I'm No Picabo And Who Names Their Kid, Picabo?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Hi!!!  I'm here. Contrary to rumor, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth because I don't know if you've heard this or not, but brace yourself— the earth is round! So, no sharp edges to lose your balance on. 

Here, I'll let this post explain it, the post I started several days ago and haven't been able to finish because I've been so busy with life:

Yesterday, I was unable to post because I was too busy elevating my blood pressure and screaming at my kids.

You see, there is no more stressful day in our house than the day the family goes on vacation. 

There is yelling. There are tears. There is madness. 

But, it was all worth it because I'm writing to your from The Mile High City and today, we're off up to the mountains for some end of the season skiing and frolicking good times. 

Now, here's the thing. I've never skied. Not a day in my life. And honestly, I'm not very keen on learning. 

And of course, you're going to send me comments telling me how awesome flying through the snow on little sticks is, but I just have two little words for you. 

Natasha Richardson. 

You're poo-pooing me? How about the fact that she died from a fall on THE BUNNY SLOPE while a ski instructor was at her side. Let me tell you something, I have been to Mont Tremblant, the place where she died. I have stood at the bottom of that bunny slope waiting for my girls to ski down. That slope is nothing. That slope is the most gentle incline ever. In fact, I wouldn't even call it an incline. It shouldn't even be considered a hill. It's a dip. She died from a dip. 

Here are my kids at Mont Tremblant a few years ago, since I haven't uploaded my new vacay pictures. The very, very slight incline to the left is the infamous slope that got Natasha Richardson. To the left, at the bottom. Like a sidewalk, flat. 

Still not convinced?

Sonny Bono. Just skiing with his family when Whoops! Tree, meet Sonny Bono. 

Edward Lachapelle. Never heard of him? Well, he was an AVALANCHE researcher and a mountain expert. Somebody who knows a lot of crap about skiing and mountains. He died while skiing in powdered snow. Powdered snow! 

Bunny slope. Powdered Snow. Now, I'm no expert, but aren't these considered the SAFE conditions of skiing?

John McWethy. An ABC news correspondent. The dude missed a turn while skiing. Missed his turn and hit a tree. Does this mean, you have to know where you're going at all times while skiing in order not to be killed? Because I can tell you, I am the most directionally challenged person in the world. I get lost at the mall. 

Michael Trudeau. Pierre Trudeau's son. A freak avalanche got him.

Duke Alfonso. Some heir to the throne of Spain. He died in Beaver Creek. Right here! Another freak accident where a cable was being strung up for a banner for a ski race. The dude skied right into that cable. He died of severe neck lacerations. Now, who wants to die of that, I ask you?

Michael Kennedy. And I know, I know—Duh, Kennedys are SUPPOSED to die in freak accidents, but still...

And that's another thing, if I am ever on a plane and a Kennedy boards, I am hauling ass off that plane. Running and screaming I will go. 

Skiing is like speeding in your car, except you don't have a car. The only protection you get is a helmet and let me tell you, a helmet ain't gonna help when you fly off a cliff. 

Ask that chick from the movie, "The Other Side of The Mountain." A true story based on a skiing champion who became paralyzed after a fall during a ski run. She lost her fiancee in a plane crash after her accident and she had to paint with her mouth and breathe from a respirator. All because she went skiing. 

I don't like pastimes where you run the risk of paralysis and death and I certainly don't want to have to learn to paint with my mouth. 

That would be too hard.

Our friends Tim and Michelle are with us and Tim suggests I sit at the lodge with a book and a glass of wine and the fireplace. 

I am all over that. 

And no, I don't feel like I'm missing out. I don't enjoy danger in the least. I am not a thrill seeker. The few times I've been on roller coasters, I cried. And don't even get me started on milk that's close to the expiration date. I don't like living on the edge, man. 

Michelle tells me I just need a ski instructor, preferably a blonde one named Sven. 

(Although, for the record, Michelle is not a fan of skiing. She skis, but that doesn't mean she likes it. She just likes being a good sport for her family.)

Now, I am always up for spending my day with a cute ski man named Sven. But, not if that time is spent with me face planting myself into the snow. 

