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Lewis & Clark…take on the Friends and Family Plan

On ski day 4, in the Rockies, we were glad to depart the high altitudes of Breckenridge – and drop 1600 base feet to ski & be reunited with family & friends at Vail .

While we wait for the snow squalls to pass and the winds to subside in the early morning, let me introduce our new ski team for the day:

Chuck (aka “Bro”): never misses a ski season, ski’s like a silky-smooth-pro, ain’t no mountain high enough…ain’t no valley low enuf (oh yeah – that’s a song) – but it describes this skier perfectly. With an engineering background, knows precisely what trails to take on, strategizes how many runs to get in before the lifts close, and makes sure that no skier is left behind (we’re gonna challenge him on this one before the day is over!)

Jill (aka “Sis”): Don’t let the Vail Barbie “look” confuse you. Prefers bowls, deep moguls and exorcised clothing. This gal is an energizer bunny who gets to the bottom of the trail before you’ve finished adjusting your goggles off the chairlift. Rumor on the mountain, is that she is Bodi Miller’s cousin. Shh.

Carol: The deck is loaded with this Bronze and Silver medalist…who has skid all over the world, and is known to jump off one or 2 ridge lines while skiing in the Alps. Ok, maybe it wasn’t the Alps, and maybe she didn’t jump off the ridge line – but there was this big snow squall, which caused a whiteout, and Carol could no longer see…so she skiied to the bottom with her eyes shut.
Dean: Works very hard as Carol’s Ski Coach during the Slalom course – and thus I believe he is a Bronze and Silver Medalist Coach – thanks to Carol’s winnings. He is also an undiscovered “synchronized skier”, as he can sync up a groove with any skier on the mountain.

Paddy (Jean Claude) and I had our work cut out for us to keep up with this ski crowd. But, deep down, we knew we couldn’t keep up. They were the pros…and we were…well…not. It was time to think outside the box. It was time to give this ski team a challenge they haven’t yet been exposed to:

  • we tried to lose them by taking the gondola over and over…but they found us anyway
  • we ordered the biggest pizza for lunch and made sure the ski team was fully weighted down by eating 5000 carb calories apiece
  • I left my cell phone behind so the only way to contact us if we got lost on the slopes – was to use Paddy’s phone number
  • Paddy never answers his phone in time
  • Paddy rarely charges his phone
  • Paddy’s phone is basically useless

No matter how hard we tried to avoid being the “ski anchors”, the ski team just never let us out of their sight. They were our caretakers, they wanted to show us the best of Vail, and they took this job very seriously. The skiing was beyond phenomenal – the best we’ve experienced all week – and the endorphins were running high. This was ski heaven!

But, it was time to test the expert ski team with their own “no skier left behind” strategy. Vail ski resort has multiple BASES…to it’s multiple MOUNTAINS. As Paddy (Jean Claude) demoed a brief yard sale….it caused enough delay – that suddenly our ski team (who was ahead of us) was no longer in sight. Where do you think they went? I asked Paddy. “Down” he astutely replied. So, DOWN we went…we kept going down….down…down…. And suddenly, we were at the BASE of some other MOUNTAIN (Cascade), with no way to get back to our Expert Ski Team located at a different base called Lionshead. hmmmm….

With the aid of a lady from Michigan who knew the local bus schedules…a few very brief calls to Chuck on a barely operating phone battery, and the patience of our expert ski team…we eventually were reunited. Apres Ski consisted of Barbie’s FIVE-OHMY birthday celebration, a skip-it demo, a hoola hoop demo, Rocky Mountain sushi, eating Dean’s M&M’s for desert, a pajama party…and finally zzzzzzz’s.

Addendum: Apparently our gifted ski team was busy making the news, shortly after we departed Vail. From playing card tricks with the magician, to Dean & Carol’s very own version of Abbott and Costello – you’ll be sure to enjoy these YouTube clips.

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