Well, now that the whole Pig Fiasco is behind us, I'm going to continue recapping the Denver trip. Julia has kindly sent me her photos, so I will post them along with my recap. Josh still hasn't, although he did share the photos from our Goth Night this weekend, which I too will post about...
So, I think we were on Day 2.
Between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., my cell phone alarm, Max's cell phone alarm, and Benjamin's cell phone alarm must have gone off about 5 times. Each. Still, we didn't quite make it out of bed until 7:45 a.m. or so. The three of us were the first ones to get up, but Benjamin soon roused (is that a word) everyone else up with a rendition of Boys to Men's "I'll Make Love to You." That, and just going around shaking every one up.
I was feeling rather groggy from the limited sleep and moved like I was underwater. Which didn't help because I had a lot of getting readying to do. First,I had to brush my teeth and put on make up (Courtney exclaimed "You're wearing make-up to go skiing?" - Um, yes. side note - is that weird? It's not like I was going swimming. Which, even then I do wear make-up...but just a little bit.) And I had A LOT of clothes to put on. First I put on some tights. Then yoga pants over tights. Then the hot pink ski pants over the yoga pants. Then black tank-top, with black v-neck sweater over it. And a new multi-colored scarf my grandma knitted, which matched the ski pants because it had pink in it. A little gross with the matching, I know, but I liked the ensemble. Next came my teletubby purple fleece, and over that, Thode's white/gray winter jacket. I slipped on my sunglasses, donned a purple ski hat and pink gloves. Josh pointed out that I looked like an Olsen twin. Back when they were three years old.
And then I realized I had to pee again, so I had to undo everything and then put everything back on.
We finally made it out the door and headed towards the ski rentals shop. Man, those ski boots are heavy. I felt like I had robot feet - super friggin heavy robot feet. Next, I got skis. Now, I don't know how this ski rental guy knew that I'd suck at skiing, but he took one look at me and gave me the world's shortest skis, explaining that I'd have an easier time with them. They barely came up to my shoulder. I saw a bunch of kids with the same pair. At first, I thought my skis had a name - "Wendy" - but as it turns out, that was merely the name of the last person who rented them. The ski rental guy wiped "Wendy" off the sticker label and replaced it with "SC." Now my skis were named "SC." I preferred "Wendy."
By this time, I was sweating under the ridiculous layers of clothing and it had gotten very warm outside so AD and I hobbled our way over to the next store, and then down the stairs, where we rented a stupid storage bin for $5 to put our shoes and my teletubby fleece in. This was actually a huge pain in the ass b/c it was super hard to walk in my ski boots. I had orignally wanted to get rid of the tights too, but the thought of having to hobble upstairs to the changing room, take off the boots, ski pants, yoga pants, and then the tights, and then putting everything back on was just too awful.
Finally at last we hobbled over to the gondola. I had a terrible time trying to figure out how to hold my skis while walking - I guess the best way is to throw them on your shoulder, but I preferred to hold them in both arms like they were a baby. Or a big bag of groceries. Either way, despite the fact that they were the world's smallest skis, they were heavy enough to be bothersome. And I also had to keep dodging other people's skis which often came rather uncomfortably close to my head, and I had some worries about being sliced open at the neck.
We got to the gondola, which reminded me of the cable car ride at Cedar Pointe. Except the view was beautiful. Here are some pretty landscape shots - and by the way, it was a gorgeous day.
So, I made some uncontrollable roller coaster "whooooaaaa" noises while we went up the gondola. I also realized I was super hungry, having not eaten ANYTHING at all, but unfortunately, the vending machine at the top was broken so basically none of us ate until around 4 p.m. Luckily Courtney was kind enough to share half of her power bar with me, which I in turned shared half of with AD, so basically, I went on 1/4 power bar all day.
Anyway, looking back, I think my skiing problems began right away. When we got to the top, I put on my skis and started to get a feel for them. Unfortunately, I sort of felt my way to this area that had the slightest bit of a downward slope and since I hadn't had a chance to learn how to stop yet, I nearly slid off the mountain. Seriously. You can ask Max - I am not exagerrating - I nearly fell off the mountain within the first 45 seconds of putting on my skis. Max managed to grab me just in time.
Next came the problem of trying to get back up over this tiny downward slope. Going uphill is really really hard. You sort of slide in place over and over again, with the constant threat of just sliding backwards downhill again. You know what makes it even harder? When all of the sudden, sirens go off and a big gigantic Snow Cat (I guess the machine smoothes out the snow - it was huge, bigger than the ice smoother things at a hockey game) starts heading your way. I was smack dab in the middle of its path, and all I could do was just scissor my legs back and forth, like I was Scooby Doo on ice, not moving forward or backward. I screamed naturally, and luckily it didn't hit me, but man, those were some scary seconds there.
I'm not going to recap the rest of the actual skiing experience. I will say that even though I was on the mountain for nearly 6 hours, I actually skied for about 8 minutes. And that's a generous estimate. I fell about 30-40 times (not generous), cried about 3 times, slipped off my skis about 10 times, and walked for about two hours. I nearly hit 4 trees, maybe three rocks, and did in fact one time trip over a snowboarder. I probably elicted more "Are you okay?"s from passerby skiers than anyone else, I screamed going up and down the chair lift (fucking scary shit, I tell you), and I got the attention of an entire group of ski patrol people as I slide on my ass out of control down a hill, being dragged by very own skis, like someone who's fallen off a runaway horse, but whose foot is still caught in the footstraps.
