Park City – Day 1

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Day 1 in Park City was excellent. The sun was shining, there had been a touch of snow the day before, and we set out to explore the mountain. We got a bit of a late start because the trip felt very last minute for a lot of people. We needed the morning half of the first day to get equipment, rentals, and lift tickets sorted.

I drove the crew around in a minivan. I won’t lie; I fucking love minivans. Right now we’re driving a Chrysler Town & Country. Lots of amenities, tons of storage, room for all your friends. At this stage in my life a minivan is a little bit like a rolling party. It may be a bit excessive that there are 8 cup holders within my direct reach from the driver’s seat, but oh well.

After getting all that sorted from 8:30 – 11 we hit the slopes out or back porch. No joke. We walk out our back porch up a small hill, ski down a short run, and arrive directly at the Town Lift in Park City. How bad ass is that?

Facebook has a lot of evidence of this. And I’ll have to post some here when I get around to it.

The weather was incredible: clear, sunny, crisp, cold. Not too windy.  We explored a lot of the mountain doing a few runs in each section and by the end of the day we were just mentally and physically exhausted. So exhausted that we didn’t even feel like getting in the hot tub.

Anneka baked cookies and made chili. As usual, I asked Anneka to marry me (I always do when she cooks for me), and as usual she said no. One of these days. Sorry Brendan!

Now it’s time for breakfast and a potential trip to demo a different snowboard.

Lift Surprise Shot

Airplane Post – Utah Bound

I’m bound for Park City Utah with Brendan, Anneka, Kenneth, Peter, Paul, and Dave (who I haven’t met yet (or is it whom?)). The flight from ATL to SLC seems to take forever. So long that I was suckered into buying 90 minutes of Internet for $12 dollars.

This is ridiculous. I know it to be ridiculous. I did it anyway. Now I’m writing to you about it.

What should I make of that?

I’m reading Don Quixote – but it wasn’t enough to hold my plane interest. I found some new sci-fi books I want to read. I should have loaded them up on my Kindle. Will make a note of that for the ride home.

Funny story.. One of the girls from The Flying Saucer was on the plane from RDU to ATL. Then I saw her in the ATL airport, and AGAIN on the plane to SLC. I’ll have to chat her up once we land and figure out what sort of strange coincidence finds a waitress and her loyal alcoholic customer bound for the same destination.

On to the rest of The Internet before we land.

Memorial Day Ziplining in Florida

I decided to make it a 4 day weekend for Memorial day on the Tuesday before the weekend started. I checked my family’s availability for Saturday, booked tickets for a zip line tour in Florida, took Friday off, then drove down to Florida on Friday.

I had a little bit of a stop in Jacksonville to visit a colleague Nik and say hello. Breaking up the 8 hour drive was good.

It was great to spend time with Jen, Matt, Cody, Mom and Cal. Saturday was zip lining and you can find some pictures here:

Zip Line Photos

Group shot
Group shot!

Sunday was a lazy pool day at Jen’s and dinner at Mom’s.

Monday was driving back home to Raleigh. I don’t really mind driving and I got to listen to a lot of NPR along the way.

DC – Buffalo – Rochester Visit – September 2009

This post has been languishing in my WordPress drafts for years. It torments me to see unfinished work. I don’t even remember the whole trip now, but I’ll do my best to summarize.

First, here are the pictures from September.

So back in September I went to Buffalo because of a girl I’d met at the beach in August. I told this girl I was coming to Buffalo to visit friends and family. Ostensibly that’s true, but sometimes I’m not entirely honest. I went to Buffalo because of the girl. I may have spent most of the time with my family and friends, but without her I wouldn’t have even thought about making the trip. In the end I learned that family and friends are the most important.

Girl had a Boyfriend at the time which threw a wrench into the works, but I still had an incredibly strong desire to just see her. I don’t know what I expected out of the trip really. Just to see what happened I guess. What happened is that we got along really well and kept talking even after the trip. Things were just starting to push the threshold of “too complicated.” Little did I know what was in store.

