Here I sit, fleeced out once again after an invigorating and freezing day of skiing. Today's high temp was 15 degrees, with a low of -7, and it snowed another million inches (or 14). It has actually never stopped snowing for a single second since we walked out onto the mountain on Tuesday morning. Apparently Colorado really needed it, but I'm not sure we needed quite so much all at once. Thank god for four wheel drive, Cora's spot in childcare, and the fact that the rest of us really like skiing.
I love tiny skis, though Landon's are a lot less tiny than they used to be. Both he and Claire had great days in ski school, each skiing precisely to their personalities. Landon, enthusiastic and driven, skipping ahead several levels by the end of Day 1 and dying to get out and ski on the "really big slopes." Claire, equally enthusiastic, happily motoring down her bunny hill, refusing to be graduated to Level 2 where she might be in any way challenged.
And Cora. Cora loved childcare, her teacher said she had a great day and is "just a joy." It was noted on her daily report that she cried during their "outside play time" which involved a walk through the snowy woods. Consistent with her feelings about snow forts and tubing, Cora used tears as an escape vehicle, this time crying for "mommy and daddy," making her sweet teacher think she was homesick instead of just manipulative and snow-hating.
James and I had a great day. I remembered how to ski, which is always a relief after a 3-year break and we went down some lovely and powder-covered blue runs to head to the Outback mountain. James loves the back bowls like he loves the Manitou Incline and I tolerate them with the same fervor. I popped off my skis at the top and gave them to James to carry as we hiked to the summit and start of the South Bowl run. I had promised to do it once, and I've done it lots of times before, but my enthusiasm waned with every step into powder and up the edge.
We finally got to the bowl and I went to put on my skis, only to have them immediately sink about 9 inches into the fluffy powder. I looked at the bowl, looked at the trees and rocks and SO MUCH DEEP SNOW and decided, this no longer looks fun.
And so I said goodbye to my sexy snowboarder, told him to be as careful as he's capable of being, and began the long sloooooow walk of shame through the deep snow, carrying my skis back UP the bowl and then down to the lift. It took me 30 minutes and it was terrible. Why in the hell does anyone want to climb Everest? But at no point did I wish I had skied down the bowl, so I was okay with my gasping breaths and burning legs. We'll call it my New Year's workout. At high altitude, even.
And James did make it down, and then he did the bowl 5 more times because, as discussed, he is a crazy person.
But he's my crazy person.
We met up occasionally at the lift, with me coming down the blues and him coming down from another black bowl. We ate lunch together and then ran into our friends and neighbors who were also here skiing with their kids. We live about 8 houses away and our kids are in the same classes at school and now they're in the same class at ski school - it's a small world. Our run-in gave me a buddy to ski down the blues, James got to continue his back-bowling without feeling like I was lonely (I was not), and our other friend got to ski the greens as he preferred. Everyone was happy!
After a few more hours of being pelted in the face with freezing snow, I decided to call it a day at 2:30, maybe my earliest ever, but damn. The snow beating was starting to feel personal and I discovered there were ice blocks forming in my hair.
I fixed this with a hot toddy, which is a magical combination of whiskey, hot water, lemon, and honey, and it is delicious after a snow-slapping. James called it a day not too much later (clearly we're getting old) and we got the kids from ski school and childcare and headed home. Claire and Cora fell asleep before we left the parking lot which is maybe the best part of a family ski trip - total happy exhaustion.
Today was much the same, except even colder, and even snowier. I know everyone loves fresh powder, but simple turns were becoming feats of strength and power. The Outback Bowls were closed (sad?), so James stuck with me and humored me with blue runs all day. He loves me so.
It was so, so cold (SO COLD), but the snow was great and we got a lot of great runs in. The big kids had another great day, with Landon jumping to Level 5 and Claire even allowing herself to do her turns properly so she could go up to Level 2. Cora had another fabulous day in childcare, made more fabulous with the temperatures being too cold for "outside play." Her teacher noted that "Cora didn't miss mommy and daddy today!" What a coincidence.
Landon surprised us by wanting to go down another run with James after ski school was over (the look on James's cold tired face said maybe it was an unpleasant surprise), so they headed back up the mountain for a final run of the vacation while the girls and I headed to the village Starbucks to drink hot beverages and pretend we weren't still wearing ski boots. The boys made it back to the bottom 40 minutes later without any tears or falls and James said Landon did awesome. They both looked as pleased and proud as they did frozen. I suppose we'll be letting him ski with us on our next trip!
We trudged to the car, the girls immediately fell asleep, and we dropped off our rented equipment-- another successful family ski trip under our belts.
I love skiing, but next time around we may push it back to Spring Break. I've only just now regained feeling in my toes.
We head to Denver tomorrow, assuming the snow stops like it's supposed to and the roads can be cleared, to see my sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece. Cora is SO excited to see "her" baby Skyla, so she'll finally have something going for her on this trip besides wrapping her daycare teacher around her little finger and looking amazing in her superfluous snow suit.
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