Holidays inspire travel and on this holiday, America’s birthday, many Orlando natives are spending time at the beach or on a boat. With cold beverages and being in close proximity to water, we will all try to stay cool while watching local firework spectacles. In this summer heat, there is something so thrilling and exotic about the thought of snow. And believe it or not, we are halfway through the year already, so it is high time we start planning our holiday travels. Therefore, let us celebrate this Independence Day with fantasies of Christmas in July!
For the past three years, my family and I have vacationed in Breckenridge, Colorado, skiing, drinking and generally, being merry. The first time we visited Breckenridge, I had never skied, nor spent time in a mountain town like this. Ironically, I was reminded of the beach towns with which I am very familiar… the surf culture is simply replaced by the culture of snow sports, the most important of which is snowboarding. In a town like Breckenridge, not unlike notable surf retreats, the entire culture seems to revolve around outdoor sports. Hence, grab a scarf and get on the mountain!
This can be intimidating for someone who has never been on skis or snowboard before. Firstly, there are a multitude of stores where one can rent skis and / or snowboards of all sizes and intended for all levels of experience. Store staff will fit patrons with boots and then adjust the resistance on the boot fitting of the ski or snowboard, in order to best accommodate the patron’s level of experience. For a beginner, a very sensitive fitting is best, since it is less cumbersome falling down a mountain when he or she is free from skis or snowboard… I know this from experience. However, be not intimidated by the idea of falling down a mountain. My Florida mentality had me believing that a fall could mean impending doom, plummeting to my near death off a cartoon-like cliff. In actuality, falling on the mountain is a very common occurrence, especially on the green runs which are the least challenging level of runs. Moreover, falling on the mountain is not as traumatic as one might imagine, usually less injurious than falling during biking or rollerblading. This holds true unless you are on a more challenging run, like say a double black diamond, which I do not suggest for beginners!
In regard to beginners, Breckenridge Ski & Ride School offers lessons for beginners of all ages. In fact, they offer lessons for experts of all ages who wish to perfect their skills! In the words of Julie Andrews the first day of ski school will “start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Instructors demonstrate how one gets in and out of skis, moves on flat and inclined surfaces, and boards and exits ski lifts. Do not be discouraged by falls either. You will fall… a lot, but with patience and perseverance, you can eventually master the snowplow and S-turns. With the help of ski lessons, over three years of ski vacations, I have successfully completed several black runs. I should clarify though that by successful, I simply mean that I made it down the mountain with no major injuries.
Stay tuned this week for more about the town of Breckenridge, Colorado and the exciting activities it offers out of snow boot attire.