Snow and Blue Sky!

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Perfect day in Vail Colorado. Can’t go wrong with blue sky and snow!

Basking in the Colorado Sun and….

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Watching the Mountains change color with the snow.

Keystone – On Top of the World

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A trip to the top of a mountain never disappoints and this was no exception.

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Dead of July – click on the book cover to learn about the author.

Escape to the Mountains

 

I survived a long tiring week. A week with so much going on it was hard to keep up. It was my birthday on Thursday. I reached the ripe old age of 56. Hard to believe as I feel at least twenty years younger. Maybe I got the dates wrong. I had a lovely day, made special by friends and family. Beautiful roses from my daughter.

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The week ended with a relaxing day in Keystone. After riding two gondola’s to get to the highest mountain peak, we arrived at the AlpenGlow Stube, where we shared a very special lunch with friends and family. After sipping champagne, I felt my troubles slip away.Alpenglow Stube at Keystone

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We all enjoyed a gourmet meal in wonderful surroundings. You can’t beat a glass of Champagne at 12,000 feet.

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The views from the top of the mountain are breath-taking and I didn’t want to leave, but all good things have to come to and end.

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Next time I visit Keystone, I will take my snowboard and enjoy the beautiful mountain the way it should be enjoyed. I am NOT the fastest snowboarder on the mountain, but I certainly enjoy the ride.

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I wish this was me, but it’s not. I am NOT quite that agile.

Monday tomorrow! Not ready for it, but the money has to be earned so I can enjoy my little weekend trips. I intend to visit the mountains a lot more in 2013. We don’t have the Ocean here in Colorado, but I think the mountains are the next best thing.

Keystone Ski Resort |Colorado Ski Vacations | http://www …

Soup and Snowboarding

Seems like they should go together doesn’t it!  I just made a delicious pan of black eye pea soup from a recipe I found on a blog I follow.  The Cooking Bride : A Food and Cooking Blog This soup was delicious. Truly! I will make it again. I know it’s traditional to have black eye pea soup on New Years Day. So I missed the boat a little, maybe next year.

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There is absolutely nothing like a bowl of soup at the end of a long day on the mountain, whether it be skiing or snowboarding. Well maybe there is, an ice-cold beer is pretty good too. I had hoped to snowboard tomorrow, but unfortunately it is not to be. Just not feeling great. Maybe next weekend. Missing the mountains so badly.

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Not an excellent fast, or very brave snowboarder, but I do enjoy the view. Who wouldn’t? I will rest today, because my body is telling me to, but the mountains are calling. Keystone, I will see you soon.

Check out my other blog – STOP TALKING TO ME for updates on my upcoming novel ‘Dead of July’ and my short story ‘Girl on the Beach’.

You can also Follow me on Facebook

Dead of July (Small)

Thanksgiving in Steamboat Springs

2012 marks my seventeenth Thanksgiving in Colorado. We moved to the US in January of 1995 and spent our first Thanksgiving with our new friends, enjoying the occasion immensely. I couldn’t be persuaded to eat pumpkin pie (and still haven’t tried it), but the rest of the meal was delicious. My daughter was only eleven in 1995 and sat at the children’s table.

She is all grown up now and this year we have been invited to spend Thanksgiving in Steamboat Springs with her boyfriends family. What a treat! I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner several times since 1995, but don’t quite capture the atmosphere. This year I am looking forward to the hospitality and traditions of another American famlily, and making more new friends.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado is a wonderful place at any time of the year, but with a little snow on the ground, and the smell of turkey’s roasting in the oven, it will be heaven.

Maybe I can work off my Thanksgiving dinner with a little snowboarding on Friday.

Known as Ski Town USA, Steamboat is a charming western town in the mountains. Unlike Vail and Beaver Creek, it is not at all pretentious. Cowboys ride horses in the snow in here. I am very much looking forward to my trip.

Photo taken from National Geographic

 

55 and feeling ALIVE!

Do you remember when you were a teenager? You thought anyone over thirty was OLD. Heck, you thought anyone over 20 was old. I remember looking for a club in Middlesbrough with my husband and a couple of friends when I was in my mid twenties. We stopped a young couple (who weren’t that much younger than us) and asked them where to go. One of them shrugged her shoulders and said “not sure for people your age.” MY AGE – I WAS 25.

Now thirty years later, I don’t feel any older. I am a little wiser (and a little wilder) but I still feel the same as I did when I was 25. When I look in the mirror, someone else is looking back at me, someone who looks very much like Phoebe Ethel, my mother. But I have more fun now than I ever did at 25. I took up snowboarding about ten years ago. I’m not great, but I enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also love going to Zumba Classes:

 

Turbo Kickboxing helps me keep fit and ready for the snowboarding season.

No this isn’t me, wish it was.

What I am trying to say is don’t despair when you turn fifty. My mum always said “Life begins at Forty”, well I don’t agree.

Your life begins the day you ere born and just continues to get better if you let it. So live, don’t let age scare you, embrace it and do all that you can, while you can. Get off your behind and out into the world!

So endeth my lesson for today.

Oh, by the way, I also write books now too. One is in the process of being edited (Preview) Dead of July

My first two short stories are available on Amazon….for free. When I launch my new book, I will take them down to be re-edited as I want them to be as wonderful as ‘Dead of July’ which will be published in March.

My free books are:

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

Guy at the Bar Amazon

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK

My other blog is STOP TALKING TO ME and if you want you can even Follow me on Facebook

I also am known to tweet, although I am not very good at it Follow @ColoradoBrit

You can teach an old dog new tricks, I am living proof and loving it.

