Almost every year growing up, our Dad would take us skiing to Utah over President's Day weekend. My Dad taught all five of us to ski from a very young age. All of my brothers and I looked forward to the trip every year, and have always had such fond memories of it. Now as adults, we see the huge sacrifice that it was for him, and have gained a greater appreciation for it. Now that he's gone, it seems to mean even more to us.
For the past year or so my older brother, John has been talking about doing a sibling reunion ski trip in honor of our Dad. What better way to remember him, than to do one of the things he loved and taught us all to do, than to go skiing.
I remember thinking as I went off to school at BYU how much I thought I would go skiing. I was often appalled at my cousins for living in Utah and not going every single weekend! It wasn't until I was a poor college student that I realized what an expensive hobby it is. Pathetically enough, I only went skiing while I lived in Utah, when my Dad and brothers came up over President's Day weekend, and he paid for me to go, ha ha!
Daniel...never serious. It's impossible to be a grown up around this kid. I never remembered him having such a hard time skiing. Probably because I've never been skiing with him since he was 6, 7". For the love! I found myself getting frustrated with him because he was frequently falling, crashing, or having a ski fall off. How in the world did my Dad do it with five of us, ages seven and under? God bless him, and his patience...because I clearly don't have it! In Dan's defense, I can't imagine how easy it is to stay balanced being that far off the ground. :)
My Dad's favorite ski resort was always Brighton. I know he liked the different runs, the smaller location, and now paying for it myself...realizing that it is BY FAR the cheapest. It all makes sense now! :) My brothers and I didn't even have to discuss it, we all knew we were going to Brighton the first day. I cannot tell you how many times I've posed for a picture in this exact spot, but this time it was different. Our Dad wasn't there. He wasn't there to force all all to pose for a picture (I've clearly taken on that role), he wasn't there to make funny faces to make us smile, and he wasn't there to be in the picture. I'm told this is "what he would have wanted", for us all to do things in remembrance of him...but I couldn't help but think while we were taking this picture, how terribly I missed him, and how much I wished he was there with us.
While I was at BYU, the first semester I lived in Raintree (woof). Maybe the ONLY perk of living there, is it's pristine location relative to Cafe Rio. I miss Cafe Rio so much, it's so delicious! The first time my family came out to ski with me while I was living in Provo, I got them hooked on it. So naturally, we went at least once a day on our little ski vaca. HEAVEN. Unfortuantely while we were dating, Sean had multiple incidences with Cafe Rio, and consequently calls it Cafe Diarrhio...Needless to say, we do not share the same love for this Mexican deliciousness, and so I'm grateful my brothers are as equally obsessed with it as I am. Texas, get with the program already. Even Idaho has one...
We stayed at a hotel in Midvale, which is in good location to most of the ski resorts. It ended up being just down the street from one of the offices of the Periodontist I worked for in Provo, while taking my per-requisites at BYU. I had to go see if Dr. Bailey was still there, and he was! Of course it was after hours, or I would have dropped by to say hello! Caitlin Roundy, this picture is for you!
Love this little crazy. I hate to admit that I miss him sometimes living with us. Luckily he doesn't read our blog, or I would never hear the end of this. It's true, he's a keeper.
Day #2: ALTA! It's been so long since I've skied there. It was freezing. Usually February is a little bit warmer for skiing condtions, but not this weekend. The wind was terrible, and I might have died without toe and hand warmers. There's a reason I live in the heat, I am a huge pansy.
This is what I remember about skiing at Alta, the tow ropes. And falling off of them as a kid, ha ha! Someone fell, and I felt really bad about laughing at them...
I tired to take a panoramic picture while on the tow rope, but as you can see it got a little sketchy at the end. It was so pretty*, the mountains were absolutely gorgeous.
Along with the freezing cold weather, we had TONS of fresh powder. It snowed the entire time we were there, which of course is great for skiing conditions.
I tried to get a picture of John and Daniel, but my phone kept shutting off, because it was so freaking cold. I'm happy to say that I didn't even know that was possible. That life is that miserable (because you're freezing) and then your phone just shuts off?! How do people live here?!?! Ugh...no thank you. But yes, for a ski weekend...it was awesome. For a weekend...
