Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vail 2011 - Day 8 Heading Home

We took a picture of Olivia in her Rockbrook Camp t-shirt to send to them.  They're having a contest to see how far their campers travel.  Anyone who sends in a picture will be entered to win some sort of Rockbrook item.  Olivia has her fingers crossed that she'll win!

The snow did not bode well for our flight out of Eagle.  But, they de-iced the plane and we were on our way.  (I was actually glad because it gave me extra time to finish Slumdog Millionaire which I had begun to watch on our flight to Vail.)

Olivia insisted on a close-up of the snow outside her window.

We made it to Houston on time and had plenty of time to get a bite to eat before our flight to Greenville.  It was a long day of travel and McIver seemed a bit puny.  I blamed it on the exhaustion from all of the skiing, but when I woke him up at 10:45 on Sunday morning, he had a fever of 101.5 and a sore throat.  Dawn and I Facebooked and texted back and forth all day with her reporting to me that Andrew also had a fever and eventually tested positive for the flu.

So, McIver had just two days of school the week before our trip, then missed four more days while we were in Vail and is home sick again.  We're going to the doctor in about an hour to see what we're dealing with.  Poor guy - he grabs his chest every time he coughs because it hurts so badly.

Vail 2011 - Day 7

I was most excited for skiing on Friday because we were all going to be able to ski together.  The snow was coming down pretty steadily, so I wasn't able to take too many pictures during our morning runs. 

 I really wish I had been able to take a picture at the end of our first run which was Cheetah Gulley, a BLACK slope that Will mistakenly (he says!) took us to.  I was most unhappy when he took us up Chair 8 and the signs all showed the way to black slopes rather than the promised catwalk to another lift.  But, once we all realized there just weren't any other options, we dug in and made our way, slowly, down the very steep and somewhat bumpy Cheetah Gulley.  Afterwards, we were VERY proud of ourselves.

My favorite slope was Lost Boy, but Olivia and McIver couldn't enjoy it too much because it was just so stinkin' cold and hard to see.

We met up with everyone for lunch and the sky opened up.  It turned into a beautiful (yet still really cold) day.  All the kids were happy that we did Porcupine Alley, Sherwood Forest, Chaos Canyon and the Magic Forest - all trails designed for children.

Peggy Pa snapped a quick picture for me while we waited for the Pumpellys to arrive on the chair lift.

We had time to spare so McIver lay down in the snow for a taste.

Like I said, Chaos Canyon was a big hit.  Since it was Safety Week, there was a scavenger hunt for the kids.  McIver and Will decided to take Ricochet down, but ended up bypassing the hunt.  Olivia and Andrew were kind enough to pick up a whistle for him though.

 McIver celebrated our great day of skiing with a Triple Power Push Pop on the bus ride home.

The Carabettas came back to have dinner and spend the night with us Friday night.  I got in the hot tub with the kids while we waited for them to arrive.  Someone had hit the 'mode' button on the hot tub, though, and the water was FREEEEZING!  It actually made it easier to get in, but the temperature never rose while we were in it.  I was afraid to get out because I knew how cold I would be.

Once again, I didn't get any good pictures with the Carabettas, but we enjoyed a great dinner together.  David cooked a brisket and Peggy Pa made some fantastic sides to go with it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vail 2011 - Day 6

We were pretty well-rested on Thursday and it was another beautiful day so we were excited to hit the slopes again.  McIver chose another day of ski school so he could earn more stickers for his badges.  I dropped him off that morning and was able to meet Ken, the instructor he had the three previous days.  Ken was super nice and told me that Mac had been doing a really good job.  But, Lauren, from New Zealand, was his instructor for Thursday.  Having a new 'ski coach' didn't phase McIver one bit.  He waved good-bye and sent me on my way.

Olivia wasn't too thrilled to hear that Will and Dawn were going to go ski some of the tougher slopes with David.  There was just too much fresh powder ( or "cream cheese" as Olivia likes to call it) to miss.  I think she was worried that I was going to slow her down too much (and, she just loves skiing with Dawn!).  Also, Olivia has slept a little later that morning and didn't eat as much breakfast as she had on previous days.  So, our first stop was Two Elk Lodge for some french fries and hot chocolate.  Apparently, this was not Olivia's first time making hot chocolate - she squirted about 4 inches worth of whipped cream on top of her drink.  The snack made for one happy little girl!

And, we found our own fresh powder to ski through.

 Check out how deep that snow is.

Hey!?  Where are my skis!?

 Olivia got so tickled that she fell down and had a hard time getting up.

We ended up having a really fun time together.  We rode the same lift about 6 or 7 times in a row and went down different runs.  Both of our legs were pretty tired still, so we stuck to the green slopes ...  Boomer, Sourdough and Tin Pants, which we skied at least 4 times in a row.  We met up with everyone for lunch and did a few more runs before it was time to get McIver from ski school.

We took quick showers when we got back to the house because we had a grown-up night out planned.  Big Pa and Peggy Pa treated us to a fantastic steak dinner at Russells in Vail Village.  Everything was delicious but the only pictures I managed to take were of the wine bottles to remind me to see if we could find them when we got home.  Yummy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vail 2011 - Day 5

We were supposed to go snowmobiling on Wednesday, but it was snowing again.  Will and David decided the snow was just too good to miss, so they hit the slopes.  Dawn and I needed a break from skiing, so we planned a fun day in the Village with the kids.

