Running from the Law: February 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ski Birthday at Hidden Valley

So, my birthday was last month.  32.  Yep, it was awful awful awful awesome. 

Anyway, to cheer myself up from the dark reality that I am in fact old and only getting older and will probably die soon, I thought it'd be fun to get some friends together and go act like a kid in the snow!  Besides, what else is there to do in the dead winter of January?  So the Ski Day Birthday Celebration Extravanga was born. 

If you've ever been to the Midwest, you're proably baffled as to where in the heck could we possibly ski in Missouri.  Well well, let me tell's not all flat around here.  Don't get me wrong, we've got plenty of flat in Missouri and we're surrounded by flat (hello Iowa, Illinois, Kansas), but we also have the Ozark Mountains.  MOUNTAINS!  Did you hear that?  Ok, so they're not real mountians, they're more like big hills, but really that's all you need to ski, right?  Well, a big hill and snow, of course.  Luckily, we were not lacking in snow this winter, so the skiing was actually pretty good.  No, not Breckenridge good, but good enough.  Whatever.  Moving on.
Our local ski resort, Hidden Valley, is a golf course converted into a ski resort.  I'll use the term "resort" very loosely in this situation, but again, not bad for Missouri.  They've got ski and snowboard rentals, a couple lifts, a dining area, and most importantly, a fully stocked bar!  Score!  Again, what else do you need, big hill, snow, booze.  Check, check, check.
Apparently it was a holiday weekend (one of those holidays I don't get off work so I don't know which one) and the place was packed.  It took us for-ev-er to get our skis, but that gave us time to gather our crew and  come up with a ski strategy for the day.  We figured we'd do 4-5 runs, drink a few pitchers of beer, do 4-5 more runs, another few pitchers of beer, and so on, repeating until we were either too tired or drunk to ski.  We all thought this was an excellent plan.
Here's part of our crew: Andy, me, Stephanie and Erika.  Stephanie and I had just been in Breckenridge over the holidays skiing and Andy and Erika were about to go, so this was a great crew to ski with.
And here I am at the top of the mountain hill with my incredibly handsome husband.
And we're off! 
Ryan took the camera down first to get some good action shots for me.
Erika was a very good and very fast skiier.  

Her husband Andy was...well, not quite as fast, but had exceptional form.  :)
Perfect execution, Andy.
Stephanie was fresh off doing some of her first black diamond runs in Breckenridge and was tearing up the slopes here.
My brother Timmy and his friend David (below) opted for snowboards over skis. 
Snowboards scare me.
And then there's me...going down my first black diamond run. diamond my ass.
This black diamond was like a super short blue in Breck or a green in Jackson Hole.
But whatever, it was fun!
And I think I handled it masterfully.
Ta da!!
Here's little brother coming down the hill on a snowboard. 
I had no idea he could snowboard.
Finally I decided I wanted to get some pictures of Ryan, so I made my way down the hill with the camera.  I had yet to fall once all day and thought my chances were pretty good that I'd make it down upright, but oh no.  As soon as I strapped on the camera, I bit it hard and rolled a good 20 feet down the hill, losing a ski and a pole in the process.  Go figure.  Everyone stood at the top laughing at me while I eventually drug myself over to the sidelines and pulled out the camera.  It was ok.  I was fine too (other than a bruised ego) and managed to get off some pictures that made it look like we'd just slalom skied down the mountain.
Nice tuck action, Steph.
And finally Ryan came down in a big group of people, so I didn't get a good shot.  Here he is looking bored out of his mind.  I guess Hidden Valley just isn't as thrilling to him after skiing the T-Bar in Breckenridge.
Whatever.  Time for beer!
Definitely not a bad way to spend a birthday.  Thanks to my friends for coming out and skiing with me.  I can't wait to do it again soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Teagan's Carousel Ride

So, do y'all think you can handle two cutie-patooties back-to-back days because I've got another one for you!  Remember Teagan?  Teagan, her mom Debbie and I had another ladies luncheon the other day.  It was pretty nasty outside last week, so we met at the mall by my office.  Teagan and Debbie brought me some homemade fudge and chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine's Day - aren't they so thoughtful?  It took everything I had not to throw my salad in the trash and just eat the chocolate for lunch, but I kept it under control. 

Have I mentioned lately that my friends have the most beautiful children? 
Just beautiful.
I wish you all could meet Teagan because there is something incredibly special about this child.  Not only is she adorable, but she's so genuinely happy that she attracts attention from every single person that gets anywhere near her.  She just radiates cuteness.  I've never seen a kid get so much attention from complete strangers - everyone around us had to stop and talk to her and smile at her, even the other kids.  She's just a delight to be around.  And did I mention that she's polite?!  I'm still in awe of her manners - she says "Thank you Mommy" every time Debbie does something for her.  It melts my heart.  She most certainly has better manners than I do!  Debbie, any and all future children I have I'm sending to your house for manners lessons, ok?

After our lunch, we went down to the center of the mall to take a ride on the carousel.  We had to stop along the way and check out the pig pillows, of course.
I think I know what I'm getting Teagan for her birthday!
But the pig pillows weren't enough to hold her interest with the carousel so close and it was time to ride!
The toughest decision of the day was what to ride.  Zebras, lions, dragons, horses, deer, bunnies, dolphins, giraffes, kangaroos -- so many great choices! 
They finally decided on the elephant, which I thought was an excellent choice.
And then the ride started and Teagan lit up brighter than the carousel!
I walked around the outside and took pictures. 
I got a wave from Teagan every time she passed me.
She doesn't look like she's having any fun at all, does she?
Hi Teagan!
Hi Teagan!
Hi Teagan!
We thought it'd be a good idea to switch it up for the next ride. 
We tried the dragon, but that didn't quite feel right.
The giraffe was cute, but we've done cute. 
We needed something a little more bad-ass.
Hello Tiger.
The tiger was definitely bad-ass. 
I was a little worried it might scare her, but she didn't seem bothered by it in the least.
And I thought the tiger was appropriate since Debbie and my college mascot is the tiger. 
Go Mizzou!
I was accidentally zooming in as I snapped this picture, but I think it gives it a cool effect. 
Don't worry, the carousel isn't really going that fast.
Hi Teagan!
Before we knew it, the music stopped, the carousel came to a stop and it was time to go.
It was a very very sad moment.
We had to promise her we'd come back again soon (and I can't wait!).
Thank you Debbie and Tegan for such a fun lunch!
Next ladies luncheon is on me!