Remember when you were a kid and you went away to camp during the summer? Who knew that as an empty nester, you can still go away to camp? I like to think of this annual girls getaway weekend as a camp for adults because we play tennis for three solid days, go out to dinner at night and leave with sore muscles and another year of marvelous memories. We are so fortunate to live near one of the most luxurious and world renown hotels in America and to be able to attend their tennis camps taught by entertaining and highly skilled pros. The Broadmoor is a AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star award winning hotel, visited by dignitaries, presidents, Hollywood elite and even just normal people like us. If you’ve never been to Colorado Springs, it is worth it to make a trip here just to visit this resort, although the Springs has plenty of other wonderful things to see and do too. That post is for another day…
View from the lake
We arrived on a Friday afternoon, just in time to get checked in and grab a quick lunch before our three hour afternoon drill. Fortunately, the Broadmoor has plenty of options for a delicious lunch and we chose La Taverne for our pre-game ammunition. Near the back of the restaurant is an area called Le Jardin which is a more casual atmosphere surrounding diners with lush gardens and a truly spectacular 16-foot chandelier. If you have dinner here, there is a traditional, rich wood paneled dining room offering juicy steaks, fresh shellfish, interesting cocktails and an extensive wine list. Live music on the weekends gets people out of their seats and moving on the center dance floor.
This is a view of the 16-foot chandelier taken at night so you can see the effect of the light against the night sky.
One of the hobbies I picked up after having my kids was tennis. I started out as a complete beginner when the girls were in pre-school. I found I needed an athletic outlet and since I never played sports in school I thought why not try tennis? Tennis is one of the few sports that offers adults beginner lessons as well as leagues to join with other women (and men) who are at your same skill level. Turned out it was fun and a great way to get some exercise. Now my daughters are grown and I’m still playing tennis with some of the same girlfriends from way back then. Tennis was also a way to salvage some of my own identity because as a stay-at-home mom it’s easy to focus so much attention on your kids, husband and household that you lose sight of your own interests. I’m grateful I found an activity that I can keep playing especially now that my children have moved away. It’s nice to have nurtured this little hobby because of the fantastic friendships that have resulted as well as the laughter filled nights surrounded by empty wine glasses and tennis bags…
By the time tennis was over, we were ready to head back to our rooms to get cleaned up for dinner. The accommodations at the Broadmoor are truly luxurious with separate seating areas, oversized bathrooms, plush carpet and comfy, downy bedding. We booked regular rooms but the options range from rooms like ours to cottages and even elegant brownstones. The property itself is so spectacular my pictures can hardly do it justice. Three golf courses surround the property as well as endless activities in addition to tennis. Rock climbing, zip lining, fly fishing, horse back riding, falconry, and much more can all be arranged through the concierge. But our weekend girls getaway was all about tennis camp and we really did not have time for anything else, except eating of course! And there was never a shortage of places to eat…
Saw this on the way to dinner…
Then stopped and stared at all of this…
Luckily, I made it past the pastry delights and sauntered into Ristorante Del Lago, the Italian inspired restaurant with a warm European flair. In warmer weather, diners can experience both indoor and outdoor tables with an inviting fireplace. We chose a large, round table for the eight of us so we could all see and talk to each other. I can’t emphasize enough how important a round table is for large groups. Rectangular tables limit conversations to the person next to you and across from you. Round tables include everyone in the conversation. By the way, with eight women, there is bound to be a lot of conversation! I decided purposefully not to take any food pictures. Some things are better left to the imagination. I ordered the Roman Meatballs, made with smoked ricotta cheese, and served with buckwheat polenta. Sipping a rich pinot noir, I savored the intense flavor and aroma of this hand made dish and appreciated every mouth watering bite. Of course, each meal we ordered had its own special nuance of taste and flavor, from the marinated beet and hazelnut salad to the simple spaghetti pomodoro. Wood fired pizzas, fresh cheeses and salamis, fresh fish, pork and beef dishes offer something for everyone. I can’t wait to go back.
After that filling and incredibly satisfying meal, we meandered around the West building and wandered into the lively bowling alley. You would think we would be too tired to play a game but this was our first night and the excitement was feeding our adrenaline. Yes you can bowl at the Broadmoor! The lanes are located in a bar and lounge area where you can rent shoes and throw a few balls. I lasted through one game and managed not to fall down and hurt myself. That, my friends, is a first.
The next day arrived before I was quite ready after such a late night, but a little exercise can clean out the cob webs and get the blood flowing. We drilled both morning and afternoon with organized match play at the end of the day. My feet and legs were a happy sore from all this activity and I felt glad to be alive and healthy. Dinner that night was a plate of fresh oysters – something I had never tried before until just last year – and they were delicious! My fluffy bed was calling to me and I was asleep before I hit the pillow.
I will never take for granted these moments when you reflect on how fortunate it is to be among friends, laughing and enjoying life. How do you enjoy life to the fullest? What hobbies and activities make you happy or that you may want to try now that your kids have flown the nest?
View from my room
Misty Colorado morning
Reflections of joy
Cozy spot for an afternoon cappuccino
Wonderful women, dear friends, tennis teammates!