Dr. Charles Stoopack, a clinical instructor at UC San Diego and a former practicing OBGYN, has a second home in Vail, Colorado. He combines his love for skiing and adventure with THIRDHOME ski properties across the globe. He also loves discovering new cultures and attending musical events in Vail. He highly recommends catching a George Balanchine ballet (either Swan Lake or Serenade) if you ever get the chance. Meet THIRDHOME member Dr. Charles Stoopack!
How did you get involved with THIRDHOME?
I saw an article in a travel section of the Sunday paper. This was back in the fall of 2014. It just sounded like such a unique concept. The article showed all these places you could go, and it looked amazing. What happened at that point, I either called or emailed THIRDHOME in October, and we had a couple of conversations and I ended up joining around Christmas.
Where are you based?
I’m based out of Carlsbad, California, which is North of San Diego. I grew up in New York and moved here when I was 25 for my residency at UC San Diego, and I just fell in love with the place.
What do you do for a living?
I originally practiced as an OBGYN. At this point in time, I’m a professor at UC San Diego. I used to be in clinical practice for 23 years, but I had to have some orthopedic surgeries and stopped practicing and transferred to education. It’s wonderful teaching. I’m doing a lot of good. You try to mold young physicians into caring doctors, try to teach them what we call the “Art of Medicine,” how to appropriately care for patients to make them feel valued. The gain as a physician is that your practice will be more fun and be rewarding if you have that sort of relationship with your patients.
Who do you usually travel with?
My wife and my daughters. Now they’re both engaged, so we’ve got two weddings coming up this year. We travel with other couples as well. The idea behind joining THIRDHOME was that the properties were large and we could bring groups of friends or family.
What are your favorite travel hobbies?
I like skiing. I also like beach holidays with a beautiful beach that has nice sand and warm water. I like traveling where it involves culture, fine dining and fine wining as well. Not like whining, but wining!
In your past travels with THIRDHOME, what was your favorite destination and what did you love about it?
I wrote down the whole list so I could think about it. I would say Barbados. We stayed in a 9 bedroom and 9 bathroom villa that was fully staffed. The whole experience was very spoiling. The staff felt like your family after a day or two. They prepared all the meals. We paid for food and staff, of course. We had access to a private beach club at Sandy Lane which is one of the premier beach clubs in the world. It’s where Tiger Woods got married. The whole thing, the island, the people the staff, the access to the beach, it was just wonderful. We brought 13 people with us, and there was plenty of room for everyone. The food was incredible. We’d come home from wherever we were and there would be pitchers of margaritas and hor d’oeuvres waiting for us. We’d be sitting at a long dining table and it felt like we were in an old fashion movie. It was just spectacular.
What’s the next destination you are eyeing to travel to with THIRDHOME?
I’m going to Kenya next, to two different THIRDHOME properties. We’re going to Hippo Point and then to Cottars Mara Private Homestead. They look incredible. There was only one week available at Cottars, and it’s our 30th wedding anniversary and after several weeks of talking with the owner, with the help of Liz Bates, THIRDHOME‘s Director of Travel and Concierge Services, the owner agreed to give us that week. We’re very excited! The other property [Hippo Point] was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest as well. It has a gorgeous tower. I recall reading that Brad and Angelina had stayed there once, too.
What do you love most about your property with THIRDHOME?
The skiing in Vail. It’s the best skiing mountain in North America because it’s not terribly cold (Whistler members would argue with that). You get sunny days, which is much different than Whistler, where it was very dark. Vail’s got the back bowls, which if you don’t ski are these large open areas, they call them the legendary back bowls. The condo is extremely well located. It’s about 5 minutes from the gondola, if you don’t want to walk to the bus stops out front too. Our building went under a $10 million remodel so everything is updated and upgraded. The location is wonderful, 3 nice bedrooms, and 1800 sq ft. It’s very spacious. You can go there with other couples or two families and not feel on top of each other. I used to bring our daughters along with their friends for ski trips. We still go every summer for the annual dance festival. Something that’s unique to Vail is the summers. There is a BRAVO music fest that goes through July for 6 weeks or more, then a dance fest, then a jazz fest around Labor Day. There are a lot of cultural experiences that are just delightful. During the day you can hike or golf, then at night you go to the performances. These are world-class performances. The saying is that people go to Vail for the winter and then move there for the summers.
Any personal/family achievements you’d like to share?
Both of my daughters are engaged now so we have a busy year ahead of us. Their fiancés are great guys. We also have our 30th wedding anniversary coming up.
How has THIRDHOME changed the way you travel?
It allowed me to visit places that we probably would not have gone to and has allowed me to have accommodations for many people.
Anything else you think members should know?
I think the staff [of THIRDHOME] is wonderful. The concierge and member services are very helpful: Liz, Kristine, Amy Jo, Kelly. I hope I didn’t leave out anyone. I got a friend to join, and he booked a trip to San Juan Island. Actually, I’ve had two people that joined and two others thinking about it. And the Chairman’s Club, I’d thought about it for a while and when I finally did it, I loved it. It’s definitely worth it.