And I am fairly certain that I'm the only person who's ever accidentally skied backwards and crashed into the First Aid cabin.
I will say though, that Max wins the Best Boyfriend Ever award because not only did he stay with me the whole time, but he was completely patient and never was anything but totally nice to me. And, people, I put him through hell. If I were him, I'd have left me on the mountain. Right before I fell each time, I'd drop my poles, so Max spent much of his day sking UPHILL to get them. And carrying my poles while I was walking. He also tried to have me ski with my ski pressed up against the edge of his, which helped a bit, but that unfortunately also caused him to fall....when I dragged him down with me. More than once he had to lay down and help me knock the snow off my boots because I couldn't balance well enough to do it myself, and I basically could never get up after falling without him pulling me up and me trying to climb up him like a disabled child with no arms.
Not only that, but he put up with my proclamations of "I hate skiing!! I've never hated anything so much in my life!" "Skiing is the dumbest sport ever" "What kind of moron does this for fun??!!" "I'd rather get a 12 hour pap smear than this!!"
Others faired much better. Here's a great pic of Benjamin, taken by Amol.
I always figured that even if I didn't enjoy skiing, I'd enjoy having a nice cup of hot cocoa in the lodge. Unfortunately, since it took four of the worst hours of my life to make it to the lodge, the only thing I wanted was a beer.
Here are some pics of our travelling happy couples at the lodge. There aren't any of Max and me, because we were too busy throwing down a couple of beers and burgers, since it was close to 4:00 p.m. by the time we finally got to the lodge, and we hadn't eaten all day.
Amol & Annie
Josh & Courtney
Anyway, after scarfing down some food and taking a look at the map, Max and I both decided there was no way in hell I'd be able to ski/fall/walk/cry myself all the down the mountain, so Max arranged for me to take the chair lift down.
Here's a pic of the chair lift - I know that at this particular angle, going up, it doesn't look scary, but it is going down!
So at the end of the scariest chair lift ride down ever, I met Max, who skied down instead. We dropped off my rentals, and then went to a little restaurant/bar called Mezzaluna
to wait for the others. This was probably my favorite part of the day - the "apres ski" according to the menu, and "apres" a couple glasses of wine and some pizza, I decided skiing wasn't so bad after all. :)
Julia and Reggie, who both have bad knees, opted to go fishing instead, but met us up at Mezzaluna as well. Look how cute they are here:
Anyway after Mezzaluna, we all headed back to our lodge/apartment/condo and rested and showered. Max's friend Lo came over and invited us back to his house for pizza and drinks. After that, the group split into two groups - the "Cool Kids" who wanted to go and check out the night life in Vail Village (me, Max, Julia, Reggie, AD, Benjamin), and the "Lame-O's" who needed to crash and sleep (Amol, Annie, Josh and Courtney.)
Here are a few pics of the Cool Kids on the bus to Vail Village.
We headed into a bar, having a few snowball fights on the way. While the streets of Vail Village were quiet, the bars were packed! We danced to some terrible music and got into some minor tiffs with some rude dancers who had no concept of personal space.
Afterwards, the Best Snow Ball Fight Ever broke out. I'm pretty sure Julia started it. Here she is, throwing, if not the first, at least one of many many many snowballs she threw that night.
Total chaos ensued. At first the fight was just amongst the Cool Kids, and there was no mercy to be had on anyone. Alliances were formed and then broken. I nearly got white washed by Max. Suddenly, a few girls joined in, announced their allegiance to Wisconsin, and then it became a fight for the Midwest - Wisconsin vs. Michigan.
After some more snowball throwing, we all made it the bus stop, when it became clear that Wisconsin and Michigan needed to join forces and heeding AD's rally cry, we had to "PROTECT THE BUS STOP!!!!" and hurl as many snowballs to the people trying to join us at the bus stop. That was probably the highlight of my trip. Here we are at the bus stop, getting our commands from Julia.
Most everyone fought back, and one guy even faked an arm injury, limped off, only to reappear on the ROOF of bus stop with a pile of snowballs. He nailed several us before laughing and running away. It was awesome. The bus eventually came and we all headed back to the lodge.
On our way in, we were laughing and giddy, and I will admit, I was the one who suggested it, although I did point out it was maybe a bad idea...but that it would be really funny to throw snowballs at the unsuspecting sleeping Lame-O's. In my defense, well... I don't really have any. The Cool Kids all sparked to the idea immediately, packed snowballs, and giggling, we crept into the lodge in a single file...
And then we AMBUSHED!!
Needless to say, the Lame-O's were pretty pissed. So pissed that by the time I was inside (I was at the end of the line), Courtney was swearing, Amol was up and walking around menancingly, and I chickened out and handed my snow ball to Max. Who had no problem chucking it at a Lame-O.
Max and I went to bed fully expecting to get white washed in our sleep, but nobody seeked revenge. In the morning, we'd learn that biggest victim of our sleep attack was poor Courtney got hit in the face twice.