Status of the Texan assault on Vermont.
  Sara, age undisclosed (snowboarder)
  Eric, age undisclosed (telemarker, snowboarder)
  Renee, 4 and 3/4 (skier, first time snowboarder)
  Anna, 1 and 3/4 (first time on walking skis)

Please note, pictures of this trip can be viewed at

Jay Peak 3/2/2003

  First day at Jay Peak, we met "Skiing Grandma" in the lodge and
used her Canadian residency status to get us cheap tickets.  The
skiing was quite good, with the highlight being the four or so runs
through Bushwacker glades.  Renee really took to the glade and we
had her giggling through the trees.  Every path was "hers" so she
had to lead us through the trees.

  My mother claimed to glimpse a sight of green plaid whizzing past
on the trail, but we have no idea who it was.

  Renee desperately wanted to try the tram (she loved the gondola
at Steamboat) so we did go to the top.  Through the whole trip, she
was saying "I can't stand this" - being shoved in with all those
French Canadians must have been too much for her!

Smugglers Notch 3/3/2003 - 3/8/2003

  First day was bitterly cold.  Renee woke up at 7 and wanted to
go skiing.  We tried to talk her out of it as much as possible, but
she's a determined person.  Finally when the lifts opened, I gave
in and we suited up (unlike most Texans, we are equipped for cold
weather).  Well, it wasn't enough - Renee made it 50 feet from the
condo and wanted to go back in.  We did go back out later that
afternoon and had a good time, mainly because the wind had died

<proud father bragging>

  Tuesday through Thursday, Renee was in snowboarding class.
Smugglers has just started having snowboard classes for 4 and 5
year olds.  Renee has been asking for a long time to try snow-
boarding, so I gave in.  I expected that she would have a really
tough time.  I expected that she would be fine going back to
skiing so we could all ski together (solely for the reason that
its hard enough to ski with her when she's on skis, and I couldn't
imagine how difficult it would be on a snowboard).

  I was wrong.

  She took to it immediately.  By the second day she was linking
turns.  She literally jumped into her snowboard and started strapping
it in when I dropped her off at camp.  She talked about snowboarding
the entire time.  She would go up to people and say "I'm a snow-
boarder" like that puts her in some secret club (only telemarkers
have a secret club).

  I have to admit that she really was good, and I'm only a little
bit biased.  She would also take the falls with no problems (unlike
skiing) and was very motivated.  The instructors were very impressed
with her - apparently the previous classes did not pick it up as
quickly.  They wanted to get the director of ski school to take a
run with Renee to show her off.  They were so psyched to see her
linking turns.

  Renee snowboarded for four straight days, including one day with
the family.  On Saturday, we convinced her to go back to skis so
that Daddy could go off with the SKIVT-L crowd and Skiing Grandma
could take her into the trees.

  On the last day, Renee found a "secret path" that only she is
allowed to know where it is.  However, I'll give you a clue - its
a marked trail right off the Mogul Mouse lift!

</proud father bragging>

  One day, I ran into a lurker named Phyl.  This was my first
true spur of the moment Green Plaid meet.  I don't know if she saw
my CMH phatties or my green plaid.  We talked for a bit, and I told
her the same thing I tell everyone - your relationship with the list
changes the moment you go to the partee and/or Swampfest.  She seemed
reluctant to ski with the hard core people at the partee, but I
assured her that the group does a commendable job at staying together
and not going over anyone's head.  Then I saw her going down Doc
Dempsey's glade.  If you can ski down that, you can handle yourself
at the partee Phyl!  (By the way, this was the first year I noticed
Doc Dempsey's glade - I bypassed it last year because I figured that
this was a trail - where are the trees?)

  On Thursday, the day was a little bit of a powder day, and I was
radioing to my wife on 13-8 when some people got on and asked if I
was Eric from SKIVT-L.  I answered in the affirmative and asked who
it was, and the radio then broke up.  My wife thought she heard Bruno
and Jim, so I thought Bruno had come up early and met up with Tim.
The rest of the morning was spent trying to meet up with two snow-
boarders ("Bruno" had mentioned that his wife was in the lodge having
breakfast, which didn't seem like Kirsten at all) and Tim.  Even
after telling them I would wait at the bottom of Sterling lift, I
didn't see them - they passed right by me and loaded the lift.
"Wait for me at the top" and I loaded 13 chairs behind them.  Then
"Bruno" radioed in to his wife "Patricia" and I freaked!  I had just
spent this prime skiing time waiting for two people that I was no
longer sure who they were.  Turns out that it was Guido and Tim, and
we had a nice run down the back bowls (a first for me).  I only had
time for one run as I had to high tail it back to Morse mountain for
the "Cookie Race" and a few runs with Renee.

  On Friday, Anna got kicked out of daycare because she registered
a whopping 99.1 degree fever (although the diarrhea probably didn't
help either)!  Kicker is that she was exposed to a child that was in
there earlier in the week!  And she was not allowed to go back on
Saturday either.  Oh, I could see the possibility of skiing with
Ben, Bruno and K on Saturday going down the drain.  We juggled her
around on Friday while snowboarding with the whole family, and
Sara and Skiing Grandma nicely offered to watch her for all of

  Saturday was everything I hoped it would be and more.  Bruno and
K found my condo to collect their free tickets (see - you don't even
have to run an online ski magazine to ski cheap) and we went for
a quick back bowls run.  Total time was just over 40 minutes I
think - really really quick.  While we were out there, Ben Bloom
came on the radio and thought we were in the cliff area that Guido
and Tim found.  Ben was admonished for using the word cliff on the
same channel that my wife and daughter are on!

  We then met up with Ben and went on his warm up run.  So good,
we had to do it again (plus, I had dropped my pole somewhere in
the trees - thanks Tim for finding it the second time).  We went
over to M1 for a long lift line wait, convinced K's friends that
they really didn't want to join us on the next run ("a really
nasty log and a cliff that you have to bypass" - "no, you can't
take off your skis and slide down").  Run after that was the gash,
which seemed like the steepest thing I've ever skied.  After lunch
at BK's car, we went for a hike up towards Stowe and down a back
bowl run.  BK then gave me a ride to my condo so that the whole
family could go for one ski run together (Anna being carried by

  All in all, an amazingly fun week.  Smugglers does a great job
with families and Renee has asked if we can live there.  I gave
her some line about how if we skied every day, it wouldn't be
special, but I didn't believe it myself.

  As the movie title goes - "Same Time, Next Year".  Hope to ski
with Ben, Bruno and K (and George as long as he keeps his jacket
zipped up or a shirt on) again.  Thanks for the tour.