Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Traveling To Do List

In an attempt to procrastinate getting ready for my upcoming St. Louis departure on Saturday I am going to share with you a "to do" list before embarking on any excursion, no matter how long you are away. I tend to let this slip for weekend getaways, but I am going to try to be better with this in the future. Since my St. Louis trip to see my dear dear friend, Tanya, and my cousins Mike and Skip and their families is a full week long, I really need to get my to do list completed. These can be started and completed in any order. This is just my preferred order (though I tend to jump around from task to task).

1. Make a packing list. Packing lists eliminate forgotten items such as toothpaste and socks (cough cough Mike). I tend to itemize my packing lists like so (I'm probably putting too much on here, but I don't want you to forget anything!)

  • Clothes: day, night, pjs, outerwear, socks, undergarments (undies, stockings), seasonal and/or activity clothes (beach resorts or ski resorts for example - updated from comments)

  • Shoes: day, night, pool/beach, athletic, slippers for extended stays, weather appropriate shoes

  • Toiletries and bathroom supplies: hair care (I always forget extra hair ties), dental hygiene, skin care (including sunscreen), makeup, hair removal (tweezers and razors, ladies), nail care (toe nail clippers, boys), medications (preferably Excedrin and Benadryl), band aids

  • Accessories: jewelry (nothing too fancy), handbags (one for day and one night - no need for more), sunglasses

  • Electronics: iPod/headphones and charger, cell phone and charger, camera and charger, mini battery operated alarm clock (I use my cell phone for this)

  • Extras: gum, postcard stamps, earplugs and eye cover, notebook and pens, reading material, mini flashlight (for camping and stuff....)

  • Definitely don't forget: drivers license, passport if necessary, all necessary tickets, confirmation numbers, vouchers, etc., money including cash, traveler's cheques, and credit and debit cards. *Call your credit card companies before traveling to another country to avoid your card being denied once there - the CC companies might think it's stolen.*
2. Put everything away! I am notoriously bad for letting clothes pile up on my desk chair, books pile up next to my bed, laundry pile up in the corner, shoes migrating outside the closet, the bed going unmade, empty water glasses living next to the bed... I could go on. The point of this step on the to do list is so that it will be easier for you to pack. Once you've gotten everything put away into it's rightful organizational mode (or as close as you can get) move on to step...

3. Lay out what you are bringing from the packing list on your now made bed and cross them off the list as you put them there. I organize everything into piles like from the packing list, this way it's easier to fit into suitcases and/or balance weight if bringing more than once suitcase while trying to stay within airline bag weight maximums. Also, make sure all the clothes are folded neatly. When actually packing, save the small things like socks and undies for last as they fit into those tight spaces on the side that nothing else fits into. I also put my hair dryer in the middle so it doesn't bang around. And of course, always put liquids in a Ziploc bag to avoid a complete and total disaster. At this point I also...

4. Make a special pile for things going in my carry on if I am checking bags (not including my purse which I won't include here). In my carry on I always have; sweatshirt (planes are cold!), iPod/earphones, earplugs and eye cover, reading material, notebook and pens (make sure they're not the exploding kind, Mom), the jewelry I'm bringing (don't want to lose that in checked baggage), my laptop, all forms of ID and travel documents. In that little quart sized plastic bag for liquids I put travel size bottles of lotion (3oz), chap stick, face cream, and toothpaste (the toothbrush usually makes it in there too). If I am traveling with a carry on only I have to remember to NOT bring a razor or other sharp objects. I once traveled with my friend who forgot there was a mini pocket knife of her keyring, and security took it away. That was a sad day.

5. Put the bags near the front door, or better yet in the car. I usually end up finishing packing right before I leave so they usually go right into the car when I take them out of my room. But, packing is not the only part of preparing to go on vacation. You have to remember to...

6. Take out all the garbage. Especially remember the kitchen garbage. I have been traveling so often that the only times I take the garbage out of my room and bathroom is right before I leave for a trip. Hey, don't judge. They're just filled with tissues anyway as I'm a chronic nose blower. Speaking of being clean and not nasty...

7. Wash the dishes. Running the dishwasher two minutes before you walk out the door to get in the car counts! If you already ran the dishwasher the night before because you were eager, please hand wash the dishes you use before you leave. You don't want them stinking up your kitchen and awaiting your return.

8. Don't leave laundry in the dryer. You'll just have to re-dry it again when you get home because it will be all wrinkly.