No, I like to look really cool and super up on things when I'm hanging out with guys named Sven and that will not happen with my gangly girl clumsiness. 

I'm going to have my Hubby teach me, that is if I go. 

My Hubby is kind and he will not take it to heart when I yell at him in frustration and he has seen me in much worse positions than face down in the snow.  Hello. We've had 3 children together. He also happened to live in Colorado for several years and is an expert skier. 

And this is all a big IF I go. I'm still not too fond of living on the edge, but these people I'm with, mainly my kids are heavy pressure people. They keep saying I have to at least try. They keep asking me, do I want to go my whole life without being able to say I at least tried to ski?

And my answer to that is, yes. Hell yes.

I'm going to go my whole life without saying I jumped out of an airplane. I'm going to go my whole life without saying I've wrestled an alligator. I'm going to go my whole life without saying I've been vacationing in Somalia and Iraq. I'm going to go my whole life saying I never swam with the Great White Sharks. I'm going to go my whole life saying I didn't fly in an ultralight plane. I'm going to go my whole life saying I didn't shoot up heroin. I'm going to try very, very hard to go my whole life saying I've never been camping.

So, yeah, I'm okay without ever setting a ski to the snowy ground.

I hate these ski pressure people. I'm not sure why I went on vacation with them in the first place. They're like those annoying people who sell Amway. They don't know when to shut the f***ck up about how great their product is. They won't leave me alone about the skiing.

UPDATE: I caved to the pressure and skied. 

Kind of. 

We woke up early this morning. I was nervous and maybe just a little teary eyed. 

We headed down to the rental shop and my ski-shop dude was so nice when I told him I needed the skis with training wheels. He told me snowboarding was really where it was at, but he said it takes about 4 to 5 days to really get it and besides my hair isn't long enough and I don't have the surfer dude lingo down pat, so that was out. He fitted me for my boots and I was all, "For real? They're supposed to feel like my toe is embedding into the boot and the straps are supposed to feel like they're cutting off my circulation?"

And he was like, "Yeah, that's exactly how they're supposed to feel."

And I'm already thinking this sport is for masochists. Who wants to walk around, and I use the term walk around very loosely, it's more like clomp around like Frankenstein in those super-tight ankle-killing boots. 

And for the record, I was not being a baby. Everyone in our group thought the boots were ridiculously uncomfortable. I guess more painful than the standard painful? And, this is such a great past time, because?

And then there are the big Poppin Fresh Dough Boy pants. 

I try my best in every situation to look as chic and slimming as I can. These pants were not helping me love the sport. 

Then there's the helmet and the goggles and the gloves and ski poles. 

Do you know that when you ride a bike, all you need is a bike? Maybe some shoes if you feel like it. 

The amount of equipment required was mind boggling. 

Luckily, my hubby knows I am capable of only handling so much. He took my skis as we walked to the lift, knowing that concentrating on my Frankenstein clopping was just about all I could manage. 

We got to the snow and my Hubby gave me my first lesson, putting on my skis. 

What that entails is sticking your toe into the top of the ski and then stepping down hard until the ski locks into your clodhopper boots. 

I slipped into the first one, no problem. 

I didn't fall until I was attempting to get the second one on. 

My hubby didn't say anything, but the wide eyes and the look of disbelief on his face said that if the simple act of putting on a ski caused me to topple over, we just might be in serious trouble. 

The next thing we did was jump onto this moving conveyor belt right next to the baby ski school. I managed to hop on no problem, but then as we got to the end, and I saw the snow coming at me like an out of control semi- trailer truck on the interstate and the ski attendant said, "Please don't plant your poles into the conveyor belt." I panicked, already wobbly, and yelled, "But how am I supposed to get off this thing? THE SNOW IS COMING! THE SNOW IS COMING!" 

I managed, but barely. 