I shouldn’t forget to mention that on the way TO Buffalo I stopped in DC to have lunch with my favorite DC Heather.

While up in WNY I also stopped in Rochester to see Devon and have a few drinks!

On the way back FROM Buffalo I stopped in DC again for a delicious dinner made by the one and only DC Heather. An interesting and exciting week book-ended by my most constant friend.

I go off camping the NEXT WEEKEND in NC, and the Buffalo girl txt messages me “I’m engaged, are you coming to the wedding?” Wow. I say “Congratulations,” via txt (I had to) but that I don’t know if I want to go to the wedding. I then spend the next few minutes swearing to my camp mates about the situation I’d managed to get myself into.

We talk more between September and December online. My online persona apparently makes an impression.

I go visit again around Christmas time. Saying it’s for family, and it was good to see family, but of course that’s not why I made the trip at first. Again though – a learning experience that friends and family should come first.

She’s not engaged anymore around January. A surprising turn of events.

She comes to visit in January.

I go to visit at the start of February.

I’m going up again this weekend for the Tour De Beerfalo. Also, because it’s March and I haven’t seen her in a while. To be honest I have no clue what’s going on anymore. (This was written back in March of 2010, at which point I was a stupid jerk and exited the situation in the jerkiest of ways possible). Her and I are still friends after a long period of no communication. She’s married to someone else now (not the original guy).

As a post script to this whole event years ago I wanted to make this post public. I wanted to share the pictures of friends and family and also that I learned something important.

Snowboarding 2012/2013

I’ve been on a few snowboard trips this season.

  1. New Years – Vail
  2. January Colorado Redux – Copper and Winter Park
  3. March – Snowhoe with a giant group
  4. Late March – Wintergreen for an unexpected snow day

Vail was a great trip (but we could have used more snow) with a pretty big group of people. New Year’s Eve in Colorado is a pretty good way to do it. We need to remember though that the better snow seems to come later 🙁

Sun rise on the Rockies.
This is why I’m not answering your email.

 

After the New Year’s trip Brendan said “Hey, my buddy is opening a brewery in Denver. Do you want to go back out?” I said yes immediately, even though I had just returned from Colorado days earlier. I had some vacation time to take. We hit up Copper and Winter Park (moguls can suck it). There are also some shots of Craig’s brewery in here:

View from the Winter Park lift.
View from the Winter Park lift.

 

After a busy January I took February off from boarding an focused on work for the entire month. March rolled around though and it was time for some spring skiing at Snowshoe, WV. The weather was sunny and sometimes warm. The slopes were filled with college girls on Spring Break. We had an awesome chalet to stay in. This was a great trip.

A colorful group of friends at Snowshoe.
A colorful group of friends at Snowshoe.

 

We decided to make one last ditch effort at boarding in March. It was the weekend after a balmy 70 degree St Patrick’s day in Raleigh. We headed up to Wintergreen and were greeted by cold (and SURPRISE) a snow storm. We had several inches dumped on us while we were boarding. Best trip ever and a great way to wrap up the season.

Our group in the late season snow!
Our group in the late season snow!

We even managed to get a video of Kenneth and Pete coming over Lower Cliffhanger. I like Kenneth’s roller coaster technique.

 

Kenneth did mention that A-Basin is open until something crazy like June so maybe there is one more trip left. Who knows?! This was a good season though. I’m much faster than last year and more confident in my ability to haul ass without serious injury.

Hiking Pilot Mountain with Wes

I decided to take Wes up on some of our prior conversations where we talked about hiking around various NC mountain spots. We took a Saturday and spent it at Pilot Mountain hiking for about 9 miles.

This was an excellent trip and I’m glad we decided to hike the whole thing instead of just doing the summit loop. Much more rewarding.

Visiting Priya in Birmingham

I decided to keep up the friend visits by following through on a promise to visit Priya in Birmingham, Alabama. This was a great time. Priya knows lots of beautiful girls which is always a nice bonus. Here’s the full photo set of my trip to Birmingham.

