I almost titled this post “Do you wanna build a snowman?” because what says snow better than Disney’s newest animated film, Frozen? But I digress…
Let’s talk about something lighthearted, something I love- the mountains.
I’m a native Floridian who grew up skiing, snow skiing to be exact. The first time I buckled those boots and grabbed the t-bar on the slopes, I was five years old. A love of all things winter blossomed from there. Since that fateful first trip to a New England ski resort, I have skied almost every year. As the only Floridian cousin (at the time), my parents made every effort to involve me in the same activities as my northern cousins. I learned how to figure skate and ski before my other Floridian friends. I made snow angels, snowmen, and snowballs any time I visited a snowy Needham, Massachusetts. When I was in eighth grade, I even briefly took ice hockey lessons.
I was around eight when we ventured west to Colorado as a family for the first time. I bet my dad wishes he never bought those plane tickets or mom and I would still be content skiing the icy Northeast. I’ll be quite honest. I only remember a handful of things about Steamboat Springs, a rural cowboy town hours away from the big city lights of Denver. We only visited a few times and all before I hit the double digits. Our lodging was slopeside, which means we literally walked out of the front door and put our skis on. At the end of the day, we skied straight down to the lodge, unlocked our boots from the skis, and walked straight into our accommodations. We watched a band of skiers holding glow lights ski down the mountain on New Year’s Eve and hot air balloons filling the cloudless skies during the winter days. I’m pretty sure there was even a sushi restaurant in town back before sushi topped the trendy list.
As most skiers do, we eventually hopped around to another mountain in Colorado – Vail. With it’s picturesque, German inspired village, expansive terrain (5,289 acres), and world-class amenities, Vail draws local, national, and internal guests each season. It’s also home to many internationally competitive skiers such as Lindsey Vonn.
I used to call Disney my happy place, but now that I’m an adult, Vail captures that title. Its beauty is unmatched. The town sits nestled between the mountains with no flat land in sight. Fresh powder covers the ground most days of the season. And ice? What ice? That’s practically densely packed powder you’re sliding around on compared to sheets of glossy ice like in Vermont.
I dream about owning a home in Vail and living there for the ski seasons. At this rate, I’m more likely to live in a three bedroom cramped apartment with six roommates working three jobs for the ski season. You know what? I’d be willing to live like that for a few months one year just for the ability to spend my free time on the slopes. I almost did this year. In the mean time, I’ll try to find a way to come into some cash to afford my dream situation.
Now that I live in New England, I can drive to a local mountain any day I want, and I will, just to pacify the urge to ski. Nothing can compare to the conditions and trails of the Rockies though. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go back next year since my decision to move hindered our tentative plans this winter. I’m always eager to return to Vail, but I’m even open to revisiting the cowboy country of Steamboat. After all, I now have the appreciation for cowboys that I lacked at eight-years-old…