Then my hubby began my ski lesson with talk of bending knees and turning skis parallel to the mountain to stop and turning skis inward to slow down and all I could think of is, "Turning the skis? I can't stand up in the skis? And my ankles hurt from these tight ass boots and my good hair day is turning to shit from this helmet. And I've dropped my gloves. And I'm sweating under my ginormous parka. And my skis are moving. Oh God, MY. SKIS. ARE. MOVING!" And then there was this pack of preschoolers coming right at me with their little arms and legs just a-goin' and their skis moving in double time and my skis are going all by themselves and my Hubby is yelling at me to turn parallel and I hated Geometry in high school and I don't want to paint with my teeth and I certainly don't want to die of severe neck lacerations and the 3-year-olds were swarming me on all sides, skiing their life away, taunting me with their prowess and my Tori is looming up ahead and I'm going to crash into her and she's yelling, "Pizza, Mom. Pizza!" and I'm screaming, "I don't know what that means! What about a pizza!" and in that moment I burst like a dam, the tears flowing, clouding up my goggles and I turned to my Hubby and screamed, "I don't want to do this! I want to go back! I just want to go back!" 

And then I crashed into Tori. 

She was fine. I was sobbing and I mean sobbing as I sat in my dough boy pants on the hard crunchy snow, the toddlers streaming all around me, sailing through the snow.

And this man of mine. Oh, how I love him. I can not even begin to tell you how in that moment I loved him. He said, "I'm sorry, honey. You're not a skier. I should have known that coming in. This isn't you."

And I snuffled and looked at him through the puddle of tears collecting in the bottom of the goggles and said, "Thank you. I was trying to be all good sporty for all you Amway skiers. I don't want to disappoint anyone, but it's just not in me."

And sometimes, that's just the way it is. Sometimes it's just not in you. 

I am not a skier. I will never be one. And I'm okay with that. 

Different strokes for different folks. 

It's like food. We stopped at the grocery on the way up here. And I threw some chickpea salad in the cart because I love chickpea salad—chickpeas and red onion and cranberries and orange citrus sauce. It's just yum in my book.

I heard Michelle say yesterday when she opened the fridge, "Gross. Who eats chickpea salad for enjoyment? We're on vacation, you know."

So, there it is. Pure hell for some people is another person's passion. 

I'm on the hell side when it comes to skiing. 

And I know you all are going to chastise me, (like my kids) and say I didn't give it a chance. But, I know with all the 40 somethin' years I've lived on this earth, I have a pretty good feel for what I like and don't like. 

I love chickpea salad. 

I don't like skiing. 

This is my truth. 

My Hubby gallantly walked me off the mountain and as our group called to us asking where we were going, he waved them off and said I was done. I couldn't speak for fear of the tears that would envelope my being. He took me back to the ski shop, helped me off with those tortuous boots, kissed me and told me he loved me and that he was proud of me for at least trying. 

I'm not even sure I would call it trying. More like standing and not even doing that too well. 

But, whatever. 

I went back to our place, took a bubble bath, redid my helmet hair, read some of my book, blogged a bit here and then ate some Chickpea salad. 

My Hubby called me while on the gondola. My little Julia had never skied before either. After a few runs on the bunny slope, she skiied from the top of the mountain all the way down to the bottom. I was so proud of her. She got on the phone, heralding her new love of skiing. She added, "I didn't cry once."

I'm glad one of us didn't. 

Julia, at Mont Tremblant, since I don't have vacay pics yet and the Amway skiers are screaming at me here to get going.

I am content, more than content, overjoyed to be off that mountain. I am off now to do a little bit of one of my favorite mountain pastimes, shopping. 

I'll be in my shopping boots. The ones with the cute heels and the ultra soft kidskin leather. 

UPDATE Part II: Yesterday, the gang had a blast on the mountains. Well, except for Michelle whose son made a Facebook status from his phone while skiing that said, "My mother is the slowest skier in the entire universe." Michelle is the good sport of all good sportiness. 

I met them at the bottom of the mountain where we sat and had some cocktails. And by the way, as I sat there waiting for them, the ski patrol brought down 6 people in stretchers. And once again, I ask, this is a fun pastime? 

My gang was sweaty and achy and exhausted and complaining about their boots and their feet that were killing them and they all had some major sweaty helmet hair going on and I, I was fresh and energetic and my feet felt great in my ultra soft, cute boots and my hair looked pretty good and most of all I was happy. Happy not to be skiing.

Today is Vail. I hear they've got some pretty good shopping over there. 

I won't be around much this week. I'll try to blog and visit, but with these Amway ski people, I just don't know how much I'll be able to hang around with my Internet friends. I'll be back in full form next week. Keep looking for me, I'll be back here and at your blogs before you know it. 

