MoranFest 2016 – Chapter 3 – Snowsport & Silliness

This year, MoranFest culminated in a two-night stay in Michiana, at Tony and Megan’s vacay house. Friday, Hubs, The Girl, and I got up bright and early, left the house about 7 am <gasp!>, and drove to Jones, Michigan – home of Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard area. This was to be The Girl’s first time skiing, and the first time for Hubs and I in 20-something years each. For me, the last time was my senior year in high school, when I broke my ankle by not getting off a chairlift. My friend Jennifer and I were riding the quad chairlift at Wilmot (with two guys we didn’t know). We got to the top, and by the time I had clearance from other bodies to get off the lift, it was too late. I thought, “No problem. I’ll just ride around and hit the stop bar.” Except, I forgot to keep my skis straight, and my left ski (they were much longer back then), got caught on the post at the end of the lift, giving my ankle a nice little wrenching. I ended up with a lovely, neon pink cast and just never got around to skiing since then.

So, when my MIL found out I was going to join in this adventure, she said, “YOU’RE going to SKI?!?!” Um, yeah. Why else would I be spending so much time pumping iron and getting fit, if not to enjoy activities such as this? So, we got to Swiss Valley around 11, rented our gear and took a lesson – a much needed and helpful refresher for Hubs and me, and definitely necessary for The Girl, being her first time and all. We were joined by a couple more Morans in need of a refresher. I had my first fall while trying to step into my skis. Let’s just say that certainly didn’t do much for anyone’s expectations of my ability to escape the day unscathed. However, before long, we were headed downhill.

Despite the vast amount of time and shifted center of balance since I last attempted this sport, it really was like riding a bike. All that felt different was my diminished sense of immortality, so I took things more slowly that I would have umpteen years ago. While on the bunny hill, I had my second spill – on the tow rope. I leaned back too far and wiped out. After that, I stayed upright the rest of the time. Seems to still be my M.O. So, take that, naysayers! Seriously – it got old hearing the incredulity in everyone’s voice when they saw me successfully navigate a run.

Meanwhile, I loved watching The Girl ski like she’d been doing it all her life. It was awesome! I told her she’s “a regular Suzy Chapstick.” She replied, “Huh?” Oy vey. Then, before we’d even moved on from the bunny hill, she asked when she could try snowboarding. Next time kid. Next time.

The video below was taken early on in the afternoon, shortly after our lesson concluded. I did gain much more confidence as the afternoon went on, swooshing my way back and forth, down the intermediate runs, much to the continued surprise of Hubs and his brothers.

By 3:30 or so, my fingertips were aching with cold, so I thought it best to go in (damned Raynaud’s) and warm up. I wasn’t sure if I’d return the equipment, or maybe go back out, until I found one of my nieces hanging out with a twisted, swollen ankle. Decision made. I turned in my gear, grabbed her an ice pack, and hang out with her until everyone else was done skiing.

About an hour or so later, the rest of the skiers met up with us, and we headed back to the Michiana house for some good times, grub, and games. The usual suspects, like Pictionary and Crazy 8s were enjoyed, plus, a new favorite: Watch Ya Mouth! You may have seen the viral video for this game that went around a while back. It’s a verbal guessing game. Your team needs to guess the phrase you’re trying to say the phrases on the cars while you’ve got a cheek retractor (like at the dentist) in your mouth. On X-Mas eve, when Sia told me they had it at Tarjay and I had to get it, I was saddened to see my local store was sold out. Amazon to the rescue, just in time for our Michiana get together!

I freely admit I was a few glasses in by this time…

How cute was The Girl?! Oh, and the best was watching everyone try to keep from drooling. After playing that, plus some more wine and snacks (Ugh), I think some poker, I headed up to bed around 11pm, and slept like a log. Probably sawed some too.

Next up…. Moranfest 2016 – the final chapter.

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