It was to be our first day without kids on Aspen Highlands this year. No kids. No friends. Just the two of us, what a luxury. I want to ski the bowl with you and take you out to lunch at Cloud Nine, Wade said to me as we cuddled up close on the chairlift. But the invitation came with rules, no no rapping with the GM about Aspen Real Life and no working.
Having the kids in ski programs on two different mountains made for a late start for our date. I took Hootie-Hoo up to Snowmass and dealt with the parking fiasco, wondering who the planners were for Base Village and why they did not factor in harried parents dropping off little bundles of trembling love at ski school.
Hootie-Hoo has been quite impossible lately turning into a monster at the slightest discipline but on this day he was excited to break away from his seemingly overbearing family and unite on the ski slopes with fellow monsters disguised as cherubs with rosy soft kissable cheeks.
I was on time for once, that was until I realized I had left his helmet, gloves and goggles sitting next to the ski bag that I had loaded into the van. Panic struck and I went into survivor mode but he was so excited, he did not have the expected melt down as he clunked up the three flights of stairs from the parking garage. He only giggled and in his sweet little voice told me that next time I needed to write myself a note. I accelerated the pace and dragged him through the mall to the nearest ski shop.
I need to rent a helmet on the double, I announced before I had two feet inside the shop. An extremely sweet young man approached me with a smile but I had no time for his nonplussed responsiveness to my aggrieved situation.
Mission accomplished, I flowed by the sea of other parents carrying little ones with skis pointing hazardously in every which way, sharp missiles with no aim. The ski instructors informed me that I was very late. No really?! I wanted to scream in exhaustion. They swept Hootie-Hoo away before he noticed the separation and I ran off, hoping that they were as efficient as they appeared to be and that I would see my son at the end of the day, unbroken.
When I arrived at the parking lot, Baddy was jamming out to Motley Crew. He had been waiting an hour and a half for me and did not utter one complaint, so when his car did not start from sitting there so long with the battery on, I hesitated to show my irritation.
Finally, we made it to the bowl and there we ran into his own motley crew from his hard core Wednesday night escapades. They exchanged tribal words, and the pac lightly teased Baddy for being so lame, literally that is. Baddy has pushed it too far and can barely walk at the moment, but he can still impress the best of them on the ski slopes.
We launched into Rip Curl and I was once again transported to heaven in the soft, steep, smooth terrain. On the way down I filmed Baddy so that I could show him later that although lame, he is still one of the greatest free skiers out there.
At the bottom, feeling the moment, we exchanged words of love and skied over to the restaurant for a shared lunch and wine. It was packed full but being the mountain man that Baddy is, he didn’t care and I had on my Columbia Sportswear Thermal Reflective Omni-Heat “Steep and Deep” jacket that captures 20% of your body heat to keep you warm, so I was as cozy as could be. It has now become my “Steep and Deep Highlands Bowl” jacket as its light weight and warmth are perfect for hiking and skiing.
We caught up on lost conversations and planned hut and desert trips for the future as we played name that tune with songs from the 80s blaring out of the speakers. He had Flock of Seagullitis and lost most every time.
It was a day to remember and a day where all of our daily stresses melted away into a bonding reconnection, and it was exceptional!