9. Hydrate if you are traveling via air. If you are traveling via air and going to a higher altitude than you are leaving from, start hydrating a few days before.

10. Pack snacks in your carry on, especially if you are spending a lot of time traveling. I'm really bad about this and usually end up buying gross airport food.

11. Make sure someone like a neighbor or friend has access to a key to your house in case of an emergency.

12. Make sure someone back home has your itinerary of hotel locations and phone numbers in case they do need to get in touch with you. This might also be a good time to suggest getting an international cell phone if you're traveling internationally.

13. Plants and pets, make sure you have arranged for someone to water the plants, feed the pets, and change the litter if necessary. When my mom, brother, and I went to Hawaii for three weeks we prepared for my cat by leaving him lots and lots of food in bowls and having our neighbor come once a week to refill/change his huge water bowl that we left for him. He decided that our leaving was not OK so he just moved to the neighbors for three weeks. Silly cat.

14. Double check the list before actually leaving your house. Go through the packing list and remember putting each thing in your suitcase. Double check for your cell phone, ID, and documents.

Did I forget anything? Probably. What is one thing you can't travel without? Let me know what you always make sure you do before leaving.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brief Reflection on Living Out of a Suitcase

I have a lot of stuff. I have bookcases filled with books, closets filled with clothes, and a medicine cabinet full of toiletries, just to give you an idea. While in Utah, I forgot about all of my stuff. I had what I brought, and that was all. Nothing more. Yet, I had everything I needed. I had plenty of books to read, enough clothes to wear, and every toiletry I brought was used at least once.

Now I am home, and the first thing I thought when I walked in my room was, "It's so massy." But, it's not even that messy (discounting the desk and the third shelf in the second closet and the cabinets underneath the sink, and let's not even talk about the stuff I have in the basement). Ok, maybe it is a little messy, but on the surface it doesn't look so bad.

I immediately realized that I don't need so much stuff. In my defense, I have been actively trying to sort through my things and would like to have a huge yard sale this summer.

Sometimes it takes living out of a suitcase (for six out of the past 10 weeks between Israel and Utah) to realize that one doesn't need so many things. Welcome home to me anyway, and I guess it's time to start planning that yard sale...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Final Day - 22,584 Vertical Feet

Tomorrow is going to be a great powder day at Park City Mountain. I would be excited, except that today was my last day of skiing in Utah for the season and I am boarding an airplane back to New York tomorrow. However, I can't complain because I did get 23 great days of skiing in at four different mountains during my stay here.

Today started very early with Shane and I waking up at 7:00am for the power clinic. Now, for those of you who know me, you know I am not in any way, shape, or form a morning person, at all, ever, no way. Me and mornings don't get along, but if there is a reason to greet the early morning, I will. The power clinic at Park City Mountain starts at 8:45am, 15 minutes before the lifts even officially open. It lasts for two hours, until 10:45am, which is about the time more people start to get on the mountain. At $45 a person, the power clinic is a great option for advanced skiers to get helpful pointers from an instructor without paying for an adult group class ($90/person) that lasts only an hour longer and is usually more crowded, even though the lessons max out at five participants per instructor.

Allen Woods was our instructor today. Shane and I were two of three people in the class. The third person was a young woman just a few years older than Shane, so the vibe of the group was young even though our instructor was 78 years old! Yes, you read that right, he is 78 and still skiing. Allen from Stowe, VT is a very interesting guy. He was the head of ski school at Stowe for 30 years and came to Park City 10 years ago. He has multiple ski instructor certifications, including certifications that allow him to certify others. But, the most interesting thing I learned about Allen was that he was the first American ski instructor to be permitted to take the Austrian ski instructor exam. Pretty cool, right? Allen gave me some great pointers for carving on ice because I mentioned to him that I was headed to Stowe in 2 weeks. Stowe, and other mountains in the East, are notorious for having icy conditions all winter long. Allen wanted to make sure I was ready. If you are ever skiing at Park City I highly suggest waking up early and taking the power clinic with Allen Tuesday through Friday. He is a very neat person and I am glad that I had the opportunity to spend some time with him.

