Valentines Weekend – Copper 2012

 

Right now Scarlett and I are making our drive back from an incredible weekend out in Frisco, CO. We decided we just wanted to get away for Valentines weekend and spend some good quality time together. It’s amazing how when you are in a long distance relationship, every waking moment you can spend with that person becomes something special and of quality. The moment you move in together, however, you fall into the daily grind of what is life. Its easy to feel like you already spend so much time with that person, even if you’re not really spending any quality time where that person is your primary focus. We work together, we live together. We pretty much see each other all day and all night long, but it’s so rarely about us.
When you really want something its amazing how things fall together for you. I think you just gotta want something badly enough and the universe will grant it to you. Instead of paying 2-3k for a weekend up in Copper, we found accommodations for a steal. We also found out that if you rent your equipment and purchased your lift ticket outside of Copper, you will save a buttload of cash. So instead of $50 a day each to rent equipment we found a shop that was renting the full boots, skis, poles, and helmets for $28. Then in walks in this woman who was selling her groupon for face value which was $13 to rent the equipment. So for Saturday, Scarlett and I managed to rent everything we needed for the day for $26! Nice!
We started our drive pretty late Friday afternoon. We were hoping to leave town by 2pm at the latest and get to our hotel in Frisco by 5ish, but we didn’t even leave Boulder until almost 5pm. So we arrived in Frisco much later. No worries. We checked in, unloaded the car into our room and called up Fifth Street Grille for some dinner reservations. Great place to eat. We enjoyed a very private candlelit corner with some great steaks and seared tuna. We were going to walk around downtown Frisco for a bit, but the winds were high and it was snowing and quite cold. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to relax together and gather our strength for the following day.
Driving to Frisco, CO
Saturday morning. We were up and moving around by 7am. The day was beautiful. Blue skies. Nice fresh snow outside. We were quickly dressed and in the car to head over to Log Cabin Cafe for Breakfast. What a great place. We totally recommend it. The food was delicious and priced right. We hit this place for breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday so we definitely liked it. We also never had to wait which is a bonus. On our way to breakfast Scarlett had grabbed a bunch of pamphlets on the area as far as things to do as well as some coupons. We had some nice chatter over food while we sifted through the multitude of activities and advertisements.
Scarlett reading through paper
What a beautiful place

 

Log Cabin Cafe
Our Thumper happily parked on Main Street, downtown Frisco, CO
After breakfast we headed out to Pioneer Sports Equipment. I had unwittedly forgotten my beloved ski jacket (I was wearing the liner, but left the actual shell hanging on a hook at home) and had only brought my thicker ski jacket. The plan was for Scarlett to use that jacket, but since I had forgotten my ski jacket looked like I would be needing this one. I also wanted to price my own helmet. I’ve been sold on skiing since day one and figure if I could get helmets and boots I would be halfway there and these are things that would last several years without issue. Not like I would suddenly grow out of them. I wasn’t planning on boots (they are incredibly expensive), but at least a cool helmet would be nice. At Pioneer we learned how much money you could save by not renting at Copper. Their gear was a bit older, but hey, it still worked. Instead of buying a ski jacket, Scarlett was able to just rent one. We got all our equipment and loaded it in the car and then headed to the ski shop across the street where Scarlett had located a $20 off coupon for gear. Walked inside and found a Smith helmet marked down by 40% and then took an additional $20 off of it. Yeah man! Awesome!
My new ski helmet 🙂
Now that we (finally) had everything we needed to get going, we made the 10 minute drive to Copper. The last time Scarlett had been skiing was like 12 years ago. She only did it once As a gift to me for Valentines Day she was going to attempt to do it again. I had only a little over a day of skiing under my belt and now I was going to train her. Talk about the blind leading the blind! But hey, I just went to ski school a few weeks ago and I am super good at regurgitating concepts (even if I don’t fully have a handle on them myself).  We stayed in the West Village area by the Kocomo lift for all of Saturday. I spent a little time at the base of the bunny hill with Scarlett walking her through some of the stuff they walked me through in ski school. Learning how to work the equipment. Getting in and out of skis. How to push off, turn, slowdown, stop…etc. French Fries and Pizza! She caught on fast so we headed up the little belt lift so she could get some runs down the bunny hill. This was nice because I really needed this time as well just to rediscover the feel of the skis and the concepts I was taught previously. After a dozen or so laps on the bunny hill we headed to the Kocomo Lift. The lift is scary for a new skier, no matter how you break it down. Scarlett was terrified, I was pretty anxious myself. I gave her all the tips the instructor had given me and when it was time to push off, she fell. That was her first fall of the day which to me was pretty damn impressive.
On the lift for the first time together!

