Monday, February 7, 2011

Learning to Ski

New Thing #2: Ski trip at Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia:  Feb 2 –Feb 6

I’d never been skiing before.  I was terrified of hurting myself and failing.  I also always thought I’d want to go out west for my first trip, but the trip to Snowshoe was AMAZING!  I was on a family trip with another family.  The trip included one of my best friends, Whitney, her husband and seven-month old, Peyton, Whitney’s parents and Joe’s parents. 

Day 1: The Drive
We loaded up the Tahoe from Whitney’s house, 5 adults and a 7-month old, and we took off for Snowshoe Mountain, an 9 hour drive.  Three hours in we had changed three poopy diapers.  But look at his face, how can any drive be bad when you have her sitting next to you?  The drive definitely took longer than it should have. 

40 miles from the resort Garmin told us to take a right on what will now be called Brokeback Mountain Road.  It was a one-car width wide, long and windy road through the middle of nowhere.  It added 40 minutes to our drive, but the Punkin slept and the rest of us just laughed at our detour.  Thank goodness, it could have been bad if anyone had been grumpy pants.  Another bonus – nobody got car sick!  (The curvy, up and down, side to side motion of the roads got me going home - I had to eat potato chips the entire 2 hours we were in the mountains so I didn't get sick.  I've NEVER felt car sick before.  We don't have mountain roads in Florida)

The condo was a 3-bedroom, 2 bath condo looking out to the mountains on one side and the resort on the other.  It was tiny after day 3 and every floor board creaked, especially at 2am, 3am and 4am when someone would get up to go to the bathroom and slam the door.  I slept in the living room, I heard everything.

Once we got in the wind really picked up and it began to snow.  We rented our skis, scheduled my lesson for the morning and went to dinner – at 4:30pm.  It felt like 7:30 to us and we didn’t want to walk around in the 4 degree weather anymore so dinner at 4:30 it was. 

Day Two: Leaning to ski
My 9:00 am ski lesson began right on time on Silver Creek Mountain, next to Snowshoe.  My instructor is Marc, he’s awesome.  (Side note:  When I learned to surf in May my instructor was a Marc.  He taught me to surf so I was fully confident cold-weather Mark could get me to ski.)  The lesson was just under 2 hours and 30 minutes into the lesson I was going down my first hill.  SUCCESS!  The rest of the day was spent on the slopes getting used to the speed of the hills.  After a few nice falls on a blue run that I was tricked into going down I decided to call it a day, hit the bar and sign up for my free lesson the next day.  I skied for almost 6 hours.  My body hasn’t hurt that bad in years. 

Day 3:  Solo skiing
Back to the slopes by 10am and I was out until 4:00.  Because the rest of the group I was with skis double blacks, I was on my own on the greens.  I actually think it was a good thing – I got to ski at my own pace and get comfortable on different runs.  I had a blast.  I can’t wait to ski again.  And yes, I took a couple pretty big spills.  Mostly when I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone - but that's the only way you can get better at anything.  I have a beautiful yellow, green, purple and black bruise on the inside of my left knee.  

The best part of Snowshoe is that it is a weekend destination and we were skiing during the week.  The slopes were basically empty.  It was amazing.  And I also fully recommend Silver Creek and Snowshoe to beginners.  It was perfect.  And the expert skiers had a blast too.

Day 4: Is there a mountain out there?
The weather was so bad on Saturday that we didn’t really do much outdoors.  We couldn’t even see the other side of our parking lot.  I have no idea how people were skiing and snowboarding that day – they’re nuts.  Basically it was an excuse for us to get drunk together.   Until Saturday we hadn’t really spent anytime at the bars together, sort of disappointing to me, the only single person on the trip.  So Saturday I got everyone going!  We started bar hopping, or as we called it har bopping, around the mountain.  It was such a fun afternoon/evening.  When we got back to the condo we ordered pizza and my ski instructor was the delivery guy!  Now we know what you have to do to survive working as an instructor in WV – deliver pizzas at night, too.  I’m sure he has a few other jobs as well.  We were trashed and tipped him pretty well. 

The drive home on Sunday wasn’t too bad.  It felt really long since we were all awake the entire time.  We got home just in time for the Super Bowl!

More pictures to come...  

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