January 24, 2023
It’s been awhile since I’ve uploaded anything personal on the blog, but I’ve GOT to tell you about our visit to Keystone, Colorado. I’ve been putting it off, but when my film scans came in my e-mail box today, I was reminded to document the journey while it’s fresh on my mind. I didn’t do this when I visited Maui, Hawaii. Trying to dig up memories from my phone camera was more difficult than I thought.
In 2018, Jarett and I attempted a short ski trip. We booked because Frontier Airlines was flying out of Pensacola Airport for the first time and flights were $99 for one day only. It was also in April. If you know anything about skiiing, most of the ski resorts close shortly after Spring Break because, well, it’s spring. In April, the only snow left is on the tippy top of the mountain, so we had to go to A-Basin (Arapahoe) to get to snow, and it was ICY! Falling and landing on ice is just about as fun as it sounds. We got in late at night and were shocked at how much the altitude affected us. Jarett and I couldn’t get a breath in and were completely winded bringing our luggage up the stairs. We laughed it off and went to bed.
Well, the next day I was violently ill. Nauseated and winded I wanted to suck it up and try anyway. Needless to say, I never made it off the bunny slopes and I spent more time in the lodge drinking hot toddy’s while Jarett did the actual snow boarding. I couldn’t help but feel like my time there was stolen from me and I wanted to rewrite my story in Colorado with skiing.
Jarett loves to snowboard and we wanted to plan something fun for his 40th birthday. We decided to give the mountains another go and decided on Keystone, Co. But I wanted friends to come along that would be able to “hang” with him in case I decided to take it easy again. Not to toot my own horn but, this was a great decision on my end. When we booked our flights and asked our friends who could come. We ended up going with our friends Zach and Elisa, and Jarett’s old friend Don from California was able to meet us!
We stayed at the Mountain House Vacation Lodge which was close to everything, and just a short walk from skiing, restaurants, and anything else we could have asked for. It was perfect for 5 adults. If you’re interested in visiting, the link to where we stayed can be found here.
We got in at midnight due to a 5 hour delay.. I won’t get into it. But another awesome decision on my end was to get a four-wheel drive vehicle. Because the roads were iced over and the last 20 minutes of our trip was a little on the sketchy side. But, we made it in one piece and were ready to hit the slopes the next day!
Elisa, Zach and I signed up for a ski lesson the first day, and I honestly had big-time jitters. If you saw my Instagram story.. Jarett took a video of me coming toward him on the bunny slope and I swore I was going at least 25 miles per hour. I was exclaiming “Watch out, Jare!!!” But seeing the video.. I’m a solid 30 feet away from him and moving at a snails pace while I pizza down the mountain. We were still exhausted from our trip, so we decided to call it a day.
I knew I wanted to head to the green slopes, but I was so nervous. Having other beginners there with me was extremely helpful. We hit the bunny slopes one last time, and I didn’t know it at the time but it would be my last. All of the resort staff, lesson instructors and lift operators had been telling me “Just get on the mountain.. The bunny slopes are so much work.. You’ll enjoy it so much more.” But my fear kept me back.
When you get on the green, there aren’t tons of people stopped on the mountain to navigate because of ski school lessons. Once you fall, you pop back up and keep going. On the bunny slopes, you may get one good run, but by the time you finally get the hang of things, you have to stop and wait on another lift. With that being said.. I still ate sh*t. A lot of it. I fell so many times, and when you fall, there’s a lot more room to fall so you just keep sliding.
On a side note.. What is up with ski boots? Y’all I have big girl calves. The first pair of boots they gave me made me feel like my calves were a cork stopper in a wine bottle. The bottom of my foot was not touching my shoe. Even on the most expanded setting I have bruises on my calves and shins are still recovering. I digress..
All of this to say.. On the last day, everyone in our group went night skiing, but I just decided to go shopping, spend some time alone walking around River Run, and watch some amazing talent come down the mountain. I liked skiing enough, but it wasn’t something I’d die to do again, and that’s okay. Once I got the hang of it, I took my time down the mountain, took out my film camera and got some shots of the beautiful scenery, and decided to take it all in.
You see, I love trying new things. But something I have to work through is that I don’t have to be good at everything. I don’t have to go back to revisit things all the time. I can tell Jarett the next time he skies, he can invite his bros while I go on a girls trip. And that’s okay.
However, I’m so glad I gave it a second go and gave skiing and the mountain life a real chance. Check out my films pics below. Portra 400 was perfect for the beautiful colors.
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A lifestyle photographer in the Florida panhandle.