thursday night - this was one of the easiest times i've had with air travel. ever. we cabbed it to the tiny, local airport. when we arrived at the expressjet counter [no, we had no idea what it was when we booked either but went on good faith as they're associated with continental and delta] , no one was there. we used the electronic kiosk to check in (there was no line for check-in!), got our boarding passes, then waited a bit until sk8er boy [no joke - sk8er shoes, shorts in 40-degree weather, wrapped up ankle from a sk8ing injury, and no identifying uniform/logo on his clothing] magically appeared to grab our bag tags, kinda sorta ID'ed us, and directed us to our "gate." we breezed through the almost-empty security line, found ourselves outside in the freezing cold, then walked back into a trailer classroom-type structure - AKA our gate + waiting area. we suffered a handful of misbehaving children with stupidass parents who were not controlling/disciplining/taking care of them. again, there was no airline representative at the gate's counter. soon enough, another casually dressed employee manned the counter, and sk8er boy magically reappeared to help. our 50ish passenger flight was about half full. we all walked out and then climbed the stairs onto the plane. the flight was quick, casual (did the pilot just say, "dude"?), and no frills/no hassle. oh, and our plane tickets were cheaper than any fares we found on southwest at the time of purchase. plus we had assigned seats - none of this a, b, c cattle-herding business.
we arrived in reno late. sleepily ate some mcd's at around 10 pm. hopped on a huge, charter bus shuttle that had maybe 5 passengers on it including us. freaked out when our bus almost t-boned a car that ran a red. i slept through the grueling, average of 10-mile-an-hour bus ride through snowy mountain passes, so the bear says. my brother picked us up at the shuttle stop, we unloaded all our gear into my mom's lovely 2-unit timeshare, the bear did a little snow dance out on the balcony, and we retired for the night.
friday - we woke up to this killer view from our room. ok, so little brother tater took it the day before we arrived, but we saw similar views that morning.
we had an early day as the slopes opened at 9, my mom had a ski lesson at 9:45, and i had a snowboarding lesson at 9:45. the bear and i finally broke down and got me a private lesson, since we found that him teaching me was not working. yeah...don't try to teach your spouse to drive/ski/snowboard/other things of that nature, unless you are both very unemotional, objective people, and the teacher has neverending patience. anyway, my lesson with josh paid off [if you ever need a private snowboard lesson at heavenly, ask me for his info...he rocks!]. i can finally link turns and kinda sorta carve! after lunch, i tried to show the bear my new skills, but let's just say that crowded blue terrain riddled with moguls was not the place to do that. i headed back down on the gondola early while the boys continued to shred.
the family + my brother's friend, after our first half day of snowbunny fun.
the boys finished up and met me at our usual spot. we called my mom to come pick us up. she told me she was in the sauna. she knew when the lifts closed, too. bad mommy told us to take the tram back. guess what? the trams running at that time don't stop at our hotel! so we hopped on a random one, then figured out it would be taking us across state lines to the wrong state, jumped out at a random stoplight just outside of heavenly, and walked a good distance in the cold, dark, icy night back to our timeshare. despite being cold, wearing lead boots, and carrying our boards, the crisp air, clean snow, and twilight made for a fun walk for the bear and me. brother + friend were grumbly but a good few hundred feet in front of us, so it was just us in the, dare i say it? romantic evening. we laughed, i sang the title of this post off key, and we kicked a few snowballs/ice balls at each other.
by the time we had trekked back, my mom was freshly steamed and showered. to her credit, she did make us a killer dinner of frozen pizza and ramen. it actually turned out perfect as we just wanted something hot and savory without dragging our cold, tired butts back out again. for our nightcap, we had hot chocolate spiked with bailey's mint chocolate. mmm...toasty!
saturday - mom and i dropped the boys off as soon as the lifts opened then headed down to the ski shop to get her boots fitted. non-outdoorsy, cold-weather-hating potato wandered the uber-outdoorsy, cold-weather-gear-filled store for over an hour. by the time we got back, it was time to eat and get suited up so i could meet the bear for an afternoon rolling about in the snow together. let's just say i did much better at staying on my feet, we didn't fight (much), and we were all smiles on the way back down the mountain. see?
sunday - the bear and i dropped mom off at her morning ski lesson, then aimlessly drove around looking for breakfast. we ended up back at the hotel room eating the last egg in the fridge. once the other boys got up, we checked out and headed to the village for a little shopping. the bear scored a great deal on some super waterproof snowboard pants, complete with suspenders. the boys also decided they needed some shots for their next rap album covers.
after squeezing my mom and her gear into the already-overloaded rental SUV, we were off to reno to catch our respective flights. our flight back was on time, uneventful minus the fact we almost missed boarding it because we were putzing around the airport bar + quizno's, and we ended the night with our cabbie dropping us off with, "well, this isn't a prime area!" we snuggled in our own oh-so-comfy bed in our un-prime locale (we live on the border of ghetto and OK neighborhoods). it was nice to be home.