Sunday, January 30, 2011

Riding Log: Day 13 (Park City)

Today is our last day in Park City. We usually have the attitude of go big or go home.... leave it all at the hill... but this time, it was more of a progressive day.

The snow was pretty hard and the wind was picking up. The trees were tracked out and the crowds were pretty insane. We began our day riding where we seemed to start every day. We did a few runs with AMac and then decided it was more of a progression day. Andy practiced some switch on some fairly high speed groomers. I worked on keeping my knees out and bent while really using my edge to carve, my tail press, my nose press, and a sideways tail press. I also worked on my ollies. And Paul taught himself 2 new tricks... one was a legit butter and the other was some sort of spin thing.

We basically just did groomers working on our respective goals all day. We called it a day around 2:20, needing to change, eat and head to the airport.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Riding Log: Day 12 (Park City)

Today was a little rough for me. Last night a lot of wine, beer and Hennesy was in the system... and it seems like it still is. That and having menstrual cramps definitely sucks.

We rode in the wicked hot sun all night and were just really pushing through trying to get a little bit of everything. We hit Jupiter, we hit Pioneer, we hit basically everything we hadn't hit in the last 2 days and then hit more of the same. It was hard on my body... and I decided I wanted to call it a day early, but somehow, Andy got me to stick it out.

We ended up in the park where I took the 1st jump in the 4 jump line and the 1st box in the 3 box series. It didn't look pretty but I tried again... much the same. On the 3rd go around, I managed the courage to try the 1st 2 (as Paul watched) and the 1st box again... 50/50 only. But on the 4th Andy gave me some pointers on starting my jumps low, popping off and landing soft in the knees. I got the 1st part right and worked up the guts to do all 4 jumps and landed each one. Not all were clean or pretty but the courage to try was there.

After that my legs were jello and we all said we'd ride down to the bottom. That was a rough run but we got through it and were home bound for some Pasta... it was our last night and I really needed carbs!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Riding Log: Day 11 (Park City)

Today was a little rougher than the day before. We got more sleep despite the drinking, but in the morning we were all beat from the hard day before. It was just the 3 of us Rios kids this time. We were headed to the same spot we were in the day before hoping to find some of the same but much of it was tracked out. The day was getting hot fast and we just tried to get what we could. We hit the trees and eventually reconnected with K & AMac and did some more tough trees. I honestly would write more except that I can't really remember what we did that day. It was fun but not as fun as Thursday.

Also - I realized on this day that PC really wasn't as big vertically as I thought it would be.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Riding Log: Day 10 (Park City)

So we woke up early, got dressed, grabbed breakfast and headed from SLC to Park City. We met the organizer (R) at Legacy Lodge at the base, grabbed our lift tickets, and headed to the hill. It ended up being Paul, Andy, Me and Paul's Buddy (J). We had a blast. We hit the trees all morning long. PC had gotten snow the day before and freshies were still to be found in the trees. You'd think MIT rented out the whole mountain it was so empty! It was a great morning. We headed back down to Legacy for lunch where we met a few more students. Then we did the afternoon with R & AMac (more students). They were skiers but amazingly good. It was hard for me to keep up with them all. I know J was struggling too but he had a reckless way about his riding where he charged hard no matter what knowing he'd eat it. I need more of that fearlessness myself.

All in all, my legs were sore, I was tired, I did hard runs and I had a blast!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Utah - Travel Nightmare

So after last year... I should have known. I should have known that when they say the weather is going to be horrendous in NYC... and that they are waiving all changing flight fees... that you should change your flight... and get out of the city as fast as you can.

But, we didn't do that. We thought the best and remained confident that our flight would just be delayed... but once I woke up, I checked... just in case. And our flight that wasn't for another 13 hours was already canceled. I immediately called Jet Blue and we were on a flight to long beach, CA and then from there to Reno... for a 6 hour drive to SLC. Yikes! Well, after hanging up frustrated, I checked online and saw there was a flight from Long Beach to SLC.... we rushed to pack and get to the airport where I begged them to put us from Long Beach to SLC. They did. We arrived before our intended arrival time, waited for Andy and headed to the rental car booth.

