And out of the cold…

We are back in Houston and were welcomed with the most lovely, fog/mist/humidity combination. It creeped up to 75 and I’m SO NOT READY for the heat. Dallas just got snow! Not fair Houston. Not. Fair.

Colorado, on the other hand, was just perfection. Even if we did have to drive through a bit of a snow storm from Denver > Steamboat Springs. The boys decided to upgrade us (for safety purposes) to a Tahoe and I’m so relieved they did. And now we all want Tahoes ASAP. For a group that doesn’t particularly care about cars, this says something. After a fairly grueling drive through the snow/ice (thanks Tim!!), we made it in around midnight. We rented a ski in/out condo through airbnb.com that was really comfortable and just the right spot to relax after a day on the slopes.

DAY 1: Learn to ski (again)

We rented our equipment at One Stop Ski Shop in downtown Steamboat and they were great- plus the 2 cute dogs didn’t hurt. Courtney and I made our way to ski school while the boys took on the black slopes. Since I had attempted skiing before and Dan had given me a good base, I wasn’t technically a beginner, so Courtney and I split up into different levels. I spent the day with a super sweet woman from Venezuela (where she has trouble finding milk and toilet paper at the store due to the political climate at the moment) and our instructor, Mike. He really helped me to understand the basics of skiing- especially where to put my weight and how to easily turn the skis. By the end of the day I was feeling confident.

That night we made some quick shopping trips to stock up for the weekend. LOTS of Powerade to prevent altitude sickness. In CO, the grocery store only sells 3.2 beer, so we had to run to the liquor store for REAL beer and wine. After shopping, we were too tired to cook so we went into town to dine at Mahogany Ridge. Man, it was packed! They brew their own beer and have a huge menu with lots of options. Great feel to the place and good food. The beer wasn’t my favorite, but it was refreshing and hit the spot.

The place we stayed (Storm Meadows) had the quickest, most efficient, *free* shuttle service I’ve ever seen and were always only a few minutes away after we placed a call. I would love to have that service here in Houston too 😀 We ended our first day with Battle of the Sexes (which continued on for the next couple of days). Turns out we are fairly evenly matched couples. Also, Dan makes a killer fire.

DAY 2: Practice makes perfect

It took me a while to warm up without the instructor, but eventually I was attempting to tackle some of the easier blues. I only cried twice and only had to be helped by a ski ambassador once. Thanks for being so patient, Dan! Our kids will be so lucky to have you as a teacher. Such an awesome strength that I’m continually striving for (and continually not succeeding).

We were all pretty sore, so we drove out to Strawberry Park Hot Springs that evening. Once again, thank goodness for the Tahoe. It was a pretty drive out there but as we got closer, it turned into a icy dirt road. So, so worth the drive. One of the coolest things ever and something I would highlyyy recommend. It’s so neat to be sitting in steaming hot springs in the middle of the mountains. Though I was pretty nervous about being in a swimsuit when the temperature was in the teens. It was a mad dash to de-cloth and re-cloth before and after. Sidenote: clothing optional at night (but I only saw one butt so I was safe). The boys actually jumped into the freezing part of the springs but there was no way we were joining them.

it was snowing a little bit.

Post springs bathroom selfie in my comfy vintage sweater. And ibuprofen. Lots of ibuprofen.

Chicken enchilada casserole for dinner and more battling of the sexes were the perfect end to a fantastic day.

DAY 3: Mastering Skiing

Double black diamonds for everyone!!

JK. Not sure those are ever in my future. But I was having a blast on the greens and blues. By the end of the ski day I didn’t want to get off the slopes! We were just about the last ones down. We even had ski patrol following us for a bit to make sure we were heading down. I then had the most delicious drink, the “snuggler” at Slopeside, and felt very happy (and relieved) that I had finally learned how to ski. Now the goal is to remember that feeling next year when I’m once again intimidated.

That night we gorged ourselves on Italian food at Mazzola’s (so charming and cozy in a basement-like setting) and lamented the fact that the ski trip was almost over.

DAY 4: Sad to leave

On our final morning, I ate the largest cinnamon roll I’d ever seen (we all shared) and a plate of biscuits and gravy. Thank you Winona’s, you were delicious. We also walked around downtown a bit and spent some time in the cutest bookstore, Off the Beaten Path (a tip from Jessica).

After the drive back to Denver we had a little time to kill before heading to the airport so we ended up at Great Divide Brewery, one of our favorites from our tour of Denver breweries last summer. I loved the seasonal belgian tripel, Orabelle, which we hadn’t gotten to try.

Our only good group picture… and of course it was captured exactly when the guy said cheese so I have a ridiculously goofy grin on my face. Cool.

Then it was back to the real world! This week has been so short. Basically just scrambling to catch on work and laundry before leaving town again! Cheers to Steamboat Springs and Tim & Courtney for putting up with us on the trip!

And apologies for the crazy long post… You now get a cute Barley pic.

Happy face after we got back!

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