Last week was the annual Zarb family ski trip to Colorado; however, there was a snag in our trip, no snow. That’s right a ski trip without snow. I have never seen the Rocky Mountains without snow on them. I see why they are called the Rockies; they look like huge rocks with pine trees place on them. The way I normally see them is snow covered hills that have perfectly placed pine trees that look like Christmas trees with fake snow sprayed on them, breathtaking. We arrived in Denver on New Year’s Eve and planned to stay 8 days, leaving on 1/8. From the airport we have a 2.5 hour drive up the mountain to Vail, where the house we rented was. We always stop at this little BBQ place about 45 minutes in the drive for some food (one of the best places I have ever eaten). We arrive at our rental in the afternoon. This place was great! My father-in-law really out did himself this time. It was a 3 story cabin sitting on a hill with the National Park as our back yard, beautiful. Phil wasn’t feeling well that whole day; his allergies were bothering him before we left Knoxville and weren’t getting better in CO. The family goes out to explore the town and go to the store to stock the kitchen while I play Nurse Sheena. Being New Years Eve, we wanted to go out and get a drink or stay home and watch the ball drop, neither happen. It had been a long day for everyone and with the 2 hour time change everyone was in bed around 10:00 pm, we were lame
Everyone awoke planning on hitting the slopes or at least checking out the conditions at the local ski resort. Phil, still not feeling well, stayed at home and of course I stayed home with him. Along with his bad cold he also gets a bloody nose when the air is really dry and he gets them really bad, normally they last about 1 hour. After a long shower and me boiling water he finally feels well enough to go get lunch and go rent my skies and boots. We found this really nice brewery called Gore Range Brewery. The beer wasn’t the best but they had great food. We got a sit next to the kitchen and saw the food that was getting delivered to all the tables, everything looks awesome. I got a brick oven pizza and Phil got the wings, but we wanted to return before the end of trip to try some other things. The rest of the day was lying around watching movies, eating pizza, and taking it easy.
This is my first day hitting the slopes. The local resort was too icy and rocky to ski safely, and the only place around that had the best skiing conditions in the area was a placed called Breckenridge. I have skied there before on the last trip and loved it there. The slopes weren’t as changeling and the people were really nice; however, it was almost an hour drive down the mountain. I haven’t skied in a year and wasn’t too sure if it was like riding a bike, you never forget, and it was I took the first slope and started were I left off. We skied 2 runs before we had to meet everyone for lunch. Once we arrived in the cafeteria Phil’s parents told us they were opening up a new resort at Peak 7 and if you did a tour then you got 2 free lift tickets. The only condition was you had to at least 25 and married, perfect we were in an set up to go at 2:00.
Once we arrive we find out it was a time share event but we still wanted the 2 tickets ($250.00 value) and did the tour but once it came time look at the paper work it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Of course you never can just walk away. Every time we got up they would put someone else in front of us. This 90min tour was taking 4 hours. I was getting mad. Finally, I said no and walked away. As my luck would have it, the lift had stopped for the day and the lady doing the tour had to take us to our car. The whole ride down the mountain she was trying to talk me into still, but in the end we did get lift tickets. We finally met up with the family and went home to have dinner.
Off the Breckenridge again. Since we only got to ski 1/2 a day on Day 3, we wanted to use our free lift tickets. I, being a scared beginner, skies very slow and I feel bad for Phil because he is always waiting on me. So, after we met up for lunch I told him I would go with his brother skiing and he could go with his Dad where he could get some real skiing in. I was a bit nervous because last time I did this I ended up going down a black diamond on my butt when I trusted his dad to help teach me. So off I go with his brother and his girlfriend and after about 1 run she takes off because I am not going fast enough. We make is 1/2 down Peak 9 and were going to catch a lift that takes you to Peak 8 where we would end our day. This is where it gets interesting, I have never had a problem getting on the ski lifts before but I guess since the base wasn’t very deep and I haven’t grown in years I was too short for this lift. The first time, I ski up to catch the lift (this is a lift that is already going and you have to jump on when there is an empty chair) because I see an open seat and when I go to sit down, I fall under the lift. Of course I am so embarrassed, they have to stop the lift where I can get up and get back inline. My brother-in-law also gets off to help me and make me feel better. Ok, so I am back in line, this time I think that the lift hit my ski coat and it was too slick the first time so this time I pull it up. Bam, something happens only this time I get on the lift and fall off. I lose my ski, my glove on my left hand, and both of my poles. I didn’t realize until later that I got hit in the head and it cracked my helmet! A little dazed, I get up, my brother-in-law still on the lift can’t get off because it is too high and I have to try a third time to get on. I get in line with 2 other girls and I inform them the issues I have been having. The lift guys promise me that they will get me on the lift this time. Very scared, I ski up to the line to load on the lift, they pick me up and sit me on it, very relived I am on the lift, however I did still lose my pole by the lift guys were able to hand it to me in time. Once on the top my brother-in-law was waiting on me, thank goodness, and we skied our way down an easy green and ended the day at the bar at the base of the mountain. I needed a good drink after my embarrassment of closing the lift 3 times 😦
This is the day we sat aside for a tour of the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins. I will write a blog just on this day.
I caught Phil’s cold, I had to stay home while Phil and his dad and step mom went skiing. I stayed at home with the brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Really didn’t feel like doing much but we did go back to the brewery for lunch, they have the best food. We did a little shopping in Beaver Creek, another ski resort in the area.
This was our last day to go skiing and I was very nervous about getting on any of the chair lifts, but that is the only way up the mountain so I wasn’t going to waste the money and sit at the bottom. Phil and I make out a plan to take the blue runs. We go up to the lift and everything moves so fast I didn’t have time to think. I ski up to the yellow line and bam on the seat and up the mountain I went. Perfect! As soon as we get to the top Phil gets another nose bleed. We stand on the side on the slope trying to get it to stop for about 30 minutes. He finally packs it and we make our way down the mountain. I am still dreading getting on the lift again but nothing odd happens. We do 1 more run. While we are in line to get on the ski lift again his nose starts bleeding again so bad that we have to go to the locker rooms. After 3 boxes of tissue and an hour later we decided we have to leave. Phil was so mad that we didn’t get to ski much and pretty much wasted the money. On the bright side, on our way down the mountain on the gondola, we saw 2 moose eating right below us, made us feel a little bit better. The snow is starting to pour down and the interstate is covered. We could hardly see where we were going. Sliding all over the road in a Chevy Malabo rental wasn’t fun. The hour drive took twice as long due to the snow but we finally made it home. We pull 1/2 way up the drive way, because we couldn’t make it all the way up, and open the garage door, smoke pours out. We think the house is on fire! We jump out of the car and hear sirens going off in the house (Phil’s nose is still bleeding) we run up the stair and the carbon dioxide detectors are screaming! We hurry and open all the windows and doors in the house to help air it out. After about an hour of the fans running with the doors open, remember it is 20 degrees outside, we finally just give in. Sitting in the freezing house only 1 detector is still screaming, we toss it outside. Heads hurting, moods not so good, we sit quietly in the living room. No TV on, no sound at all, we just sit. We both don’t have a temper and when we get mad we are silent. We finally calm down before the rest of the family get home. What a day!
Time to go home. This is bitter sweet, but I was ready to get back to my normal life. We boarded the plane at 5:00 pm in Denver and arrived home around 9:15 PM in Knoxville. I was so glad to see 2 of my dogs; the little one stayed in at my mom’s house in Loudon and wouldn’t be able to get him until Monday, and my cats. Home Sweet Home!