Colorado Adventure Day 3

Today, we took Miss Sydney on our skiing adventure.  We arrived at Eldora Ski Resort a little before noon.  Just in time for the half day skiing prices.  I started skiing in 1997 at Boyne Highlands up in Michigan and have since racked up skiing in Indiana, Nevada, California and Colorado.  I counted how many times I’d been skiing in my life and decided it was time to try snowboarding.  15 times… yep, ready for something new.  Here’s Eldora.


Brandon and Syd went off to the greens while Kyle waited with me to get suited up with a snowboard.  I got my boots and went to get the board.  The guy just hands it to me and says “have fun”.  I go…. ahhhh…. can I ask you a question.  Since I had never been snowboarding I needed to know what foot was most likely to always stay strapped in.  I’ve been told I wakeboard goofy foot, but to me it feels right.  Turns out, the way I wakeboard is the way I should snowboard.  We walked over to the easiest green lift and I strapped a foot in.  I about fell right there.  This damn board was slippery!  It took quite a while to get used to dragging a 5 foot long board around while the other foot is trying to keep traction on snow.

Getting off the chair was fine, but maintaining my balance on one foot was not.  I think all day I successfully got off the chair lift without falling 5 times, but luckily you have to sit down to strap in your other foot so you can kind of play off the fall if it’s graceful enough.  After a few falls on my first two runs, I was ready for some bigger greens and blues.  I think I did pretty good for my first time out.  My only falls later in the day were because there was a 15 kid pile up for ski school and I didn’t want to make snowballs out of any of them.  Kyle stayed with me for some runs until he was bored and ready for more challenges himself.  I went back to find Syd and B.  When they were done, I went back to the blues to find Kyle.  I could have stayed up there all day, but everyone in my party was ready to leave.  I think I found my new winter hobby.  If anyone is looking to buy me a gift, I’m a size 9 boot and about a 150 board!

Check out my brother’s story.

Colorado Adventure Day 2

Today’s adventure… 4 wheeling.  We took the Hummer over to my brother’s “shop” (storage shed) to pick up the ATVs.  We headed up to a trail in Roosevelt National Forest.  Usually, when my brother has company, he takes one person at a time and leaves the other person to sit waiting for their turn to ride.  He was bored with that, so he brought his other kids, Dakota and Wyatt, along.  He was going to run them around the trails while Kyle and i went off adventuring.  Here’s where we started.  The trailhead is just in front of the truck.


There used to be a shooting range on this trail too.  I got the pleasure of driving right through it one time without knowing what the hell was going on.  My brother forgot to tell me about that part.  This time, it’s been closed down.  Smart move I think.  Kyle and I got moving pretty well up the trails and got to a steep part.  My ATV didn’t seem to want to gas it up there.  It was stalling on me.  I gave it a third try and off we went.  I got out the video camera to take some shots and when I slowed to put it away, my ATV stalled again.  We couldn’t get it started.  We got into the packs on the ATVs and fashioned a pretty good tow system to get mine down.  On our way, we ran into my brother.  With one pull of the manual start cord, my ATV was running again.  Kyle and I felt pretty stupid but we’re pretty proud of our towing skills.  Kyle and I wound our way up the mountain and took some stops to check out the scenery.




Day 3… here we come!

Check out my brother’s story.

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.  


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!


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.

Paoli Peaks

Announcement… Announcement… Kyle survived.  He did more than survive, he did awesome!

I feel sorry for guys that date me.  I put them through the ringer.  I’m a very active person.  Very.  Volleyball, running, kickball, mountain climbing, wake boarding, golf, frisbee golf…  You name it, I’ll try it.  And if you show an ounce of interest, I’ll make you try it too.  Today’s excursion:  Snow skiing.  Kyle and I have been gearing up for a trip to Colorado.  I’ve been going out to visit my brother and his family each winter for the past few years.  He and I have it down to a science.  Arrive on a Wednesday, ski a resort Thursday, do something random Friday, ski locally Saturday, fly home Sunday.  I asked Kyle if he’d like to join me.  He agreed to!

Kyle is a ski virgin.  I’ve been trying to get him to go skiing around the midwest for the past 2 months so he’d get the initial nerves out here rather than at 10,000 feet.  On top of him being a ski virgin, he doesn’t like heights.  Are you starting to see why I feel sorry for my boyfriends?  Ask him about our trip to Cedar Pointe and my requirement to sit in the front seat of every roller coaster.  Back to skiing… We were going to head to Caberfae in Michigan, but with our schedules, we just couldn’t get a weekend together up there.  So today was our last last last chance to go.  We settled for Paoli Peaks in southern Indiana.  I had never been there, so it was a good first for both of us.  