We were being asked repeatedly to upgrade to a truck... and our cheapness kept us from agreeing no matter how low we'd make the price. The attendant apparently took a liking to us because as we were leaving he said "don't say I never gave you anything." We thought he was being sarcastic... but a huge Yukon was waiting for us. It was the 1st ski trip where I didn't need to contort over 3 board bags in the back seat! We even had room for 1 more!

We picked up Paul's buddy and headed to the hotel in SLC. Our temporary home for an evening.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Doer

I think we all talk more than we act. I believe it's a combination of human nature and timing. We have many idle hours (sitting at work, home, or otherwise) where our minds wander and our mouths move mouthing words that depict our many goals, wants and ambitions... but very very few of us ever carve out the time in our very busy schedules to act upon them.

I am surrounded by talkers... and occasionally, I'm a talker. But ... I realize more and more that I have taken life by the horns and have become more doer than most. I say I'm going to do something... and I begin to research (called 411 for a reason), I begin to plan it out, and then I begin to execute which is where many fall short.

So many friends and family have tons of excuses, the 2 most popular being no money and no time. But when will the money get into your bank account? Likely never. Does that mean you'll never realize your goals? I'm sure there is a way. No time? I think that there is always time. If you have time to sit home contemplating new goals you'll never accomplish... the least you can do is use that time to realize 1 or 2.

I think I have an adventurous personality. I like to do things that require a lot of activity. I'm not thy lay out on the beach type so I know sometimes it's hard to round up enough troops to find people to do things with... but that's okay. I've had so many goals recently and I've been accomplishing them 1 by 1.

I'm lucky because of that. I've traveled to many many countries... countless states, skied many mountains, tried white water kayaking and fell in love, ensure annual camping trips still exist, make time for family and manage to fit in friends... and the best part is... I don't watch people live around me but live right along with them... and when I see them idle... try and drag them along.

I have a bunch more things ... running out of my mouth lately... Argentina for the Copa America, Moving out west, Buying a house, having kids, taking a tropical vacation... lets see how many of those goals I can realize this year! 2011 ... I will make you my bitch!

Sad Really...

It's sad when you think back to the people you have surrounded yourself with, confided in, asked advice of and realize that they are so self absorbed and concerned only of their own interest that really... you should never have been bothered with their small existence at all.

Really, asking someone who is living so poorly in family, finances, friends and love.. really shouldn't be the person you go to for advice. As a matter of fact, many of their comments are so fueled by bitterness and jealousy, you can't even take it seriously. At least you shouldn't. Those comments... none the less... hurt.

I've come to realize that communication in pretty words doesn't change the ugly in their meaning. I realize that smiling while spewing insult doesn't make them compliments. And I realize that much of that ugly... is because of their insecurity... and when that person seems to constantly feel the need to defend that insecurity... it means you hit the nail on the head.

But ... I shouldn't feel so bitter. Because my life is amazing. I have a wonderful job, money in the bank, love in my heart, family who ... well love me more than most, and though I don't have a huge cache of friends... I do have a few I'd trust with my heart and soul. So why feel upset? Why feel bitter? I mean... hurt will always hurt... but really, my life... it's looking up. And has been since the day I was born... I worked hard for that... and I'm happy to say... I'm succeeding!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Riding Log: Day 9 (Thunder Ridge)

I didn't even want to count this day as a riding day - but oh... oh it is. Because my brother and sister are basically amazing. After hearing they never leave the bunny hill... and that my bro doesnt even hit the lift - we decided to see how they were doing. Well I was pretty amazed that their edge control, though wobbly was good. They knew how to stop and just needed help linking their turns. After 2 or 3 tries on the bunny hill... they were good to go! They were linking turns like chaps and K was doing particularly good hopping out of bad situations.

Well soon after we were on the greens and doing linked turns the whole way down. I was one proud big sis. Jomel & Paul were with me and the 3 of us acted like snowboard coaches spewing encouragement and clapping hands... as well as guiding them down. It was a pretty awesome day. And I was surrounded buy MOST of my favorite people.

My groin muscle started to act up and I called it a day about an hour early but no worries... the rest stayed out till the end!

