🎤 🎤🎤 Duh duh dah dah da da dah … they say it’s your birthday.🎤 🎤🎤 That’s what I heard this morning when I woke up … in my head. I believe that stems from years spent at birthday parties held at the long-extinct party spot, Fort Ram. My Ft. Collins peeps know what I’m talking about. Today, I’m celebrating my birthday by sitting at a table at a graduate school fair, in Syracuse. I know. It’s not fair of me to make you so jealous.
Anyway, I had an awesome trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado a few weeks ago and wanted to give you the report. Steamboat is a town I grew up in – we had a condo there and spent most weekends there in the winter, and many in the summer. So, this report is less about exploring a new city and more about skiing and shenanigans.
I started with trip off with a quick detour to Colorado Springs to see my dad and Maria. They recently (and by recently I mean sometime since I was there three years ago…don’t judge, I got married and that took all my vacation that summer, and last summer we were buying a house, so there were no extra trips…hmm, feeling bad??) replaced their windows and installed this amazing picture window in the guest bedroom which gives a spectacular view of Pikes Peak. How awesome is that?! I hung with my dad for a night and then headed up to Steamboat. I was cheap (and by cheap, I mean not willing to pay $500 for 4 days) and rented a regular car (not an SUV) and there’s a new law in Colorado requiring snow tires or 4 wheel drive in the mountains, but the rules are kind of unclear so I was crossing my fingers the whole drive I wouldn’t get busted. I didn’t get busted, but I did hold up a line of 40 cars as I inched my way down Rabbit Ears Pass in my inadequate vehicle.
A group of family and friends planned to meet in Steamboat for my sister’s 30th birthday: my mom and sister, Lindsay (of El Paso fame) and her mom (Sue), and Carol. My mom, sister, and I arrived first and ran out to dinner at Mambo Italiano (a tricky choice when you’re paleo) and had a great meal. We made Carolyn wear this button from the dollar store. They forgot to put a space between “to” and “me” so it ready tome and everyone was trying to figure out what it said…but we didn’t get any free drinks or birthday brownies out of the deal :(. As we left the restaurant, it was dumping snow and we knew there was a powder day ahead!
Lindsay and Sue showed up and we celebrated Lindsay’s engagement and Carolyn blew out the candles on the cake she bought herself.
The next day we hit slopes and had the powder day I’d been hoping for since I booked the ticket. It. Was. Awesome.
TimTheFarmer and Nate surprised me with new goggles as an early present – love them! And, to make it super awesome, Carolyn taped the birthday crown to her helmet. People said Happy Birthday to her all day – it was the coolest thing. The cutest was when little kids would shout Happy Birthday. My faith in humanity was totally restored.
We ended the day with a birthday beverage at T Bar – an awesome dive bar our friends own and then headed to the Truffle Pig. They had bacon wrapped dates, so I was happy. They have totally redone the base of Steamboat mountain and I couldn’t believe I was having drinks in a fancy hotel restaurant where I used to get dropped off for ski school #weirdandsad.
Carol met up with us and as we headed back to the condo, we ran into this guy at the bus stop. We’d seen him skiing all and had an active debate about whether his snowsuit was a sweet throwback snowsuit or a recreation. We
attacked stopped him and found out it’s from a website called Tipsy Elves. The best part was that he and his buddy ended up behind me in line to board my Southwest Airlines flight in Denver the following Monday (not in the snowsuit…and he *shockingly* barely remembered taking this picture).
We celebrated Carolyn’s birthday (again) with a yummy dinner at home followed by a craft project by Jan Jan. We were tasked with decorating paper bags and then filling them with things that represented Carolyn #onceateacheralwaysateacher I can’t show you the bags here, because things had gone a bit downhill by that point in the night. But, I can assure you that they were hilarious.
The next day was a bluebird powder day in the ‘Boat and my mom, Carol, and I headed out while the others went cross-country skiing. We entertained ourselves by taking pics and videos of ourselves skiing the steeps, powder, and bumps, and of ourselves in my mom’s goggles #nerdalert.
Oh, and the Broncos jerseys were out in force. This guys was smoking (something) and there were giant puffs of smoke coming out of his horse hat. I overheard the little ski school kids say, “Look, the Bronco is on fire.” Way to keep it classy, buddy.
We never miss the opportunity to make someone dress up, so I wasn’t surprised at all when we met up with the rest of the crew at the base for a concert and found Carolyn in the bar line rocking the Wonder Woman-birthday cape (and crown).
There was a fun band at the base and this guy danced his way through the crowd. He was very liberal with his stilt kicks. It’s good most people wear ski helmets these days.
On the way to a bus, this happened. How cute is that?!
We ate a quick dinner and bundled up to watch the Winter Carnival Night Extravaganza, where they give local skiers—ranging in age from 5-old—flares and send them skiing/snowboarding in the dark, down the mountain in a “snake,” off ski jumps, through flaming hoops, and with fireworks coming off of sleds they pull behind them. It’s wild and hard to believe a city can get away with it in these litigious times. It really speaks to how embedded this tradition is in the culture of Steamboat.
The next day, everyone left early to get back to the Front Range before the Super Bowl. I hit the mountain for a few more hours of skiing and then drove down and arrived just as the game was starting and got big hugs from these two. It was such a fun weekend celebrating a big birthday with family and friends. I LOVE Steamboat!