I’ve been skiing since 1997, but only hit my second attempt in 2002.  It took me some time to move from the beginner snow plow to the “S” of fancy skiing.  Kyle wanted the “S” today.  He didn’t get the “S”, but he did pick up skiing like a champ!  I was very proud!  We spent some time on the bunny hill, then when he got comfortable, he sent me off on my own to check on him later.  So I did some runs and came back and gave him some more pointers.  After that, he was ready to hit the trails!  I scoped out where the green runs were, so we headed that way.  He mastered the balance of skis, now on to the chair lift.  Remember when I said he didn’t like heights… yea… didn’t tell him about the distance between you and the ground.  Granted, it is still Indiana and these are hills, not mountains, but to someone that isn’t used to this sort of thing, it was high!  He did remarkably well.  



We did a few runs, no chair lift wipeouts, no falls.  Things were going great!  We took a break, grabbed some much needed calories in the cafeteria, drank a cocktail in the bar, and he was ready to go again.  Then the chair lift falls started.  I think he just got nervous.  Skiing is all about weight distribution.  The chair lift is the hardest part for most people because it kind of pushes you along without being gentle about it.  Once, he mistakenly stayed on the chair, then fell the next time.  After that, he was good to go again.  We did a few more runs, finished with a blue run, and we were ready for the drive home.

I’m very glad we were able to make this day happen.  It’s a great practice step to what Kyle will experience in Colorado in 10 days.  Good work today Kyle, you did fantastic!  Here are some short videos of our trip.  (1) was one of Kyle’s first attempts on the beginner slopes, (2) was after 30 minutes on the beginner slopes and (3) was on the green slope… a real run.

This is my first attempt at posting video, so I’ll get better at shooting and I’ll learn how to edit.  Until then, you get what get.

Bop to the Top ’09

I started a tradition for myself in 2007.  As a New Year’s resolution, I vowed to participate in one community event per month.  I ran into some medical issues during the spring of 2007, but was still able to hit 8 of 12 months.  In 2008, I was 100%.  It’s something I see myself continuing as long as I can.  I have found a good set of races in Indy that I enjoy.  Some are on roads, trails, or both.  Most range from 5K – 13.1M.  Today was the first race of the 2009 season… Bop to the Top.

Strangely enough, this is my third time doing this race, but my first time participating as an employee of the building that hosts the event.  If you don’t know what Bop is, here are some stats for you:  805 steps, 515 feet tall, 37 flights of stairs.


That’s right, straight up!  I love it when I hear people that work out say “I did 340 stairs at the gym.”  I don’t care if you did do 1340 stairs, it’s not even close to actually doing it on stationary stairwells.  I tried to rope some Bop Virgins into it this year by offering homemade breakfast and Mimosas afterward.  I got 2 takers.  Kyle & Audrey Brames joined me.  They run ALOT.  More than I care too.  Hell, Kyle ran over 5 miles to the damn building this morning!  Audrey and I drove and met him there.  I think they enjoyed the idea and being at the event, but didn’t enjoy the coughing and lung pain that follows.  Here’s how we finished.  Kyle 6:42.  Natalee 7:17.  Audrey 8:04.  The winner was 3 minutes 52 seconds.  I have no desire to be that fast!  There are even people that sign up specifically to do this 3 times in 1 day.  No thank you!  I will say there a few extra seconds on my time, probably about 10, because my stupid chip didn’t register when I came across the mat. So I had to go back and cross the finish line again. Not sure if Kyle and Audrey will do it again next year, but I’m a sucker for it, so if there is anyone out there that needs talked into it, shoot me an email!  Thanks for joining me guys!


EDIT:  This is not an attractive race.  Pictures from the stairwell.


Boiler Victories

My volleyball game overlapped the Purdue basketball game again, dammit.  I listened to the first few minutes on my way to my game.  The only part of the game that made me sick was our foul problems.  We were already in the bonus 5-6 minutes into the first half!  Since I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t tell if they were sloppy fouls or the refs were calling any touch on a player.  I was able to catch the last few minutes and we looked pretty solid as a team.  I’m happy to report a Boiler basketball victory!

