Monday, February 4, 2013

And I Didn't Even Fall!

S and I went on a long weekend trip to Winter Park, Colorado this past weekend.  It was my first time skiing out west and his first time snowboarding/being near large quantities of snow ever!  We flew into Denver Thursday night and rented a SUV to drive out to Winter Park ourselves.  It was snowing in the mountains, so the drive was a little stressful, but we made it to our place just fine.  We rented a great little one bedroom condo about 5 minutes from the mountain and then spent two long and incredible days of skiing.  The weather couldn't have been better - fresh powder on Friday and Saturday and weather in the low 30s.  On Saturday and Sunday the sky was clear blue and sunny.  Perfect. S spent Friday in a snowboarding lesson and I combed most of the green runs on my own.  Skiing in the powder was fantastic!  I made about 7 or so runs that day.  The first one was was short, just to make sure I had my ski footing still.  I did okay so I tried some of the longer ones after that.  It was huge that I could spend 20 minutes skiing just one run as I'm used to skiing smaller mountains in the UP of Michigan.  I got a little lost on my 2nd to last run and wound up on the far side of the hill.  Getting back to base took me nearly half an hour on that one!  That night we made soup and sandwiches at the condo, drank some spiked hot cocoa in front of the fire, and then crashed hard.  We were exhausted!
This was the view from the condo on the first morning.  A little eerie and "Narnia-ish", no?  There was a huge field of fresh snow right outside our front door, which we made good use of on Saturday.  Saturday morning we got a bit of later start, but we spent the whole day skiing together.  I was SO impressed with how easily S seemed to pick up snowboarding (I tried once and after 3 hours and a concussion gave up - it's hard!).
We made one short run and 2 long runs that morning and then stopped for a lunch break.  After lunch we did a medium run and a long run and then called it a day.  Our muscles were screaming!  So we headed back to the condo to play in the snow!
Since playing in the snow was a new concept to S, I showed him how.  We started with snow angels and then moved on to a snowman!
Unfortunately, making a snowman with powder snow is not as easy as with wet snow.  You can't use the traditional method of rolling balls of snow and stacking.  So instead we made a massive pile of snow (similar to the method I used to make this guy back in Feb '11), and then shaved the snow off to make the shape.  Arms were branches from nearby trees and the eyes and nose were pine cones! We got lots of thumbs up as people drove by and had a lot of fun!  That night we went to Hernando's Pizza Pub for dinner where the walls and tables are plastered with decorated dollar bills.  I was a huge nerd and had to do the math on just how much money it was.  The waitress confirmed my work - over $30,000 in dollar bills was decorating that restaurant!!!  We finished up the night with hot cocoa in front of the fire and then crashed hard once again.
Sunday we got a bit of a late start.  We only had about 2 hours to kill before we had to head back towards Denver to catch our flight home and that coupled with the $100 price tag of a lift ticket and our super sore muscles deterred us from skiing that day.  Instead we decided to try some snow tubing!  We tied our tubes together and got flung down the hill for about an hour (lots of fun!) and then went and got some soup for lunch before we headed out (I got cheddar beer with sausage - it was REALLY good!).  Overall it was a fantastic weekend - the company was great, we had fun playing in the snow, the fireplace was a great way to end our evenings, and the skiing out west is really just phenomenal (and I didn't even fall!)


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