Sunday, December 28, 2014

How to Have a Great Ski Vacation....in 7 Easy Steps

....maybe.

Hope your Christmas break is going well everyone!
Mine started at 3:00 am on December 21....and if you follow these simple instructions you, too, can have a really fun ski vacation...

FIRST, book a really early flight.
Preferably at an airport that is 1.5 hours away.
That is why we got up at 3 am, loaded down the truck, and took off for Nashville. Our local airport did not offer good rates for six adults, so we opted for Nashville.

SECOND, save even more money by renting a vehicle instead of flying right to the ski resort.
So, we flew into Denver and then needed to get to Crested Butte. We could have taken a small plane to Gunnison and then shuttled to our condo, but we chose to save those dollars and drive....
Looks like a long way, right?
It was.
It should have been 3.5 hours.
But then this happened.
It snowed like that for more than half the drive. I drove between 15 and 30 mph for a lot of it. 
Funny thing... we stopped at a local convenience store and asked about the bathroom. We were pointed toward the porti-potty outside....seems the local plumbing is not great and that is how they provide customer potties.

Anyway, the three hour drive took six.
SIX.

THIRD, try to save time by getting groceries on the way.
It was dark and still snowing by the time we got to Gunnison, so we decided to go ahead and get groceries. Now, mind you, we were in a minivan with six adults, nine pieces of luggage (that included two ski bags) and various carry-on backpacks....we had ZERO room for anything else. But we got groceries for 4 days anyway and just piled sacks around and in our laps and everywhere.
Seemed like a good idea.

FOURTH, book a condo on top of a hill.
We drove on to Crested Butte and found our condo. We were starving and ready to be out of the vehicle!
Then we tried to get up the hill to our place.
Three times.
Every time the van slid right back down. Without chains on the tires we were not going up that hill.
Thank goodness, we were able to contact the emergency on-call person for the complex and he came and drove our stuff up to our room.
We had no idea what the surrounding area looked like until the next morning and here is the view from the balcony....
That is a lift that we could easily ski to.
Yes, those cars are covered in about two feet of snow...


FIFTH, have a birthday while you are there!
Yes, my birthday is on Christmas Day.
So, on Christmas Eve, my kids presented me with this:
It was supposed to have candles, but they disappeared. Probably lost in the hectic driving up the snow covered hill the first night. Anyway, it would have been just like my daughter to have fifty-something candles to put on it, so I am glad they were lost...
I ate one whole corner with all that gooey icing in a swirl. It was fabulous.
And I don't usually eat dessert!

SIXTH, check out on Christmas Day! Because holiday condo rates can change and it saved a few more dollars....
Now, mind you, traveling on Christmas Day is a way to save money, really. Airline rates are lower on holidays- we have flown on Christmas in the past. However, this time our flight was for December 26th. We needed to drive back to Denver on the 25th- remember that long drive....

Anyway, here's the problem we had not counted on with driving on Christmas Day.
NOTHING is open!
We had a hard time finding snacks.
Once we got to Denver it was about 2:30 in the afternoon. We decided to eat and go to a movie.

BIG mistake #1:
What restaurants are open on Christmas?
Do you know?
Waffle House and Chinese.
We opted for Chinese, but the restaurant was slammed and we were there for 2 and a half hours. It was delish, though.

BIG Mistake #2:
We decided to see The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg.
AWFUL.
AWFUL movie. Don't go see it.

SEVENTH: Did we have a good time despite all these funny moments?
We did!
Two of our ski days were blue skies and fairly good temps. It was awesome!
 That's me in the middle (Turquoise jacket)!
 My daughter and her husband.
 Hubs!
All four of us. Course with all the ski equipment on we look like aliens. But it was cold on top of that mountain! (Not sure where almost daughter-in-law was for the photo and son-in-law took it!)

Crested Butte is a place we would go back to!
How has your Christmas break been?

2 comments :

  1. How did you like Crested Butte? I live in Denver, but have never been. My husband and I have a trip planned with his parents in February. We have never been there but have been to a lot of other ski resorts in the area. Looks like you guys had a blast! We were at Copper Mountain for Christmas.

    Rachel
    dailymrsw.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Crested Butte was fabulous! We skied three days and were happy with all of them. It is a small resort, but not crowded at all. I would think going there in February would be even better- really less crowded than we found. The runs are great! All the greens are wide open and easy to navigate, the blues are not too hard. My husband said the black he skied was very hard! The city of Crested Butte is amazing. Be sure you go the restaurant called Bonez- it is certainly unique in decor. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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