 

We started slowly down the hill. Well, I should say that I started slowly down the hill. Scarlett bolted right past me. She was off, and when she finally went down it was the most dramatic fall I think I had ever witnessed. Arms flailing, you could tell she was fighting the fall with all her might, but in the end, gravity won. It was actually pretty entertaining to watch. I skied up next to her and tried to coach her through unhooking a ski and standing back up and getting back in. Took us both a minute to figure out that she had knocked the ski hard enough that the emergency latch had enabled and needed to be reset. After a good solid 10 minutes of fighting with her skis to get them attached we were finally on our way again. I believe the first time down Kocomo Scarlett only fell twice. That’s incredible when you consider the 30+ times I fell during my first day of skiing. All in all, I think she only fell about 5 times. I actually had a zero fall day which was amazing for me. I was impressed as well. Looks like some of it actually may have sunk in. We had an awesome time up on the slopes. So much fun. She would pass me and wait, I would pass her and wait, and we went like that the whole day pretty much.
Scarlett on the slopes
Me
Just the two of us!
This weekend was also the First Annual Copper Uncorked Festival. Copper was having all sorts of wineries from places like California and Colorado set up wine tastings and they had several different events going on. Scarlett and I had purchased a Buffet and Wine tasting package from 6pm – 9pm on Saturday, so when the slopes closed at 4pm, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and then headed back out to Copper for this event. One thing really annoying about this event was how impossible it was to find! There were no signs anywhere and apparently nobody in Center Village really knew about it. We stopped in a couple different shops and finally someone said, “Well, the only place I can think that would have an event like that is the Conference Center”. Indeed. We finally located the wine-tasting (and we have our complimentary wine glasses to prove it!) Great event. Good mixture of people. We got to taste all different kinds of wines as well as sample some delicious (BACON!!) food. No really (BACON!!) they had some really awesome finger food and such to sample while drinking your wine. We also had the opportunity to learn all kinds of new information and find out where all the wineries were and whether or not they grew their own grapes or not.
Outside the Uncorked Event

 

