Readers inquiring about an old-fashioned Christmas will find the answer at C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, Colo. (where scenes that promise to sparkle with memories of Christmases past abound). Guests will join proprietors Clark and Peg Murray, trimming a floor-to-ceiling evergreen in the main lodge. The official opening date for the winter season at C Lazy U is Dec. 16. Sleigh rides will feature a couple of Belgian draft horses (Levi and Strauss), and cross-country skiers will fan out across miles of powdered trails. (Downhill skiers will be delivered by bus to Winter Park.) Others will go sledding, tubing, ice skating.
A staff talent show and caroling will kick off the holiday period Dec. 22. The tree-trimming party follows on Dec. 23, and Santa arrives Christmas Eve in a one-horse open sleigh. Gifts for everyone. On Christmas Day, stockings will be opened by the fireplace, followed by a turkey dinner.
I'm ready to go.
C Lazy U Ranch, P.O. Box 378, Granby, Colo. 80446. Telephone (303) 887-3344. Rates: $136/$158 per person a day, with a 10% discount for guests reserving accommodations for seven days or longer. A three-night minimum will be in effect starting Dec. 16 through Jan. 7. Discounts for children ages 3-12. Inquire about transportation from Denver.
The Pampered Traveler
For the cruise buff who prefers small groups and gracious shipboard life, Renaissance Cruises is moving into position with the first of eight new 100-passenger ships to be launched next month in Italy. Voyages to four continents (nearly 200 exotic and unusual ports). Onboard orientation by scholars recruited from around the world. The luxury line will focus on the Far East, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean/Mediterranean, South America, the Black/Red Sea.
A series of Far East cruises in January, Singapore to Bali. Other datelines for later trips: Macau, Laguna San Rafael (Chile), Nosy Koma (Madagascar), Sharm El Sheik (Egypt), Zanzibar, ad infinitum.
Open dining on board ship (dinner, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.). Closed-circuit video. Afternoon tea. A piano bar, a trio for dancing. Suites featuring queen-size beds.
Details and a 52-page brochure by writing to Renaissance Cruises, 1800 Eller Drive, Suite 300, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33335. Telephone toll-free (800) 525-2450.
A free 64-page magazine is being mailed to skiers and other winter vacationers by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. Details on lodging, recreation, dining, transportation. The section on skiing lists 35 lodging/lift-ticket combinations. A choice of resorts, cabins, condominiums. Besides downhill skiing, the guide provides information on cross-country skiing, dog-sled tours. For a copy of the "Lake Tahoe Winter Travel Planner," write to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, P.O. Box 16299, Lake Tahoe, Calif. 95706. Telephone toll-free (800) 288-2463.
More on Skiing
Another free guide for skiers has been published by Tourism British Columbia. Describes 70 ski destinations in western Canada. Both downhill and cross-country skiing. During the last three years $300 million has been spent on improvements at Whistler Resort in the southwestern corner of the province (hotels, restaurants, shops, health clubs). Whistler features five alpine bowls, more than 100 trails.
Chateau Whistler Resort boasts how "the longest runs in North America end in our hot tub." A slight exaggeration, but not all that far-fetched. Not with guests skiing right to the door. The same guide provides information on heli-skiing/snowcat skiing in British Columbia.
For a copy of the 63-page B.C. guide, telephone toll-free (800) 663-6000. Other details from the Whistler Resort Assn., P.O. Box 1400, Whistler, B.C. V0N 1BO, Canada. In Southern California, dial Tourism British Columbia at (714) 852-1054.
Arizona is gearing up for its annual invasion by winter vacationers. Key destinations include Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson. Small inns, major hotels. In Phoenix, The Pointe Resorts is offering special holiday rates ($86 for two-room suites) Nov. 1-Dec. 31. The Boulders at Carefree (adobe-style casitas) is a good choice. This is only a few miles beyond Scottsdale and peaceful as a moonbeam.
Other vacationers will be zeroing in on Wickenburg, the one-time "Dude Ranch Capital of the West." The slickest hideaway in Wickenburg is Rancho de los Caballeros. Golf, riding, tennis, a swimming pool. For a Western-style spread, the cheerful little Kay El Bar Guest Ranch gets high marks. Adobe buildings, trail rides, friendly proprietors.
Ask your travel agent for a list of other popular Arizona guest ranches/resorts or write to the Phoenix & Valley of the Sun Convention & Visitors Bureau, 505 N. 2nd St., Suite 300, Phoenix, Ariz. 85004-3998.
Meanwhile, Arizona Highways has published a 56-page road atlas. Contains 17 regional maps of Arizona along with a mileage chart, a statewide listing of attractions. Sells for $4.95. Details from Arizona Highways, 2039 W. Lewis Ave., Phoenix, Ariz. 85009.