Things to do in Steamboat When You’re Stranded

February 28, 2007

1. Go dogsledding in the frozen Colorado tundra in the middle of a powder storm.

Enjoy friendlying up the sweet-natured husky-mixes as they are hooked up in their halters. Watch as said doggies become crazy-excited in anticipation of getting to pull a sled, barking and yapping and jumping for joy.

Talk to professional mushers about the ride ahead, discuss their experiences participating in the Iditarod, wish you could ask the dogs what it was like for them. Hope and assume it was as good for them as it was for the humans.

Have husbands go skiing while moms and kids dogsled, both to cut the weight of the sleds and to avoid resentment from disinterested dads (okay, okay, I know you said you were into it, but come on, we get it, we do). It was blizzarding, after all. Cut a deal with own husband such that he would hang with kids after dogsledding, allowing a private excursion into the virgin powder.

Note: smiling husband. Priceless.

2. Prepare for, and execute, two totally unplanned days of powder skiing. As in serious, champagne powder, as the locals call it, and believe it, they know of what they speak. Laugh when you can’t get your skis to move on the flatter terrain. Laugh some more when immediately after yelling out, “Check it out! Untouched powder!”, you feel your skis come to a screeching halt while you contine to careen forward. It’s called a “face plant” for a reason.

Be happy that you have really flexible achilles tendons and hamstrings, and continue on your way.

Since the extra ski days were icing on the ice cream cake, enjoy the first ever opportunity to sleep late on a ski vacation, eat a protein-rich, late breakfast and still get a heft portion of quality skiing in without ever having to break for lunch. Study trail maps in order to hit all trails that were begging to be skiied but would not have been skiied but for a serendipitous extended stay.

Be happy that the sun seems to always come out in the afternoon after the sky is done dumping two feet of powder. Be happy also for the fact that lift tickets go two-for-one at exactly 12 noon. Be happy not to be a morning person.


Be excited for your husband and friends’ safe return from that double black diamond run that requires a hike up a long, steep snow-covered trail because there’s no lift to take them there. Acknowledge their bravery.

Laugh good heartedly over the photos of them sliding down the steeps on their butts. That’s what butts are for.

3. Take kids to hot tub. Again.

Not that it is exactly a hardship. Be happy when you realize that no matter what time you start skiing, the lifts always close at 4 (some earlier, depending on how high up), and there is always time for a dip. Wonder, what is it about skiing and hot tubs? Why do they always seem to go together, especially outdoor hot tubs? Then ask why ask why.

Regarding the little ones and the outdoor tub: recognize that in order to provide the busy little hands with something to do other than throw snowballs into the hot water, provide plenty of empty water, soda and gatorade bottles for creative play.

4. Take that group portrait you had been meaning to take but hadn’t gotten around to.


(but try to get someone outside of the group to do it, or someone will get left out, like in this case, the husband)


That family portrait is a must as well.

Who knew there would be time for such things?

Oh, and don’t forget to get one of all the kids.

5. Enter (and win a gold medal in) the NASTAR (National Association of something or other having to do with skiing and racing) ski race.

6. Visit Steamboat’s downtown.

Wonder how it was that you didn’t have time to make it downtown the whole week you were there, and only found the time when you were given an extra two days, thanks to airline incompetence and extreme weather.

Eat Chinese food served by a midwesterner, drink hot sake without worrying about the high altitude hangover because tomorrow, you can sleep late and STILL get some “icing on the cake” skiing in.

7. Go back downtown the next day to take a dip in the Steamboat Hot Springs.

8. Practice your flute while getting a break from the sun and the wind. The folks back home don’t quite understand a goggle tan.

YC

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Ego Trumping Vanity

February 28, 2007

Yeah, it’s not pretty to see the bare, untanned legs of a 40-something shrimp squashing down over her shoulders, hands splayed, feet flexed, dark roots showing beneath her braids, lighting so flat that any semblance of muscularity is obscured. And yet. I am so pleased with my progress in getting to a chest-down, chin-forward, flat-out Kurmasana, that I can’t help but show it off here.

Ego over vanity.

The pic was taken during one of our Ashtanga practice sessions during our 11-day Colorado excursion. Getting your flight cancelled is way underrated. The key is accepting the inconvenience and making it into a boondoggle.

More later.

YC


Stranded

February 26, 2007

Saturday:

Well, so much for the best laid plans. All flights out of steamboat have been cancelled due to inclement weather, which means we have to fly out of denver. Trouble is, we can’t get a flight until tuesday. Sigh.

At least we get another day or two of fresh powder (it snowed two feet last night and this morning). This morning we went dog-sledding while it snowed. Then Brian and I spent the afternoon skiing together. He introduced me to the vestibularly stimulating terrain park experience. And I prodded him to love the deep powder. Strangely enough, he prefers it packed.

Later…..

Sunday:

Well, it’s sunday mornings, and we would have been on our flight home right now but for the flight cancellation. One would think we would take advantage of our rotten luck and spend another day skiing. If it were up to me, we would. Unfortunately, we are instead looking for a flight out of steamboat so that we don’t have to drive four hours to denver in order to get a flight home. So far, the entire day has been one long “please hold for the next available agent”.

Oh, and we have to pay for two more nights at our condo, which everyone is bummed about. The kids are all chaotic, asking us to take them to a movie, to the candy store, to the hot springs. I say make the best of it. But no one else is really on board with that until we find a flight that doesn’t entail a four hour drive southeast to Denver.

And so it goes.

