Monday morning, skiing. We had cereal for breakfast. Brian decided to visit the doctor instead of the ski slopes. It was really quite cold (another negative day), so Mariya and myself weren’t on the slopes at 8:30 when the lifts started. We left around 9:30 and told Brian that we’d be back around 12:30 for lunch. We were hoping that the doctor would fix what ailed him, and he could be back on the slopes with us in the afternoon. We caught the green shuttle to Peak 8 base, and while Mariya used the facilities, I sat outside the ticket window on a bench and waited. I watched several people buy tickets. At the ticket window they charge $93 for a day’s lift ticket. $77 for a half-day, from 12 noon until close (at 4pm) and $45 for a late-day ticket that is good between 2 and 4pm. Don’t these people know about King Soopers?! Then, to top it all off, a guy walked by me and asked me where the building was where he could rent skis. So he was renting skis from the resort, even. There are probably 30 ski shops in town, and he was paying to rent from the resort. I mean, I’m being a bit unfair. There are times and circumstances where it really makes sense to rent skis/buy tickets from the resort. But people could save a lot of cash by thinking ahead for a bit.

Anyway, we hopped on lift 7 and skied down Twister. Mariya didn’t seem to have any trouble with that, so I up’d the ante and we took on a tougher Green. We road the 5 lift up and came down Springmeier. After that we did 5/Powerline, and then I thought I’d really test her. We decided to take 5 up and come down Crescendo, which has a small section of blue at the top. Mariya handled that gracefully, and she was brimming with confidence. I wanted to get her over onto Peak 9, so I explained to her that she’d have to come down a bit of blue later, and she was all for it. So we took lift 5 up, and came down Four O’Clock to Crosscut to Lower Sawmill and down all the way to the QuickSilver lift. We skied Silverthorne (probably the easiest green at Breck) back down to QuickSilver and took it up again. We decided to go over and grab the Peak 8 Superconnect so that we could head back for lunch at 12:30. We got to the Superconnect and almost made it to the front of the line.. when it stopped. We stood there for 10-15 minutes and a snowmobile showed up with ‘Electrical’ on the front of it. A guy climbed up into the lift itself and a few minutes later it started running again. After a false start or two, the line actually started going and we were able to get on the lift. About 1/5th of the way into the ride, we passed a couple of lift poles where a worker had climbed all the way to the top and they were on their way back down when we passed. I have no idea what had gone wrong, but it seemed to be fixed. I got to show Mariya the midway load point on Peak 8 superconnect as well as the double diamonds (expert) runs that one can see right after the midway load. I think she was suitably impressed/scared by how steep they appear. Near the top of the lift the wind really started howling, and it just isn’t a lot of fun to be around there. But, we got off at the top and everything worked out wonderfully. We skied down the blue part of Springmeier to Four O’Clock all the way to the end, and Mariya didn’t complain at all about part of the run being too narrow and steep. Clearly her skills were improving.

We made it back to the condo, but Brian wasn’t there. Mariya asked a couple of times if I should call him, but I figured he could handle himself. He had my phone number and could have called me if anything had happened. For lunch, we had the left-over food from Taipei Tokyo. It was really good food. I would recommend the place. I really enjoyed Mariya’s singapore noodles, actually. The curry sauce on them was pretty mind, and the taste was good. I think I also fixed an apple and orange. After lunch, we decided to head back out. As we were walking up the driveway to get to the shuttle bus stop, Brian arrived! He said that he was doing better, but that he wouldn’t be going out to ski that afternoon.

