Ski Time

Previously.

I can’t get this…

IMG_3095

Or this in my own city.

IMG_3096

Let’s travel! I always get asked on our later Colorado trips, “Will there be snow?” Oh yes. When you are at 10,000 feet, there is plenty.

IMG_3165

B upgraded the girls annual passes to Copper this year. CS and I love Copper so we were excited.

IMG_3116

With all 3 Fuller girls on skis this year, we maximized the 6 seater chair.

IMG_3107

I even packed a selfie stick to get some group shots.

IMG_3125

I’m learning how to use it. I hooked it all up without realizing I clamped down on the take-a-picture-button on the side. I got 198 photos of my skis in 5 seconds.

IMG_3372

It’s hard trying to get all that shit out on the chair, not fall off, and not lose any gear to the ground below. Kayla was my rockstar this year! She had new longer skis and mastered them like a champ.

IMG_3117

Syd was our navigator with Reagan at her side. They lead us down the slopes all day long!

IMG_3126

It was very fun for me to watch B and his girls. They all have come a long way from when we first started doing this.

IMG_3128

After skiing all day, I thought these girls would be down in bed quickly. Nope! Dance battle ensued.

After I took a turn, Kayla was looking for her next victim. It was Future uncle.

IMG_3133

We had a new player this year. A new doggie. I tried to accommodate her when the girls had to head back to town for some soccer. Hindsight, I should have left her alone. But she looked like mix of my last 2 dogs. I couldn’t resist and it costed me. I was down in bed with an allergy attack like no other for 2 days.

IMG_3141

IMG_3147

We spent a day walking around Leadville. Repeat, yes they have snow. Up to the roof!

IMG_3155

One of my favorite thrift shops has been replaced with a grow shop. Highest weed shop around. Get it?! It’s at 10,000 feet.

IMG_3156

While I’m reading my Ellen book, she talks about being in Colorado and wanting to see what her readers are doing. Well, cool! I’ll show you! I took to Twitter hoping @TheEllenShow would catch on.

IMG_3153

IMG_3162

IMG_3371

IMG_3369

I got a few likes, but not my break through moment. Try #1 got a better response. Until next time, see ya Rockies!

IMG_3377

Bring Out Yer’ Boards

Are those mountains over there?

Untitled

Untitled

Straight to Leadville we go!

Untitled

I’ve been eagerly awaiting more time here. It’s my west coast “lake”. I can truly relax here.

Untitled

After a ride in an herbal aroma scented car, we arrived!

Untitled

With the nieces still in school, BF and the family were off the hook for a day. We were excited to explore the Main Street of the town. They have very eclectic thrift shops and collectibles.

I found this and memories came back… where have I seen this?! Herbie has one! Text him and said he had a $43 antique, coin collecting bull.

Untitled

He offered me his for $42.50.

A beautiful local artist store opened since I’d been there last. If only I had the wall space, I would have come home with these.

Untitled

After the shopping was done, it was time to play some pool and have a PBR.

Untitled

And only at the Pb ATM would you find a guy waiting in line on a fat-bike.

Untitled

I wanted to show CS more of this beautiful land, so we drove over to Twin Lakes, one of the stops of the Leadville Trail 100. I know this place well. It’s a scene from a movie. A landscape of a postcard.

Untitled

Finding my namaste moment.

Untitled

Alright, bring on my weird yet relateable nieces!

Untitled

How does an Aunt entertain? Can Syd master the magic spoon?

Untitled

Can Reagan?

Untitled

Even Kayla?!

Untitled

While the magic was fun, my real goal of this trip was to see these ladies on the mountain. It’s been over a year, let’s see how you’ve progressed!

fullergirls

After some planning at our last adventure, I learned I had two budding boarders on my hands. They were ready to progress past skis. CS was off on his own to burn up the mountain. B and K took the munchkin to master the skis sans ropes. I got these misfits!

board

I’ll admit I was super excited to snowboard again. These girls have gotten so fast and quick at skiing, I haven’t been able to keep up on my board. So for the past few visits, I’ve skied. I was more super excited to teach these two my tricks.

B was skeptical to say the least. “They’ll never get it.” “They’ll give up.” “They’ll be on their butts all day.” Shut it. I’ve got this.

While standing in line renting their boards, I started my coaching. Promise me 2 hours of bitch-free comments. I was finding out which foot they kick the soccer ball with. What hand do they write with. Once we had the boards and figured out they rode goofy foot like me, it was time for practice with equipment. My brother likes to throw you to the wolves when trying something. I like to provide real context so your first time isn’t so scary.

