Our Alaska Trip

I finished a narrative of our trip to Alaska with more details than anyone would ever care about. However, if you feel that the rest of the interent is a little too exciting, then you might want to give it a read here. You can also read about many of our other trips on my Travel page, if you suffer from insomnia. Photos from the trip up to the Northern Frontier are also on Flickr (a bit less boring).

I Almost Forgot I Had A Blog

I feel like I owe my friends and family an apology for possibly scaring them into thinking I was missing and feared dead. I’m not going to go into some annoying post about how busy my life has been lately and I just haven’t had time to write. Partly because that’s not true at all and also becuase nobody really likes reading lame posts like that anyway.

I have been writing some travel logs of our trip out to California, although I’m far from being finished yet. You can get the slide-show version by checking out the Flickr group of just a few of my photos. I am, of course, hoping that Travis will post a few of his online as well, but I’ll leave that up to him (although he’s a pretty good photographer, so those of you interested in outdoor photos should say ‘please’). I experimented with panoramas a lot on this trip and a number of them came out with impressive results, if I may say so.

Mirror Lake

Otherwise, life has actually been pretty quiet here at home. Work has settled down substantially for me post-vacation1. Speaking of home, though, my pal, Johnny, and I went to purchase some lumber and hardware for rebuilding the basement stairwell this coming weekend. Stay tuned for loads of information on that and why you should probably never attempt this sort of thing yourself.

  1. Oh, work was insane for a while there; but you wouldn’t know about that since it left me no time to post about it. []

Fourth Anniversary Getaway

We Don't Know How To Ski

Angela and I enjoyed the most snow we’d seen all Winter during the first weekend of Spring.

Angela and I celebrated our fourth anniversary a week late this year since she had to leave for a conference out in San Francisco on the day of. It’s more important that we did something rather than get hung up on the fact that national organizations don’t schedule their events around us.

We decided on doing something a little different this time and drove up to the Wintergreen Ski Resort here in Virginia (just south of Charlottesville). Angela had never tried skiing before and I had only been once myself, about eight years ago. Since we were going so late in the season (the last skiing weekend for this resort, anyway), we weren’t even sure if we’d get to see any snow, let alone enough to ski on. I know that they make snow as much as possible, but with temperatures in the 70’s the previous week, I had my doubts.

Well, there wasn’t a whole lot on the ground when we arrived late Friday night for check-in. However, much to our surprise and delight, it snowed about 4-5 inches overnight. For having so much snow, the place wasn’t too crowded. We were able to rent our equipment and get out for the free beginner’s lesson with no trouble (that is, after a most delicious breakfast… mmm, chocolate chip pancakes). That’s one of the really cool things about Wintergreen; they have staff on the beginner’s slope (the Potato Patch, as opposed to the common ‘Bunny Slope’) all day long to offer lessons and help beginners in trouble. Although she didn’t seem to think so, Angela got the hang of it quickly. She needed to work on her turning some more, but she had great balance and was able to get herself stopped without too much trouble (much more than I can say for my attempt at snowboarding about ten years ago; that was not pretty). After a less-than successful first run at the green circle slope (the ‘Dobie‘), she kept to the beginner slope for a couple of more tries before we headed off to lunch.

After lunch, Angela had some spa time scheduled, so she took the truck up the hill to the resort’s really nice spa facility. I, on the other hand, was determined to get better at turning and generally staying upright on a pair of skis. So, for the next two-and-a-half hours, I went down the green circle slope just as much as I could stand to. Somewhere during that time, we got a little more snow; and by ‘a little’, I mean it was a complete white-out. My sunglasses (or make-shift goggles for a non-skier such as myself) were completely iced over and I was essentially just sliding down hill attempting to avoid the dark blobs ahead of me. I’ve never had so much fun while cold, sweaty, and blind. Just before the slopes closed for the evening, the sun came back out for my very last run. It was an insane change in the weather (although perfectly common for this side of the Blue Ridge Mountains) and I could not have asked for a better last run. I really felt like I had gotten a lot better in that day of skiing.

Later than night, Angela and I went out to dinner and were treated with an amazing sunset view. Afterwards, we chilled out with a massage (not something I do a lot, but I can see the attraction). We didn’t do any skiing on the second day, but rather just chilled out all morning before heading home. On the way back to Richmond, we stopped off at Veritas Winery for some samples. We were pretty impressed, not just with the wine selection, but also with the beautiful scenery.

All together, it was a great weekend and I couldn’t have asked for better company to spend it with.

Wintergreen Panorama