Tuesday, January 22, 2008

post trip drip

Two weeks ago I finally made it out to Vail. It was business/fun, sadly more of the former and less of the later but it was still great and I can't wait to go back. While there I did manage to find time to do some Nordic skiing. As I was getting my skiis and boots a lady and her mother came to the counter. They had their equipment but needed the ticket to access the course. The lady mentioned her mother had turned 91 the previous day and wondered if that was occasion for a free pass. I piped in that if it wasn't I would buy her ticket as a belated birthday gift. They let her in for free. Even before she got out in the snow I would never have guessed her age. All of my grandparents died in their 70's and they all seemed so old at that stage. Of course I was a kid then so anyone over 40 seemed ancient. Still, my parents are both currently making their way into their upper 70's and neither of them look younger than this lady did. So off we all went, I in front and the birthday girl and her daughter close behind. After 100' I stopped to gaze around and take a few pictures before shuffling off again. After another 100' I paused again to wipe my sunglasses and adjust my cap. At that point I heard birthday girl behind me and watched her pass. For about 1/3 of the course they stayed ahead of me, slowing occasionally until I caught up. I wasn't sure if she needed a rest or if she was concerned about me being a novice to all things white and fluffy. (other than marshmallows of course). While everything around me was enveloped in white and looked amazing I think watching birthday girl pull ahead of me on skiis was what I'll remember most about that afternoon. As she and her daughter turned back she did stop to warn me about the back side of the trail. I appreciated it and wished her a happy birthday before heading onward.

The strangest moment of the trip was sitting in a Japanese restaurant in Vail, Co, with Appalachian music blaring overhead. The only bad moment was on the flight back. I had the couple behind me who were in denial over their need of a hearing aid. The row behind them was occupied with two infants, each trying to become the first to shatter glass. To my left were three rows of preschool kids, two of which had just learned to whistle. I would have paid anything for the headsets.

Back to realithy.

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