Today's Dooo Ittt Download: Eric Clapton's "Rollin' and Tumblin'." This is Eric at his best, playing Muddy Water's down and dirty blues. 

And mostly because, I'm so glad I wasn't rollin and tumblin down that mountain yesterday. 


Lisa said...

Oh Joann, I hear ya honey!!

I DID try skiing when we lived in Colorado. It was OK. First of all, I was in my twenties and I DID still look good in the puffy pants. So that helped. But still? I never much got past the snowplow (which is what he should have had you doing, not going parallel!! OMG!!) And then, my hubby would always try to get me to go on harder runs than I wanted to, but because I was also trying to be a good sport, I would try. And then I would end up scooting down on my puffy pants rear end because I was scared and yelling and cussing at him the whole time that "THIS IS NOT FUN!!!"

And...don't you just hate those little show off kids? They always bugged the crap out of me.

Enjoy your wine and your book and the fireplace and the chickpea salad. Hmmph.

Dee said...

Gurl, you had me cracking up at your description of skiing. (sorry) But I know I'd fall and kill myself. Heck, I have enough trouble walking!

Enjoy your vacay, by the fire, sipping cognac

LisaPie said...

I have sure missed you and was just wondering where you were. And there you are! If you get to Boulder, you can call my daughter and she will take you out for some tea or coffee or something. She is not a great shopper I am sorry to say.

I love the snow and would love to say that I am a skier. But no. I have tried many times in my life and seem to lack the coordination necessary. However, I have discovered that I am really good at staying at the ski lodge and drinking hot buttered rum or champagne and reading books while others are skiing. I normally take my Husky with me and then I have the excuse of taking the dog exploring instead of hurtling down a mountain at breakneck speed on skies.

Oh and you forgot another skier who died a tragic death! Spider Sabich. I know, I know. He was "accidentally" shot by Miss Claudine Longet. But he was a skier and it took place up in some ski place. So it counts as well.

Have a fabulous vacation and buy yourself something you can treasure long after the memories of the trip have faded!

Shelley said...

I hope you are enjoying Colorado. :) I kinda like it here. Over Christmas, my brother and sis-in-law and niece were here visiting from North Carolina. We went to Echo Mountain, which is probably the closest ski place to the Denver metro area. Everyone skiied except my 73 year-old mother and me. I said I was the official photographer. I don't know what my mother's excuse was. Point being...I skiied a couple of times when I was 20 or so, and didn't feel the need to do it again. I think it's one of those things you have to get into when you're young, or forget it. My two teenagers were like...eh. My 7 year-old had a blast.

Oh, and FYI...if you think all you need to ride a bike is a bike? Clearly you don't live around here. (Which I know you don't.:) Yesterday, when it hit 70 degrees here in the mile high city, they were all out, the bikers. You couldn't swing a cat without hitting one, and believe me, I am an expert cat-swinger. You need expensive bikers shorts, a biker shirt made out of that really expensive Armour-something material...and your shirt and shorts must match. In fact, if you're with a group, everyone's clothes have to match. You also need a very expensive helmet, a very expensive bike, and very expensive sunglasses. I learned this just by watching all the people around here. I watched them all biking and running and walking yesterday, and I really, really wished I LIKED exercise and didn't find it so gd boring. Sigh.

Next time you're here, you should let me know so we can have a drink to three together. :)

TesoriTrovati said...

I am trying very, very hard not to snort my coffee out my nose and laugh. Out loud. At my desk.
(I am thinking that this place is going to be a regular stop for me. Because I need that sort of mirth in my life.)
Enjoy the day!

Anonymous said...

