Breckenridge- Where "Where You From?" means "Glad You're Here"
Of course, it's true that the mountains around Breckenridge were there long before the first building went up and the mountains are, in fact, the reason the buildings first went up as in - "There's gold in them thar hills."
That's also true today in the sense that the mountains still sustain the town, but now it's with skiing. Over the life of Breckenridge this attachment to the wealth offered by the mountains nutured a unique culture and become the fabric that makes a vacationer or a visiting skier feel more a welcomed friend than a tourist.
In Town In Time For The Breck Tree Lighting
My wife and I arrived in Breckenridge in early December on the day of the Town of Breckenridge's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony held at the Blue River Plaza. Staying at the Mountain Thunder Lodge a few blocks off Main Street we walked over to Main and had only to follow the strolling families and couples to where Santa was scheduled to lead the countdown and light the tree.
Family dogs were tugging on leashes and were as friendly and welcomed as the people on the Plaza. It was like a big hometown holiday party where you may not personally know everyone but you knew that everyone there was there because they felt welcome. It was a feeling that you could just turn to the nearest person and talk holiday fun stuff like you would with your neighbor back home.
By the time Santa arrived, announced by a fire-breathing hot air balloon gas burner, it was a dusky 6 pm and after leading the 5-4-3-2-1, Santa pushed a button and the 25' tree burst into a brilliance of all white lights. A few carols later and I found myself Good Nighting and Merry Christmasing people I had just met, but felt like I knew well. For my wife and I, and the other vacationing skiers and tourists it was a down to earth, unassuming and appreciated welcome into the Breckenridge community.
A Main Street as Much Community as Business
The Victorian architectural legacy that Breckenridge has inherited lends itself well to the shops and boutiques of Main Street. One store next to the other makes for an interesting stroll. From ski shops, to ski wear concept stores, to high fashion and body pampering boutiques, to toy stores, and pet stores too, you will find everything you need for everyone in your family.
Everything sells with a smile and even without selling you will get the smiles. One day after skiing we were walking and stopped to read the posted menu outside a French cafe when the lady came out with a big smile and a try of French pastries - free to taste!
Dining is Only a Problem When You Have To Choose Where
Breckenridge is rightfully proud of the spectrum of dining establishments covering all types, manners, and nationalities of cuisine.
To wit, we ate one night in a Swiss fondue specialty restaurant - aptly named Swiss Haven where it will tickle you to hear Alfonso ask "Where you from?" with a Euro-Belgian accent. Another evening we enjoyed an elegant dinner at the Briar Rose offering premium western beef and wild game entries all with local grown sundries.
A very interesting establishment is the Dredge Boathouse restaurant. This is a 2 million pound replica of a gold digging dredge, sitting in a pond on the Blue River, over the bones of an actual working dredge that sank here back in 1942. There is very good Elk medallion on the menu, along with a variety of other steaks and seafood. Regarding the Blue River - in Breckenridge, it's no exaggerating that the skiing is truly large, but the Blue River is a creek to me.
The better part of our last evening in Breckenridge was spent at Le Petit Paris dining with friends and waited over in the way only the duet of French sisters and proprietors can proffer. Onion soup - French of course, and a lamb cooked to slide off the bone - Bon Appétit!
You eat so well in Breckenridge that you have to ski the next day.
Last Word On Breckenridge
No matter where you go in Breckenridge, on the mountain, in town, or even in transit you can bet that the person renting you skis, serving you dinner, or driving your shuttle will, shortly after greeting you, ask "Where You from?" It's sort of a singsong pattern developed from repetition - Where you from! - more statement then question, but it means - "I'm from somewhere, too, but ain't it great we're both here today in Breck?"
I was only a day back from Breckenridge when I realized I was actually missing someone greeting me with "Where you from?"
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