Once we got all of our gear (boots, bindings and board), we went back to the benches in the lodge to practice. “Ok girls. Here is how you strap in for the lift”. “Here is how you get on a lift”. “Here is how you finally connect to your board.”

I felt like it would be a good day. Their center of gravity was so low, I was jealous. If they slipped, they popped up like popcorn. They did extremely well on the lifts. Reagan was my X-boarder by the end of the day, ready to fly down the mountain.

reaganboard

Syd, she’s my Olympic athlete. Poised and mastering the movements.

sydboard

As we practiced, B&K&K spied us from the lift. Here’s me and Reagan.

boardfromabove

I will boast, I even had a random snowboarder watch me work with the girls. He looks at me, “Any advice you have for me? Anything? I’ll listen”. So cool. I sound so dumb, but it was so cool. I watched him then coached. Another run, watch, coach. He was 45 second runs in a few minutes. Left me with a thumbs up and shout out to how cool my nieces were for their first day. GREAT feeling.

We all met up at the end of the day to share stories. Really was so nice to have all of us enjoy different parts of the mountain the way we wanted. Day 2 was all skiing. It’s easier than snowboarding, but you do so many more runs. We were ready to take a seat!

Untitled

Hey old lady, get out of that big chair!

Untitled
Caption: Mmmmmrrrruuuuuph.

Until our next snow adventure…

More Snow Please

After the Midwest snowmageddon and Michigan trip, it was time for some Colorado snow! A blizzard hit Indy the day we were suppose to leave, which resulted in me having my first airport-run-to-the-gate experience. We checked our bags and sped walk to security. I quickly asked each person in the security line in front of us “Excuse me, we have a flight leaving in 20 minutes, can we move in front of you?” Everyone graciously stepped aside and made it to the gate with our boarding group up next. Then we sat at the gate for over an hour waiting on water and clean shitters. WTF. Our lateness and the plane delay resulted in our ski equipment not making it to Denver with us. Lord, how does this work?! A nice SW lady offered to have the luggage delivered to us when it arrived. Thank you lady!

In all my travels to CO, we’ve always gotten there without problems. Not this trip. The drive there took 5 hours instead of 2. We barely went 10 MPH once we hit the mountains. They were only letting so many cars through the tunnels at a time. Guys were hopping out of their cars, like this guy, to relieve themselves. I was jealous.

IMG_1665

So without equipment for our first day, we opted for play time at the cabin. I finally got to see the tepee!

IMG_1668

CS fit better once inside.

IMG_1666

Our view, not shabby at all.

IMG_1670

As we were out playing, I recognized how well the snow was packing as I fired snowballs at the girls. I decided it was time to build my first and biggest snowman of my life. Sydney was on board and started rolling a ball for the head. I took the bottom portion. I kept rolling. And rolling. And rolling. Syd kept asking “Is this head big enough yet?” Nope. Keep rolling. Mine got so heavy I couldn’t budge it anymore. “CHAD!” He helped us with the last 5 feet of rolling and our snowman found his resting place. I started work on the middle section. “CHAD!” needed him to lift it! And put the head on since this thing was way taller than any of us girls!

IMG_1702

Since our skis still hadn’t arrived, it was a perfect time to get out the ole’ snowboard and attempt to not injure my tailbone again! CS was ready to test his 1985 skateboarding skills. Proof that he got the hang of it!

IMG_1677

Snowboard maps are not as smooth as ski maps. Our trek around Ski Cooper.

cooper

Prior to my trip, my sister-in-law sent me a picture of a birdhouse made out of corks. I was intrigued. YouTubed a video and sent her a supplies list minus the corks. I knew a restaurant that could help me out and we used every single one! So fun playing with hot glue and 8 to 10 year old girls! Our masterpiece…

IMG_1681

IMG_1682

IMG_1683

Spent the next day at our fav spot, Copper Mountain. The amazing Fuller skiing trio!

>IMG_1691

CS and I had our skis back so we were all on track to stay together. Except, someone (Reagan) was a speed demon and Brandon had to keep up with her. (At her/my fastest, our speed was 37.4 MPH!) I kept taking Syd in and out of the trees while Chad sloped beside us. Then… where’s B and Reagan? Texts were exchanged and we had lunch separately as we were on different ends of the mountain! Then at the end, we found B & Reagan, but then lost CS. Didn’t matter in the end since we all got to ski our butts off!

copper.jpg

Since the wind kept us from going up Green Mountain on our last day as planned, the Fuller shopping habit had to be satisfied. The littlest booger joined us giving Mom and Dad a break from some madness!