On the topic of refs, I do wish we would have had refs at our game last night.  Oh man the team we played was annoying!  They were the type of team that read the rule book fourteen times, quizzed each other before the season started to make sure they knew every rule of the league, then played Dungeons and Dragons until midnight in someone’s basement.  I’m sorry but they were dorks.  I know the rules.  I’ve been playing volleyball since before the Berlin Wall came down.  I call my own “fouls” when I’m in the net or carry a ball.  I don’t need the other team to do it for me.  When there isn’t a ref, etiquette says to call your own faults.  This team wanted to challenge everything.  Jumping ahead of the 10 foot line.  Ball hitting the atennea.  The score.  It seemed like every 5th play we had to stop to discuss what happened.  Totally takes the fun out of it, but makes us want to pound the ball into your face.  Which is what we did.  I’m happy to report a Boiler volleyball victory taking our team to 2-1! 

Big 10 Upside Down

What was up with Big 10 men’s basketball last night?  Iowa BEATS Wisconsin…. but even better Northwestern BEATS Michigan State at home?!  Oh… that fills my heart with so much hope for my Boilermakers, but at the same time, a little bit of fear.  I’m glad we eeked out that win at the Wildcats home turf, so now we only have to play them at Mackey.  If you watched the last 5-6 minutes of the MSU v NU game, it was wild.  Turnovers, far off shot but made 3’s, missed free throws… I’m glad it wasn’t my team because I probably would have a few holes in my living rooms walls.

Tonight my team is at Minnesota, the only Big 10 game on.  How do I know it’s the only one on?  I made a spreadsheet.  Yes, I’m a dork.  I remember a football one being sent around last year and went searching for one on BIg 10 basketball.  One didn’t exist.  Since I had some idle time on my hands, I tasked myself with creating one that would provide some overall statistics as well. (You’re welcome Head 🙂 Here’s what it looks like.  Let’s hope the Boilers get a road victory tonight!!


Down with the Hawkeyes!

OH MY GOD!  We found the 3 point line!  It only took us 17 1/2 games.  The first half was slow for the Boilers.  Our defense was great, but our offense still didn’t have it’s rhythm.  We were only up by 7 at the half.  Too close for my comfort against Iowa.  Whatever Painter said to them in the locker room worked.  They came out the second half firing!  We made 4 3’s in a 2 minute span and kept pushing.  The Paint Crew puts up 3 point signs after every made 3, so it was nice to see a long string of 10 of them at the end of the game instead of the 2 or 3 that we’ve been seeing this year.  Keep up the shooting Boilers!  Make us proud on the road the next 2 weeks!

P.s. Purdue Pete was missing from today’s game.  If you see him, please point him in the direction of Mackey Arena because he must be lost.  Not sure how Purdue has 4 Pete’s and not one could make it to a weekend home game…

Puck Off!

With the cold keeping most people in Indianapolis indoors, I was getting cabin fever and needed to get out.  A few friends and I attended an Indiana Ice game.  I missed the “puck off” as I like to call it, but I’m not a huge hockey fan so I didn’t care that I missed a few minutes of the game.  I know nothing about hockey, but am very intrigued by the man that sits in a glass box behind each goal.  Reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… I would just watch him and wait for it to lift off and move across the arena… It didn’t.  Everyone else in the stands was watching for fights.  Anytime any player mildly checked another player, the crowd would go nuts and want a fight.  They would loudly boo at the refs when they would break up any altercation that could lead to a fight.  I knew hockey was prone to fights, but no other sport allows players to go after each other, so why should hockey be any different?  I say “Kudos” to the refs for keeping players apart.  It made my time at the game more enjoyable.


Boiler Basketball Good, Boiler Volleyball Bad

I didn’t get to catch much of the game last night due to my volleyball game, but from what I little I saw, WOW.  I got to catch the first 5 minutes when we were down 14-6.  I was happy to stop watching to go play volleyball.  But, in volleyball, we probably looked as bad as the basketball team did.  We were sloppy.  We got killed by a team of 5.  We couldn’t shut their biggest guy down.  They dominated us in the front row.  We were a full team of 6 for the first time playing together, so I’m betting that we will get better as the season goes on.  So, unlike the Boiler basketball team, we didn’t make a comeback.  We had a team building event at Lucky’s after the game where we discussed our strategy, game play, blocking attacks… nah, we just drank and make fun of the “strippers”. 

Here’s a picture of part of last year’s team at our beloved Lucky’s.  Kristin is the one that ditched us this year…  I think she’ll miss porno bingo the most.