Happy 40th Birthday , Branny Muffs!

Monday, January 17, 2011

This weekend I was not brumbying around at all. Instead, Kestrel and I surprised Brandon with a three-day weekend of skiing at Stratton Mountain in Vermont! Brandon was over-the-top thrilled at this surprise announcement on Friday night. We shrieked: PACK YOUR BAGS, WE'RE GOING SKIING!

Saturday morning we hit the slopes! Stratton Mountain is Vermont's tallest ski-able mountain. Here we are arriving at Ski Village. Brandon has been skiing since he was 12. Usually on the weekends while I am out riding Lilly, he and Kestrel are skiing at a local ski mountain called Berkshire East. Brandon went to the University of Montana where he skied the really big mountains. He can ski anything. Kestrel has been skiing for three years now. Like many of the kids on the slopes, she is courageous and swift. Me? I'd never been downhill skiing in my life.

It was probably the busiest weekend of the season. People and gear were everywhere. I love that lots of ski stuff is brightly colored and patterned. It seems so joyful.

Brandon and Kestrel have all their own ski gear. I had to rent equipment. I half thought that if I tried skiing, maybe Brandon would try horseback riding! But mostly, I just wanted to give it a whirl. I am not particularly athletic or daring. But this one life is all I've got! So I got in line to rent skis. Here is the ski dude adjusting my rentals.

I could tell Kestrel and Brandon were itching to get to the big, scary slopes at the top (where the temperature incidentally, was 9 tiny degrees). But they came with me to the bunny slope to get me started. I think they were pretty excited I was actually going to do it.

Here I am on the Magic Carpet to the top of the bunny slope! This conveyor belt kept stopping whenever someone fell on it. It always stopped and re-started with such a jarring moment, it almost made everyone fall all over again. I was quite pleased to see there were just as many grownups on the bunny slope as children.

LOOK! There I go!! I am actually skiing!!! These pictures make the bunny hill looks totally flat! It was not flat!!

There I am half way down the slope!! The whole time Kestrel kept reminding me to keep my knees bent! I would forget that all you have to do is bend your knees and form a piece of pizza with your skis to slow down. Isn't that great? A piece of pizza?? Overall, I thought there were many parallels between skiing and horseback riding. Both involve balance, and forward motion depends very much on how your body is positioned. Looking ahead will get better results than looking down. Panic will doom you.

I love how Kestrel said, Your skis will never try to buck you off.

There is Kestrel with me trailing after. Brandon did make a video of me going down this hill the second time I went down. I wish he had made it the last time I went down after I had made some great advances in learned how to attack and carve up the bunny hill.

I also wish I could have taken pictures of Brandon skiing...especially when he went down the double diamond terrain trail marked "Experts Only" with our fearless friends who showed up.

Here we are waiting for the shuttle on Saturday night to take us back to the lodge.

Kestrel and I went to the hot tub every night.

Sometimes we ventured back to Ski Village after dark for more excitement. After all, Brandon only turns 40 once!!

Goodbye, Stratton!

See you next time with more brumby tales!


juliette said...

We have all been waiting to hear about the birthday surprise weekend. Just now I logged on and read the whole weekend adventure to Brian. We laughed! You are a very good story teller!
What a wonderful birthday present to have given! I love that you waited until Friday evening to say "pack your bags!" He must have been freaking out!!!!
Good for you trying a new sport too. I agree - skiing is very much like riding. I think I posted about that once. But, as Kestrel says, "skis will not buck you off!"
The hot tub looks like it was the place to be with 9 tiny degrees outside!
Happy 40th birthday "Branny Muffs"!!!! LOL!!!!

Frizzle said...

What a thoughtful wife-y you are! That was one cool b-day prezzie to get your hubby; looks like he heartily enjoyed it!

I grew up doing cross-country skiing, which is super easy. The ONE time I went downhill skiing...*gulp*...it was quite the adventure! I was up in the Canadian Rockies at a ski place that was built specifically for the Olympics. My bro and I took a short lesson on the bunny slopes and then met up with some dudes from the ski patrol who said they wanted to take us up on the slopes and teach us to ski. They took us on the Big Kids ski lift and made us go down a black diamond the first time off the lift!! No kidding, there was an Olympian up there giving a clinic. The fact that I somehow survived (and then went down the same slope AGAIN because I didn't want to look like a pussy) still mystifies me to this day. I pretty much FELL down the mountain both times (as did my bro)! Aaaahhhhh, the stupidity of youth!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I've never been downhill skiing before either, but I don't think I could now with my wonky knee from my horse injuries. I have been cross-country skiing, though, and loved it. It's like hiking, but even better! Skiing through a beautiful aspen glade is just so magical with it covered in snow!

Looks like you all had a great time, especially Brandon (Happy 40th Birthday!). I'll be 45 this year. Maybe I should do something special like that, too?

You're so brave for even doing the bunny slopes. They didn't look flat to me either! lol!

That magic carpet ride is really neat!


Rising Rainbow said...

I'm not so sure that skis won't "buck you off." The falls from them can be just as bad if you ask me. LOL

I do believe you that the bunny hill is not flat. If it was you would have gone nowhere fast.......or even slow.

Sounds like you had a great trip.

And I would so love to be 40 again. LOL

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