IMG_1707

Always sad to leave, Always looking to come back!

Snow Bunny Bday

Decided to head north to turn another year older. Rounded up a bunch of friends and headed to Michigan for fun and skiing. I rented a house from VBRO instead of us all staying in hotel rooms. I wanted togetherness….awwwwww. The owners were super sweet and welcomed us from the moment we got there. My own personal garage door sign.

IMG_1618

From the pictures, the place reminded me of the our lake house. Open front, room to entertain, no cell phone service, no cable TV. Would we survive?! But the lake house doesn’t have a teddy bear skin rug on the wall!

20140131_000916

There is also another majestic feature of the house that I will get to later. We arrived just before midnight, and awoke to a breath taking view of Pine River and its inhabitants, the deer.

IMG_1597

They were everywhere!

IMG_1611

IMG_1193

Even came over to our side of the river, but quickly got scared off when we started looking at them. There was a dozen grazing at one time.

IMG_1602

For our first day, half of the party hit the slopes at Caberfae while the rest chilled at the house.

IMG_1621

First, I had to finish my game of Candy Crush! Kidding, not sure what I’m doing here with my phone out.

IMG_1622

We did the afternoon ski trip so we got to see the sun set from atop the peak.

IMG_1620

When we got back, there was a bunny themed birthday dinner awaiting me. Even Tiny Peter made it to wish me a happy 36th!

IMG_1603

Our house Mom had planned all our meals for us so we sat down to eat together like a family. It was a really great touch!

photo 5

After dinner we did some more nature watching.

photo 6

photo 8

And played carrot stick golf.

photo 11

But the best part of the night was the family photo against the majestic woods mural in the living room. Complete with deer, ducks and birds.

IMG_1607

CS was kind enough to print off the wonderful faces I make when he takes a pic of me. I challenged everyone to add captions about what’s going on in my head in each one. 

IMG_1609

The next day, we opted not to ski. I wanted to hang out together and play games. Nature’s icebox lends a hand.

20140201_141504

All day we stared at this expanse of pristine snow that was taunting us to mess it up. A few of us put on the gear and headed out for some play time.

IMG_1206

Snow angel time!

IMG_1214

Then, wrestling seemed like a good idea!

IMG_1221

Then I made my disappearing act.

Oh my god. We laughed so hard all weekend. So many fun memories and a priceless quote list was made. We all got along swimmingly. I love my friends!

Mountain Time

CS and I headed west for a vacation in the mountains. I was ready to see how my girls have progressed in their skiing skills. This one surprised me by picking us up at the airport! She looks so innocent. See that grin?! She’s not.

photo.JPG

While Kayla dubbed me Julia a few times thanks to an older, and clearly awesome, neighborhood girl, CS got a different nickname.

photo.JPG

Silliness aside, we were there for one reason.SKI TIME!

IMG_0315

First stop, the best hidden gem in Leadville, Cooper Mountain! Cost CS & I $140 to ski for 2 days. Ridiculously cheap for these parts. What is also ridiculous is CS still tries to take pics of me when I’m “not” aware. Results…

2013-03-10 14.49.17

Cooper is where I saved Reagan from certain carnage last year as the child learned how to ski. (Fast forward to 8 min on this video, still makes me laugh) She was very proud to tell me she had learned how to stop now. But I forgot what an assembly line we had getting 2 girls skiing.

DSCF2353

DSCF2355

DSCF2358

DSCF2357

Hand warmers, feet warmers, face masks, hoods, helmets… Gees! After 2 straight days of skiing, it was time for some relaxation at the Mt. Princeton hot springs!

2013-03-10 17.15.20

2013-03-10 17.17.13

2013-03-10 18.42.24

Oh Gesus that H2O felt so good. After we all were a pruny mess, we headed back to get some food and take on the master banker at Girly Monopoly.

photo.JPG

Biggest lesson I learned during this game was 2 adults and 1 child had totally different rules they were following. Where was the free parking money pool? When could you mortgage something? How did you get out of jail? Man… our parents have created their own rules to get through very long games that now make us look like fools as adults. Sydney kept going, “Do we have to read the rules again?!” Well, yes dear we do. Because, it was just earlier that day that I made my 3 year old niece cry by beating her at Kiddy Sequence. Apparently neither her Mother nor Father taught her the losing lesson yet. So mean Aunt Natalee did without knowing it, and the child ran crying to her bedroom where I had to then bribe her out with the presents I’d be hiding in my luggage. Can’t wait to hear that from Kayla in 15 years. 

