Thursday, March 8, 2012

SkiFest 2012!

Once again, our annual SkiFest with the Skinner's and the Jack's
 was filled with lots of good food, plenty of fresh snow, and lots of fun with our good friends!
We couldn't have timed it better with a couple of powder days,
which made the boys very, very happy!
The boys headed out the door bright and early the first morning
to do "First Tracks" at Canyons!
 Sue took a ski lesson, so Liz and I spent the morning skiing together.
Liz was just a little excited about the view from Cloud 9...
and so was I!
We meet up with the boys, who were enjoying a hearty breakfast at Red Pine Lodge
 after their early morning ski runs with former Olympian Kaylin Richardson.
She is adorable and gave me her email address 
and told us to let her know when our girls came up to ski next time
 and she would love to join us for the day.
We will definitely take her up on the offer!
After a great morning of skiing, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Lookout Cabin.  
At Lookout Cabin, where we enjoyed a yummy lunch!
With our tummies now full, we are ready to head out to do some more skiing.
But not before we get a group photo...
and one with just the gals!
A happy group of ladies, riding the chairlift together!
We made our way over to Iron Mountain and spent the afternoon
 enjoying the snow and the gorgeous views of the homes at The Colony!
Mark and Liz stop for a moment to take a photo on the slopes!
The guys are waiting patiently for the girls at the end of the run.  Aren't they cute?!
Taking the last run of the day down to our place, Dr. Mark Skinner stops 
to point to the sign of the run named after him, "Doc's Run!"
Looking down at the view of our cabin we are...
a very happy group of skiers!
Cutest couple award goes to the Jack's at the end of the first day of skiing!
Back at the cabin, we jumped in the jacuzzi 
and enjoyed listening to the tunes on Liz's ipod!  "Rock On!"
Sorry, Ash and Allie... David Archuleta was replaced by David Essex!! 
Mark couldn't wait to take Sue and Liz to his favorite bread store, Great Harvest in Park City.
After enjoying a free slice of bread, we headed home with a loaf of both wheat and white bread, 
a lemon bar, pumpkin spice bar with cream cheese frosting and chocolate chip cookie bar. Yum!
We couldn't wait to celebrate Liz's birthday on Wednesday, 
so when we woke up to 6 inches of fresh snow, we were just a little excited!
This was the first of many birthday surprises!
We decided to drive over to Deer Valley on Liz's birthday.  What a perfect place to celebrate!
And what a wonderful day it was! Isn't Liz the cutest birthday skier gal!!
She is seriously such a good sport!  
She just laughed when we pulled out a birthday crown and taped it to the top of her helmet!
She skied with that crown on all day long!  So cute!
The gals wishing Liz a very Happy Birthday!!
A Happy Birthday group photo!
I'm not sure what I was thinking when I agreed to head up to Empire Pass 
with the boys to catch the first powder of the day...
but how could I turn down the chance to ride the chairlift with these 3 good looking guys?!
After I took a couple of runs down the steep and very deep powder runs at Empire Pass, 
my legs were burning so bad that I left these 3 powder hounds,
 who made their way over to Lady Morgan to find some more powder.
And I made my way over to the lodge to met up with the gals...
who greeted me at the lodge with a hot chocolate topped with whipped marshmallow. 
 Don't I have the best friends ever?!
It totally hit the spot and was so delicious!
And I was so in need of the hot chocolate because not only were my legs burning,
but it had begun to snow and I was absolutely freezing by the time I reached the lodge!
These two gals really know how to spoil a girl!!
After warming up, we headed back outside to join the boys for lunch at Empire Pass Lodge.
We had to stop on the way and get a photo of Sue at the Lucky Jack run...
cause that Doug is one Lucky Jack to be married to that darling Sue!!
I hope she blows that photo up, frames it and puts it on his desk 
so that he doesn't ever forget how lucky he is:)!
We are freezing and hungry and ready to join the birthday girl for lunch at the lodge.
Cutest birthday girl at Empire Pass Lodge!
And the birthday celebrations continue with party blowers on the table
 and a happy birthday sign on the wall!
After I took the photo of Mark and Liz with the birthday sign,
 the table next to us realized it was Liz's birthday. 
