Following our Christmas Day visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, Dan and I headed east to Estes Park. Luckily we left some extra time, some of which we spent waiting for a herd of a few dozen elk to cross the street.
They took their sweet time. No one seemed to mind.
In case your mom is not as obsessed as mine: Estes Park is home to the Stanley Hotel, an historic landmark that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining and its movie adaptation.
The Stanley opened in 1909, boasts tons of paranormal activity, and features sweeping views of the Rockies. Its namesake is Freelan Stanley, of Stanley Steamer fame.
On Christmas Day, the Stanley is the only game in town — while most restaurants and coffee shops are closed, the hotel bustles with tourists. Dan booked us spot at their sumptuous Christmas brunch to cap our Rocky adventure — likely not a splurge we’ll make every year, but certainly a memorable way to wrap up our first Christmas in Colorado.