSUSA resorts have common eating areas, some with microwaves.