The entire table broke into a spontaneous rendition of "Happy Birthday!"
 and everyone in the whole place joined in!  It was awesome!
I love this photo of Liz!  It captures her beauty and gorgeous smile,
 as she graciously embraces the unexpected birthday wishes 
from all her fellow skiing friends (old and new) at the Empire Pass Lodge.
I'm so glad that I captured Liz's smile right at that moment! Isn't she fabulous!?
Here is Dad wearing his favorite old Spyder one piece.
He wore not only in honor of Liz's birthday, 
but because we were skiing at Deer Valley.
 Deer Valley is the only resort that I know of that you can still find skiers, 
who are still wearing one piece ski outfits!
Not only did Dad look good in his one piece
 but he truly did fit in with his fellow Deer Valley skiers.
Another great shot of the birthday girl doing her thing, 
with her ear plugs in, listening to her favorite tunes,
she is tearing it up and rocking out,
while she is still wearing her birthday crown.
The birthday girl, riding the chairlift at the end of the day.
And this photo cracks me up, with the four of us squished together on this chairlift.
I guess, we are just such good friends that we want to sit as close as we can to each other 
or you could say that we are just so skinny that we could fit 5 people on our chairlift!
But, note to self...  don't try that trick... putting 5 people on a chairlift.
 We saw them stop a chairlift, which caused a scene and backed up the line,
 because 5 kids climbed on the chair and they made one of them get off.
Good to know!
Love this photo! Doug is definitely the picture of success! So true!  So true!!
And while Doug was busy posing next to the Success sign...
this is what was happening on the other side of the hill.
The funny thing was that Mark had no idea that Liz was behind him, pulling this prank!
Gotta love that girl!
Sue got in on the fun and posed for this adorable picture!
I love everything about this photo!
Love the view!
Love how their jackets color coordinate and match her crown!
Love their smiles!
But mostly, I just love the Skinner's for so many reasons...
too many to list in this post.
Can you tell that they love each other... lots!
Later that night, we headed to Main Street to do some shopping before dinner.
The girls had to go to our one of favorite shops, Roots.
We were still celebrating Liz's birthday that night,
 so I had birthday sunglasses and a boa for Liz to wear!
She was such a good sport and didn't complain at all
 as I kept pulling out funny birthday accessory items for her to wear throughout the day!
Doesn't she look adorable?!
We planned on celebrating Liz's birthday with dinner at Zoom. 
I specifically made reservations at Zoom because it is Liz's favorite, 
not only because it's Bob's restaurant 
(that's right, we call Robert Redford, Bob because we are just that close) 
but because Liz missed out on dinner there last year.
About an hour before our dinner time, Zoom called 
and said that they had a gas leak and were closed for the evening.  What?!!!
So we hurried up and called some of our favorite restaurants but everything was booked.
Mark suggested Cafe Terigo, where the girls had enjoyed a yummy lunch,
 a couple of years ago, but we haven't ever had dinner there.
Cafe Terigo got us in right at 7 pm and boy, are we happy that they did!
It was probably one of the yummiest dinners that we have eaten in a long time.
And here is the birthday girl, wearing her sunglasses, boa, birthday beads and all!
One of the things you gotta love about Utah is all the non-alcoholic drinks on the menu.
One of the non-alcoholic drinks on the drink menu was called a "Carly Cosmo" 
and so in honor of Carly Skinner, Mark and Liz's daughter, 
my Mark and Sue ordered the drink!
So we had to take a picture and send it to Carly, and of course, she loved it!
And we loved the strawberry and lime drink!
Not only did we love the drinks, but my Almond encrusted Salmon 
on parmesan mashed potatoes with asparagus was absolutely incredible!
And Mark loved his Pappardelle pasta with traditional veal bolognese sauce, and asiago cheese.
And the birthday girl loved her Fettuccine with house smoked chicken breast, 
roasted tomatoes, toasted pinenuts and fresh basil in parmesan cream sauce. Yum!
Liz, with two of her favorite guys!
Blowing out the birthday candle on one of the best desserts I've tasted in a long time, 
a carmel tart covered with chocolate topped with sea salt.
