04 January, 2014

Winter Vacation

So yeah… skiing.

My mom and dad’s neighbor has a fabulous condo in Winter Park and she quite literally begged my mom and dad to use it for a week of skiing.  So, last year, my parents set up a family ski trip after Christmas for all of us… my folks, my brother and his family and our family.

Doing a little bit of souvenir shopping in town.

They all flew, but being the road trip warriors that we are, we drove the 18 hour drive to Winter Park, Colorado.  Of course, we didn’t drive the entire 18 hours…. We stopped in New Mexico the first night then made it to Winter Park just in time to get fitted for and pick up our skis for the next day’s adventure.

The condo was beautiful.  The woman who owns it is a late-in-life-heiress, so she spent some of her inheritance in style and spared no expense.  It truly was a blessing to be able to stay in such a beautiful home and area… for FREE!

My mom had a huge meal prepared for everyone and it was so nice to be there with my entire Sullivan family – Mom & Pop, Tim, Christi, Brandon & Brady and of course, the Wagner family – all 10 of us.  That night we ate (and ate), watched football and went to bed at a reasonable hour to prepare us for our first big day on the slopes!

To give you an idea of how our first day went…. Randy is a skier.  The girls and I have never skied.  However, Randy felt we all had just enough athleticism to skip the SKI SCHOOL instructions.  I have to admit… after seeing and hearing the ski school instructors teaching the little kids, I’m glad we didn’t waste a whole day there.

Getting ready for our first day on the slopes!

Brady, Tim, Erica, Kyla Randy and Pop getting ready to head out!

BUT, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have our first day woes.  After about 3 trips down the bunny slope, Randy declared we were ready for bigger and better.  Truth be told, I think he was ready to move on from the piles and piles of little kids on the bunny.

So, we hopped onto the lift and made our way up to the first stop.  Kyla and Randy unintentionally split off from Elisan and me, so Elisan and I were left on our own to make it down the mountain.  Of about 4-5 green trails to choose from, we unwittedly chose the hardest one.  We ended up flying down the mountain with no means to stop ourselves…other than just willing ourselves to fall.  And that’s what we did.  Both of us.  Once we made it down to a more gentle sloping area, we were able to get our butts off that mountain.  We were certainly NOT ready for bigger and better.  Same was true for Kyla.  While she was with Randy, it was reported that she fell, threw her skis and pitched a royal fit, complete with tears.  It was a good day for all.

We cordially dismissed Randy and the remainder of the day was spent going up and down the bunny slopes.  We called it a day around 2 p.m. and hung out at the condo until that evening.

That evening, we met the remaining skiers at the resort for tubing.  We booked an hour of tubing and goodness gracious… at 5 p.m. it was dark and COLD… Like 18 degrees cold.  I was only able to tube 3 times before I had to get inside and warm my feet.  After I was sufficiently thawed, I was able to go down three more times before our hour was up. 

Meems and Kyla getting ready for tubing.

Ready for tubing!

Warming my frozen toes by the fire!

The end of the first day, I was wiped out.  My knees hurt, my legs hurt and my back hurt.  We all slept like babes!

The second day of skiing was a bit more promising.  Since the girls and I “mastered” the bunny slope, we felt a bit more confident in our abilities.  Plus, when we looked at the ski map, it actually made sense and we knew what we were looking at.  So, we picked out the absolute easiest green trail and we did that all day.  It was fun and the girls and I finally got the hang of it.  I honestly believe that none of us had any real big tumbles either--just a small fall here and there.  About 3 p.m., the girls and I called it a day and we left Randy on the mountain so he could get some “real skiing” done. 

A day on the slopes with my girl!

The third day, Randy declared us “ready” for the bigger and better green trails again.  So, up and up we went a lot higher to the base of another green trail.  Only this trail was about 3 times longer than the one we did all day Monday.  In fact, this trail had a pretty significant and steep drop before you actually got to the “green” section – at least in my opinion.  The girls made it okay down the drop… a little faster than what I wanted them to go.  And as for me?  I skied down a bit, spun around out of control and landed feet first, face down in the snow.  And when I tried to get up, I couldn’t without slipping.  And then I had a FULL ON PANIC ATTACK.  Like crying and hyperventilating all at once.  Not pretty.  And in fact, not good in higher altitudes, either. The not being able to breathe thing was scary.  So scary in fact, that Randy had to climb back up the slope to come a get me.  Um, yeah, good times.

The last day of skiing!

Playing in the snow after a long hard day of skiing.

Once I made it down that forsaken mountain, I vowed that my skiing was over.  However, after a little lunch and some much needed rest, I decided to stay with it for another couple of hours.  I knew the girls would feel obligated to return to the cabin with me so I kept on skiing with them.

We skied the easiest slopes several times again and then Kyla and I called it a day.  Elisan ventured up one more time with dad and then the girls and I headed back to the cabin. 

We were so fortunate to have my dad dropping us off and picking us up at the ski resort each day.  That definitely made a huge impact on our day.

That night, we packed up as much as we could and then the family watched the Johnny Manziel’s last college football game of his career. 

The next morning, we woke up to 8 inches of snow on the ground.  We were heading out that morning and I’ll have to admit, it was a little unnerving driving DOWN a mountain when you could hardly see the road for the falling snow (and snow already covering the roads.)  It was down-right treacherous!  But we made it out without incident.  Thank the Lord!

Our drive off the mountain.  Scary, huh?

After two days on the road, we were home and glad to be there!  It was a great trip and I’m glad we were able to go.  However, the amount of laundry I had to do “almost” makes it NOT worthwhile… oh, I jest…. Kinda…

As far as skiing is concerned… I’m just glad I don’t have to think about it for a while.  It was NOT my favorite, that’s for sure.  But feeling blessed for a safe ski trip,  no broken bones and safe travels home.


  1. You're a trooper! I love waterskiing, but snow skiing and I don't agree. We are never, ever, ever getting back together. Like ever. But, it sounds like you have fun stories and made memories!

  2. What a blessing to have a free condo, if she need someone to rent or borrow it for awhile tell her Ill make the sacrifice. I've had several temper tantrums on the slopes. Glad you guys had a great time

  3. Love Winter Park--was my favorite ski spot back in my skiing days (haven't gone skiing in about 18 years!) Would love to take my kids up sometime (Jeremy has not even the slightest interest in trying it) but it's just so stinking expensive these days! Next time you come to Colorado we should try to connect! =)


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