I love my family... and I love my snow... I love that they do too!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Riding Log: Day 8 (Vail)

Our last day riding... we chose Vail. It's the biggest and the best and we love it!

We got there pretty early and immediately got into our gear and headed to the bowls. I wanted some warm up runs... but Paul protested. He knew it was our last day and he wanted to get the most out of it... well ... if he wanted that, he should have given me my warm up runs. Instead the catracks kicked my butt and hurt my already injured groin... especially when I got stuck and had to skate.

I must admit though... the terrain was endless... it was beautiful... it was cold, but sunny. It was glorious.

We rode till lunch when I needed to stop and warm up and fuel up. Paul met me and we shared a burger before heading back to the bowls... but not long into it... I felt it. My body was giving up. My groin was screaming in pain and my legs felt tired and my muscles were in protest. Paul reluctantly obliged and good thing too... because we got to the bunny hill in East Vail will enough light to photograph me riding in my snowboard dress!

Since we got in early, we opted for some drinks in the hot tub and then showered up and headed to Whaletail. It was not a great restaurant... we hardly finished our food... but it was a nice night. We thought we'd be wide awake all night because of the early end to our day... but nope... we were tuckered out and passed out early... on our very last night in CO. What a shame.

At least we know we have a life time of both early and late nights... not just in CO but anywhere we desire!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Today we took a day off to rest our legs. Besides the last of our snowboard buddies flew out this morning. I for one was burnt out... we were thinking dog sledding and snowmobiling the same day... but the more action packed snowmobiling company didn't offer both. I of course wanted the more progressive class.

So we signed up... and I got to ride my own sled!

They picked us up at the hotel... we were late... but that's okay... we got there none the less. Our class was only 4 people as the rest of our truck load took the family session which is a bit more tame. We started out on a narrow path going slow and windy to get to the practice track... which scared me a bit. I decided I don't like going in a circle turning left at high speeds for fear of flipping over or running into my classmates... yes we were allowed to pass on the left, right or otherwise.

Soon after our instructor thought we handled well enough we headed out to the open bowls in the high terrain. He said we were at about 12K feet. Pretty gnarly! We started out just going fast on these up and down tracked out paths through endless white. Then we were making turns, going up steep paths and back down... circling some turns and found ourselves in the bowls where we climbed the wall faces a few times to circle back down. It was just scary enough to be exciting but still feel safe! It was a great experience and I noticeably enjoyed the speed. I also seemed to like to tailgate. What can I say... I drive like a NYer!

Check out the pics - they are amazing!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Riding Log: Day 7 (Breckenridge)

It was our friends last day in town so we decided to keep it easy at Breck. The morning started out with some box head runs on the greens... and unfortunately Paul and I had a bickering match. I know I know... only married a few days and already pissed at each other.

Anyways... Andy worked his magic on me and convinced me to come back out for the rest of the day... and said that he was glad I did a few times... because as always we have a great time riding together. He's truly my favorite riding buddy.

We headed way up to the peak (12,840 feet above sea level) for some mask pictures... it was freezing!!!! And then rode the bowl down... until we had jello legs. We ran into our group for lunch and got our grub on at the bottom of Peak 8. Soon after we hot lapped peak and and headed back to 9 for some park laps. I took some pics but decided I was tired and done for the day. I handed my camera to Andy and Eric who continued to take pictures for a few more runs... they met Jerry, Nelson, Me, Car & Bonnie back at the bar where we got a few pitchers... and called it a night at the hill.

After getting dressed and purdied up we headed to a restaurant Relish for some fabulous eats on their last night in CO. Good times were definitely had by all and the food... MMMMMMMMM.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Riding Log: Day 6 (Vail)

So … finally… we were at Vail. My favorite resort due to it’s vast bowls and variety of terrain… but… my legs were shot from the day before, my ego was shot because of my Rome Blue, and my emotions were shot when I was taken into terrain I wasn’t handling as well as I know I could… and then my knee was shot when I fell… and my foot was facing – BEHIND ME.

A quick cry later… I felt a bit better and we began our decent into the back bowl… through some unmarked gated area. It wasn’t bad… it was steep, it was soft, it had trees, it had traverse… then it had a gully… and I chose the lesser of the two inclines which had me fallowing Andy. Before I knew it we were needing to pass this awkward ravine… which Andy did barely… and I did … not at all.

