Friday, January 25, 2013

Colorado Ski Weekend - Part II

(See Part I here)

After our exhausting day of skiing the day before, I thought we might sleep in a little on Sunday.  But as soon as the sun came up over the mountain, I was up and ready to go again.  Surprisingly, I wasn't as sore as I was expecting.  Not as sore as I was last year in Tahoe, anyways. (Not sure I can say the same for Matt...)

It was a repeat of yesterday - shower (not for me), breakfast, lots of layering - and then we loaded up the car.  We decided to check out VAIL for day 2 on the slopes!  Luke was the only one who had skied there before, and he said it was his favorite mountain, so of course we were all excited to check it out!

We left around 8:30 and pulled in to a parking garage in Vail (after driving around trying unsuccessfully to find the "free" one on the map) a little after 9.  Not a bad drive at all from Breck!

The hike to the gondola was much further today.  And carrying skis and poles while walking in boots just gets old quick.  Thank goodness the line to get up the mountain wasn't too bad yet -- we must of beat the crowd since it was still pretty early!

Vail quickly moved in to the number one spot on my favorite list of mountains in Colorado.  It's the largest ski resort/mountain in North America (didn't know that before doing some research recently).   Big wide open runs, better snow than Breck, lots of easy runs and plenty of harder ones on the back side, a cute village...  It's just a great mountain!

Nothing but blue skies again.  Gorgeous, perfect day.

The lines were long again, but that was to be expected for a holiday weekend.  And I don't think they were as bad as Breck the day before.  I guess on a bigger mountain the people are spread out more?

Of course we found the Epic Mix people numerous times to take plenty of pictures for us.  At one particular spot, they did action shots, allowing you to ski down toward the photographer.  Of course we had to do that!  The skiing down part went well, and we got some cool pics, but somehow, at the very end, Matt crashed trying to avoid a guy standing around by the photographer and hurt his leg pretty bad.  He toughed it out after some Advil, but he was feeling it the rest of the trip... :(

The last time Ang and I skied together was in 2010 at Keystone/Breck.  We tried to take these jumping pictures (with my brother), and couldn't for the life of us get off the ground at the same time.  It's harder than it looks!  Here are the pics from three years ago:

 Obviously, we've been practicing, because this years pics turned out much better!

(We both fell after the pic.  Like I said, it's harder than it looks!)
Lunch break wasn't a bad view.

It was warm enough to take our jackets off and enjoy the sunshine. 

Thank goodness for my pb&j... ;)

At some point after lunch, Luke and I decided it would be a good idea to try some moguls that didn't look too bad.  Ang and Matt went to the bottom to watch us, and when we got up there...we realized they were black diamonds and MUCH steeper than they looked from down below.  Luke, the smarter of the two of us, decided to ski down an easier way.  I decided to give them a shot, without much success.  I did make it down without falling, but it certainly wasn't pretty...

They were harder than they look, I promise!

We continued skiing all over the mountain and found some awesome runs and cool spots.  We also took way to many pictures from the Epic Mix people at Vail.  Every time we saw one, we had to stop.  These are just a few of them...

Our legs had pretty much had it by 3, so we decided to head on down the mountain.  After some confusion and plenty of map studying, we found an easy way down, avoiding the icy moguls. 

Last pic on the mountain at Vail.  Wind-burned cheeks and chapped lips!
The hike back to the car - dragging our skis and poles - was not cool.  We were cold, hungry, tired, name it.    But once we got to the car and out of the uncomfortable boots, we decided to stay and check out Vail village and grab an early dinner again before heading back to Breckenridge. (I might of bought another ornament for our Christmas travel tree, too.)

 Found a cool place for dinner:  Mountain Standard right in the village.  It was a little fancy, so we were slightly out of place in our ski gear, but they let us in anyways.  I had porchetta - new for me - and it was pretty amazing.  Everyone's food was amazing, actually!  (Or maybe we were just that hungry...)

