Vail Daily letter: Viva Vail! | VailDaily.com
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Vail Daily letter: Viva Vail!

Thomas M. Noonan
Vail, CO, Colorado

Our family returned to Vail for our annual week at Apollo Park. Once again, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

This trip was a little different, though, as my wife was recovering from ankle surgery and basically stuck in the timeshare for the duration of the week.

Vail is a special place and internationally famous for its fine dining, hospitality and, of course, skiing. Not enough snow in June to claim an injury on the slopes for my wife. However, we tried anyway.



Back home people asked about our vacation and received our rave reviews, but there is a special place in Vail most people outside of Vail miss, unfortunately. It’s a special place, perhaps even sacred: The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

After visiting the gardens several times over the years, this time I took a guided tour with Mrs. Gwen Scalpello. For a suggested donation of only $5, she provided an amazing tour of the gardens and opened my eyes to something I thought I knew from previous visits there.

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After about a two-hour tour describing the intricacies of the garden that I was oblivious to during prior visits, she left me with a smile and a gentle handshake. What a way to honor the beautiful legacy of Mrs. Ford!

I can only hope some of her gardening expertise was captured in that handshake as I slowly embark on an effort to transform the vast collection of weeds around our home into a small garden inspired by the gardens in Vail. Not everyone can afford to visit Vail, but I highly recommend all visitors invest some time touring The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

On our last night in Vail, my wife asked me to find something sweet for her in the Vail Village, and Loaded Joe’s came through with some awesome milkshakes.



Along the the way, I discovered the pedicab service, which was new to me. Phil Waidner graciously agreed to deliver my wife to Blu’s for a delicious breakfast the next morning and added a nice tour of the Vail Village after breakfast.

She was smiling throughout the trip as Phil shared his Spanish acquired during a year in Bolivia with my Peruvian wife, who teaches high school Spanish. So, viva Vail, and we look forward to returning next year. Gracias, amigos.

Thomas M. Noonan


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