I found myself more than 1/2 where there but on my butt. I knew there was no traversing out at that angle… so I unstrapped ready to hike it to my brother-in-law. And that’s when hell started. The snow gave underfoot and I was sliding down. It was only about 10-12 feet but … the hike up felt impossible. A Combination of the dry snow and thin air had me struggling. I managed to use my board as an ice pick and make foot holes. I was within about a hands length from Andy… when I slid down again. I was running out of terrain to climb. An ice face sat under all this dry snow. Finally Andy began to climb down… making foot holes for me… and I started my way up… (a third time) make foot holes as well. I finally managed to get high enough to hand him my board and climb the rest of the way up. My emotions were so nuts at that moment… I almost began to full on cry. Just with relief. Andy understood and did an amazing job keeping me calm… taking deep breaths, helping me collect myself and finding our way down… which we finally did. Paul had already headed down… God forbid he wait and see if I’m okay… but Jerry stayed and was laughing… but in a way that suggested he was kinda worried for a sec. All was well in the world… except me… who felt like a 80 year old smoker unable to catch her breath.

After a few runs we broke for lunch where I stuffed my face with a burger and fries… Paul got antsy and disappeared a la snowboard nazi and the rest of us lapped Avanti chair. It’s a mellow blue run but people still seemed to have issue. No matter, we made the best of it… and then headed down our ice faced mogulful blacks down to the base where Paul was waiting beer in hand.

After scouting out the troops… we took some photos, piled into the good ole cars and headed back to Breck for a shower and some Moose playing antics! Good times were had by all… and left over bake ziti was consumed.

"See, the thing about snowboarding is it's not only the speed, and exhilaration; its finding who you are with the people you are with."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Riding Log: Day 5 (Breckenridge)

Day 2 was a no noob day. It started off slowly with more family goodbyes. We were on the hill by around 10 and definitely made some turn son the moguls. Eric had twisted his ankle the day before so we were minus him + Car who isn’t as strong a rider. We tested ourselves on some moguls on peak 9 @ breck. I was on my Rome Blue and boy was I not loving it. I immediately opted to strap into Paul’s evo and let my blue sit in the locker all day. It was probably a bad choice… letting myself feel defeated after only 1 run, but it was really my 1st day and I wanted to keep up. Car was borrowing my SMF and well… I did what I did.
We headed to peak 8 to hit the bowl… but we had some complications when Car took too long, and we made her head back to peak 9 for lighter terrain… then Andy dropped a glove that took most of the day to find. It ended up just Jerry and I.
We rode the bowl to base twice… it was freezing and our legs felt like jello. We’d literally stop after a few trails just to give our quads a quick 45 second break before continuing on. We kept on and finally caught back up with Andy and Paul who … found his glove.
But… at that point… the day was close to done. A few more runs on peak 9 … pictures of the boys in the park… and I needed to quit… so Jerry & I headed to the bar where we grabbed a pitcher with Bonnie and waiting for the rest of the troops to arrive.
The most memorable part of the day was definitely the sphincter puckering steeps and endless bowls coupled with harsh winds, insane temperatures, and endless sees of white due to white out conditions. But we concurred it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Riding Log: Day 4 (Breckenridge)

So the wedding is over and riding has begun… and it kinda sucked.

We are in CO and still have obligations (saying bye to family) so we had a late start. In addition, my mother caused some unnecessary drama for the family. That said, we started the day at 12. The kids only lasted a few runs before their frozen fingers and empty stomachs said we needed to stop for lunch… but before lunch, Paul to K & Allie to the tress… which gave me a small heart attach… but they did amazing. We ran into my friend Will who stopped in to say hi. We did a few fast laps and a few noob runs with the rest.

I ended up taking the kids in for food while Paul stayed out with the boys. I wish he… or someone woulda stayed to help me. I mean, it was my 1st day married and I was stuck baby sitting. But hey… that’s my life. Always the dutiful one, I managed to feed the kids. A was feeling down so I took Allie and K back out for some tree runs… and again K had his 2nd melt down of the day. Which had me about ready to melt when I heard his asthma attack coming on full force in the middle of the run.