I know, I say that all the time, but I really mean it... it was so delicious!
Love this photo of this lovely couple!
A favorite group photo outside Terigo!
Back at the cabin, Mark presented Liz with a surprise ski poster and boy, was she surprised!
Ask Mark if you can see his poster... which will be hanging in his ski locker!
And finally, the birthday girl stops to get a photo with one of her birthday signs,
ready to call it a night!  Happy Birthday, Liz!  We love you!
The next day, we woke up to another 9 inches of snow, and since it was a powder day, 
I buckled up my boots, threw on my helmet and joined the boys,
ready to make some fresh tracks in the powder at The Pines!
I only lasted a few runs!  It was absolutely incredible!  So much untouched powder!
It was amazingly gorgeous! 
 I volunteered to be the designated the photographer/videographer, 
which meant that I would ski down The Pines first as fast as I could, 
quickly turn around and snap as many photos or videos as possible!
It was stressful because the boys were a little impatient and couldn't wait to ski the fresh powder.
 Usually by the time that I made my way down the hill, they were right behind me! 
 I was very lucky to get this one! I absolutely love it because it captures the beauty of the untouched powder!
 And I love it because I caught all three of them on the hill together enjoying the pristine powder!

And I was very, very lucky to catch this video of Mark coming through The Pines!
If you listen really, really closely, you can hear me panting, trying to catch my breath, 
after skiing as fast as I can down the hill, planting my poles, taking off my gloves, 
pulling out my phone and capturing Mark coming through the powder... 
I really didn't have a chance to catch my breath before the camera got rolling.
Ha!! Ha!!  It makes me giggle!
Yeah... this was our morning!
And this was Mark Skinner's morning, going through the powder!
And it was after this run, that I turned and told the boys that I had had enough
and was going in for the day.
I know that Doug couldn't believe that I could leave this incredible powder 
and it was difficult!  But my legs had had it!  
Trying to keep up with those boys is a lot harder than I thought!
So I left the boys and they skied ALL! DAY! LONG!! and had a blast!
They didn't miss me at all!
And this is where me and the girls spent the rest of the day.
We had a fun time shopping at the outlets!
Dinner that night was at Fireside Dining at Empire Pass Lodge.
It was an experience that I don't think any of will forget in a very long time!
Dinner at Fireside Dining at Empire Pass features four courses served from five stone fireplaces. 
The first course begins here, where a huge block of cheese dripping onto a plate.
They had the most incredible strawberry chutney and bread that tasted incredible with the warm cheese.
The gals, posing with our friend, Allison, who was tending to the cheese.
Once you grab a plate of warm Swiss raclette cheese, then you head to this table
 and where you can fill your plate with steamed new potatoes, house marinated pearl onions, 
cornichons, cured Italian and Swiss meats, freshly baked baguettes 
and condiments including house made mustards and chutneys.
Mark and Doug are excited to start on their first course of the evening.
Mark's plate of warm swiss cheese, strawberry chutney, bread, pickles, and cured meats.
Doug and Deb, taking a break from all the eating, trying to regroup and head to the next fireplace.
The next stop is at the North Fireplace, which has simmering stews and fricassees 
with hearty alpine ingredients such as veal, venison, chicken, beef short ribs, quail, 
wild mushrooms, leeks, roasted tomatoes, root vegetables and lots of fresh herbs 
served with hand-grated, crisp, buttery potato rosti.  Wow!
This photo makes me giggle with Mark shows off his bowl of stew 
while the chef looks on... kind of creepy.
Doesn't that salad and vegetables look delicious!  And I don't even like vegetables that much!
The next stop was at the Ontario fireplace, 
where the fire-roasted leg of lamb is cooked slowly
 by the fire brushed with fresh herbs and seasoning
 accompanied by Dutch oven specialties, risotto or polenta. 
Mark and Doug admiring the legs of lamb hanging by the fire!
Mark is very excited about the leg of lamb at the carving table.
And so is Doug, as he pour the au jus over the slice of lamb.
And here Sue, who loves lamb, gets involved in the action at the carving table. 
