Monday, January 26, 2009

Ski Trip Weekend

The family (Wife Terri and Son Dante) and I went away to Galena, IL for a three day weekend. We went with another friend of mine, Jeff and his son Sam as well as met up with another family that Jeff knows. We had a total of five adults and four nine year old boys.

If you haven’t been there, Galena is a quaint little town located near the Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois border at the Mississippi River. The rolling terrain and picturesque views were something to behold. This area is generally a golfer’s paradise in the summer but it was quite desolate this time of year. There are various places for cross country skiing, sledding and a down hill ski hill called Chestnut Mountain.

We arrived on Friday afternoon and went to the three bedroom house we were staying at in a resort called Eagle Ridge. After we dropped our stuff off, we headed into town to grab lunch and walked around a bit. We headed back to the house so the kids could look around outside and explore the wooded setting. Later that evening the other couple that was joining us arrived and we sat around and chatted and got to know each other a bit. They were very nice and we discovered the wife (Linda) was a runner. As we sat up into the wee hours of the morning, we decided to head over to the workout facility and try to run in the morning. The other Dad’s took their kids and Dante sledding while Terri, Linda & I ventured to the gym in search of treadmills. I would have run outside but it was -5 degrees outside (no thanks). We got there and there were exactly three treadmills and were all were able to run side by side. We all did about the same distance, five miles for me. I also did some other machines and we headed back to the house.

After the boys got back we had lunch and then headed to go skiing. I hadn’t been skiing for twenty years or more, but was exited to go. This was Terri and Dante’s first experience, so I was exited for them also. I purchased the lifts tickets and got the ski rentals and we were off. After a quick trip down the bunny hill we realized that it was to remedial and needed to try the next one up. We headed to what they call Rookie Run, where my wife and son spent most of the time at. This run actually had chair lifts to take back up, which was much better than the tow rope on the bunny hill. After a few tries they were doing well and getting the hang of it and I ventured to the larger hills.

It is amazing how quickly remembering how to ski came back. I guess it is like riding a bike, once you learn, you never forget. I think I was a better skier now than I was in my teens. I was anticipating that I would fall several times, but to my surprise, not once.

After four hours of skiing in zero degree weather, the cold was starting to get to everyone and we packed it in and went to dinner. We went to a little bar & grill in the downtown area and had a few beers and food. After that, I stopped to get some more beer to bring back to the house and we played cards and talked, while the kids all crashed watching a movie.

Sunday morning came early and it was time to pack up and go. After we packed we headed out and ventured home. After we got home I did laundry and we all lounged around watching television and later Kung fu Panda. A nice relaxing evening to end a great weekend with family and friends, new and old and the chance to meet a new runner who is planning on running the Chicago marathon this year (Good luck Linda).

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