Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wiiii, oh wheeeeeee!

Until a few weeks ago I never thought I would be on skis. It was then that in passing Sean mentioned he'd like to try it sometime and the thought had recently crossed my mind as well. So, I said, yeah we should look into doing that next year. This of course led to Sean (the activities director) coordinating a ski weekend. He managed to drag Kelly and Christina into the plans (much to Kelly's chagrin). But after realizing that there is no way we could justify spending money on an entire weekend on such a trip, I thought I was safe from this inevitable fiasco. I could just imagine the two of us being wheeled down the aisle in full body casts (his painted to look like a tux, mine with flowing lace).

But, at this point both Christina and Sean were determined to put something together (freaking Scorpios). After some research Christina found a cheap spot just over the border near Milwaukee. So this past weekend we headed out for Crystal Ridge. On our way I gave in to Sean's inexplicable obsession for Cracker Barrel and we stopped to load up on complex carbohydrates. I hoped he would forget where we were going and we could just turn around and go back home.

The sign said "cheese" so Christina took its picture.

Once we got to the ski lodge we all geared up, and by then I actually was looking forward to it, but I had trouble finding boots that would fit without cutting off my legs at the calves. Finally the equipment folks fitted me with a snazzy pair that reminded us all of LA GEAR. All fashion woes aside we were finally ready to ski. Christina has skied before and even owns her own gear, so Kelly, Sean and I went in together and got semiprivate lessons from Jana (pronounced Yana). Jana was awesome, she spent at least 3 hours with us. Totally worth the money (only 20 bucks each). Because I was busy learning, Christina was responsible for the pix (between her hundreds of times down the hill).

Learning to go uphill sideways

After about two and a half hours of trudging around on single skis, making herringbone marks uphill and having our arms yanked out of their sockets by the tow rope by the bunny slope, Jana managed to trick Kelly and I to make our way down to the actual ski lift. Sean's knee had given out on him by then so he was warming up in the lodge.
Getting down to the skilift from the bunny slope was no problem, it felt great in fact. However, once we got off of the skilift and were at the tip-top of the highest hill we were faced with a new challenge, getting back down to the lodge.
Hmmm, luckily Jana was still with us and she did a good job of helping us navigate our way down this steep steep icy hill. I made it down only falling twice and I was able to get back up on my own and without removing my skis both times (a big feat for me).

I wasn't the only one to wipe out a couple times that time down, here's Kelly praying I don't run over him.

In fact I was feeling pretty confident by the time I was halfway down the hill and Christina snapped this shot.

At that point it was already after 2, the lessons were over and we needed a break. So we found Sean in the lodge and got some horribly unhealthy food. After lunch we decided to get back out there. Our first goal was to get Sean down to the lift. He went down, again and again. Poor thing, between the hole in his left foot and his backwards right knee, skiing was probably not in his better judgement. Fortunately Kelly and I (the skeptics) were having a great time. I waited probably 15 minutes at the bottom of the hill to help Sean get on the lift, when I saw him walking around the bend with the ski patrol. Uh-oh. They accompanied him to the top of the hill on the lift then after convincing him trying to ski back to the lodge was not such a good idea Sean got to live out his NFL fantasy of being driven off the field.

After watching Sean being carted away Kelly, Christina and I started back down the slopes. By this time the steep slope from the lift was even icier and seemingly even steeper. I wiped out twice, kept getting back up, but somehow my nerves got the better of me and it took me forever to get back up after the third fall. But I did, and then I started going once more, and going and going, trying to slow down using the "pizza" stance Jana had taught us. But I didn't slow down, not even after my legs were over my head, then under me and over my head again. When I finally stopped my skis were about ten feet away from me. I quickly gathered my senses and my skis and called it a day. As I got up, another ski patrol dude came walking up behind me to make sure I was ok. After assuring him I'm durable he mentioned what a hectic day they were having, and that another guy just twisted his knee. I told him that was my fiance and explained it was our first time skiing. He was shocked and said he has been learning to ski, but that he is still on the bunny hill. He asked what in the world we were doing going up and down the lift hill. I explained Jana had been our instructor and she's tough teacher.

All in all it was a great time, I had a lot of fun and I now understand the value of thick powdery snow. And the best part is on the way home, I found Waldo.