At this point of the evening, we had enjoyed one of the most memorable dining experiences ever... 
and then it just got even better when someone said that Stein Eriksen was dining at the Fireplace that night. 
 If you don't know who Stein is, just click here to find out!  
He's a legend in the ski world and director of skiing at Deer Valley!
The next thing we know, we are chatting it up with Stein and taking pictures with the legend!
He was so friendly and nice, engaging in conversation.
He told us about how he met a guy today on the slopes that is 92 years old and still skiing.
Stein is 84 years old, so he said that now he has to ski for 8 more years 
so that he can out ski the 92 year old guy!
I feel bad that this picture of the boys with Stein is blurry!  Bummer!
He was gracious and kind and such a good sport, 
visiting with us and allowing us to take so many photos with the great Stein!
The last station was the Lobby Fireside, which included chocolate, 
caramel and white chocolate fondues served with strawberries, bananas, apples,
 dried apricots, cinnamon pound cake, Deer Valley cookies, 
which are absolutely delicious, and almond biscotti!
Liz and Doug are busy filling up their plates at the dessert table.
An aerial view of my dessert plate with the white chocolate, 
dark chocolate and caramel fondue.  Yum!
A group photo in front of the main fireplace at the end of the night!
It was an unforgettable night dining at Fireside at Empire Canyon Lodge!
We went over to the Montage to check out their front lobby.
Mark and Mark walked over so the could take in the view of the gorgeous trees.
The view of the trees with the new fallen snow that Mark and Mark enjoyed.
Absolutely magical!  It just doesn't get much better than this!
What a lovely way to end an incredible day!
On our last day of skiing, as we were heading for the Condor chairlift, 
I led the girls down the blue intermediate run or what I thought was a blue run.
But when we turned to go down Arrowhead, which is the only way to Condor,
we discovered that it wasn't groomed at all and was filled with moguls, lots of moguls.
Sue was such a good sport and after a little pep talk, we skied down the run, 
which after skiing that ungroomed run, I declared it to be a black diamond... and probably a double black diamond run at Deer Valley!
I was so proud of Sue and love this picture of her that shows how mogully and steep!
Here are the boys waiting patiently for their gals!
They are just a little bit excited to see us, can you tell?!
Heading up the hill at Sun Peak!
And here are the Jack's on the chairlift to Iron Mountain.
Doug got to the top of the lift and decided to rest his feet.
 And once he's rested, he is ready to give his gal a hug!
A gorgeous view of the beautiful aspens along the Iron Mountain runs.
On the chairlift with Allie and Brooke, who came up and joined us on the slopes that last day.
After a great morning of skiing, we stopped at CloudDine for a delicious but chilly lunch outside.
Dad is so happy to be skiing with his Bear.
And I'm so happy to be spending the day with my Allie!
And after a yummy lunch, we are ready to ski with this cute crew!
My girls are so happy to spend time with some of their favorite Granite Bay moms and dads!
It's so good to spend time with family friends 
that have known you most of your life
and feel more like family than just friends! 
A photo with the girls at the end of the day as Brooke and I race for home.
Of course, Dad and Allie stayed to take a couple more runs before they came in for the day.
On our last night together, we dined at Chimayo, one of my favorite restaurants on Main Street.
Gosh!  I love this picture... Dad is just a little excited to be a Chimayo!
And isn't this a lovely picture of the Jack's on our last night?!
And the Skinner's couldn't look more happy to finally get to try out this great restaurant!
All three boys ordered the same thing, one of the favorites on the menu,
 the famous Crown Roast of Barbequed Spareribs.
And so I had to get a picture of each of them with their ribs.
Don't they look absolutely incredible?  The ribs and the guys!!
Sue ordered the Avocado Stuffed Salad with Marinated Vegetables and it looked and tasted amazing!
And for dessert, we ordered a Mint Chip Ice Cream Bar.
The presentation was incredible!
Oh yeah!  We ordered a Pumpkin Brown Butter Cake too, which was also, delicious!
And here we are at the end of the night as our SkiFest came to a close,
our tummies are full, our legs are tired and we are grinning from ear to ear 
as we reminisced about all the fun that we had that week.
SkiFest 2012 will go down as one of the greatest for years to come!

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