Ugh it wasn’t pretty. After obliging my mom with what she needed to hear… Paul and I again went our own ways to my dismay. Him to do dinner with his fam and me to do dinner with mine…. He eventually made it to the bar… where I begrudgingly met him (I kinda wanted to go together after a regroup from the stressful day I had).
In any event… the day wasn’t really considered a good riding day for me. More like a baby sitting day… filled with tears, hugs, food buying and stress… but alas… I think everyone else had a blast!

I fought to go to Vail tomorrow… but they didn’t listen. Oh well they be sorry!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Colorado... the whirlwind before the wedding

The welcome bags were packed and with the front desk... some family was here. And there was still so much to do from meetings at the church to meetings with the coordinator to emails from everyone to getting family checked in that weren't so competent to do it themselves to picking up relatives in Denver... to goodness knows what else.

But somewhere... in there... there were nice breakfasts, taking family skiing... or at least checking them in so they can. There were nails and hair and make up. There was shoe shopping. There was hanging out with friends.

Oh there was so much... so much saying hello and thank you for coming. It was pleasant, stressful, and fast... because now... it's over and I can remember almost nothing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting There (The Wedding)

Getting to CO after a month of caring for my Grandma was no easy task. We constantly thought we were forgetting something... but we didn't - fortunately.

We called a minivan cab b/c ... well it was the 2 of us, 2 snowboard bags, 1 large suitcase, 1 medium suitcase, 1 huge wedding dress & 1 tuxedo bag. So yea... minivan for 2 people... we needed it.

Upon arriving @ the airport... I was hit with the realization that it wouldn't just be Paul and I checking in... but his entire family... because well... they can't do anything with out Paul when he's around. He spoils them the same way I spoil my little brother and sisters. But ... they are adults.

So after checking in: myself, Paul, his Mom, Dad, 2 aunts & Abuela... we were at security... ugh... too many people don't speak english, too many people lose their boarding pass, too many people have to pee, and all the while Paul is minding them... not me... carrying this 40 lb dress! I was upset... but I held it in.

Once at the gate they allowed me to hang my dress in 1st class.... no not because they cared about my dress but because they did NOT want me taking up that much overhead space. Ha, well that still worked to my advantage... while they were at it, I had them hang Paul's tux too!

(yes the drive is that cool... you go under a bridge carved out of a mountain that Loveland Ski resort is located on!)

So upon arriving... the heat started to emanate from my brain. I had a schedule to follow... to the hour. It required obtaining our baggage, picking up the car, driving to Breckenridge, getting our marriage license, going grocery shopping, unloading EVERYTHING we brought... but no, Paul wanted me to get the car while he waited with his family and the bags, and he wanted me to run around alone. Oh well I put my foot down... this is MY wedding and I want it MY way... shit I planned the damn thing... and I am no freaking babysitter. Well he felt the heat... and we compromised... he came with me, but we left the bags with his aunts.

At least once we got on the road we were able to separate from them. I needed time with my fiance. I needed time to be alone... to rest my thoughts. I wanted to be stress free. After all... I was making the biggest life changing decision I've made in my life to date!

We got to Breck safely... though the winds were a bit high and headed directly to the County Clerk where we paid our $30, showed our IDs, filled out the paperwork and obtained our Marriage Certificate (not signed) see.... we were excited at that point.

Then we headed to the hotel to check in. After unloaded much of our belongings we headed to Paul's mom's room... they wanted to go grocery shopping WITH US. ugh... well fine! So we went... I bought what I needed for the favors and welcome bags and to much of Paul's dismay... insisted that we get on it immediately... good thing too or we'd have run out of time.

In the end, I opted not to eat with his family and insisted that he and I head to town to shop and do dinner which we did. I had altitude sickness and nursed a beer I didn't end up finishing and ordered a greasy meal I didn't end up eating... but that's ok. We smiled... and ended up... WALKING home.

Yep b/c we missed our shuttle and Paul didn't want to call again. It was cold, I was light headed, and I was sleepy... so I did what I do best... I whined, asked him to undress me, and fell asleep immediately upon feeling the pillow.