Tuesday, April 8, 2014

101 in 1001: Utah Ski Trip




   Two days after we ran our 5K, Austin and I flew to Utah for a week-long ski trip in Park City. I've never been to Utah before so this trip was multipurpose: ski (obvs.), visit a new state, and spend some good quality time with Austin's family.


THE TRIP

   We left dark and early for the airport on a Sunday morning in early February. We took a pretty quick and painless flight into Salt Lake City and then had the joy of solving the rental car puzzle: how to fit 6 people, 11 suitcases, and several backpacks into 1 Tahoe.


   Once we had everything (and everyone) tetris'd into place we took a quick driving tour of Salt Lake City before checking into our condos.



LODGING & FOOD

   We stayed at Silver King Hotel (which actually has little condos and not hotel rooms -quite misleading name). Each couple had their own, separate little condo from a nice deal on Groupon. The place was nice (in-room jacuzzis and fireplaces!) and we were able to walk to the slopes each day. There was also the classic steamy hot tub that you run to as fast as you can in your swimsuit to warm up. Can't have a ski trip without that.



   On our first evening, we took a trip to the grocery store and stocked up on lots of meals and snacks. We had breakfast in our rooms each morning - eggs, fruit, and bagels. We had soup and grilled cheese back at the condo for lunch some days, others we ate on the mountain. And we each took turns cooking dinner for the whole family. It saved a lot of money, allowed us to watch the Olympics in the evenings, and provided some good, old-fashioned family time. One evening, I taught Austin's family how to make snow ice cream :) Can't go skiing without making some of that! Milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and a bowl full of fresh snow. Delightful atop a brownie.



   We had a really, really awesome dinner out one night with the Snowed Inn Sleigh Company. We met by the ski lifts for an old-fashioned horse drawn sleigh ride to the company's little restaurant up the mountain. They served the most delicious western food and played live music. My courses were the vegetarian options and they were seriously some of the best vegetarian foods I've ever had in my life. It was so fun and delicious - you have to do it if you're ever in Park City. For real.





SKI RENTAL

   One of the coolest things about the trip was the ski rental place - no lie. When we all walked into Ski 'N See on our first day to get us some skis, we recognized the song playing in the store. A few more seconds in the shop and it dawned on us . . . they were playing The Wedding! (Our brother-in-law was their drummer until recently - he's the one on the far right in the photo down there.) That was cool, so we all smiled and went with it. Then they played another Wedding song, and another, and we realized this wasn't just a song on the radio - they were playing the entire CD!


   We found out that one of the shop workers had recently discovered The Wedding and loved them. He enjoyed meeting Matt and we all sort of bonded with the guy. We had lunch with him on the slopes one day and we're all Facebook friends with him now! If you're wondering, yes, we did receive exceptional service. If you're ever renting skis in Park City, go to Ski 'N See and ask for Eric. He's awesome and he likes good music.



SKI DAYS



   We tried to start off easy, since several of us hadn't skied in years, but unfortunately we had a little ski lift mix up and that didn't quite happen . . . But all was well in the end. After a difficult morning, we had a laidback, mostly green afternoon on our first ski day.



   After that we had our skiing legs under us a little better so we decided to venture down the "Adventure Alleys." There were 5 of these that wove in and out of trees, over jumps, and around huge build-ups of powder. These were my favorite runs from the trip. Added perk - if you try them all and tell the information desk your favorite, they give you a prize. I won't spoil the surprise, but it's definitely worth doing.


   Other favorite runs were Payday, Georgeanna, Treasure Hollow, Homerun, and Claimjumper.



   We had lunch once at the Mid-Mountain Lodge and once at the Summit Restaurant (with our new friend from the ski shop). I had a pretty good veggie burger at Mid-Mountain and a really good loaded salad at the Summit.



DOWNTOWN PARK CITY

   We spent one day mid-week exploring the town. Everyone was ready for a break after 2 days of fun but exhausting skiing. We started out with a webcam geocache just off the slopes and a walk through downtown Park City before lunch at Vinto. I never knew a 5-onion pizza could be so delicious.


   After lunch we found another geocache at Shoe Tree Park - seriously, these are trees with tons of shoes thrown over the branches!


   We got cold from all of that geocache searching, so we decided to stop in to Atticus for some coffee/tea/hot chocolate. I had the Goblet of Fire and it was one of the most delicious lattes of my life. There were tons of books to browse and live music to set the mood for a relaxing evening.



SUM IT UP?

   I really got out of my comfort-zone this trip. I'm used to leisurely skiing around, enjoying scenery, resting often and this trip was a big change for me. I spent more time on difficult terrain, went over some jumps, literally ran into a tree (thankfully it was a cushion-y evergreen), pushed my speed and control, and conquered unrelated injury and illness. It was a really fun trip filled with exercise, personal betterment, and family time - and I'm so grateful that Austin's parents arranged the whole thing for us!