YC


Stranded

February 25, 2007

Well, so much for the best laid plans. All flights out of steamboat have been cancelled due to inclement weather, which means we have to fly out of denver. Trouble is, we can't get a flight until tuesday. Sigh.

At least we get another day or two of fresh powder (it snowed two feet last night and this morning). This morning we went dog-sledding while it snowed. Then Brian and I spent the afternoon skiing together. He introduced me to the vestibularly stimulating terrain park experience. And I prodded him to love the deep powder. Strangely enough, he prefers it packed.

Later…..

Well, it's sunday mornings, and we would have been on our flight home right now but for the flight cancellation. One would think we would take advantage of our rotten luck and spend another day skiing. If it were up to me, we would. Unfortunately, we are instead looking for a flight out of steamboat so that we don't have to drive four hours to denver in order to get a flight home. So far, the entire day has been one long "please hold for the next available agent".

Oh, and we have to pay for two more nights at our condo, which everyone is bummed about. The kids are all chaotic, asking us to take them to a movie, to the candy store, to the hot springs. I say make the best of it. But no one else is really on board with that until we find a flight that doesn't entail a four hour drive southeast to Denver.

And so it goes.

Yc

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Oh, and a bit of news, HOT off the presses

February 23, 2007

Greg will be teaching the 10-12 noon Mysore at Yoga Sutra starting a week from Monday.

So, all you Gregophiles….you can still have morning practice with Greg (just not as early).

YC


Howdy from Steamboat Springs, Colorado

February 23, 2007

I sent a post by Blackberry, and wouldn’t ya know it, it didn’t post. That was a few days ago, and the general gist then was that the skiing was awesomely fine. I was tackling any black diamond I wanted to. The snow was soft and forgiving, so it didn’t much matter how steep we got since the bump runs provided a pinball-machine-like cushioning and the smooth runs were just, well, smooth.

Then it got sunny out, which seems nice at first, but it has the effect of melting the snow, which then refreezes at night, rendering soft powdery snow into hard, heavy chunks, at best, and slick sheets of ice, at worst. So, today, it’s like skiing in Vermont. I came in early with Adam because he really couldn’t stand the conditions, and he claims to have hurt his elbow, which I am sure is true, but mostly, I think he thought it sucked out there, which it did, which was why I was happy to come in early today.

Nevertheless, as the day goes on, the icey snow melts again, so we are going to be going back out again in about a half hour. It’s only two o’clock here, Mountain Time and all.

We’re here with another family, sharing a large condo, which is totally fun, since I love the family we’re with (old friends from nearly 20 years ago, and more for Eric and JB, the husband in the other family…they go back to childhood), but challenging for my essential hermit-like nature. That also made the long ski down from the top of the mountain to the ski patrol at the base, where I picked up Adam, kind of nice….totally solitary. Just me, the trees and the sound of my skis.

I have MISSED blogging BADLY. I am becoming a bit of a wreck without a place to put it all down. I don’t even dare try to take pen to paper at this point. I only know how to type it out. I’ve been practicing Ashtanga every day, and some days even leading our friends and their kids (there are five kids altogether, including mine, from ages 12 down to 6). But the blogging is important too.

And no, it has not escaped my notice that Britney Spears shaved her head, that the judge in the Anna Nicole Smith case bawled as he read his verdict (dude!! some professional decorum, please!), that the latest Lost episode once again rocked the house. My house, at least. I don’t much care about the fact that Jack had a thing with Bai Ling or that she tattooed him up, or that one of his tattoos says that he “walks among them but is not one of them” because, well, duh. That’s not exactly a revelation. But there’s cool chemistry between him and Juliet, and it’s pretty obvious that the series is finally (!!!) playing out like a long, long, long well-maintained story-arc, as opposed to a rambling Twin-Peaks-like mess.

Well, off I go. Photos will be posted when I get back.

Have a nice week, ya’all!

YC


Valentines Day Revisited

February 17, 2007

Today I received an unexpected email from someone who had read my blog. It was from the mom of the boy I mentioned who bought me a pink carnation, just because he knew I wanted one, the boy who never had the chance to get someone a pink carnation for real, at least not as an adult. It was from Eric Probolsky’s mom (and dad). “I was flooded with emotions when I read your article,” she wrote to me, “To think almost 25 years after Eric died that another of his friends was still as much emotionally & spiritually aware of him is mind blowing.”

I feel good about this. As a mom of two boys, myself, it is nearly impossible for me to get my arms around what it must be like to outlive a child who is still a child. I can’t even go there. But if I brought her a moment of happiness or relief, in knowing that the circuits out there still light up with thoughts of her son, then I feel alright.

On a lighter note, it seems that my older son, Brian, is quite savvy when it comes to things social. Far more savvy than I could ever have imagined. When we were talking about who gave out valentines in his class, he said, “I think that some people give out valentines just because they really wanted to give out a valentine to one particular person.” It was a statement that was so sophisticated and layered that at first I couldn’t believe that he meant it in the way that I would have meant it, had I said it. But when I replied that “when I was a kid, that is exactly how it worked for me…I gave out valentines to everyone in the class, but it was really about me giving valentines to the boys I had crushes on,” he nodded and said, “that’s what I’m saying.”

I then asked him if he had a crush on anyone.

He then asked me if he had given out any valentines. Like, duh.

But what he doesn’t realize is that if he ever DOES decide to give valentines out to the class, well, I will KNOW that something is up.

And now, I must get my beauty sleep. You never know who you might run into at the airport.

YC