Oh Joann..I have a confession to make. Well, two, actually. First, I've missed you terribly these past two days, and two, I might be in love with your hubby. Or maybe it is your love for your hubby shining through that makes me all, awwwww, I love them both. Have a great vacation. I think sitting in front of a fire with a glass of wine and your laptop and cute boots is a perfectly great way to spend a vacation. And I'm not just saying that because I'm selfish, no way. I grew up in Maine. I started skiing at a very early age because, well, you just did that there. I do not ski anymore because it is dangerous, it is cold, it is expensive, and I really do not enjoy the thrill of speed, for whatever twisted reason. The beach is way more my style. Cross Country, though, different story; you control your speed, you get warm because it is so physical, no mountains are involved, and at the end there is usually the same great fireplace and baileys and coffee, without the broken legs and frankenstein boots. This was one of my favorite posts so far.

pieters said...

yeah, i don't ski either. and i'm all about knowing myself in my older age. you go girl. lauren

ps. don't forget to drop me a line if you wanna meet up in the airport. there will be security there so you don't have to worry about me. ha!

Tiffaney said...

Awwww, your hubby is 10,000 kinds of awesome. I'm majorly crushing right now!! :)

Jennifer Vanderbeek said...

Did you ever watch the show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch? On one episode they go on a ski holiday (to Mars, but that's totally neither here nor there) and one aunt heads out onto the slopes while the other sits on the sofa. Sabrina asks if she skis. Her reply?

"I Lodge."

I gotta say, I'd probably be a lodger, too, should the opportunity ever come up. Enjoy your vacay your way and can't wait to hear the stories when you get back!

Deb K said...

Following from MBC

You can find me here~


Rae said...

Oh, we could be good friends! We could sit by the fire and read ...and drink tall alcoholic drinks and wave at the Amway skiers!
I hate roller coasters, boats, planes, ski lifts, ladders, amusement park rides,
and anything else I have no real control over!
My husband wants to para sail and snorkel and ride horses in the ocean on our vacation.
How can I tell him I'm just gonna read a book on the beach?

duffylou said...

I'm going to miss you this week Joann! Such a funny post today. I agree with you regarding skiing. I have enough trouble with my two feet walking on regular earth let alone on surfboards flying down mountains of frozen tundra! You are a brave woman my dear and went a step farther than I could have. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Kelly said...

Add me to the list of people who have absolutely ZERO interest in skiing or snowboarding. Every time someone tries to convince me, I just stare blankly at them until they start to stammer and babble and then I say, "Sorry, you lost me at 'ski' and then they realize they have failed in their mission and I'm all "I win!"

Alexandra said...

OMG. I can't believe you caved.

You're a braver soul than me.

At least you survived.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Exactly. What's fun about discomfort and danger? I don't get it, either.

Bossy Betty said...

I admire you for trying anyway. I would have been a bigger party -pooper than you!

Anonymous said...

Joann, this is a wonderful post. You won't mind that I laughed, will you? It wasn't AT you...your description of panic was just so funny. "geometry" and "I don't want to paint with a brush" and the preschoolers...
I am so glad your family had fun, including you, that your husband is such a sweetheart, and that you lived to write about this!!!Without "fat boy pants" on.

Lori said...

I'm going to say very loudly that you're a Debbie Downer! But secretly, I totally agree with you. Skiing scares me to death. Hubby keeps saying how fun it is and that we'll go one year and I'm glad we so far have been too poor to go.

This was such a funny post!

ProudSister said...

If I were there, I would have said Tom Hanks line from "A League of Their Own": "Are You CRYING? There's no crying in (skiing)." Seriously?! Although, I got dragged camping once & I think I spent most of the trip on the verge of crying. Good luck! Enjoy the shopping.

Jen said...

I almost tried skiing once too. It was on some huge ass mountain in Canada. Thunder Bay, Ontario. It was -90 windchill. Not conditions to learn how to ski. Worse, I let my friend "teach" me how to ski. That's like letting your cat teach you how to swim. We got on the ski lift okay but getting off was another problem. She got her pole stuck on my ski and it came off right before we were supposed to jump off the chair lift. I panicked as I watched my ski go down the mountain. I knew it was going to be hard to ski with two skis but there was no way I could do it with one. I took the path of least resistance and rode the chair lift back down. I went to the place where there is a fire and alcohol and drank until everyone was finished freezing their ass off. That was over 20 years ago and I have never regretted that trip down the chair lift.

I'm so glad you got to shop, that's a sport I could get behind.

MrsBlogAlot said...

You really do make me laugh. You couldn't get me on skis if you paid me in hot ski instructors! Enjoy your week!

Anonymous said...

Skiing, schmiing.