Break time! One thing we never did as kids was get to buy food at the ski lodge. Another thing I now realize why we always had to make lunches, and eat out in the car. OMG, it was so expensive! I thought, oh I will be nice and pay for my very poor little brother's lunch. With just two of us it was over $25! With no free refills...that was the worst part probably, paying for a $6 pop and not being able to get free refills...should be illegal. So yes, with 5 kids...it all makes sense now. Ugh, I hate growing up and understanding the insanity of your parents shenanigans...
This is one of my favorite pictures of the trip! Chris and I are heading up the ski lift at Alta, and having a blast. Look at all that snow, it was crazy! We seriously had to take the pictures really fast before our phones turned off. Crazy.
The gorgeous mountains, it makes driving in the snow a little more bearable. Speaking of driving, after the first day, I did all of the driving. I swear, most of the time I feel like my brothers' Mom. They have no idea where they're going, they drive like crazy people (each one has totaled at least one car), and they're terrible drivers. It's not my fault I'm the responsible one!
I know this is kind of gross, sorry. But, I had the worst blisters! My little brothers picked up my skis and boots for me the first day because my flight got in so late...and they were a little big. Then, the entire trip they were rubbing against my raw skin, even after exchanging them for the proper size. I still have scars 3 months later, because the blisters were so bad.
We pulled into a gas station to get some drinks, and within seconds of seeing an older man struggling with his car John and Christopher both jumped out of the car (clearly not thinking of grabbing his coat first) to help him. Okay fine, sometimes they do responsible things, and are better people than I am. I was cold just watching them. Someone raised those boys right!
We took a quick detour on our way to Park City and drove through Olympic Park.
Park City! When we would come out to ski growing up, we would typically go to Park City first on Thursday for night skiing. Friday was always Brighton, and Saturday was always a wild card. This picture did not come without severe negotiations on my part. Since all of my brothers are poor (they're still in college) they all ganged up on me when we were buying ski passes for the last day. They said that Park City was too expensive, and that we should just go back to Brighton. Ugh, siblings...well I didn't go down without a fight. Let's just say it ended up in me paying the difference in lift tickets. Whatever, I'll collect all the money I've fronted them in my next life (yeah right). Brothers...
It ended up being totally worth it (I knew it would be), and each of them even remarked how it was their favorite ski day. I hate to say I told you so...oh wait no, I love to say that. All the fun we had, was more than worth the extra money spent.
I really do love them, even though sometimes I want to light them on fire. :)
Christopher and Daniel, look at all that snow!
The infamous black diamond hill that we all forced Daniel to go down, which ended in Chris losing his phone. I can't take them anywhere...
I love Park City!
One of the nights when the boys wanted to see a movie, I snuck out to meet up with one of my besties Nikki, who moved to Utah. Don't worry, there's a happy ending to this tragedy...she wised up and came back to Texas where she belongs. :)
We had a quick dinner at The Garden Restaurant with a gorgeous view of the temple. After all the years I lived in Utah, I had never been there. Oh wait, it was probably because we never went out to eat anywhere more than $5, because we were so poor. It was delicious! Thanks Nikki for meeting up with me for a quick visit. Bonus: I got to meet her adorable little girl, Layla.
One of my forever college besties, Choltzie was nice enough to take me to the airport when my brothers left early Sunday morning. I got to see her cute prego belly! Shocker, she was adorable. I also was able to see her and Ryley's cute new house! I loved seeing her so so much, and of course it made me miss her even more. Love you Chotz.
The last picture I forced my brothers to take. This was one of our last runs at Park City. I'm so glad we were able to make this ski trip happen. Hopefully it becomes more of an annual tradition again.
I hope we can carry on our Dad's tradition and love for skiing , by doing what he loved and thinking of him. There were definitely some tender moments that pulled on my heart strings. I know our Dad was smiling down on us, loving that we were all spending time together in memory of him. We love and miss you Dad, thanks for giving us this gift. Xoxo.