They started the day with breakfast popsicles in the hot tub.  McIver wasn't a fan of the snow, in fact he kept shouting, "I hate snow," so he didn't get in the hot tub.

I don't know the actual criteria for a White Out, but we had to have been close.  This is the view from the kitchen window ... fabulous!!

We hit the toy and candy store in Vail Village.  McIver found a magic trick, but Olivia had her heart set on a husky Webkin.  Each child filled up a bag with candy and then we had lunch at Los Amigos.  It was on the second floor so we had a good view of the snow falling.  The kids were excited about the Cokes we let them order with lunch.

Andrew took a picture of Dawn and me.

After lunch, we stopped by another store hoping to find Olivia's Webkin.  She found exactly what she was looking for - a husky which she named Snowball.  Then, we headed to a really cool bowling alley for a Kids vs. Moms competition.

McIver showing off his whistle/compass/magnifying glass camping tool.

Olivia showing off the kids' score - they won!

Our bowling crew.

We made another stop at The Golden Bear, a Vail jewelry store.  I had my heart set on some sort of trinket that would remind me of all of the great times we've had in Vail.  The sales lady kept trying to sell me on the bear which is a symbol for Vail, but I settled on some small, everyday hoops instead.  

Once we got back to the house, Peggy Pa made some delicious cheese and chocolate fondu.  Olivia wasn't a fan of the cheese fondu, but she dug right into the chocolate.

After fondue, we played a few rounds of Minute to Win It.  We broke into teams and pulled tissues out of tissue boxes, unrolled toilet paper rolls,  and balanced crackers on foreheads.  Will wasn't sufficiently impressed so he upped the ante - he challenged us to move Apple Jacks from one bowl to another using just toothpicks.  It was a scream - but did not make for good pictures so you'll just have to use your imagination!

Vail 2011 - Day 4

Olivia 'graduated' from ski school on Monday at Level 5, so she hit the mountain with Will on Tuesday.  There was a bit of drama surrounding her decision to move up to Level 5.  I think she was intimidated by the idea of Level 5 and using poles.  In the end, after MUCH discussion and persuasion from all around, she agreed to move up so that she could ski with her dad the next day.  She was so excited to ski with Will and Dawn... and her ski instructor convinced her that poles are a good thing.

All set and ready to go.  Check out that blue sky.  People everywhere were talking about what a great week of skiing we had.

Heading out to China Bowl with my ski class.  One of the men in my group insisted that we ski Poppyfields and I'm so glad he did.  It was a really fun run. 

 I also had a little brush with fame.  The girl who trained Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan actually took this picture of me.  She's from Charlotte, but moved to New York at age 15 to dance with the New York City Ballet.  Now she has her own studio where she helps her clients get the figure of a ballet dancer.  She was really nice and a much more confident skier than I am.

Everyone was excited for Tubing Tuesday.  We met at the top of Eagles Nest to warm up by the fire and wait for our tubing time.  The kids thought it was great fun to throw snowballs into the fire and listen for the sizzle.

The snow cat driver took this picture of us in front of a wall of snow that someone built.  It's hard to see in the picture, but they had carved the snow to look like bricks so it looked like we were entering a snow castle.

We only had an hour to tube so I didn't stop to take pictures.  Everyone had a blast, even Peggy Pa and Big Pa.  The 'tubing staff' were happy to give riders a big push down the chutes.  The kids loved linking up and asking for the 'pukinator' where they gave you a big spin as you went down the chute.  It wasn't so bad when we were hooked together, but I wasn't about to ask for it when I was tubing solo.

Dinner at Bistro 14 in Eagles Nest

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vail 2011 - Day 3

Believe it or not, Monday morning started off with a science experiment - the Potato Clock.  Peggy Pa had given the children permission to wake her up when they woke up.  So, this picture was taken at 6:30 AM.  The kids had a great time testing the clock with Coke Zero, apples and potatoes.

It snowed like crazy on Monday.  There were times we couldn't even see the chair in front of us on the lift.  I had never skied in powder before so that took some getting used to.

McIver was happy to climb in the way back for his ride to ski school.

There's just nothing like margaritas at La Cantina in the transportation center after a long day of skiing.

McIver was so proud of the stickers he earned in ski school.

Olivia and Andrew were best buds all week!

Still snowing!

Boarding the bus.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vail 2011 - Day 2

Ski School for all on Sunday.  

My ski instructor was great.  We started out on mostly blue slopes which let me get my ski legs back.  Early in the afternoon, though, we hit the blue Berries slope which had a tiny portion of a black at the end.  I conquered it and insisted on a photo opp for proof.

Will, Dawn and David were waiting at Garfinkels at the end of the day.  There's nothing like a cold glass of Blue Moon with an orange slice after a long day of skiing.

With Dawn on the deck at Garfinkels.

McIver was pooped after his first day of ski school.

Waiting for the bus at the transportation center.

Dawn and David's friends, Jen and Matt Carabetta, and their children, Izzy and Baby Charlie, came to Vail for the night on Sunday.  I had met Jen and Matt at Dawn and David's wedding but didn't get to hang out with them too much because Olivia was just a baby and I was pretty preoccupied with her.  

The kids had fun in the hot tub and slurping their ramen noodles.

Mac lost a tooth ... and the Tooth Fairy found us with no problem.

Peggy Pa and Big Pa's new kitchen is awesome!  We always start planning our ski trip menu well in advance.  Will spent many hours in front of the stove cooking bacon for everyone.