The first morning skiing started with someone loudly walking down the hall outside the condo and slamming the door. This was at 7am. Mariya’s lessons started at 9:45, so we figured we needed to leave the condo around 9am. The plan was to get up around 8am. None of us slept very well the first night. I had a very dry throat over the evening. The condo came with a single humidifier. It is an ultrasonic humidifier that does a nice job of kicking out the water mist. But, it is very cold mist, and the mist rises about a foot above the machine and then falls to the ground. The first night, the humidifier was on the floor in one of the carpeted rooms, and it basically just got the carpet in front of the humidifier wet. So, early in the morning I moved the humidifier out onto a bench in the dining room. This got it far enough off the floor that it didn’t soak everything. Apparently the water had far enough to fall that it actually evaporated into the very thin air in the condo. It was too warm the first night. The condo has electric heat (except for the gas fireplace) and each room is on its own set of controls.

Mariya fixed herself an omelet for breakfast. Brian and myself had cereal. Around 9am we made our way out of the condo and walked up the driveway and around the corner to where the shuttle bus picked up people for the ski hill condos. In the past we had always just walked to the place by Sawmill, but this time we decided to try out the shuttle. It was actually pretty close. I carried the skis for Mariya and myself, and she carried the poles. After a bit, the shuttle came, and took us to the base of Peak 8. We hadn’t ever taken the shuttle to Peak 8. The road rises up above town, and the views are pretty nice. They are building a huge new set of condos at the base of Peak 8. One Ski Hill. They are going to have a terrific location, as far as the mountain goes. They are a long way from town, but they are about as close to the mountain as you can get. We found out where we needed to be (upstairs in the same building as where you buy lift tickets) to purchase the lessons for Mariya. Full day lessons along with the lift ticket were around $120. They told us we needed to be over by Lift 7, so we grabbed all of our supplies and headed over in that direction. Brian had adjusted his boots because they were a bit tight while Mariya and myself were inside getting the lessons. Walking with our coats and gear on quickly got warm. But, we made it over there and Mariya met up with some instructors. She was supposed to be in that same area around 12:30 for lunchtime. They started doing their thing, and Brian and myself decided to do some skiing of our own.

We took lift 7 up and skied back down one of the greens. Then we took Lift 5 and came down 4 o’clock to Sawmill and got over to Peak 9. We took Quicksilver a couple of times and then we took the super slow A lift. From there, we had decided that we needed to get back over to Peak 9, so we made our way across to the Peak 8 superconnect. First, I had us at the Mercury superchair lift, but we figured out that we needed to be lower than that, and made our way to the Superconnect. From the top of that on Peak 9, we needed to come down a little blue. So, we came down 4 o’clock to the top of Lift 7. Brian then took one of the greens down to the bottom and I worked by way over to Dyersville, because I wanted to find Mariya. Down at the very bottom, where the magic carpet is, I found her. This was around 11:30. She seemed to be doing great, and had everything under control. From that point, Brian and myself just rode a few of the greens until we decided we needed to meet up with Mariya. Come to find out, she actually got out of the morning lessons at 12:15, so she had found Brian before we even found her. My GPS watch had gone haywire early that morning. The batteries on it were completely dead, which really ruined any history that we might have made from our runs.

When we found out that Mariya hadn’t been on a lift yet, we decided that it wasn’t wise to have her go down 4 o’clock to get to the condo. So we decided to take the Gondola into town. The gondola goes a long ways and it takes about 10 minutes. It stops at Peak 7 base, and also at a useless little stop called Shock Hill (I’m guessing they paid some real cash to get a gondola stop there. We made it to the bottom of the gondola in town and got off. We then had to walk to Ski Hill. That took forever. It wasn’t worth it at all. We quickly decided that we didn’t want to take the Gondola anymore. It is just too far from the condo. The condo guide online said “one block from the gondola”, but it is just really inconvenient. In hindsight, we knew that we were going back to the same place. We should have stored our skis there and not bothered bringing them with us into town. Oh well.

Anway, we got to the condo and quickly grabbed our lunch. We had prepared food that morning before leaving, because we knew that we wouldn’t have very long to actually eat (since Mariya only got 75 minutes for lunch). Mariya and myself had PB&J sandwiches, and Brian had a turkey sandwich. We had some sun chips on the side, along with some trail mix that Brian brought with him. We knew that we had to catch the shuttle back to Peak 8, so we made it out the shuttle stop and just missed the 1:18 shuttle. The next one was at 1:32, so we were going to be late. Eventually the shuttle came and we made it back to Peak 8 base. Mariya and myself trudged over to where the ski school was and Mariya’s instructor was still there. Mariya found herself in another instruction school, and they were off to the lift!