Awww shucks, my girl loves me.
Sunday morning. Another delicious breakfast at the Log Cabin Cafe. Oh so yummy. Scarlett ordered 3 pancakes and when they came out we both decided that 1 would’ve been plenty. They were like Fucillo…they were HUGE!! (sorry upstate NY joke).  No really, they were really really big! Okay so no more shopping for us this morning so we headed right to the slopes. Oh the boots. Rental boots are TERRIBLE. The first day they were painful, but the second day they were unbearable. I had to rock myself back and forth in them just so I could be in so much pain all at once that any pain after that just wouldn’t compare. Hey it works for me. I had to work on Scarletts for a bit bending and tugging trying to find some way to give her a little more room in the upper calf. We were to later find out that the ski boots that you rent are typically all mens and not women’s specific, so since woman’s calf muscles are a bit lower than mens, it leaves a lot of pressure on the calf. That explained the bright red indentation that circled my calf when I took off the boots. OMG terrible. After a while however you get used to the pain, and its not so bad once you have the skis on. Scarlett swore she probably wouldn’t be making it through today and that she likely would be leaving me to go hang out while I ski. My woman and the things she does for me. She knew how much I wanted her to ski with me and as a Valentines gift to me, she decided she was going to do it. I was so impressed that she had made it all the way through Saturday with me and now here she was again, enduring mega leg pain and the fear of snow and ice and lifts and going fast and losing control. Ha. I was fine if she needed to leave although I really do enjoy doing it with her, but I didn’t want her to do anything she didn’t want to do. After just a run down Kocomo however, she was already talking about how we should go up Lumberjack! Hellz yeah! That was my reply. We made our way through two lifts to get to the top of the Lumberjack which is an awesome green and I totally recommend it.
Scarlett was skiing much slower than me Sunday. Her legs were really tired so we just kept meeting up at the lifts to decide what to do next. I made several pretty fast runs down Lumberjack before heading back to the Lodge where Scarlett met up with me and we grabbed some nasty cafeteria-like food. That’s the only downfall I have found for that area of Copper, the lodge food is awful. While at lunch we studied the map of all the various trails and lifts available for exploration. I really wanted to try the Coppertone again (that’s the run I was doing with my sister when we found out Geoff had been in an accident). But Coppertone was in Center Village and we were in West Village and it was already 1:45pm and to take a shuttle would just cut into more of our ski time. Scarlett located a way for us to take the union lift up and then take the Scooter trail down which will land us right next to the American Flyer lift in Center Village. Awesome! And it was a green! Perfect. Yeah not so much. They should have sub-grades for their designations. Like Kocomo could be G1, Lumberjack could be G3, Scooter would be G10! Terrifying! It was so fast and so steep! At one point Scarlett cried she was so scared and frustrated. It was a tough run. I would go down a little and then wait for her because I was too scared to leave her. I just took it really slow. I did actually have my first and second fall of the weekend on this one run. The first fall was stupid. I was waiting for Scarlett and went to push off and my skis crossed. The second one was my skis crossing again. I think I was just so stiff with fear I was having a very difficult time controlling my skis.
When we finally made it to the bottom it was the biggest relief. It took us forever. We jumped on the American flyer and headed up to Coppertone. Much better. I would give Coppertone a G5 designation. Scarlett told me to just take off and get in a good run before they close. She was going to take her time and attempt to recover from Scooter. I took off and had a really nice run. I could tell my legs were really spent though. At intervals I would suddenly have a very difficult time transitioning turns…it was almost like they just stopped listening to me. I wanted my legs to do one thing and they hit the buzzer and told me to f-off. So I took a couple breaks along the way just to regain some sort of control. I saw signs for the Timberline lift so I took off on a completely different run to see if I could manage to get to a lift before they closed. No such luck. When pulled up to Timerbline they were already closed. So I continued down. Had one final spill towards the end where I saw a really steep decent and panicked. That was probably the worst fall of all because I fell forward which never feels too good. Anyway, I was done. All the lfits were closed for the day. The only thing left to do was wait for Scarlett.
When the lifts close in Copper, everything closes. The Lodge shut down. I found myself down in Guest Services by the lockers waiting for my woman to make her way down. After 30 minutes I found myself starting to panic. I started having visions of her pinned to a tree somewhere like Sonny. I was getting really scared and I couldn’t stop my mind from concocting all these scenarios that always ended with her being alone and hurt somewhere in the Mountains. She didn’t want me to text her unless it was an emergency because it was such a distraction but to me this was an emergency. I texted her asking her to just let me know she was okay and was so relieved when I finally got an answer 5 minutes later that she was good. Longest 5 minutes of my life.
Ten minutes later we were together again and making our way to our car. Another day under our belts. We were both elated. What a great couple days of skiing! We headed back and dropped off our rentals and back to the hotel where we ordered a pizza and watched The Notebook. I had never seen this movie and Scarlett said I would really like it. I cried like a baby. Terrible movie! I even woke up this morning and thought of the ending again and got all teary-eyed all over again! Sniff. Stupid sad movies! I don’t like them! Scarlett and I made a pact that if either of us ended up with Dementia we would not abandon each other. She said she would tell me a new interesting life every day, and I told her I would do it like 50 First Dates and start each day with a 90-minute video that would pretty much summarize our life together and then walk in and we can continue it.
Loading the car!

 

Goodbye Copper!
Monday we spent the day in Breckenridge. What a beautiful town. It’s very similar to Frisco, but bigger. Lots of shops and such. On a whim we had walked into one store that said they did custom ski fittings. I decided I would get fitted and see what it would cost me to get some boots. The gentleman I worked with was awesome. I got to drill him with all kinds of questions about ski boots, and even skis themselves and he was so detailed in his answers that I felt like I learned more in those 30 minutes than I had to date about equipment. Good stuff. Anyway, even with terribly sore calves we worked through several different boots before i put my feet into a pair that were completely painless. They felt so nice! Then he fit me for a custom instep to make sure my knees were bending straight which would give me better control. And the best part of all? Not only were the boots he fit me in not all sissy colored like they like to do with women’s specific designs, and not only were the boots black, red, and white -the exact colors I’m shooting for in my outfit (my helmet is red, goggles white, ski coat and pants are black), but the boots were the only pair left from last years line and were marked 50% off!!! Oh yeah baby! Sweeeeet!!
Oh Yeah! Finally got me some ski boots!
Scarlett being silly
Driving home
So that’s it. We had a great weekend. I solidified my new obsession with skiing. I think I may be addicted. I kept looking up longingly at the slopes trying to figure how soon I can head back up. Working little plans and plots that would eventually lead me back to that place that is so scary and new and fascinating and fun. Scarlett is talking about heading up for just a day run next weekend since we do live pretty close. We’ll see. I also was given the opportunity to discover some new strengths in my Scarlett and to fall in love with her all over again. She’s a pretty awesome person, and I’m a very very lucky girl to have found her.

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