Days 9, 10, and 11 (the weekend).

Most weekends this winter can find me in Summit County skiing and being merry at the small condo that a bunch of friends and I rented for the season.  I’m glad we made that decision, but it’s been a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, I’ve skied more days than usual this year, saved gas money, loved having a rejuvenating ‘mountain retreat’ away from the city, and spent time with new friends.  On the other hand, it means spending less time – much less time – in Denver on the weekends with my faith community and girlfriends, or doing one of my favorite Saturday morning routines of gym/brunch/playtime in the park (which is harder to do in the winter anyway).  Both options – mountains and city – make me feel truly happy.  Both help me grow spiritually, just in different ways.  On Ash Wednesday when I attended church for the first time in a long while, my heart overflowed with sweetness and peace at once again connecting with the people who have become my family over the past four years here.  I realized that I really miss developing those relationships.  But then this morning, skiing alone through frosted narrow trees in feet of clean white powder with the sun casting glittering glows in all directions – pure and sacred and magical, just like Narnia – my heart felt so full of life and grateful for this world God has created, I thought it just might explode through my jacket zipper.

Alex and Chris getting ready for some trees.

This weekend, we had a full house. Our engaged friends Chris and Marisa, Luke, his girlfriend Allison, Tom, Katie, and Annie all spent the night on Saturday – making a group of nine. Dinners while at the condo are very laid-back affairs full of flannel, long johns, and typically food that would make my nutritionist friend shudder. On Friday Alex and I drove up from Denver after work, arrived late, and picked up shrimp burritos and fish tacos from the fun local joint Chimayo. We brought them back to the house and ate with Luke and Allison while watching a hilarious man-show called The League, about a men’s fantasy football league.  Oh, there is so much to learn about the opposite sex!

After spending the day making turns at Vail, Saturday night continued our group’s semi-weekly tradition of apres-ski unwinding at Jonny G’s, the Frisco UNC bar with the best happy hour specials, darts, and big-screen TVs.

Being silly at Jonny G's, our local favorite.

It was the UNC-Duke basketball rematch, a game that apparently would determine a lot of things vital to March Madness.  Alex went to UNC for grad school, so luckily for me, UNC creamed the Devils by a whopping 18 points.  (Sorry, Suz!)  It was a fun time cheering for our team, our bodies exhausted and our tummies full.

We spent Sunday skiing at Vail too because the snow and weather were so good.  While waiting for I-70 traffic to clear before driving back, Chris and Marisa made egg sandwiches to share for an early supper.

I love playing in the mountains.

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