Mom met us at Cole Sport after the lesson. While in Cole Sport, I was introduced to charismatic Cindy, a competitor in the Special Olympics. I had the opportunity to ask Cindy some questions, which she was very excited to answer because she wanted to be on the blog! Cindy is a downhill skier because she thinks that cross country skiing is too difficult. She began skiing a couple of years ago and loves it (me too, Cindy, me too). Cindy was also a regular fashionista wearing her Sundance Film Festival jacket which she was proud to show off. And, she is a very big Lilly Tomlin fan. You can watch Cindy in the following video.

Shane and I led Mom down some trails that we went on with Allen during the power clinic. It was nice to change up our routine a bit. It had already begun snowing when we headed up with Mom, but during the time skied together it started snowing much harder. And then it got really windy. It very quickly became a "snowy and blowy" day, Mom's LEAST favorite kind of ski conditions. In order to protect ourselves from the blustering wind we opted to ride the Motherlode lift the majority of the time, even though it is a frightfully long lift with no footrest. We got bored while on the lift so Mom started singing "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall". I then joined in and we belted out the song, getting down to 55 bottles of beer before we got off the lift. Mom must have been influenced by going to the brewery last night.

It got too windy for our liking and the snowflakes hitting our faces actually started to hurt, so we headed back to the base around 3:00pm, about an hour earlier than we usually do, after 22,584 vertical feet of skiing, 5,792vf of which were accumulated during the power clinic. We needed to get back to the condo anyway to pack up.

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go." I can't believe this amazing adventure is coming to an end. I am so glad that I got to experience "mountain life" first hand, improve my skiing, and spend time with my family. I am sad to leave Utah, but at the same time I am excited to go home. I know that I will come back to Utah though, so it's really not "good bye" but "see you later".

Thanks to E and R for renting us their condo. It was the perfect space for my family and we felt like we were staying at a friend's place instead of just renting. I know that we have made life-long friends in you.

Also, thanks to Vic, Kyle, and the rest of the team at Cole sport including Ryan, Brett, Will, Mike, and all those whose names I didn't mention. Your expertise, good attitude, and apres ski conversations made our time here that much more fun.

Special thanks to my mom, Judy for making this trip possible and for being the best mom that anyone could ever ask for. You will never know how much this trip has meant to me and I am so glad that I got to spend all of it with you.

Stay tuned for upcoming travels to Stowe, VT and St. Louis, MO. Until then...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Birthday Pie etc. - 15,161 Vertical Feet

Yesterdays five vertical miles skied really took a lot out of me. I didn't want to wake up today. I would have been perfectly content to burrow under the sheets for as long as I wanted. But, with tomorrow being the last day, I knew I had to take advantage of situation.

The day stared with the three of us heading into Cole Sport with a surprise for Vic and Kyle, two of our favorite "ski bums" who work there. This past week it was both of their birthdays, Vic turning 25 and Kyle turning 20. In our family, we have a "birthday pie" tradition that started with, of course, me. I am not to keen on cake, and my mom makes the world's best apple pie, so one year I asked for birthday pie instead of birthday cake. I got a pie with my age worked into the pie crust, I think the first pie was the year I turned 20. Anyways, we decided that we would give birthday pies to Vic and Kyle that they could share with the rest of the crew at Cole Sport. We did, however, refrain from singing happy birthday because my mom can't carry a tune if it had handles on it. They were so appreciative of their birthday pies, and when we got back to the shop at the end of the day they said they enjoyed them very much. Well, who doesn't like a birthday pie?!

Vic, Mom, Kyle, Me and birthday pie!

After presenting the guys with the pies (I'm a poet and I don't even know it), we headed up the Payday lift to start our second to last day at Park City Mountain. Little to our knowledge, it had snowed four inches that morning, so we were able to get some nice fresh, soft, buttery snow. Our warm up run on Sunrise off of McConkey's lift was absolutely perfect.

The weather alternated between snowing and sunshine all day. It was mildly schizophrenic. Sometimes the snowflakes were so big and wet that we needed "windshield wipers" for our goggles. Sometimes the snow was like pellets flying at us. Other times the sun shone down on us. But, you can't worry about the weather because the weather doesn't worry about you.

Riding the Pioneer lift in the falling snow.

After skiing 15,161 vertical feet, Shane and I were feeling pretty beat up from the insanity of the previous day, so we ended a little earlier than usual. Mom was very pleased with herself that she outlasted her young energetic children. Point for Mom.

When we got back to the condo, we decided that Albert the shopping cart should be returned to the parking lot before we left to go back home. I did promise that we would return him. But, of course we couldn't resist having a photo shoot with Albert! He is quite photogenic if I do say so myself.

