A week before we our vacation we received an invitation to a time share presentation at Smuggler's Notch. They'd give us 10% off our stay if we attended. Seemed like a good deal. Needless to say at the end of the presentation when the guy was doing everything to close the sale he asked us if we wanted him to further investigate an offer that would be better suited to us. Finally I had to break it to him that that wouldn't really be a productive use of his time. Informative session? Yes it was. Painful beyond description? Oh yes my friends! Worth the 10% off? In hindsight I'd have to say nope.
After the presentation we had some lunch, got suited up and then snuck over to the kids hill to see if we could spy on Keenan's progress. He's enrolled in the Discovery Kid's program here. They host a Burton Learn to Ride program so the kids are decked out in Burton gear and they have their very own hill and lifts designed to make their learning experience as positive and fun as possible. If you can believe it, the kids each wear a Flaik GPS unit which retains the data from their own runs and you can watch it on the net later! Good Lord, things have changed since I was a kid and I'm not even old! So, he starts at 9 am, hits the hill for 3:1 instruction, has a lunch break at noon then is back on the hill until 2:30. If the kids get cold they have a yurt at the base of their hill where they can warm up or have a snack. After his session he has indoor entertainment or movies and then we pick him up at 4. By that time he's sufficiently pooped and can barely eat dinner before he conks out! We snuck up around a shed to see if we could spot him and sure enough there he was! He was doing so well! Not quite linking turns but he could slide along confidently and stop fairly well. He fell almost each time but that's part of learning to ride and he wasn't having any meltdowns about it. He had a little tumble on the people mover carpet but his instructor got him up right away. One more run and then it was time for all the kids to go in for the rest of the afternoon. A tractor pulling a big multi seater wagon picks the whole lot of them up. The skis and boards are loaded into bins in the bucket of the tractor and then the kiddies are loaded into the wagon and leisurely towed back to the resort. It's quite a sight!
Sean and I slip away without being spotted and head to the lift ourselves. This is my first time riding since Keenan was born and boy was I apprehensive. I took a nasty tumble some years back and really hurt my back and I've never regained my confidence. We got on the lift and I was filled with all kinds of anxiety. Thank goodness the ride up was long so Sean could talk me down. Getting off the lift went ok, strapping my board was of course ok and I did pretty darn ok job on my first run after all! No falls and I had to talk a few stops to contain my excitement. I gotta get my confidence back so I'm taking it slow. I did just the one run to get over myself and prove that "derrrrr, I can totally still do this!". Now i'm gonna take a lesson to improve my technique and help me get over some of the bad habits I've developed since I've been overcompensating for my back injury. I made my way back to the room, got changed and left to pick up Keenan. His instructor said his riding is coming along nicely and he should be linking turns soon. We headed back to our room, Sean was there and we hung out for a bit, then off we went for dinner.
We were pretty shocked to find it was raining. Yes, raining. Nothing like rain on a snowboarding vacation. It's weird for us to get rain in January in the east. Even more weird though was the dinner entertainment. Honestly, you'll have to ask me about it in person. It's simply not gonna get put into type. Sooooo, Keenan fell asleep on my lap in the restaurant and we carried him back to our room in the driving rain and howling wind. The wind was so strong that when Keenan and I tried to walk to the indoor play area later he was literally blown out of my hands and down the road on the rain covered ice. He ended up on his knees in a snow bank. We both cried and slipped our way back after getting only half way there. It was really scary. Just imagine what the slopes would be like after a night of this. Needless to say we planned a road trip into Burlington for the next day.