Mariya and myself headed back to Peak 8, and we decided to spend the afternoon on Peak 7. It was around 2pm when we left the condo, so we didn’t have a lot of time between then and closing at 4pm. After the experience that Brian and I had on the previous day with the gondola and Peak 7, we took the Rocky Mountain Superchair up to Peak 8 and came down Columbine to get over to Peak 7. The drop from the chair is pretty steep off of Rocky Mountain, but Mariya did fine. We then had to pole around the t-bar and we worked our way down Claimjumper to get over to Pioneer. Once we got on Pioneer I mentioned to Mariya that there was a steep spot down past a certain clump of trees. I didn’t remember exactly, but I knew it was there. I skied down past the clump of trees and down a small hill to where I was at the edge of the steep spot. Mariya was behind me as she skied down the small hill and was yelling to me, “Is this it?!”. I said, “No”, and looked back forward down over the edge. Finally, at this point.. I managed to get Mariya to stop and take notice. I told her to take it easy, and she’d be OK. I skied down to the bottom of it and looked back up. Mariya hadn’t started yet. The run was a little bit busy at this point. There were several people above her that came flying by and each of them, one by one, hopped over the edge of the hill.. great form.. looking like wonderful skiers.. and promptly crashing and burning, right in front of her. I could see her chatting with another girl laying down on the ground with her skis. I later learned that the girl was asking Mariya, “How do you get down this!?” Mariya was saying, “I don’t know. I haven’t ever done it!”. The girl was slowly sliding on her rear end a little bit closer to the edge. A couple of times I yelled up to Mariya to just take it easy. After about 3 or 4 minutes of indecision, Mariya hopped off the edge and started down. She had been doing a remarkable job of parallel skiing for a beginner. Quite impressive, to be honest. She made it part of the way down the hill and I could tell that she was going to be OK. I turned around to start heading down the hill again and heard from behind, “Oh no!”. I glanced around just quick enough to see Mariya go flying by me, yelling loudly. About 200 yards down the hill she finally managed to stop. I skied down to where she was at, told her “congrats” on making it, and that we needed to work on controlling her speed a little bit. From there, we just had a small steep section near the bottom of Pioneer (she flew by me as I was nearing the bottom of the steep) and then we found ourselves at the Independence lift. On the ride up to the top of Peak 7, it was pretty clear that the Pioneer hill had shook her a little bit. That was OK. That was the toughest steep on Peak 7.

From there we took Monte Cristo, way on the right side of the mountain. The first part of Monte Cristo is a bit steep. She did fine. The rest of the run is basically a nice long cruiser. There’s one steep section at the end. Mariya went flying by me on that one. She was making it down the steeps, but she didn’t have a lot of control. If the steep were longer, she’d be in trouble. But, this was just her second day of downhill skiing ever, so I wasn’t complaining. After Monte Cristo, it was about about 3:20. We had time for one more run on Peak 7, and then we had to head back. I decided to do Wirepatch. Wirepatch goes pretty well under the lift. But, at the last minute, I decided to do Angel’s Rest instead. It goes over close to Monte Cristo. I decided that it would be easier (not as straight down the hill) and that would be OK for Mariya’s first day of blue runs. We came down Angel’s Rest and caught the Independence chair back up to the top of Peak 7. From there, we needed to get to the top of Peak 8 so that we could make it to Four O’Clock to get to the condo. We took Claimjumper down. This was the point where Mariya first fell. She did very well. The fall was a minor one. She got up, said “That didn’t hurt!” and kept on going. I had told her before that she would fall, and she couldn’t let it shake her. She had to get back in the saddle and start going again. That’s exactly what she did. We made it to the bottom of Peak 8, and caught the lift up to the top. We came down Springmeier again and skied down Four O’Clock to the condo. It was a great day of skiing.

When we got back to the condo, we managed to talk to Brian about his day. He had slept for a bit after we left in the morning (lucky guy!) and then he went to the medical clinic. He said that there’s a big sign when you go in “This is an emergency room”. His insurance covered that particular clinic, though, so hopefully that helped him out. It took about 1.5 hours to take care of everything. The doctor instantly knew what had happened. He said that it occurred reguarly (second one this week) and he had a little instrument specifically for the job. It had a little tip on it that melted right through the nail and did what it needed to do. Brian said that one toenail went wonderfully (the one that had drained out a little the night before). The second toenail didn’t work as well. The doctor tried to drain one spot and managed to get the heat probe through to skin, which Brian said he definitely felt. The doctor tried another hole and had a bit more lucky. There was some drainage, but he again got through to skin and managed to make Brian jump. After all was said and done, they told Brian to soak his foot in a pan of warm soapy water twice a day for 20 minutes. Brian, being the stand-up guy that he is, decided to not use a pan from the condo. He went to City Market and bought an aluminum pan. He was on his way back from there when we saw him.

