ski trip steamboat springs march 2001
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And the trip begins.........

We were picked up by a limo Saturday afternoon and hauled off to the airport. The flight to Houston was uneventful, but we had to run between gates in Houston... which seemed like 3 miles. We landed in Hayden, CO on time. It was very cold and the kids finally saw snow on the ground. Our condo was fairly nice, a 2 bedroom version with a pull-out sofa in the living room. Although we booked a ski-in/ski-out condo, unless you were an expert skier, there was no chance. We made a quick stop at the grocery store and bought provisions for breakfast.

The next morning, we got up early to go get all of our equipment. Everything went smoothly because all was reserved in advance. After getting all of our ski boots, skis, poles, etc., we registered all the kids in ski school and finally got to ride the gondola up the mountain. The weather was spectacular, sunny and not too cold (40° - 50°). We were dressed way too warm that first day. Nancy and I skied like we had been for doing it for years. It really comes back to you (just like riding a bike). At 3:00 we picked all the kids up and headed home. All of us were beat! The biggest thing lacking in Colorado is oxygen. Hot tub time! After a wonderful time in the tub, we got dressed for dinner and headed off to the Alpine Bistro. But before we got into the restaurant, Logan fell down a small flight of stairs... face first. He was OK, but learned a lesson... never look at a dog in a parked car when walking in a place you are not familiar with. Anyway...what a fabulous restaurant. Gourmet all the way! By 8:30 it was time for bed.

Up early again the next morning, because we'd all gone to sleep so early. Our bodies were still on eastern standard time. A quick breakfast and off to catch the shuttle over to the gondola area. We had storage lockers next to the ski storage, and went to retrieve our ski boots and equipment. Everyone had a bit of trouble with all the extra schlepping. Had fun watching Elliot try to carry his skis without dropping them! Ski school for the kids and up the gondola to mid-mountain for the grown-ups. The skies were beautiful and blue, and after a long day of skiing, we picked up the kids and went back up the gondola for the family photo on top of the mountain. We ordered it in poster size, and we'll upload a smaller version here. Dinner at the The Ore House at the Pine Grove was very nice, with its fresh salad bar and fine steaks. Again it was time for bed...early.

Day 3 of skiing and the usual routine. Each day Nancy and I had a gourmet feast on the mountain. Whether it was Ragnars or Hazies... the lunches were great. Felt like taking a nap after each one of them. By now we were gaining strength in our legs and were becoming more adventurous on the runs. Nancy wanted to do black runs with lots of trees and I wanted to do blue runs that were groomed. This continued throughout the trip. So some comprimises were made... you go this way and I'll meet you at the bottom. Dinner at Giovanni's Ristorante was superb. Some of the best Italian food anywhere... including Italy!

Today was the day that Marcus and Elliot's ski school was over. Finally, we're going to get to ski with our kids. Got up early as usual and took Logan and Ilana to their respective classes and up the gondola we went. It was a clear day with lots of sunshine. We were all excited. So we mapped our route and decided to go down some easy blue runs to get the boys warmed up before we would go to the top of the mountain where there is better snow and more challenging runs. We start off with Rudi's run which leads into Lightning and on to the Storm Peak Express lift. As we start skiing down these slopes, it becomes apparent to Nancy and I, that the boys might need some more lessons. We figure it's early and they will get warmed up. We stop at the bottom of Rudi's run to catch our breath. Then it is time to go down lightning. I take the lead with Elliot then Marcus and finally Nancy following. I get to the bottom and look up. Elliot is right behind me, but Marcus has fallen and can't get up. Then he yelled "I heard it crack!". I noticed that one ski is facing right and the other is facing left. This is not good, I thought. I yelled up to them, now Nancy is there, should I get help? And unfortunately, the answer was yes. So I skied down to the next lift and called for help. The ski patrol came and took him away. Nancy followed right behind them. Nancy and Marcus went to the hospital to find out that he broke his left leg in 2 places. Marcus was a trooper though and insisted that Elliot and I ski the rest of the day. Since the doctor gave strict orders to keep Marcus' leg elevated for 24 hours, we decided to order in from the Coral Grill where we had our reservations for that night - outstanding seafood!

