January 2, 2011
Today I am back at home after spending last week at Schweitzer Mountain in Idaho; between wanting to spend time skiing and having to spend time working, writing entries got pushed aside, thus the recent run of picture posts. I have more pictures today but many words as well. This was the first time I’ve skied during Christmas week. Dislike of long lift lines and unwillingness to pay a premium for lodging kept me away, but now we’re paying for the condo whether we use it or not, and Mr. Karen reported that crowds last Christmas (when he went out with our friend Eli) weren’t too bad, so I decided to go this year. Mr. Karen and our friend Hank drove out, arriving very late on December 23rd but in plenty of time to pick up Hank’s wife and stepson, who flew in on Christmas Eve. I flew to Spokane Christmas Day (with Sock Monkey, whom you’ve already met), connecting from Detroit through Minneapolis and Seattle, each flight on a different airline so I got to read three different in flight magazines.
We had great luck with the weather this trip. It was clear for Mr. Karen and Hank’s very long road trip and everyone else’s flights in and drives up, and then the snow started: two inches one day, six inches the next, ten (!) the day after that, then four more to finish up the storm cycle. Sure, visibility wasn’t so great at times, and there was some wind as the storm blew through, but for twenty two inches of snow in four days, I’ll gladly put up with those things. Our guests, not so much. Hank and family were supposed to be with us all week, but decided to leave on Thursday to ski near warmer and sunnier Salt Lake City, after taking every other day off the slopes while they were at Schweitzer. I felt bad that they didn’t have a better time and sad that Mr. Karen seems to have lost a ski buddy in Hank, who used to be one of the few people in our group of friends who could keep up with him. I suppose I could have been a better hostess and stayed in and played games with them or shown them around town, but it was a ski trip—I wanted to ski, even though my hip started to hurt and slowed me down for a fair bit of the time we were there despite my loading up on ibuprofen (a.k.a. Vitamin I).
It was definitely more crowded than I’m used to seeing Schweitzer, but a busy day there is like a slow day at other resorts we’ve been to. The lines for some of the lifts did get long at times, which is only to be expected when a holiday week coincides with some big powder days (and the lifties don’t really have much a chance to practice their line management skills since it’s not usually an issue). Much of the time, though, there was little to no wait to get back up the mountain and pick a way down. Friday, our last day on the slopes for this trip and a day off work for many people, I was able to get in as many runs as my legs could handle and often saw only a few other people on my way down the hill. I was reminded again why I love the place and felt so happy that we’re able to have a place to call our own up there, quirky appliances and wonky internet and all.
The internet was a bit of an issue, since the only way I was able to get time away from the office was to commit to doing my testing remotely for a big database upgrade happening over Christmas weekend and take care of a few other things during the week for customers going live January 1st. I wasn’t able to connect from the condo the night I arrived; since it was Christmas and the company who provides the service there is small, tech support was off for the holiday, so I ended up going over to the hotel in the village at 4:30 the next morning to use that connection to do my work. Still, it could have been worse, since thanks to the time change, I was able to wrap up what I needed to do before the lifts opened. I was really, really tired, but I did get to ski a pretty full day that day. We never did manage to get the wireless router setup to work within the restrictions of the internet provider, so Hank couldn’t use his computer while I was using mine, and that may have contributed to their decision to leave early. I agree it’s annoying but there really didn’t seem to be anything I could do to fix it. I did manage to tether my laptop to my Droid and get internet access that way, but the VPN setup at work didn’t like that connection so I couldn’t do that full time and let Hank take the condo access. I guess if I’d been a good hostess, I would have kept shuttling down to the village to work. I am not that good of a hostess.
All too soon it was time for us to head home, and once again the weather cooperated nicely, with clear skies all the way from Spokane through Chicago to Detroit. There wasn’t even any snow in the driveway to shovel when we pulled up to our house.
On this date in 2010: Ombre Nails, in which I used five colors of nail polish in one manicure.
2009: Evidently I’m a Graver, in which I wrote about my cemetery wandering hobby.
2008: New Year, New Socks, in which I finished knitting my second pair of socks.
2007: No entry.
2006: I’m All Out of Love, in which my interest in yet another hobby, proofreading, was waning.
2005: Bargains, in which I went to a thrift store.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.