Dieting – Not good! Workouts wonderful!

Why is it so hard to diet? What is it about food we can’t resist. It’s fuel for our body, so why do we have such a ‘love hate’ relationship with it?
I started my diet pretty well and lost five pounds. I have been doing great in the evenings, eating healthier, smaller portions.  Then tonight I bought some French bread!!!! I brought it home with the intention of having one small piece, with a little cheese. It was soooo good. The second piece was larger than the first. Yes, I succumbed and ate way too much. Now I feel fat and guilty. It was just one slip up. One set back.I haven’t given up. Tomorrow is another day!

On a more successful note, I got plenty of exercise snowboarding on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday I walked three miles during my lunch hour, enjoying the lovely Spring sunshine. On Tuesday evening  I attended  a ‘Turbo Kickboxing’ class. On Wednesday I went to a Les Mills ‘body pump class’

Today, had a crazy day at work so no walk. We all know what I did tonight.

I will continue my diet tomorrow and hopefully have a better day. I would love to lose another fifteen pounds. I can do it.

Colorado State Patrol ‘Pacer Cars’ on Interstate 70 in Colorado – Do they work?

This is what being at the top of the mountain is all about. Look at it. Early in the morning the clouds part to reveal breath-taking views.

You have to stop and admire the beauty and majesty of it before you step into your bindings and set off down the mountain.

This morning at Keystone was beautiful. It was serene. Not too crowded, not too cold and a coating of fresh snow. What could be better?

Unfortunately the ride back is not serene. Interstate 70 cannot handle the traffic. The famous Ski Resorts in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado attract millions of tourists, so why is none of the money generated by tourism spent on this crucial mountain highway?

 

 

I am in my fifties, and traveling up to the mountains at the weekend to snowboard, and then driving back in the same day is exhausting for me. If the traffic weren’t so bad, I would make the trip every couple of weeks.

Every five or six weeks, I check into ‘The Keystone Lodge and Spa’ with my husband and we are able to snowboard for a couple of days without being stuck in a car on the Interstate. I purchase the ‘Epic Pass’, at the cost of over $500, which allows me to snowboard Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek, I would love to take advantage of each and every resort, the only thing that deters me is the dreadful Interstate 70. Traveling to and from Vail and Beaver Creek for the day is out of the question because the journey can take anything up to five hours and who wants to waste half of their weekend sitting in traffic?

Colorado Department of Transport and the State Patrol decided the cheap answer to fix the traffic problem on Interstate 70 was to have ‘Pacer Cars’. These cars are supposed to help the flow of traffic and reduce accidents. I don’t think they work.
Since these pacer cars were introduced, I have travelled to the mountains twice.

In January we traveled back from Keystone early on a Sunday afternoon and the traffic barely moved. When it did move the speeds were erratic. The pacer cars seemed to be making things worse. It was one of the worst journey’s I had ever experienced. Snow and bad weather conditions were not a factor. It was a clear sunny Sunday afternoon.

Today, we left Keystone at around 10:30 am. We could see the pacer car ahead of us. It was inhibiting the natural flow of the traffic. It was only 10:30am and the traffic wasn’t even that heavy so why would they need a pacer car?

Somewhere near Georgetown, for no apparent reason, the traffic came to a sudden halt. Why? Did the pacer car stop? I am not sure because I was too busy trying not to run into the car ahead of me, who was trying not to hit the car ahead of him. I glanced in my rear view mirror and knew the car behind me was going to hit me. I braced myself.

I was lucky! The driver behind me knew exactly what was doing and although he couldn’t avoid running in to me, he turned his wheel so he didn’t hit me full on. Instead he clipped the snowboard rack on the back of our car. We both found a spot to pull over and luckily for all of us, there was no damage.

This man was clearly shaken, as he had his wife and kids in the car, and we all thought about ‘what could of happened’.

When we established there was no damage, and everyone was OK he said.

“We set off early to avoid the pacer cars. They have made the traffic so much worse”

This is the very first accident I have ever had on Interstate 70 and I have been traveling up to the mountains for around 14 years. In my opinion the pacer car is not a solution to the problems on this Interstate. I believe it makes the journey worse and not better. 

I would love to hear other people’s experiences with this new system. I personally think it is a waste of time and money, but if you can prove me wrong, I would love to hear from you.

Riding the Mountain at Keystone

As you can see it was a cold, snowy, windy day at Keystone. So windy I got blown over twice within the first 100 yards of my ride down the mountain. It was a little more sheltered as I descended.

My second run of the day was probably my best ever. I picked up some good speed and relaxed. Glad I came!

Twice down the mountain was enough today, each run is four miles and in the wind and blowing snow, that was quite exhausting.

I rested for a while at the Spoon ‘Cafe/Bar’ at the base, and enjoyed an ice-cold beer before returning to The Keystone Lodge.

Now I am warm and relaxed and looking forward to dinner at the ‘Wolf Rock Steak House’ where it seems there are some really good brews and my husband can get his ‘Chicken Pot Pie’ fix.

Something for everyone here at Keystone. Don’t be discouraged you ‘old snowboarders’, you can still improve at 55, and enjoy the ride!

Oh to update my diet…….not getting on the scales again until Monday.

If you want a short amusing read whilst sitting by the fire in the lodge, check out my two books, which are currently on a ‘Free Amazon Promo’, or follow me on Facebook for updates on my new novel ‘Dead of July’ which will be released in late Spring.

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