Day 73 - Sunday, 21 February, 2010
Now it's Josh's birthday in America. Happy Birthday again, Josh.
We woke up this morning to find it had snowed all night long again. When we arrived Beaver Creek had a 35" base - now only one week later it's a 55" base. Every one is so excited and impressed with how much we're getting. We're very fortunate to be here during such excellent snow.
Today Jehrom, Sally, Ian and I caught a cab to Vail. We dropped the kids off at ski school then skied a mere pip of a percentage of Vail's enormous 193 runs. We went on a mountain tour for two hours led by a very knowledgable fellow called Peter. Peter, before retirement, used to be the CFO at the UN. Now, at approximately 70, he's a professional skier. He lives on the golf course but says he's not going to play golf because it's to slow, it's a sport for old people. And as an added bizarre quirk, his cousin is Rolf Harris. He was certainly a unique character and very interesting to be hanging with for two hours. His buddy was Tom whose youngest of five children is 45 years old. And we were struggling to keep up with him.
Vail was stunning. 7 miles wide with runs both front and back of the escarpment. Five and a half thousand acres. It had snowed all night long and the powder was extreme. Powder is awesome but remarkably hard work and the quads absolutely burn. And not just on lazy me, but on Sally and Jehrom too, and they are very fit individuals. This is Bud.
We skied to a restaurant up the top for a delicious lunch. I had Colordado Mountain Trout. Then Sal and I skied down to the village on a delightful home run that was such fun and so cruisy.
It was good to see the kids. They had all had a great day and Connor was feeling fine.
Last night was a bit odd though. At about 2am Connor woke up and found himself on the floor, leaning against Jehrom and Sally's front door. They are a floor above us. He sleep walked out our apartment, to the lift, up to floor five and down the hall. When he woke up he felt really confused and wandered back home. Meanwhile, Ian had heard the door close and was racing around looking in cupboards and under beds for him and then eventually found him in the hallway. We're lucky he didn't sleep-board to the half-pipe in his jamies. We can't lock the door so we are going to barricade it tonight.
He felt great today though and had a wicked time on the slopes with his teacher. None of the three other students turned up for his Ultimate Four class so he had a private lesson all day. He's improved so much. he does 180's, grinds, boxes, rails, indy grabs and numerous other moves that I don't really understand.
Francesca has slept the entire week at Jehrom and Sally's place. So as a thank you to them I told them and Ian to stay at Vail for the rest of the day and I would come back early to pick up the kids at 3.30. So there I was organising 7 kids with equipment from ski school, to afternoon tea, shuttle bus, home, changed for dinner, back on the bus, to the village ready to go out for dinner. It was a lark. They're all very good kids. I did get some funny glances of amazement though.
Then Sally had found this amazing adventure - Beano's Cabin. We got picked up in the Village by a snow cat pulling a large sled with about twenty seats. It took us way up into the mountain and we were covered by big capes. We eventually arrived at a magnificent restaurant with huge antler chandeliers and an enormous stone fireplace. The chairs were high back faux sticks, upholstered in tartan. Lovely waiters showed us the coat room, gave us slippers and showed us to a delightful table with a view out down the mountain.
The food was exquisite. Ian had the antelope. And then we traveled back home again on the snow cat sled but this time we were regaled with Chloe, Lily and Cesy singing show-tunes at the top of their voices.
It was a truly wonderful day and a brilliant evening.
Quote of the week: Elliot on the chairlift with his Dad after they'd briefly mis-placed Connor (who was probably cutting it sick doing rails or something at the time)
'Dad, even though Connor is quite mean to me, I still love him and I really hope we find him.'
This is one of the chefs wandering around offering freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.