For supper, we had several places in Breck that we were still wanting to go to. The last time were in Breck, I had wanted to eat Shepherds Pie. It sounded good to me (meats and veggies covered with mashed potatoes). A place in Breck had it, but when we were there, they were packed. Not an empty seat in the house (a pretty small place, to be sure). I guess the place is quite popular with locals. Anyway, we decided to try that place, Burke & Riley’s Irish Pub. We figured that if it were full, we’d try another spot. B&R is on the south end of town, in a little shopping center. We had trouble finding it last time, and we had trouble finding it this time. The shopping center has multiple levels. We walked to the obvious upstairs level and found ourselves at Liquid Lounge. We were walking around it looking for the back to see if B&R were behind it, and a guy from Liquid Lounge walked out the side, so we asked him where it was. We then went back to the main part of the little mall, up the stairs in the center almost to the back parking lot, up more stairs on the south side and walked around the edge to get to B&R. We walked in, and it was packed… Except for one booth table. We walked back to the table and sat down. Brian asked if we were supposed to just sit down. I said I thought so. We sat there for about 5 minutes. I started to second guess myself. But, I figured ‘the longer we were there, the more likely a waitress was to just come and serve us’. Eventually a waitress showed up. We had been looking at the menu the whole time, but we started out with drinks. I got a soda this time. At Taipei Tokyo I was fine with water. This time I wanted soda, though. After having gotten the soda, I happened to think about the wisdom of getting soda from a place with slow service (since I usually ask for lots of refills. Oh well. Anyway, Mariya and myself decided on the Shepherd’s Pie ($11) [light on the brown sauce for Mariya] and an “appetizer” of mixed waffle fries ($6) and onion rings ($7). Brian went for the Classic “Banger’s & Mash” ($11) which was Celtic flavored sausages with mashed potatoes and brown gravy. We had thought about the fish and chips, but had already decided to have that at Bubba Gump’s on a subsequent night. Long story short.. the food was OK, but nothing special. We all thought that it was OK. Not bad. But not special. And when you are in Breck, with so few nights, you have to be picky about where you choose to spend your evenings. None of us thought that we needed to go back to the Irish Pub again. The SP was browned ground beef, carrots and peas, a lump of mashed potatoes, and brown gravy drained over the top. It looked colorful, due to the very bright carrots and peas. And the taste was fine. It wasn’t as “large” as the menu might lead one to believe (probably 4″ in diameter) but it tasted fine. The onion rings were sold as “the best in town”. They were pretty good. The breading was good. Waffle fries were waffle fries. I had a bite of the sausage and it was pretty standard sausage. I think I managed to get 4 or 5 refills on the soda, and the soda was pretty good as well.

After we left B&R we decided to make our way back down the east side of the street to where the Crepe place was at. We had a “free cap with a $5 purchase” coupon for The North Face store, so we stopped in there to look around. Didn’t find anything useful, though. We made it to the crepe place and had to detour north about a block to the Breckenridge welcome center to use the bathrooms (this detour was to become a nightly occurrence for us). Ahh.. Crepes a la cart. This place is one of the reasons that we come back to Breckenridge each year. It is truly awesome. Imagine main street Breck. All Victorian and cute-sy. In the middle of this cuteness there is a cart. On wheels. With Christmas lights attached. And a line of people standing outside of it waiting to order food. That’s basically it. And the food. It’s very, very good. Since we had already had supper, we went with dessert crepes. I had a funky french monkey, which is a combination of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate (dark). I had them add heavy creme and whipped cream (which are both free). It was $6.75. Mariya had a nutella and strawberry crepe. Brian had a Berry swirl which was… Mariya and myself both thought that our crepe was a bit too sweet. Good, but just too much intensity. So the crepe place works as follows. You form a line leading up to the ordering position near a little window in the cart. There are two workers. One that makes the crepes, and one that takes the orders and delivers the final products. After you get your food you head off to the side, where they have an outdoor fireplace set up. At least that’s what we’ve always done in the past. This year, Brian had the bright idea of walking a couple of stores south to where they have an indoor mall set up. So this year we walked down there and enjoyed our crepes in the warmth of a building. Terrific idea!

After the crepe place we waddled back to the condo to enjoy/endure our sugar induced comas.

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