   Things I learned about Utah: It's expensive (at least, Park City is). The snow is good. Sean White has his own mountain there. Deep Relief works wonders on knee pain (okay that one isn't so much Utah). It's possible to fall and literally be stuck in the snow. The slopes are harder - any greens that weren't specifically beginner greens really felt more like blues. It's beautiful.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Goals





   Well, if I'm completely honest, this was not my favorite March. For several reasons. But regardless, I accomplished most of my goals. I did not get a set of curtains made, though I did look around and try to decide which ones I wanted to make. That goal is being carried over into April. I'm also still 1 behind in my monthly baking goal (see #29), so I'll be working on that again in April too. I completed everything else except learning first aid skills for cats, which I forgot to ask my mom to teach me when she was in town for a visit (she's an RVT). Whoops . . . another time then.


   Here is what I intend to accomplish in April:

1. Make a set of curtains for my desk.
2. Bake 2 things from Pinterest and memorize 1 verse.
3. Send my April letter.
4. Read a chapter of my investing book each week (I'll finish it one of these days!)
5. Finish our home management binder.
6. Scrapbook.
7. Start running again. Slowly. 
I want to do a combination walk/jog 3days/week and do the physical therapy exercises for my hip flexor every day.
8. Purge my vanity of everything I don't love or need.
9. Purchase a frame for my Mandy Cave Watercolor print.
10. Reach level 25 on League of Legends.



Monday, March 24, 2014

101 in 1001: 6 Month Update



   It's six months now that I've been on this journey to reach 101 goals in 1,001 days. Here is all of the progress that has happened since my previous update :


FINANCIAL AND CAREER
#4. Finish my investing book.
   Slow and steady progress
#7. Finish saving our 6mo of expenses emergency fund.
   This would have been completed by now, but some unexpected things happened in our family. Changing jobs and unexpected taxes and investments. Good things (minus the unexpected part), but expensive ones. So we've still got a little time left on this goal.

READING, WRITING, AND CREATIVITY
#14. Read 40 books.
   I finished Soul Harvest from the Left Behind series and Your Money Counts. I also read the Matched trilogy.
#16. Publish a novel.
   Very slow and not-so-steady progress. I spent a good chunk of time travelling, preparing to travel, and recovering from travel in the last 3 months. I've also recently realized that all of my notes and information has gotten . . . well, honestly, completely out of control. I've worked out kinks and forgotten about them and worked them out again . . . sometimes more than twice . . . So I'm finishing up organizing and compiling all of the chaos that are my book notes. And then I'm hoping the finishing will be a little more manageable. Whew.

FOOD AND FITNESS
#29. Bake a new thing each month from Pinterest.
   I baked these strange Peppermint Crinkle Cookies last month. I'm playing catch up this week.
#31. Run a 5K. - COMPLETE 2/1/14
   Yup - I did it! And I was on a total accomplishment-high from it until a couple of weeks ago when I re-hurt my hip flexor . . . except bad this time. *sigh*


TRAVEL
#35. Knock 4-6 states off my visit-all-the-states list.
   We went on two different family trips, one to San Francisco and the other to Park City.


HOME
#45. Decorate our guest bathroom. - COMPLETE 1/18/14
#54. Purchase a nice desk chair with a headrest. - COMPLETE 1/4/14
   It ended up being a hand-me-down gift from my Dad, rather than a purchase.
#56. Organize the dreaded miscellaneous closet. - COMPLETE 1/18/14

SPIRITUAL, FAMILY, AND HOLIDAY
#64. Finish reading the entire Bible book-by-book.
   I moved from 32 books to 39 with Malachi, Joel, Jonah, (re-read 1 John), 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. 27 to go.
#65. Memorize a new Bible verse each month.
   December: When I am afraid I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56: 3-4
   January: Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35
   February: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
#72. Make a Christmas ornament each year.
   We did these awesome things! Make your own by dripping acrylic paint into clear bulbs. Shake them, roll them around, tap them, lean them different directions - whatever you want to do to get the paint moving in cool ways. Where did I find this idea? Pinterest, where else.


AUSTIN
#73. Spend time at 3 new parks in Austin.
   We spent an afternoon at Republic Square Park a couple weeks ago. It was nice and peaceful and the weather was perfect. We got take out downtown and brought it with us to one of the bistro tables. A little spider hung out on our styrofoam containers. We looked at the historical things and the cool structure with cool quotes that I don't have a name for. We talked about life and dreams and park-y things. I got asked to be in a hip hop music video by a random dude?

MISCELLANEOUS
#95. Go to a wine tasting. - COMPLETE 12/28/13
   We spent an entire day doing this in Napa Valley. Pretty sure that was the best way possible to achieve this goal.
#96. Answer the 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind.
   I answered the 5th one: What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world?

#101. Inspire someone to write their own list.
   My sister started one! She blogs about it too.



   So, I accomplished 5 goals since Christmas, made progress on several others, and I'm standing at 12 accomplished so far. 89 to go!






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