I lived in Utah for 5 years and never even entertained the idea of skiing. Too cold, too dangerous, too cold. Did I mention too cold?

Drinking hot chocolate in the lodge would be fun.

Judie said...

It took me three months and 4 bottles of TuffSkin just to learn how to waterski! No way on earth would I ever snap on a pair of snow skis! My hubby is quite an athlete, and was a skating champion and tennis champion in Canada when he was younger, but not even he would ever ski again. All he did was hit trees! Unlike Sonny, he only got away with a few bruises.
I prefer to watch skiing on T.V., where it is safe and WARM. Plus, those puffy pants--well, they make my butt look big(ger)

Anonymous said...

Oh this post was utterly fantastic!!

I live 5 minutes from where Lindsey Vonn grew up and trained and yet I have never set foot on a ski slope...ever.

Too cold. Too dangerous. I can't even master Wii Skiing!

I don't "do" dangerous at all. I play golf.

Loved the part about the Kennedy family! No Shit!

Have a wonderful time with your family!

AmbitiousSingleMom said...

Following from FFF on MBC...

Richele McFarlin said...

Love it! You are a genius.

I've been skiing...twice in high school. You know how reckless we all are in high school. Thankfully, I didn't have to learn to paint with my teeth. Geesh..I can't paint with my hands...what would I do?

Have a great vacation! If you find anything in my size in Vail...send it along. Oh..nevermind, I'm not revealing my size even on the internet.

Together We Save said...

Oh my... no skiing here... I would break something for sure! Hope you are having a wonderful time though.

Laura Jane said...

Wow- I'm pretty sure you're hilarious. I have never been skiing and you will not see my big bum anywhere near a ski lift in my near future. Now, a nice glass of wine or LIT, a book and a hot tub in the snow? Yes, please! Just please do not forget my parka b/c I don't like frozen cheeks. =)

Unknown said...

I have been skiing once. it was complete and utter disaster. I am a Southern Girl. We do not ski well. I did the bunny slope on Mt. Bachelor in Oregon....and couldn't stop. And if you ask me, it was NOT a bunny slope, at least not as I had imagined one. Too big. Too steep. ugh!

But glad you are on vacay and having fun. Have some cocktails for me!!!

NYC Single Mom said...

following you from FFF on MBC


NYC Single Mom said...

following you from FFF on MBC


NYC Single Mom said...

following you from FFF on MBC


NYC Single Mom said...

following you from FFF on MBC


NYC Single Mom said...

following you from FFF on MBC


NYC Single Mom said...

following you from FFF on MBC


Lula Lola said...

Skiing is hard! It's not for me either!
My first time skiing, I thought I was a natural. Some friends had me up and really getting it, in no time flat.
But, I got overconfident and actually flipped, my skis flew off. And I face planted on what felt like asphault. It kinda scared me! But, I was okay, until I looked up and the people in the lift above me started saying they'd get me help when they got to the top, and they were cringing!

My friend took her skis off and ran back up to where I was and gasped. There was blood all over the snow, all over my cute new ski clothes. I was a mess. Ended up cracking a tooth that ended up absessing. And busted my head wide open. Should have gone for stitches, but didn't want to interupt the trip for anyone, so I just bled back at the house we were renting. Thankfully, it was ski in ski out, so I didn't have to take a shuttle back to the place or anything. The ski patrol took me back with sirens blazing for effect. Good times!
My dental work ended up costing more than the whole trip.
Since then, I've tried snowboarding, and found that renting a board to strap to my feet, only to come down on my butt, is a colossal waste of time.
I'm a tubing girl from here on out!

julie said...

A. You can suggest a link to me ANYTIME and it's not pimping - it's love. I LOVE your posts.

B. Next time your family is going skiing, I will come sit with you and read magazines and drink wine.

C. Your husband rocks. Mine? Is awesome. But does not understand that I MIGHT not want to ski. An analogy: You couldn't imagine turning down lunch with Bono.

The man has serious love for skiing.

Thanks for this story. I feel sooo much better.

My favorite line among many: "Michael Kennedy. And I know, I know—Duh, Kennedys are SUPPOSED to die in freak accidents, but still..."

So wrong and yet so right...xo

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