I went to return Albert and then of course I got sidetracked and ended up in the TJ Maxx in Redstone. I have a SERIOUS weakness for TJ Maxx like you can't even believe. I ended up with a few new purchases, one of which is a bottle of Ahava lotion from the Dead Sea in Israel. We couldn't find matzoh ball soup mix in Smith's but I found Israeli lotion in the TJ Maxx. Some things never cease to amaze me.

On the way to dinner we stopped into Jupiter Bowl, a brand spankin' new bowling alley named for the bowl at Park City Mountain that is deemed experts only. I don't think you need to be an expert bowler to go to Jupiter Bowl though. Jupiter Bowl had not only bowling lanes, but a full bar, a video arcade complete with Dance Dance Revolution, air hockey, and a photo booth (we did take a strip of photos!), pool tables, lots of TVs playing sports games, and a sit down restaurant. I definitely want to hit up Jupiter Bowl the next time I come to Park City.

For dinner we headed to the Red Rock Brewery. When we got there it was very busy with families, but the exposed ceiling and open kitchen made it feel less crowded. We got a table in the corner and enjoyed our time there without feeling like there were too many people around. But most importantly, the food at Red Rock is AMAZING. We split an order of spicy buffalo wings to start with that were finger licking good. They were even so spicy that Shane, the king of spicy, had to drink water while eating them. Mom ordered the pink trout which was so flavorful and tender. Shane ordered the chicken schnitzel. I ordered the sweet potato cannelloni. Um... YUM! It's a good thing there were only two cannellonis, because I would have kept eating them. I also ordered a Honey Wheat beer which was delicious. It gave John Harvards and Southampton Publick House brews a run for their money! Mom and Shane each ordered a Red Rock homemade cream soda which I have to admit, was ridiculously good. Mom, the queen of cream soda, said it was the best cream soda she had ever had. Now, that's saying something. I highly recommend eating at Red Rock Brewery because the food is delicious, the drinks are thirst quenching, and the price is oh so good. Dinner and drinks for the three of us cost under $70!

Shane, Mom, and Me at Red Rock Brewery.

When we returned to the condo after dinner, we walked into the garage and were upset by the absence of Albert... I guess he is with his family of other shopping carts now.

Tomorrow it's back to Park City for our last day. Shane and I are being crazies and waking up for the 8:45am Power Clinic. I don't think I'll survive very long after that. Until then...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Last Day at Deer Vally - NASTAR - Five Miles Vertical Feet

My month long Utah excursion is coming to a close. Thus, today was the last ski day in Deer Valley. Of course, I decided to go out with a bang.

First, Shane and I decided that we would do the NASTAR race today. I remember doing the NASTAR races when I was a kid in ski school and thinking they were so much fun. I had a skier troll that my mom had given me and decorated it with all my NASTAR pins. I had medal pins in bronze, gold, and silver. Ultimately, the NASTAR medal-ed troll got relegated to a box in the basement, but I think I will have to take him out of toy storage land when I get home because I earned a bronze medal on the NASTAR course!

I remember when I was kid I thought the NASTAR race was very long and steep and super duper fast. Today, I realized it's actually not that steep, not that long, and it's pretty hard to go that fast. Mom says it's because I grew but I think it's because the mountains shrunk...

Mom took a video of Shane and I earning our bronze medals, which we were very pleased to receive. However, my technologically challenged mom rotated the camera so that the videos all appear sideways. So I won't be posting them here, unless I get in comments that you all want to see the sideways videos.

Mom also embraced her inner child when noticing the lift operators snowmobile was smiling... She is being brainwashed by American Express commercials.

In videos we can actually view without turning our computers sideways, Shane took a video of me skiing one of my favorite runs at Deer Vally, Wizard on Bald Mountain. I love this run because I can go really fast at the beginning and there is rarely ever anybody on it.

Shane also captured one of Mom coming down after me. She didn't know she was being videoed but she was still excited about it. Can you believe my mom had never seen herself skiing on video until this trip? Oh the generation gap...

Since we were kids, Shane and I (and I'm sure other ski schoolers) were obsessed with being on chair number one on the chair lifts. The best time to be on chair number 1 is when you don't plan it and it just happens. That is exactly what happened to us today.

