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Indulging in Summit romance

The mountains were made for romantic evenings, but sometimes, between the single-digit, fleece-demanding winter weather and the necessity of working long hours to meet housing prices, locals tend to forget that Summit sizzles with tantalizing places to reconnect with a loved one.(No, we’re not talking sex shops, though High Altitude can take care of a couple needs, and Hand and Glove in Breckenridge sells slinky lingerie, as well as provocative gloves. And, if you don’t happen to have someone special this Valentine’s Day, check out our story on High Country dating on B11 and our A&E calendar of distraction.)What we’re alluding to is taking the plunge by throwing a little money down and living it up like a tourist (hell, even if you spend over a hundred dollars on dinner, it’s a lot less than those poor couples and families shell out for a simple day of skiing).You have kids, you say? Take advantage of Breckenridge Recreation Center’s childcare from 6-8 p.m. Monday; For $16 per kid (ages 3 to 6), little ones get a night of games, crafts and dinner while you spend an early night on the town.Or, avoid the Valentine’s Day crowds by taking advantage of the Breckenridge Restaurant Association’s Locals’ Valentine special on Tuesday. Fifteen restaurants, including the casual Windy City Pizza, the historic Briar Rose Chophouse and Hearthstone, fondue at The Swiss Haven or the sophisticated Modis, offer specials.”It’s a great opportunity for us workin’ folk to hit the town, avoid the crowds and sample Breck restaurants at a good price,” said Rachel Zerowin, of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.Keystone Resort is also a great place to savor high-end cuisine, particularly at the romantic Ski Tip Lodge or the historic, cozy Ranch, or Keystone’s dinner sleigh rides. The latter two offer two-for-$99 deals, and then there’s the European flair of Alpenglow, complete with an intimate gondola ride (two, really) to the restaurant.Other sleigh rides around the county include Copper Mountain (offering a lower-cost option, without the added dinner or show expense, or a dessert-only ride); Breckenridge Sleigh Rides, which provides intimate tables at which to dine (rather than communal tables) and a golf-course atmosphere (it also offers exclusive rides in a sleigh that seats up to four and comes with dessert goodies, from a gourmet chocolate bar to Frangellico, Irish Cream and Baileys); Two Below Zero Dinner Sleigh Rides in Frisco – Colorado’s longest continuously running sleigh outfit; and Nordic Sleigh Rides, which blends history, entertainment and food with family-friendly shows, including saloon girls, the mountain man, and Molly Brown.For a little adrenaline rush (combined with Huskies that’ll melt your heart), check out Good Times Adventures’ dogsledding. The only slight drawback is you will most likely share your good times mushing (meaning, driving the sleigh the dogs pull) with a few other people, as you take turns, while alternating between riding in a six-person sled pulled by a snowmobile and controlling the speed of your single- or double-person sled. But it’s an unforgettable experience.You’ve probably walked or driven down Breckenridge’s town streets hundreds or thousands of times, but experiencing them from the perspective of a carriage ride adds a whole new dimension. You may have seen the white horses and carriage, just waiting to sweep couples on a 10-minute trip around town, or a longer 30-minute historic tour. Simply show up on the corner of Main Street and Washington and wait for the carriage to return (barring bad weather).If you’re yearning for something a little more relaxing and warm, check out spas and even chiropractic offices around town (Auth Chiropractic in Dillon is offering a couples’ massage, with chocolate and wine). Mountain Sanctuary Day Spa in Breckenridge specializes in couples’ massage with its couples’ treatment rooms, as do spas like Blue Sage.Finally, if you want to combine dinner with a one-mile tour on cross-country skis or snowshoes, check out Tennessee Pass Cookhouse in Leadville. The four-course gourmet dinner includes entrees of elk tenderloin, rack of lamb, salmon, roasted chicken and vegetarian specials. A much less expensive lunch menu includes buffalo burgers, teriyaki chicken or fettuccine.Of course, you can never go wrong with flowers and chocolate, and Summit County has plenty of florists like Little Flower Shop in Dillon and sweet shops like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. From 4-6 p.m. Sunday, you can meet Fairplay’s own Chocolate Bordello and learn about wine and chocolate pairings at Breckenridge Cheese & Chocolate/Ridge Street Wine. You’ll also be privy to how they make their scrumptious chocolate truffles. And, if you’re looking for a really tall order when it comes to roses, check out Organic Bouquet’s 6-foot roses. Sure, you have to order them online (www.organicbouquet.com), but they grow naturally tall on an Ecuadorian farm nestled between two volcanoes at more than 9,600 feet. Each flower opens to 3-4 inches in diameter, but it’ll cost you $279.95 for a dozen.


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