Happy New Year! Well we’ve made it home safely from the holidays and our trip out to Colorado, and I suppose we’re due for a recap.

It looks like the last entry mentioned that we have finally set a date and venue for the wedding, so I’ll pick up from there (more info and save the dates soon I promise!). Anyway, following the house swarming party, I thought it would pretty much be a smooth three hour tour into the holidays. Of course Giligan always mucks it up, and like the other islanders, we found ourselves battling mall crowds, cold weather, and annoying holiday Lexus commercials.

For a nice break from shopping we found ourselves meeting Eric and Lauren in Northeast Philly to watch the annual Bilenky Junkyard Cross Race. Bilenky’s shop is located next to a junkyard, and each winter they host this bike race traversing through rusted cars and man-made obstacles.

It’s absolutely nuts.

For Christmas, this was my first year participating in my family’s pollyanna. It’s a fairly big deal, and I didn’t want to disappoint with my gift. I searched high and low for something everyone could use and spent even more time wrapping it.

Long story short, it was last picked and ultimately ended up coming home with us. Maybe next year..

Ok, on to the short story long. For background info, my favorite movie is the 1994 blockbuster hit, Dumb and Dumber. The movie follows the adventures of two best friends on their journey to Aspen, CO. Now one of my other favorite things is incorporating movie quotes into my daily life. So naturally I was extra excited to travel to the rockies with my best friends!

They didn’t know a single line of the whole damn movie!

Wait, they did get one. Walking through the town of Breckenridge on an especially cold afternoon, my mom noticed I wasn’t wearing any gloves and offered me the pair of extra gloves she had on. Like magic, Kris and Michelle recited in unison, “Extra gloves?! You’ve had this pair of extra gloves this whole time?!”

Kathy missed the “Yeah, we’re in the rockies!”, but I was still happy to get at least one Dumb and Dumber moment.

Back to the actual trip:

Shortly after landing in Denver, I found myself in the back of a loaded minivan ready for the journey West into the mountains. It’s about an hours drive from the airport, and I figured it’d be a good time to relax.

Two factors I failed to anticipate though were the mountain highways and my dad’s driving. So I choose to officially kick off our vacation with “Pull over!” and proceeded to orally evacuate my guts.

Back on the road again (sitting shotgun this time) it was only a short delay before we were greeted with the money shot.

The landscape in Colorado is amazing. Once we arrived at the condo our hosts, Jimmy and Joan, took us up to the continental divide. It’s basically the point in the rockies so high that to your right the water flows East and to your left the water flows West.

Our first day riding came early the next morning, and Michelle didn’t waste any time achieving her first goal: looking good. She coordinates her outfits so well she even matches my gear.

Kris and I had never ridden out West before, and we rarely get to see powder. There hadn’t been much snow lately, but the reports hinted that the trees were holding onto a bunch of it. A quick diversion off the trail and we were Tony Montana deep.

Michelle joined later but ended up making snow angels:

The riding was absolutely great, and as the trip progressed we were treated to tons of great food and games.

For our final few days though, the temperature plummeted and left us throwing on every piece of warm clothing we brought. On the positive side though, -20 degree wind chills sure empty out a mountain.

I used to have to do this every morning when I lived in Illinois:

On our last day riding, the sun came out and it was off to Breckenridge to ski the peak 9 bowls. It was still pretty cold and windy, but at least the sun was out. The goal for the day? Hike to the peak.

Unfortunately the lifts stop a bit short, and to get to the peak you’re left with a four story ice covered stair climb with 60mph wind gusts.

“Uh, why don’t you guys go for it, and we’ll meet you at the bottom.”

Here’s half way up at the start of the climb:

And what felt like an eternity later, the top:

The peak is basically a 5’x5′ freezer/wind tunnel that turns even the toughest pair of brothers into shivering little girls. The view is breathtaking (or maybe that was the altitude), but it felt like any wrong step and we’d be one of those snowballs rolling down the mountain. We did eventually drop in, and the ride down was certainly one of the highlights of the trip. Here’s halfway down:

Ok, enough snowboarding. I mentioned earlier that each night we were treated to great food and great games. One of those games was my parents’ new favorite Wii game. I think they’re working on something for the wedding..

Finally, one day on the slopes Michelle asked me video tape her so she could show her mom and sister. Please excuse my thumb as I try not to break the phone..

So that’s our trip. It’s back to normal for bit I guess (hope). Stay tuned for some new wedding updates!