We also did a group dinner which was awesome. Priya introduced us to a number of her girlfriends. Everyone was pretty cool.

Group Dinner in Birmingham

We went to a bar where they sang Sweet Home Alabama. This was a lot of fun when you’re actually IN Alabama. Everyone went a little crazy.

Alabama bar (college bar?)

We went to an after hours bar too. That was a little insane because we were out WAYYY too late.

The trip was a success and much fun was had.

DC and Raleigh with Jason, Ashley and Robbie

Since visiting Buffalo in June / July we all decided the crew needed to visit Raleigh. Labor Day worked out to be the best time. On the way down Jason, Ashley, and Robbie wanted to stop in DC. That seemed cool to me so I flew up to meet them there and bummed a ride back down for the long weekend to Raleigh.

Here’s a link to the full DC / Raleigh album.

Since Devon also lives in DC I figured I’d let him know we were raiding his town. We actually wound up staying in his building. Thanks Devon!

Outside Devon’s Place

We started in the morning and hit the Metro up toward The Mall. We did the normal tourist walk and checked out The Washington Monument, The WWII Memorial, The Reflecting Pool, The Lincoln Monument, the Vietnam wall.

Still our walk continued, we checked out The White House, and the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. At that point I think it was lunch time and we grabbed some BBQ on 7th.

After BBQ it was the Air and Space Museum followed by a walk around The Capitol Building. That was a hell of a lot of walking. I think we added it up and tallied something like just over 6 miles, maybe 7. We had some smoothies with Devon and Stef and then headed back to Raleigh via Richmond.

In Richmond we met up with a high school buddy Mitch and visited a local brewery for some snacks, a beer or two and a growler. We left the brewery behind and the passengers slept off the pints on the way to Raleigh.

We spent the weekend in Raleigh hanging out and recovering a bit from how crazy our day in DC was.

Here are some more shots taken along the way.

Robbie and I hanging out under the NY section of the WWII Memorial.
Lincoln Memorial was awesome. Spent time reading all the text on the walls.
Copying and iconic shot.
White House shot with the group.

Buffalo Family Visit

My sister Jen said “I’m going back up to my HS reunion, and our cousin is having a bachelorette party / wedding shower”. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine some family visits with the brief time where the weather in Western New York is pleasant.

Here’s a link to the full gallery of our WNY Visit.

We stayed at my Dad’s and had a chance to check out some of the weaponry. This was fun because Matt (Jen’s BF) had never shot a gun before.

There was also old photo time. Here is me at about 16 years old working construction working with Dad. Super safe use of power tools right?

Also we saw some evidence of the Bread Box mass production line that my Bread Box came from:

Amanda also took out her horse for a little bit of a pond swim. It was pretty warm up there so the horse seemed to enjoy it.

We got a great shot of me, Amanda, Jen, and Matt all at my friend Jason’s parents’ house. Perfect weather for hanging out around a fire.

Jason and Chuck were there too which was awesome. I haven’t seen these guys together in a while so it was good to spend some time with them.

A crazy part of the weekend was helping Don and Tiffany put a roof on their house. Sort of an interesting way to spend a vacation 😉 It was fun though. Here’s Jason tearing off old shingles.

There was a FRIGGING HILARIOUS moment where we needed Jason to move a 24 ft extension ladder from one side of the house to the other. I have never seen someone do THIS to an extension ladder. I don’t even really know how it happened but you could see the gears turning in Jason’s head as we watched and laughed at him.

On a visit up to the old farm I got to see my cousin’s Ashley and Angela. I took a great picture of Ashley post-party where she’s a wreck. She wasn’t too happy that I posted this one on facebook… but that’s what family is for 🙂

You can check out the rest of the pictures. This was a good trip where I got to visit old friends and family. The weather in the WNY area couldn’t have been better. The summers up there really are perfect.

Maybe I’ll go back some day for more than just a short visit.