The Rancics Hope Duke Inherits Their ‘Love of Nature’

Rancic Independence Day

Toni Axelrod

With a name like Duke and parents who love the Colorado Rockies, the 10-month-old son of Bill and Giuliana Rancic is clearly a mountain man in the making.

The reality television stars made sure Duke spent his first Fourth of July at 8,000 feet at the base of the famed ski slopes of Vail, Colo., but he wasn’t exactly roughing it. The couple checked into a posh apartment in the Ritz-Carlton Residences, using it as a base camp for a number of high-alpine adventures.

“We’re a very active couple, Bill and I; we love to be outside,” Giuliana tells PEOPLE. “We love the sun and being out in nature, so we want Duke to grow up hopefully with that love of nature and being outdoors as well.”

Plopping 25-pound Duke in a baby backpack, the Rancics hiked Berry Picker Trail to the top of Vail Mountain (at more than 11,000 feet), lunched on pulled pork sandwiches (Duke had a bottle) and rode the Eagle Bahn Gondola back down to the Bavarian-style ski village.

The Rancics also planned a Jeep ride 15 miles up to Piney Ranch, where Bill used to vacation in the summers when he was young, riding horses, hiking and exploring Piney Lake.

“I started skiing when I was four, so [Duke’s] going to be skiing at a really early age,” Bill says. “I’m all about exposing him [to outdoor sports] at an early age. You’ve got to teach him at an early age and then they don’t have any fear. That was the best thing my parents did for me. I was river rafting in Colorado, skiing – we did it all.”

In Vail, the family did some more sedate things, like taking in the ski town’s annual Fourth of July Parade and strolling and biking the area’s numerous trails. They didn’t, however, break any news about a sibling for Duke.

“We’ve always said that we’d love to have another [child] and we’d love them to be close in age, but it’s a major commitment and we want to make sure that our lives, our schedule will allow us to be able to give our kids 110 percent,” Giuliana explains.

That said, the couple do maintain a relationship with the local woman who carried their first child for them after infertility, a miscarriage and cancer diagnosis left them at a loss.

“We do try to see her whenever we come into town,” Bill says of the gestational carrier, who was traveling out of town herself this trip. “We come [here] quite often because Giuliana’s cancer doctor is in Denver and so we have to go for checkups on a regular basis.”

Giuliana and Bill premieres July 16 at 8 p.m. on Style.

– David O. Williams

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