Meanwhile, WFD turned to documented WTD.

photo.JPG

Day 3 of skiing took us to the bigger peaks of Copper. For a mere $197, CS and I got 1/2 day passes at this resort. On. A. Monday. Worth it, but damn. They had tons of tree cut outs and fun forest runs that kept the shorter ones of our group busy all day. I tried a sneak attack on Syd.

DSCF2361

DSCF2362

DSCF2367

We had blizzard like conditions to start our trip and ended with great powder on those slopes!

DSCF2379

Thanks again for hosting Coo-pper! We’ll make more treks next time!

DSCF2373

copper

Winter Suntan

Spent some recent time out west to visit the family and nieces. First stop was to Ski Cooper.

328700689408

I opted to take my board this trip since I can’t find the right spot around here for it. K joined me as a quasi-birthday celebration out west.

708810689408

Highlight of the trip was saving Reagan from certain serious injury/death. She’s 6 and still learning how to ski with the use of a leash. I was just coming out of the lodge when I saw her and B coming down the mountain. Since I had the video camera, I ran out to catch some film. Just as I get out, I see B crash and Reagan still barreling down on her skis. I start screaming “snowplow snowplow” which she didn’t seem to understand. So I got into a sumo squat and place my body right in front of her path and BAM she took me out and we rolled. Best part, it was all caught on tape. She’ll be on her own soon, she just had a momentary brain lapse! Syd informed me that I should have said “Pizza” instead. My bad.

Saturday brought sledding! Everyone got in on the action, even my Momma.

200049589408

At 54 degrees and 10,000 feet up, it was a work out.

736210689408

Some video over here.

908810689408

Taking full advantage of our unseasonable warm temperatures, we headed south to Mt. Princeton hot springs. They had natural river rock pools or you could float in or 2 of the concrete type with 90 and 103 degree temps.

846600689408

I liked the natural best because you would get a good mix of cold from the river.

368189589408

The baby…

834700689408

Warming your whole body up really makes any wind seem really really cold. This was us after leaving and eating dinner.

CO2012

For our last adventure, we headed to Vail since our girls had graduated to the “big girl” mountain, as I called it. 

334300689408

Low-light of the trip is from our final run of the day on a green catwalk to the bottom. I caught a real slick spot and went head over board. It hurt. Bad. Turns out I may or may not have fractured my tailbone. Either way, the treatment is the same… no treatment just pain management and a ticket to doughnut-ville. After a full afternoon, we headed back home to watch the greatest trash on TV.

bach

No I didn’t make this, it’s legit. A friend “won” it at a silent auction and let me borrow it for the evening. Thanks to B and his gang for hosting us all! 

Mi-ski-gan

2011

This is what happens when you drive 6 hours to a motel in Cadillac Michigan at 2 am after I spy a mustache machine in the lobby. Attractive eh?

photo.JPG

The real reason for the trip, skiing!

DSCF1685.JPG

I was able to capture a few runs with the Garmin before it died. Check out the mountain sans snow.

CABMAP

No kids-based professional events this year, so we got plenty of runs in. For dinner Saturday, we walked across the street from our hotel to a different larger hotel. Our waitress informed us that there was a bar at the other end of the hotel. She warned us that it draws some interesting characters. For this reason, we had to check it out. Meet Brother Ed.

Cab

Brother Ed was about 5′ 6″, 250 lbs, and had hair down to this arse. He and some friends had driven their snowmobiles over to have some cocktails. I also learned that he loved Katy Perry’s music and used to be addicted to drugs. He was actually very kind and just having a great time. He would just disappear to the dance floor and dance like a goof without caring, then come back and check on us. It was fun to watch. This place was a menagerie of hipsters, jersey shore types, snowmobilers, skaters, trying-to-hard girls. It had it all, including terrible cigarette-hole-burned-rittled green carpet. This face describes the place best…

Cab

Sunday brought more skiing since I opted not to board again due to the lack of powder. I’ll save that for Colorado. After Sunday, I can say I don’t need to see Caberfae for a while. It was fun but I don’t think it can hold my interest for another weekend next year. We’ll have to keep going north or just change states.

Caberfae Peaks

Still riding the high from my Colorado trip, CS and I decided to hit the slopes in Michigan this past weekend.  I have been skiing in that state a few times before.  Once for my first time ever at Boyne in the UP, the other was a Caberfae/Bittersweet adventure.  For this trek, the drive time to Boyne wasn’t in the cards and I remember Bittersweet sucked.  So we agreed on Caberfae and the bonus was their night skiing.  I was unsure if I wanted to board or ski, so we loaded up the car with all my gear and set in for the 6 hour drive.

