I used to love to ski. Really, really loved it and couldn't get enough. I still like it fine, but my ardor has cooled. With each passing year, I just increasingly prefer to spend time on a warm beach than on a cold chairlift.
Traditionally, our family has spent our winter holidays at the Beaver Creek Ski Resort, since forever. For the last several seasons, I grumbled about coming here, trying to amass enough votes to change our holiday location to somewhere warm like Hawaii. Thankfully, this winter provided some of the best ski conditions in years, with a great deep powdery base but generally bright and clear daytime skies.
Even I admit that you can't beat the beauty of these mountains on a clear, snow covered day. And while I no longer ski as crazily as in my college days, even I found the conditions this year to be inspiring. I was out on the slopes for almost the entire time of every day during our week here.
There is also a lot to be said for tradition. We find comfort in reuniting in the same lovely town, skiing the same wonderful slopes, and eating at the same favorite restaurants we have enjoyed for years. Beaver Creek isn't home, but it now almost feels like it is, at least for the winter holidays. And ultimately, the holiday season is about feeling at home with one's loved ones.
There was one twist this year. As the flip side of the incredible ski conditions, Mother Nature dumped a ton of snow on us just before we had to fly back out. Normally, we fly into and out of nearby Vail Eagle airport, but for a variety of reasons, we flew in and out of Denver this year, which is a couple hour drive through the mountains. The normally uneventful drive was quite treacherous this year. We made it, but not without sweaty palms, slipping tires, and lots of squinting trying to gain better visibility.
OK, maybe next year we WILL try somewhere warmer!