Breckenridge: Winter Wonderland

I hate flying. Hate, with a capital H. I would rather drive anytime. Say, for instance, I have to go to Detroit (which I had nearly had to, once). I’d rather drive that four hours, rather than take a supposed 45 min flight which might not even take off till hours later, due to inclement weather, airplane malfunction, or the stupidest reason of all – the air stewardess was late getting to work. Even then, there’s still the driving to the airport parking, the shuttle ride to the airport, the taking off your shoes and showing the world your toiletries when you go through customs. Bleah.

Anyway, the reason for the rant is that I had to wait at the Colorado airport for 6 hours for my flight. We arrived at noon, since Julia’s flight was at 130pm, and I couldn’t get onto any earlier flights. In the past week alone, I reckon I’ve sat in airports for nearly 15 hours.

Complaints aside, we (Julia, Vivie, Valerio, Nick, Nelson, Kim and I) had a good weekend in Colorado, save a major incident – Julia fractured a rib. While we were on the slopes Saturday, some idiot lost control of his skies and plowed directly into her. His impact was so great that she keeled over immediately. At first, we thought it was just the wind that had been knocked out of her, but after a minute passed, she still hadn’t moved.

Nelson, Nick, and I, who were skiing with her, were in a panic. Nelson asked around for a cellphone, and a skiier who had stopped whipped out one, but then we didn’t know what number to call. Luckily, there were a couple of ski patrol dudes nearby, so they radioed for help. A first aid team arrived within minutes, and they quickly and efficently transferred her onto a stretcher whereupon one of them skied down the slopes with her. The three of us tried to follow behind, in our clumsy manuevers, but we quickly lost sight of him, sleigh and all.

Some x-rays later, we found out that she had fractured her 9th rib. Poor girl – she’ll be out the rest of the climbing season. 😦 Plus extreme discomfort for the next 6 weeks until it heals.

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All in all, I think everyone had a great time. Breckenridge is a delightful little town set at the foothills of the Breckenridge ski resort. The narrow Main Street is lined with outdoor and ski shops (any outdoorsman’s haven), as well as dozens of cosy restaurants and bars. However, except for Friday evening where I spent a couple hours at an Irish pub waiting for the others to be done with skiing/boarding (I’d elected to sleep in and then go snow shoeing instead), we did not go out for drinks/meals and cooked instead.

Julia had found us a spacious two bedroom apartment, complete with a fireplace and fully stocked kitchen. So, rather than head out into the cold again after a hard day in the snow, we bought food enough for breakfasts and dinners. Hehe, this was actually the first time this year that I’ve attempted to fulfill my new year resolution to cook.

Menu
Friday night: Julia and I cooked pasta
Saturday morning: Kim and Julia made scrambled eggs and hash browns
Saturday dinner: Vivie and Kim cooked chicken rice and chicken curry for our reunion dinner – DELICIOUS
Sunday morning: Kim and I cooked scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausages
Sunday evening: Nelson, Vivie and I cooked rice, bah kut teh and pasta for dinner

All washed down with wine and six pack beers. And I found out that Colorado has some stupid 3-2 rule on Sunday. Liquor stores aren’t allowed to operate then, and supermarkets can only sell alcoholic drinks of 3.2%. Bleah.

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Unlike the others who skiied/boarded the three days we were in Breckenridge, I only skiied a day. Well, half a day actually, because Julia got injured. I had a blast though – and am so tempted to try get in another ski trip before the end of the season.

On Sunday, I went ice climbing – it was awesome, especially considering the balmy temperatures; a good 60 degrees above Munising’s -30 degrees with wind chill. The trek up to the ice fall was brutal though. The snow was so soft, powdery and deep that I sunk up to my waist in certain sections. And it was so steep (incline of 70-80 degrees at some parts) that often, for every step I took, I slid a few steps back. It was hot (I was perspiring so much in my jacket), tiring, and extremely frustrating. Eventually though, after much pointers from Brian (my guide, who, incidentally, has starred in a couple of climbing movies), I got the hang of taking tiny steps with my toes and advancing up that way. I have a newfound respect for all the mountaineering folks. Happily, I managed to get down the slope in a much shorter time – 10 minutes vs. the exhausting 1.5 hour hike up. We just sat on our asses and slid down the paths we’d created. Sort of like a snowy waterslide.

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Aye. So that was that. Our short but extremely packed President’s Day weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado. It was great to meet up with Vivie and Julia again, and I really enjoyed meeting Vivie’s friends. Hopefully, we can make this an annual trip (there’s talk of Whistler next year!). It’s too bad I didn’t get to meet up with Loiseaurebelle who’s working there, that lucky girl, but there’ll be other chances, hopefully. πŸ™‚

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3 thoughts on “Breckenridge: Winter Wonderland

  1. Glad you had fun. I’ll make it my duty to keep harassing you about keeping your resolution to cook more. Just make sure to bug me about looking for a job πŸ™‚

  2. I hate flying too. I think it has much to do with the fact that for the first twenty or so years of my life, almost every flight I was on lasted at least 7 hours, and usually up to 12 or 24 hours. I drove from Michigan to Colorado when I moved, and last summer I drove from Colorado to California because I didn’t want to get onto a plane. But now, with limited vacation time, I guess I’ll have to fly or I’ll be spending my vacation days driving through deserts or cornfields.

    And unlike Michigan, even the Upper Peninsula, Colorado actually has mountains.

    And I’m sure we’ll have a chance to meet some day… when you come to Colorado again!

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