Woke up Saturday, grabbed some fuel for our bellies and were only 1 exit away from the slopes.  But when you see a sign like this, you feel like you are exits upon exits away from civilization.

DSCN0116

We arrived before 1/2 day ski started, but because we had coupons from the hotel we bought the full day passes to get started ASAP.  CS skied and I started out boarding.

DSCN0091

View from the top, if you can call 1569ft the top.

DSCN0095

DSCN0098

After about 4 runs, it became quite clear this day was not made for snowboarding.  A lot of the runs flattened out at the end.  I’m not greatly skilled at judging speed to keep me going during those times and it was moderately busy with people flying by left and right.  Not a good combination, so CS and I hightailed it back to the car to do an exchange for my skis.  Now we were all set to keep up with each other, play follow the leader, and have a productive day.  We skied for a few hours and took an hour break to carb load.

DSCN0103

While in the lodge, it started snowing and didn’t let up.  We got a few more hours on the slopes before we were exhausted and frozen.

DSCN0109

A view from the parking lot.

DSCN0111

Got cleaned up and were headed to the Mexican restaurant across the parking lot when our hotel phone rang.  Pre-story:  Our room phone rang 3 times previously in the few hours we were in there.  Each time with someone asking if they had called the front desk.  There is literally a button saying “Front Desk” on the phone.  Not sure what angered technician wired a phone wrong, but I decided to have some fun.  This time I answered the phone not with a “hello” but a “Front Desk”.  The guy asks “Can you tell me what time the Mexican restaurant across the street closes?”  I fessed up and said no, that he called another hotel room, but we were headed over there if they wanted to join us for a drink at the bar.  He was a bit confused, apologized and hung up.  We walked over to get some grub and made a new friend in the process.  

DSCN0114

I got a bit more friendly with the ass.

DSCN0115

Sunday we got to the slopes a bit earlier than before, but since we had to leave in good time to head back to the homeland we had no intentions of taking a break.  Unfortunately, the Peaks were hosting a slalom and super G event for kids, so we veered away from the South Peak.  Literally had 200 kids and their families using 1 lift.  The diamonds weren’t worth the lift waits.  But we still skied til we couldn’t ski anymore.  I was toast.

DSCN0117

We both tapped out after 5 hours out there and hit the road.  It was a great weekend in the Midwest mountains.  Thanks to CS for the good times and putting up with my crazy through-the-trees antics!  Forgot about the foot height difference.  Peace out Michigan!  Til we meet again…

DSCN0118

Colorado Adventure Day 1

I have the luxury of my brother living in Longmont Colorado.  Easy access to a ton of adventures.  My winter trip was approaching, so Kyle agreed to come with me to see what Colorado was all about.  We arrived Wednesday night and went straight to rent Kyle’s skis and get our lift tickets for first day of adventures — Skiing at Breckenridge.  

The alarm clock (a.k.a. Sydney and Reagan) went off early Thursday morning so we all got ready to go our separate ways.  Kim took the kids to their daily routine, while Brandon took us to the mountain.  Since we all had our gear, we went straight to the gondola and up to the slopes.  Kyle got his “ski” legs last week in Indiana, but this doesn’t even compare.  He and I went to hit the bunny slope so he could practice, and B left to grab some food.  

DSC00922.jpg

The bunny slope sucked, so we decided to head for the greens and work on some fundamentals.  Kyle excused me to go on my own way then check back.  I went to look for B at the lodge, but couldn’t find him.  I was itchin’ to ski, so off I went.  I hit some blues and blacks then managed to find B again.  I’d been eyeing the bowls at the top of the peak, so he agreed to go up with me… up to 12,830 feet!

DSC00927.jpg

You could go up a little further but you had to walk with all your gear… no thanks.  We both got down the double black diamond and decided while we were up there, to do another one then we’d meet up at the end to find Kyle.  Well, I had a little trouble the second time.  I hit a rock, gained control, but then hit another one.  Apparently even though you are so high, there isn’t enough snow cover for everything.  I slid about 30 yards and lost my skis.  The nice skiers around me collected my belongings.  It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to get 2 skis on while not sliding down any farther and maintaining my balance on a 70 degree slope.  I made it, lost Brandon, but headed down to find Kyle.

He was still mastering the greens and working on his “S” skills.  He was doing really well, but was ready to call it a day.  We caught back up with B and headed to the car.  It was a great sunny, clear sky day full of skiing.  Just what I ordered!

Check out my brother’s story.