Our Story

Who We Are – Dwellers of the Desert

The Brunners - Durango Colorado Vacation Rental Extordinares

My amazing wife Maria, Katie (9), Will (12), and I are a fun loving, in-the-moment, adventure-focused Family.  Our current Base Camp is the desert of Tucson, Arizona.  My co-pilot wife is formally known as Dr. Maria Miller, an animal conjurer (animals just show up at our house!) and veterinarian who graduated from the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine.  She practices as a beloved housecall doctor in Tucson Arizona called Tucson Vetcalls.

Only because I am psychologically trained have I been able to fend off Maria and Katie’s tag team strategies to try and adopt more animals.  Let’s not discuss how many we have!  Katie is a true Mother’s Daughter; Katie joyfully rides her quarter horse through the Sonoran desert and proving she is one tough cowgirl!  Katie is a horse whisperer and fellow animal lover like her mother.

Our son William is following in my footsteps of playing what I call the Royal Game: Tennis.  He and I are fierce competitors, whether we are volleying in tennis, playing chess or ping pong.  William reads voraciously, and we brought some of his books here, so enjoy!! Will and Katie also helped with our choosing what games to have here.

Formally I am known as Dr. Tom Brunner (call me Tom if you call) and I am a consultant and psychological expert. I am passionate about helping other people reach their True Potential.  Anyone interested can view my websites describing various facets of what I do: Personalized Career Matching, Doctor Brunner.

How did our Family get started?  The first time Maria and I locked eyes was unforgettable.  We were across from each other, underground, and in motion; on the Metro in Washington, D.C.  We had nothing but our youth back then.

We hope Casa de Pura Vida gives you these kinds of unforgettable moments.

Cheers, The Brunner Clan


Why we chose Durango?

We have travelled all over the World…and constantly asked ourselves, is this THE place we could fall in LOVE with so deeply that it would become our Family’s year-round destination? A place so diverse that it served our family’s and friends’ diverse passions??? As soon as we visited Durango, Colorado, we knew the stars had aligned!!!  Finally, a place we could live – as the Costa Ricans say – “Pura Vida!”  Pure Life.  Our Family felt an immediate and instinctual bond for Durango, and Cascade Village.

And Casa de Pura Vida was born…

Durango possesses an almost unheard of (even compared to other Colorado towns) convergence of sporting, outdoor, sightseeing, musical, shopping, spa (check out the 114 degree water at Pagosa Springs) and culinary/nightlife adventures.   Durango has won over 84 awards just between 2008 and 2016 alone.  Many of them from nationally recognized publications like National Geographic, TripAdvisor, Ski, Forbes, Sunset, USA Today, True West, Outdoor, Country Living, and Buzzfeed.

Can you find another town that has this jaw dropping diversity of awards from magazines/newspapers/world travel organizations?

“Best Destination for Outdoor Enthusiasts” (USA Today), “Finest places you’d ever like to call home” (Outside), “Best Romantic Getaway” (Sunset), “Top Value Ski Spot in North America”  (Trip Advisor & Forbes), “Cities where the weather is perfect year around” (Buzzfeed), “Best U.S. Cycling Town” (USA Today), “Best Historic Railroad of the West” (True West), “America’s 20 Best Small Towns for Christmas” (Country Living), “Top 10 Western Town” (True West) Magazine.

We wish you Pura Vida!  Please Care for our Home the as if it was yours, and we promise to treat you like Family!

Happy Trails!  Owners Tom and Maria