Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vail Pass & Silverthorne

This past weekend I didn't work! Yay! We went up to Summit County for some snowmobiling and a little backcountry skiing.

YAY snow!

I went out with Collin and Jake on Saturday and we stayed out until it was dark. Thank God for headlights! They got stuck a bunch of times since the snow was soo deep and the bottom layer of snow was like sand making it difficult for the sled to grip and get out of the hole it dug.

Digging out

While they dug and tugged, I took pictures of the beautiful sky 

So excited, haha!

Chowing down on a granola bar
 As we were going up one of the narrow trails we ran into a couple on a snowmobile who were getting ready to hike up and telemark down one of the hills. The guy asked Jake if he would tow them up half way and he did.

It was 5:30 pm by this time and getting dark so I was a little surprised they were just getting started. The guy said he was a guide at one of the local snowmobile/dog sled places so he probably knew that mountain better than most people.

While Collin and I waited for Jake to come back we checked out this abandoned forestry cabin. Very cute.

The guys warming their hands over the engine. Time to call it a day!

The next day we went back out, this time with Mari too...and our skis/snowboards. We cruised around for a while and then found some smaller trails that the guys wanted to check out first. So Mari and I hopped off while the guys went to investigate. 30 minutes later... there we stood in the middle of no where, on a mountain, with nothing but complete silence around us. Sweet, thanks a lot!
We decided to start walking down the mountain but then thought maybe it'd be better to walk down the trail that they took in case they were stuck. We drew some arrows in the snow and started hiking.

Whew, soo tiring. It's so hard to walk in that knee/waist deep powder, especially up hill! After probably 30 more minutes and many stops to catch our breath, we heard motors. They had both been stuck and were dripping with sweat from digging out.
After a little rest we got back on and tried to find something to ski!

This is what we found.

It looked nice but because of the snow conditions lately (hard crust over soft sandy snow), which has been a cause of the recent avalanches, it sort of sucked. It was really hard to turn because you could hardly break through the top layer so it caught your edges and pulled you where it wanted.

We took a few runs there and found a few other hills to try too. On our last run, the snow was horrible. Collin went first and I followed. We both got stuck under the top layer half way down and struggled to get out of the sandy stuff underneath and back on top. After I got up I took off and tried to get down as fast as I could. Collin on the other hand was no where to be found for a good 20 minutes. I started hiking back up (didn't work so well) and Jake went back up on the sled to see if he could see him from the top. Nothing.
Finally, I spotted him basically swimming through the waist deep snow towards me. He had gotten stuck under the snow, half in a tree well, and couldn't get his board back on so he walked/barrel rolled his way down. He was so exhausted that we called it a day.

Somehow I scratched the crap out of my skis. I was sad!

We went to The Mint for dinner that night, just the two of us. The Historic Mint is a "grill your own steak" place in Silverthorne that Collin loves. We were both so tired by the time we got there that we each ordered something that we didn't actually have to cook ourselves. It was yummy! We passed out quickly when we got back to the condo.
The next morning we were packed and ready to go by 10 and headed home. Collin worked a half day and I, unfortunately, worked a full shift that night. I was super tired to say the least!!

I work this weekend so Collin is heading a bit west to see one of his college friends in Crested Butte. I am, however, looking forward to my Monday and Tuesday off when I get to see some of my family who is flying out for some skiing!! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I didn't work on Sunday and I REALLY wanted to try out my new skis asap! Collin and I decided to go to Monarch ski resort which is about two hours from us. It's a small mountain with nothing much around but we've passed it countless times on our way to Wolfcreek and have been curious to try it out. I worked Saturday night until about 10 but couldn't get to sleep until about midnight (as usual). We planned to get up early Sunday morning and head out...I was surely dragging but indeed got up and ready to go. We got on the road around 7a and stopped at our favorite breakfast spot in Woodland Park called Joanie's Deli. We made it to Monarch by 10 and got our $57 lift tickets...score!

I just liked the sign

View from one of the runs
I don't know if it was due to President's Day weekend but there were loads of first-timer city kids there (literally, buses and buses of them) so the lifts were jammed and the slopes were crowded with pizza-pie skiers and those who fly straight down the hill and 'yard sale' it at the bottom. We finally found a few nice tree runs and then Collin talked me into hiking up to the back bowl and whatever else was back there. It didn't look like it was too far to hike....wrong. I was dying!! Actually huffing and puffing my way up the mountain. My skis were getting heavy so Collin took them and I drug his board the rest of the way. It was certainly worth the hike when we got to the top though.