Ang and I had spotted a homemade ice cream place on our walk around the village.  Of course that's where we went for dessert!

(I went a little overboard with cotton candy AND birthday cake ice cream...)

Once we got back to the condo, Ang started a fire and broke out the champagne.  She had wanted to do that the previous two nights, and it just hadn't happened.  But that was our last chance, so we had to do it!  I still left the party early and went to bed around 10:30 I felt like 2am at least though.

Champagne and a fire.  (Photo courtesy of Angie's Instagram feed)

Monday morning we were up early again.  Poor Matt was not feeling too hot this morning, but of course he agreed to one more day of skiing anyways.  Keystone this time!!

Last pic together (on our deck)
 We said good bye to Luke and Ang, who were headed back to Denver to spend the day with some friends, and then we took off for the short drive to our third mountain in three days.

Matt's only request for skiing was that we park as close as possible to the gondola so he didn't have to walk very far.  Keystone has a free parking lot, but he insisted on paying $20 to park about as close as you can get.  (Money well spent, in his eyes.)

So up to the top we went.  Our first run down - an easy green - almost made us stop for the day.  It was freezing cold!!  Much more cold than it had been on the previous two days - or it felt that way at least. 

Another perfect day on another gorgeous mountain
The lines were much MUCH shorter at Keystone - we hardly waited at all anywhere - so we actually covered a good portion of the mountain in the morning alone.  (With a couple of stops for more Epic Mix pictures...)

We eventually decided to take a break for water and snacks in a lodge...and that turned out to be a bad idea.  We had only been skiing a few hours, but once we sat down and warmed up, neither of us had ANY desire to get back out there and ski again.  Already at the top of the mountain, we took one more long run all the way down and called it good.  I'd say that's still a pretty successful ski trip!

Barely making it down the stairs after our break...

We drove to the outlet malls in Silverthorne (just outside of Keystone) and actually changed clothes in the parking lot, haha.  We had some time to kill before our late flight out of Denver, so we decided to just shop around.  We got some buffalo beef jerky, and I got the coolest purple Nike boots ever.  And the best part is they were only $20 at the Nike outlet.  For real.  There was no way I could pass those up...

Once we had had our fill of shopping - that didn't take long - we started the trip back to Denver.  I was a little nervous about hitting traffic later, so we wanted to try and beat some of that.  It was smooth sailing -- for about 30 minutes.  Then it was barely crawling.  I have no idea why, but traffic was just not moving. 

We started to get a little nervous, but convinced ourselves to pull off and eat at Beau Jo's pizza in Idaho Springs anyways.  Matt used to stop there to meet his uncle when he and his family traveled to Colorado in the summers, so it was a must.  The place was packed - even at 2pm - so we snarffed our food down and got right out of there to sit in more traffic to make it back to Denver.

You dip the crust in honey.  Delicious.

Luckly, traffic started moving again not too much further down the road.  We returned our skis, and then sat in more Denver traffic to make it out to the airport to gas up and return our rental car.  We actually didn't have that much extra time once we got to the actual airport.  We grabbed a Jamba Juice and went to our gate, only to find out our flight was delayed.  Great.

We eventually  made it home -- a little later than hoped, but home nonetheless.  My mom was waiting for us outside the airport with a warm car and we filled her in on our awesome Colorado ski weekend on the drive back to my house...

Poor Matt's knees had had it...
 Even with all the sore-ness that comes with skiing three days, we had the best time in Colorado.  We're already thinking about next years ski trip - hopefully with Angie and Luke again! :)


  1. Home sweet Colorado! It looks like you had a blast in Vail. So glad there was plenty of snow for you, too -- we've had a seriously dry winter. :)

  2. Some of my favorite moments on ski trips are those times when you just curl up in front of the fireplace in-between ski sessions, preferably with a hot drink and a book.

    Looks like you guys really enjoyed yourselves with the whole trip. I suddenly miss skiing, even though we just did a few weeks ago. Can’t wait to hit the slopes again! :D

    Exie Bethel