Shane on Chair #1 on Lady Morgan Express

Finally, our most amazing feat yet... drum-roll please... Shane and I skied just over FIVE MILES in vertical feet with a total vertical feet of 26,790vf which is 5.07 miles to be exact. Not only did we ski five vertical miles, but we did so on five of the six peaks at Deer Valley! And, we didn't even start our first run until 11:00am or so. Now, this didn't just happen this way. When we realized how much we were skiing we decided to overtly try to hit five vertical miles. We did so by completely ditching Mom after lunch and going up and down the Northside lift on Flagstaff mountain until the lift closed. At that point, we were only 810vf away from reaching our goal. Knowing that the Carpenter lift at the base stayed open until 4:15, we headed that way to ensure that we would be able to accomplish our goal. On the way down we ran into Mom who gladly joined us on the Carpenter lift and took our last run with us. It was a great way to end the day and this season's time at Deer Valley.

I will miss Deer Valley, really I will, and I plan on returning as often as possible. I'm even considering applying for a mountain host position. After all, I do know the mountain backwards and forwards, and I like to think I am a pretty personable character. But, I am speculating too far into the future.

Tomorrow we are going to Park City where we will finish up the remainder of our skiing here in Utah. I highly doubt we'll be able to ski five vertical miles there. Until then...

Two of the most gorgeous houses visible from the slopes in Deer Valley.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Snowbird and Burning Popcorn - 14,756 Vertical Feet

Variety is a good thing, especially when vacationing in one place for an entire month. To add some spice to our lives, we decided to go to Snowbird today, another ski resort in the Wasatch Mountains just 12 miles from our condo. If you look at the map of Utah ski resorts, you will find they are all quite close together. In fact, from Park City Mountain you can see Deer Valley. Snowbird and Alta share a mountain, only they are on opposite sides. It's quite incredible really. And, if you think about it, with so many mountains for skiers to chose from, there is always something "new" and the mountains don't get as crowded. It's quite brilliant. Thank you Mother Nature for creating such ski conducive mountains so close together.

Unfortunately, Snowbird is not easily accessible from Park City via public transportation. To do so, one would have to take a shuttle from Park City to Salt Lake City airport and then transfer there to another bus heading to Snowbird. Being people who dance to our own drum, we decided to rent a car for the day, easy peasy. We rented online with Enterprise last week anticipating our Snowbird trip. The great thing about Enterprise is the door to door pickup. They picked us up at our condo (albeit an hour late) and took us to the rental car center. When we got there, Shane (who was driving) signed some forms, they gave us the keys, and we were off! Shane brought Mom's Garmin from home so we were able to have GPS in the car, even though it was quite easy to get to Snowbird from Park City.

To get to Snowbird from Park City, one must first go down the mountain and into Cottonwood Canyon, then back up to Snowbird. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Coming from a flat island, it always amazes me how spectacular mountain ranges are, even though I've seen them quite often in my life.

The GPS announced our arrival at Snowbird and we parked the car in the free lot and walked to Snowbird Center where there are lockers, shops, restaurants, a pharmacy, and a mini grocery store. We headed up to the top floor balcony to get Mom's ticket (we already had two discount tickets purchased from Canyon Sports) and then headed to the waiting area for the Aerial Tram which holds up to 125 people, has a vertical rise of 2,900ft (my ears popped on the way up), and is 8,935ft in length. The tram these days isn't much needed because of the added tunnel and Mineral Basin Express lift, but it's still a treat just the same. I've had my fair share of tram rides in my life. Of course I rode the tram in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last year and for the two years I lived on Roosevelt Island in NYC, I rode the tram there on a frequent basis. You might remember the Roosevelt Island tram from Spiderman 2... maybe?

Video of the two trams crossing, one goes up the other goes down.

As we were waiting for the tram I spotted a family that I recognized from the previous day at Deer Valley. Creepy? Maybe. But I distinctly remembered the two children's ski outfits because they were a glorious color of green. The "green girls" totally stuck out in a crowd, so I said "Hi" to them and we got to chatting. Then of course Mom got to chatting with them. All the chatting on the tram led to a huge photo shoot on the top of Hidden Peak at 11,000ft elevation.

The family on top of Hidden Peak

Panoramic from the top of Hidden Peak

We opted to first go down a short ways on Peruvian Gulch and then catch the "magic carpet" through the tunnel to Mineral Basin on the other side of the mountain.

Shane in the tunnel.