Another glorious weather day. First we got Marcus situated in the room and then left him to finish his book - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He was happy. Elliot skied with us, and Ilana and Logan went to ski school, as usual. At lunchtime, Nancy took the gondola down and met Marcus at the condo, and then they hobbled together back to the gondola and up the mountain to meet for lunch. In the mountaintop restaurant, Harvey swore that a woman sitting at another table was someone famous from the movies or television. He couldn't quite place her. Unfortunately she was behind Nancy, so Nancy decided to "go to the restroom" so she could walk past and get a good look. It took a few minutes, but Nancy figured out that she was a dead ringer for Jill Hennessy, who played the female assistant district attorney on Law & Order several years ago. After lunch, Harvey asked one of the other men at her table, and he said that it was Jill's sister! Nothing like a little excitement at lunchtime. It was really too much for Marcus, and he decided to take the rest of his lunches in the condo. Harvey took him back to the room, and Nancy and Elliot skied together the rest of the day. In the evening, we went to the Mediterranean Grill, which was a new restaurant in Steamboat and delicious.

Our usual morning routine, and now Marcus was into Book 3 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Thanks to Harvey having gone to Wal-Mart the night before to pick it up. Elliot wasn't feeling too well, and hadn't slept well the night before, so he stayed behind with Marcus and rested. Nancy and Harvey skied together, and compromised on which runs to ski. A little smooth and easy for Harvey, a few trees and bumps for Nance. After picking up Ilana and Logan, Nancy and Ilana went back up the gondola and skied together til the lifts closed and they had to ski all the way down. Ilana was quite the expert, and kept up all the way. She just bounced off the bumps and skied with joyful abandon (and no fear!) She even skied down Vortex, a black diamond run, and had a blast! Dr. Sheffel (Jeff's dad, for those of you who know who we're talking about) picked us up about 5:45 for hors d'oevres and a tour of their not-so-new magnificent home just up the road from our condo. Then it was off to dinner with the Sheffels at Antares Restaurant, which ironically used to be the Brandywine, owned by the Sheffels and managed by Jeff's brother, Scott! Dinner was delightful, and they dropped us back at the condo afterward, where we all collapsed again from exhaustion.

Finally some snow or so we thought. Elliot was skiing with us all day. The problem was that you couldn't see him or Nancy or me or anything. Heavy fog rolled in and in concert with the snow... hmmm ... made for adventurous skiing. But finally there was an inch or so of fresh powder to ski on. Only we were used to packed powder with sunshine! We built a snowman - or actually a snow miniature monument, since fresh powder doesn't seem to be conducive to building anything. We packed, and packed and packed on the snow and it just didn't get any bigger! But we had a small snowball fight, and it was all worthwhile. This time when we picked up Logan and Ilana at 3:00, Harvey and Ilana went back up for some one-on-one skiing, father-daughter style. Harvey just couldn't get over how Ilana kept right up with him! Nancy, Elliot and Logan went to turn in our equipment, and discovered one small problem - Logan's regular shoes were all back at the condo, and we had just turned in his ski boots! So Mommy had to carry Logan first up the stairs [in her ski boots :-(] and then down the stairs to the shuttle, and then from the shuttle to the inside hallway of our building. We all showered and changed for our last dinner out, the ultimate in dining pleasure, L'Apogee is in a class of its own. A truly incredible experience, and one of the finest restaurants we had ever dined in. Nancy's back wasn't feeling too great from carrying Logan, and Harvey had something for back spasms, which promptly put Nancy to sleep! So everyone else finished packing up for the trip home, everyone mostly being Harvey!

Up at 5:30 am and off to the airport we went. It was a snowy day, very cold, and everyone was exhausted. The biggest problem was getting Marcus on the plane. Why? You ask. Because in the little airport of Hayden, Colorado, there are no gangways. Just stairs to the plane. Fortunately, there were 2 very large and scary guys to carry him up those slippery snow-covered stairs. When we arrived in Houston, there was an electric cart waiting to take us some 500 exits and 10 miles away to our connecting flight. But for the cart, no human could make the walk and catch the plane on time. The limo was running late, but they had someone there to meet us. Got home and did a quick run to Midori for our favorite sushi.

As you can tell, we had a great time. Ate lots of great food. And look forward to skiing again soon.

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