Amazing 360 views!

Collin chatting with the 60+ year old man who smoked by me on the hike up the mountain.

We caught our breath for a few minutes, took some pictures, and then decided which way to go. It was a short run for the effort that we put into the hike but well worth it.
We were beat from the hike and decided we needed a beer and a little break so we skied to the packed lodge and kicked our feet up for a little. We took some more runs and then called it a day around 2 or so.

I LOVED my new skis! They're just awesome!

When I picked them up from REI, I could see them standing in the back next to my old skis and I realized just how much I needed this upgrade! What a difference!

On our way home we stopped in Salida for a late lunch/early dinner. It's a cute little town with lots of art galleries and other shops I wanted to pop in to but we were both tired and hungry so we went right to a restaurant. The food was actually terrible but it filled our bellies enough to get us home.

All in all, it was a fun day. We were a little disappointed with Monarch and thought that we would like it more than we did. I was just happy that I got to use my new skis! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012


Haaaaaaaaaa-llelujah! Yes. Yes. oh, yes. Folks, I finally got rid of my first edition circa 1864 skis and upgraded to the 21st century! Gooooo me!

As my cousin once told me when I asked if it was OK to leave our skis 'here', "You'd have to pay someone to take those skis." Well, look who's coming up in the world Tomtom!

Out with the old. I had the far right style...... (That's Collin on the left)
May or may not have been an impulse buy of sorts. I've been researching my perfect ski for almost two years now but to actually take the plunge was another story. Oh yeah and I haven't had a real income before now either. AND they were on sale.

I had a meeting at work yesterday and afterwards Collin called me to meet him at REI. I swung by on my way home and Collin had already picked out a few skis that he thought were worth a look. I'm a real sucker for reviews and the ski shop guy gave me a raaaave review on two of the Volkls.
The Aura and the Kenja.



I was originally leaning towards the Aura's but after much thought (like 20 mins) I decided that they might be a liiiiiiittle too much underfoot from what I was coming from and ended up going with the Kenja's. Online reviews say they are an amazing true all-mountain ski and one of the best women's skis for a one-ski quiver. Ok, sold! So excited! :)

I'm going to get my boots and bindings fit today and then hopefully trying them out on Sunday!!

On a funny note:
Collin and I decided to stop for sushi while we were shopping around at REI. We had obviously driven separately, so after dinner I got a little head start since I was parked closest to the restaurant. It was dark outside and as I was driving I came to a red light. A few seconds later a big grey pick up pulled up next to me. I looked over, saw "Collin" and blew him a kiss, he smiled and looked away. Only then did I realize that the truck was a friggin' Toyota Tundra, not a Nissan Titan...and therefore NOT Collin either. My eyes bugged out of my head as we then proceeded to sit at the longest red light in Colorado.
When it turned green I screamed out loud in embarrassment and then laughed uncontrollably until I got home. Wow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day!

I had the day off so I slept in, ran a few errands, and got myself a public library card, woo! Collin came home for lunch and brought me a bouquet of beautiful flowers! We ate lunch, he went back to work, and I curled up with my book and Suki. Perfection!

We were trying to get a reservation at this country club-type place but they were closed on Sunday and Monday so we never got a hold of them. Collin pretty much hates chinese food so we rarely eat it but for V-day he decided to give it another try for my sake. Instead of takeout from one of the crappy chinese places around here we kicked it up one whole notch and headed to good old P.F. Chang's.
Wow, the place was packed!! All in all we had a nice meal and I was happy for some long-overdue chinese!

Suki got a packet of wet food for Valentine's Day. Apparently, it should be called kitty crack for her. As soon as she finished eating she started ripping around the house like a dog. Springing off the backs of the couches, sliding around the kitchen island, diving under the beds. She's a crazy one alright.

That's about the extent of our excitement these days. This working life isn't so great. I think I'll soon be ready to go back to school..... HA!

We're hopefully going skiing and snowmobiling in two weekends, fingers crossed!! I'm dying to ski. I haven't been for what feels like forever. Kind of sad considering we live next to the Rockies!! Hopefully, we'll pick it up a little this spring.

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Thursday evening we headed to Denver to catch our plane to Vegas!!! My parents were at the Safari Club International sportsman show so we figured there was no better time to go. Collin's dad planned to go as well and then his sister and brother-in-law decided to come along for the party!