Riding the Magic Carpet

The tunnel is relatively new with it's completion in 2006. Mineral Basin, the "back bowl" of Snowbird is also relatively new with it's opening in 2000 just two years before the Olympics came to Salt Lake City. After we rode the magic carpet to Mineral Basin, we skied to the bottom blindly, not because of visibility, it was in fact a perfectly sunny and warm day, but because of the lack of signs and postings telling skiers where the trails were. Alas, we think we missed the run we intended to do (this happened a few times throughout the day) but all is well. We mostly wanted to explore the mountain and sample a little bit of everything. And let me say, the sampling has got me wanting more. I fully intend to spend multiple consecutive days in Snowbird in the future.

Snowbird is unlike any mountain I have ever visited. Everything is wide open, the complete opposite of The Canyons I'd like to point out. The front AND back of the mountain are in "bowl" formations, and multiple ones at that. The expanse of Snowbird is huge with 2,500 acres of ski-able terrain. One of the unique features of Snowbird is their 40 year old chair lifts. For those of you who don't ski or snowboard, this might not mean that much to you, but for those of you that do ski or snowboard, appreciate those comfortable chair lifts! Two of the lifts I rode today, Little Cloud and Gad 2, were 40 year old two seater chair lifts with seats that literally resembled beach chairs. The seats were plastic slats on a thin metal frame that had teeny tiny armrests and a completely awkward footrest (but at least it had a footrest). I actually got anxiety on these chair lifts, especially when Gad 2 stopped for 5 minutes over a huge bowl. I'm a complete wuss when it comes to chairlifts, it is true. However, I survived the chair lifts enough to continue skiing. And ski I did! We skied a total of 14,756 vertical feet. Not bad considering how much time we spent taking pictures and videos and just staring in awe at the expanse of the mountain.

Me in awe of the mountain, babbling of course.

My favorite thing about Snowbird, however, is their dedication to safety. The trail map for Snowbird is called a "Trail Map and Safety Guide". They have a poster at every lift stating the Skier Responsibility Code. Upon entering Snowbird Center there is a ticker screen ticking off the Code as well. On the tram ride, the operator announcement references the Code as well. This is my kind of mountain! And my observations proved that skiers and riders at Snowbird take the Code to heart. I only once got passed by a fast skier, but that was on a super narrow run. And, since Snowbird has many catwalks cutting through expert terrain, it is especially important to follow the rules of the Code including yield to downhill skiers and observing slow zone regulations.

After out day of skiing came to a close, we headed back to the car to journey back to the condo. Of course, this journey included a requisite stop to 7-Eleven (our favorite convenience store - in fact, on the February 21st episode of Undercover Boss, you can see me in the turquoise sweater purchasing coffee at our local 7-Eleven). Mom and I were overjoyed to learn the 7-Eleven we stopped at had steamed milk, a staple in the perfect cup of coffee. The employees were even nice enough to make us a fresh pot of hazelnut coffee, our favorite. When we questioned the employees about steamed milk (because not all 7-Eleven's have steamed milk much to our dismay), they mentioned that it's mostly people from the East who get the steamed milk. Well, that makes sense! Almost all the 7-Eleven's where we live have steamed milk and hardly any when we travel have it. Go figure. East Coasters sure know how to drink their cheap coffee.

For dinner, we ordered take out Japanese from Shoyu right near where we got our nails done that one time. I learned while waiting to pick up the order that Reef's used to be in that location. This is significant because Reef's was a restaurant we were told to go to because our very close family friend's son's friend's parents owned Reef's. Got that? Well, we weren't able to eat at Reef's because it's not there anymore, but at least we were able to pay it homage by getting take out from the restaurant that occupies it's former space.

After our Japanese food, Mom decided she wanted popcorn... Well, needless to say I gave mom the incorrect microwave cooking time for the popcorn and it started to smoke, heavily I might add, all throughout the apartment. Mom and I were fanning the front and garage doors open trying to get the smoke out while Shane busted open the sliding glass doors in the living room. So, E and R, if you smell any residual burnt popcorn, don't fret... we got it all under control...

Tomorrow it's our last day at Deer Valley. After Shane returns the car to Enterprise and hitches a ride home from them, we're heading the mountain early (why am I awake?). Shane and I want to be sure to hit up the NASTAR race track like we did when we were kids. It will be our fun memory from this trip, that is assuming I don't crash and burn like I did when I was a kid. Until then...