I skied back down to the bottom of Lift 5 where Brian was at (he’d been adjusting his boots and had made the comment that he thought he would get different boots at the end of the day), and we took 5 up once and came back down with the intention of taking the Gondola over to Peak 7. We hopped on the gondola and got off at the Peak 7 stop. It was very inconvenient there. The gondola station there has two sides. One side for the “east bound” lane, and one side for the “west bound” lane. If we had been coming from town, we would have been on the perfect side. We could have just hopped off the gondola, walked a little bit, and been on the snow. Since we were on the wrong side, we had to walk down a long set of stairs, around the gondola station, and up a steep section just to get to the other side of the station. It was a lot more work than we had anticipated. Anyway, this got us onto Peak 7. We came down the Monte Cristo run, which was a lot of fun. It has a steeper section at the top, but the rest of it is nice and perfect for cruising. There’s a steep section at the end, but no big deal. Then we took the Pioneer run down. After that, we decided we needed to get back to Peak 8 so that we could meet up with Mariya. We took the Pioneer run down to right past the steep section and then shot off to the right to pick up Peak 8. The bottom of Claimjumper quickly passed, and we then took Lift 5 up so that we could find Mariya. I skied down Dyersville near where the training area was at and never did find her. She was, however, waiting at the very bottom of Lift 7. So, we joined up again. She said that the afternoon had gone well, and that she was up to the challenge of taking the lift up and coming down the 4 o’clock run to the condo. We hopped on the lift together. Lift 7 has a magic carpet at the bottom of it. Disconcerting if you aren’t used to it. You slide onto it, and it moves slower than the chair does. So you move forward slowly and the chair comes up behind you. Anyway, we got off at the top with Mariya not falling, and discussed the direction that we needed to go to get to the condo. Mariya took off like a pro and skied down the run as though she had been doing it for years. I gave her some guidance here and there on what terrain features to expect, but she flew down the run amazingly well. There was one spot that she thought was steep and narrow, but other than that, she said she loved every minute of it.

We made it to the very end of the run and loosened our boots and walked back to the condo. Brian walked over to Lone Star sports to get different boots. Brian came back to the condo a little later with a new set of boots and commented that he should have switched boots at lunch. Over the course of the afternoon, Brian’s boots had squished his big toes enough that he had blood underneath both big toenails and it basically looked pretty bad. One of those “you’re going to lose those toenails” kinds of things. So, that was a real bummer. Everyone showered and got ready for supper, and we decided to go to Taipei Tokyo. It was pretty close, and we figured we’d get something different than the italian we had enjoyed in Denver the night before. We got there and enjoyed the edamame. Brian got a soda, and Mariya and myself stocked up on water. Brian got Shrimp Teriyaki ($16). I got the Chicken Teriyaki ($14). Mariya got Singapore rice noodles with curry ($10). The presentation was disappointing. I’ve come to rely on that restaurant to give me terrific presentation. It didn’t happen last night. The teriyaki wasn’t sizzling. The rice noodles were just in a square plate. The food was good, but the presentation wasn’t anything spectacular. Mariya and myself both had food left over, which we took with us. They gave us little asian to-go boxes for them, and then the three of us decided to head to main street to look around. We didn’t know if we wanted crepes or not. (well, we wanted them, but we didn’t know if we would have space for them in our tummies). We got very cold walking down Main street. We made it as far south as Rasta Pasta, and decided to come back. The crepe place was busy, so we skipped it and just headed back to the condo. Once back at the condo, Brian noticed that one of his toes had bled a little bit, and he started googling for things to do about toes in that situation. Basically, the options were to drain it (heat a paperclip/needle/pin and touch it to the toe nail. It will melt through the nail, and the blood (under pressure) can then escape) or let it set (after 8 to 10 months, the problem will eventually go away). He decided that he probably wouldn’t be skiing in the morning. There is a medical clinic in Breckenridge that he thought he would to instead. Meanwhile, Mariya fixed hot chocolate for everyone and we enjoyed that before retiring for the evening.

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