Birthday At The Broadmoor

This is…  Well, my 82nd, actually.

I turned 82 years old last week.  Gulp.

The only appropriate reaction to a number like that is disbelief, amused surrender…  And to say damn it all and celebrate!

It called for something truly special.  So to mark the occasion, the three of us – my gentleman friend Lou Jahde and I, and my son Frank – celebrated my birthday with a stay at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.

If you’ve never heard of The Broadmoor, the Denver Post recently published a fascinating article about it here.  It is a world-famous resort with a long and colorful history.  It opened in June 1918 and just celebrated its 100th Anniversary (older than me – thank god).  It’s difficult to imagine a more glamorous hotel.  But as the writer of the article so aptly puts it, “To call The Broadmoor a hotel is like calling the Taj Mahal a building…visitors could easily imagine they are at Lake Lucerne in Switzerland or Lake Como in Italy.”  Having been to both those places and reveled in their beauty, I have to say the comparison is not just hyperbole.  The semi-circle of pink stucco classic Italianate buildings surround a small lake at the base of Cheyenne Mountain – the view is gorgeous, and very relaxing.

Inside, you could wander around for hours admiring the elegance and style of this 5 Star 779-room hotel!  Lou and I had both been there on separate occasions decades ago but Frank was seeing it for the first time.  And the very best time.  Credit for that goes to Philip Anschutz, Colorado’s most notable billionaire.  As he tells it,  he started coming to The Broadmoor with his family when he was only five years old.  At the age of 10 he told his parents he was going to buy the hotel.  And in 2011, he did just that, and has spent an estimated 600 million on renovations and expansions.

It’s all self-enclosed, you never need or want to leave the grounds.

Besides the 10 restaurants and many shops, there is a world-class golf course and spa, a movie theatre, tennis courts, swimming pools and a bowling alley!  For the more adventurous, they arrange rock climbing, have a zip line and hiking trails, etc.  There are several tours.  The one we chose was to see The Seven Falls (waterfalls).  It was every bit worth our time – even in extreme heat.  And when we were done our ride back to the hotel was right there.  The service was incredible all around.  We could not get over the diverse nationalities of the staff.  They come from all over the world (Poland, Jamaica, Italy) to work there – the number of accents was dizzying – and are very warm and friendly.

That sophisticated, cosmopolitan feel, so incongruous in Colorado Springs, was exactly the reason Spencer Penrose built it!  A bon vivant who made his millions in gold mines and copper, he wanted to impress his snobbish East Coast friends who thought of the West as a wasteland.  He hired the same architectural firm who had just completed New York’s Grand Central Station to build the hotel, and the landscapers who designed Central Park to lay out the grounds.







But, to be honest, with all the hustle and bustle of the place in its peak season, our favorite moments were when we did very little at all.  We took slow walks around the lake.  People-watched.  Dog-watched – the hotel is uniquely animal-friendly, guests can bring pets of all sizes and species.

And later in the day, after a session at the swimming pool, we would meet in the courtyard, commandeer an inviting shaded table, order cocktails and sliders…and just play chess.

It was a bit of heaven.  Just the perfect escape from everyday life.

I sound like a commercial, I know – but see, I want to go back next year, and I’m hoping The Broadmoor will comp us!  😉

All jokes aside, I feel so fortunate to be living so fully at this age.

I’m so lucky to have a marvelous and inspirational partner like Lou with whom to enjoy all the finer things in life; and my son, Frank, who is always such fun company and keeps me young.  Then there are all my close friends, my design work, and my clients who have become great friends as well.  Although my family has sadly dwindled, I am even fortunate there too.  I have a California family and also a Port Huron family I inherited from my husband Burt – whose presence still looms large in my life and memory, as he was quite a guy.  And most importantly, I have my health.  A year ago this time I was in terrible pain with my shoulder problem and was just exhausted and depressed.  I’m living proof there can always be better days ahead.

Lots and lots of life’s blessings.  I can’t complain.

This is why I wanted to write this blog.  I want all of you to have these small epiphanies where you count your blessings and feel as grateful as I do!  To enjoy your good health, look and feel your best and to never stop learning new things!

Or visiting exciting places, for that matter…

That’s my birthday wish.



  1. Pam o says:

    Wonderful memories shared of your birthday. Love the mention of your Port Huron family! Love you Aunt Kari!

    1. Kari Mugavero says:

      I screwed up so I am repeating my reply .
      Pam, you are so kind and thoughtful! I still treasure our time spent together and have some great pictures to remind me. Thank you for reading my blog. I send my love and affection, Kari

  2. Margie Rivers says:

    Hi Auntie Kari what a beautiful way to celebrate your birthday! You look great! We love you ! 🍷🍷🍷Margie & Mike

    1. Kari Mugavero says:

      Pam you are so kind and thoughtful! I still treasure our time spent together. Thank you for reading my blog.!

    2. Kari Mugavero says:

      Thank you Margie, I am sending you and Mike love and hugs!! Would love to be sharing those glasses of wine with you guys. It makes me happy to know you are reading my blog. I am following you on Facebook and think the new addition to your family is adorable!! and how Jax has grown. WOW 😀

  3. Janet says:

    What an incredible article. You sound great. We love and miss you.

    1. Kari Mugavero says:

      Hey Janet, I sure would love to have you here in Colorado! Remember you considered it once ?
      But I am so pleased you are reading my blog and thanks for your comment. “Are you having any fun?”
      does that sound familiar to you. Sending lots of love to you and Mike as well as all your lovely family!

  4. Bill DeMaio says:

    What a fabulous life for a very deserving woman. Brava!

    1. Kari Mugavero says:

      Bill, your comment means so much to me because I am such a fan of yours. I follow you and Mark’s adventures too and you are doing great at living life to the fullest!! Thanks for leaving a comment. YAY

  5. Christy Zarlengo says:

    Happy belated birthday, Kari. I am continuing to enjoy your wonderful blog!

    1. Kari Mugavero says:

      Gee Christy, I wish you were closer so we could get together again. I follow you on Facebook and it is so good to see your life is full and happy! Please give my affectionate hello to your mom, Sandy, and keep
      posting pictures so I can keep up with you!! And, I am thrilled that you like my blog! Keep looking, more to come.

  6. Theresa Casey says:

    I love comment how the Broadmoor seems incongruous with the rest of Colorado Springs, and that is exactly why Spencer Premrose built it! It does beautifully complement the granduer of the mountians around it. We were recently at the Broadmoor and really enjoyed it. Had a beautiful dinner at Seven Falls, and had a great lunch in the pub. It had been several years since we’d been and they have done an amazing job restoring it! You look so beautiful and happy. Congratulations on your birthday, Kari! You make the world a more lovely place.

    1. Oh Theresa, what a lovely comment! And I am so happy to learn that you and Jeff were at the Broadmoor recently. Sounds like you did it up right!! As always, I send my best to both of you and hope to see you soon.

  7. Linda says:

    In 1961 I was a senior at St Francis high school in Denver and we would have a senior retreat at the Broadmoor. The boys one week and girls the next. Lots of memories there as through the years I have stayed at the Broadmoor several times . When we get together again I’ll tell you about our retreat! For a long time it was the place Ice skating Olympic hopefuls would train.

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