Leave Your Mark of Love

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Okay lovers – of every age – it’s too late for Valentine’s Day 2009 but romantic getaways shouldn’t be limited to one night a  year.  I suggest escaping any time of  year to Highland Haven Creekside Inn in Evergreen, Colorado. Less than a half hour from Denver, when at Highland Haven one feels a world away from the city. Tall pines and rocky outcroppings shelter lodge and cabins; Bear Creek tumbles in front of the property.

 Sunset named the inn as a Top 10 Romantic Cottage, in a “Denver’s Best Stuff ” issue of 5280 magazine Highland Haven earned the title of Top Place to Pop the Question. Accolades abound for the unique property.

Accommodations range from guest rooms and junior suites to private cottages and luxury suites with cozy fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs or private  hot tubs. Whichever you choose the decor reflects what innkeeper Gail Riley terms “Colorado Chic.” You and your sweetheart are sure to appreciate the attention to detail and comfort.hh-interior1

Innkeepers and staff stand ready to enhance the romance with flutes of chilled champagne, imported chocolates, flowers, music or poetry. The inn says, “Love is in the air, in the trees and on the lane!” Several years ago a standing dead tree was stripped of branches and bark, lovers added their mark with hearts, names, intials and/or dates. Gail loves to tell the tender stories of individual carvings. The Sweetheart Tree was so popular a second has been added. A local artist does the carving – contact the inn to make arrangements to leave your mark. Lovers Lane is a stepping stone walkway across the broad lawn from inn to creek. Memorialize a special date or loved one with an engraved stone along the path.

Although it’s too late for a February 14, 2009 reservation it’s not too late for a gift certificate or a copy of Gail’s book  Colorado Cravings – Recipes and Romance. Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, wedding, honeymoon, anniversary or popping the question you’ll long remember Highland Haven.

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Creekside Cellars Winery and Italian Cafe

glasses-and-santa4While in Evergreen yesterday we stopped at Creekside Cellars for a late lunch. We weren’t the only ones, they were slammed. Obviously not a routine Monday, everyone seems to still be on holiday except the hard working Creekside staff. The tasting room/cafe isn’t large and the popularity of both the wine and food attracts loyal followers. The favorite summer seating, on the deck overhanging Bear Creek, was even filled on this sunny and warm December day.

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Taking a Spin

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For generations Evergreen Lake has been a favorite winter destination for Denver area families. The lake is frozen and open for 2010 winter recreation. There’s plenty of room for hockey practice and pick-up games, beginner and serious skaters as well as those who do more ice standing than skating.

The log Lake House offers lots of benches for lacing up skates, rental skates, hockey supplies, and a snack bar. It’s a great place to warm up or crisp winter days.

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When You Go: Skate fees are $5 or less per session depending on age. Season passes and ten punch cards are available. The lake and lake house are part of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District. Their website gives little information;call the skating hotline, 720-880-1391 before heading to the lake.

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Happy Skating!