We got in around 7pm, waited in the longest cab line I've ever seen, and met up with my parents and A&A at our hotel, the Vdara. It was SOO good to see them after five months apart. :)

We had a drink at our hotel (right in the above picture!) and then went next door to Aria and had tapas for dinner at Julian Serrano. Obviously, tapas are small but dang...these were really small, not filling, and therefore definitely not up my dad's alley! But we enjoyed ourselves and walked to the Bellagio after dinner for some more drinks, of course. We stopped at Petrossian Bar, a little piano bar next to the amazing glass flower ceiling.

All hand blown/made by the same artist, whose name I forget!
Coincidentally, my friend from nursing school (Cati, pronounced 'cot-E') is currently living in Las Vegas so we planned to meet up for a drink...if only we would have left it at a drink....sigh...

Cati and her cousin met us at the Bellagio and after a few drinks my parents and A&A decided to call it a night, or at least head back towards their perspective hotels. Collin, my friends, and I planned to do it big on our first night in Vegas!!

And it turns out that by that, I mean we ended up at Treasures Gentlemen's Club and Steakhouse...I'm sure plenty of people go just for the steaks...

Yup, that whole place is filled with half naked women...and steaks.
I had to go to the bathroom right when we got there so I immediately attempted to take Collin off the market by making him hold my purse and then went to the restroom. It would have been nice if someone had warned me that the women's bathroom also doubled as the "dancer's" dressing room/break room. AWKWARD. "Excuse me ladies, just need to up-chuck my mini tapas dinner that clearly isn't doing its job to soak up the alcohol."
We hung out for a while, Cati and I were semi-recruited to change careers and become little "treasures", and a while later I realized that my ID was missing... that ended our night quickly. We got to our room and according to my memory, I found my ID in my other jeans and we went to bed. According to Collin's memory, I found my ID and then he picked me up off of the bathroom floor and put me in bed.

Either way I went to bed.

The next morning, after trying to wake up at least three times and moving very, very slowly and with lots of prodding, we finally made it to the SCI show which was at Mandalay Bay Hotel.

I was basically a zombie until I got a slice of pizza in me. Totally new person after that!

We spent the day walking around the show which is really too much to explain. It is bigger than you can possibly imagine. We were only on one floor the entire day and didn't even get to see everything.

That night Collin and I met my parents and a group of their friends at the Orchid Bar for a drink (not me!) before dinner. A&A, Collin's dad and Ruth went on a helicopter ride to see the night lights of Vegas! We planned to eat separately but ended up staying at the Orchid longer than expected so all eight of us met up and ate a late dinner.

We walked through a few of the hotels on the way and I took some pics of the asian gardens and chocolate dragon!

This entire dragon, the tree, and the flowers are all made out of chocolate!

The asian gardens.

I didn't have a sip of alcohol the entire day or night!

We didn't have a reservation anywhere and with 8 people + 2 friends we weren't sure where we'd be able to go. After checking a few places we were able to make a reservation at Lupo, an italian restaurant by Wolfgang Puck. It was delish! I had risotto with lobster, shrimp, mussels, and scallops. YUM!!

On Saturday, we went back to the SCI show for part of the day and hung out with my parents. That night Alli had made reservations for Joe's Seafood and Steakhouse for the eight of us plus two of my parents's other friends. Joe's is in Caesar's Palace and they're known for stone crabs!

We got there a little early and decided to get some happy hour oysters while we were waiting for my parents and their friends to arrive. YAY!! Finally. Some amazing, fresh oysters!

Joe's wouldn't seat us until everyone was there and of course my parents weren't able to get there until 20 after. But they didn't really give us a hard time like we expected and everything was great!

We got an appetizer of stone crabs which were delicious!

I also had stone crab bisque and a salad with lobster and shrimp on top...which I ate three bites of and passed around because my unforgiving dress wouldn't let me continue to stuff myself.

After Joes, we said our goodbyes to Collin's dad and Ruth since they were flying out early Sunday morning and the rest of us parted ways. A&A and Collin and I decided to gamble or at least watch other people gamble for a while. On our way, we stopped at a cigar bar, had some awesome mojitos, and people watched some more.

The only picture of the two of us...clearly I wasn't on top of the picture taking and certainly not the video taping.

Sunday was the Superbowl! We met my parents at New York New York to watch the first half and the half-time show. They had to get on the road at that point so Collin and I walked back to the Vdara and watched the rest of the game before we had to head to the airport to catch our flight home. 

We were exhausted to say the least! I never sleep on planes but this was a different story. I was out cold!

We got in around midnight and got to our place after 1am. We lugged our stuff up the stairs and passed out immediately!! I don't think I could ever handle more than a long weekend in Vegas, whew! 

We had a great time and it was SOO great to see my parents!!