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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Winter Sport

Last week I was able to enjoy winter sports at it’s best (possible) here in Minnesota.
Kharmen and I had hoped to plan a few days snowboarding in Jackson Hole, but ended up in Lutzen for a day and a half playing in the snow. We left Thursday morning for a ride filled with laughter and serious catching up on our lives, because we hadn’t seen each other for a while. Lake Superior was partly frozen and provided some pretty views.
We arrived in Lutzen a little after 2pm, which left us only 2.5 hours of boarding, no night skiing/boarding in this part of the state. After complaining about the fact that an afternoon pass was only 5 dollars cheaper for a while we decided to go ahead anyway.
We did get some good boarding in despite Kharmen’s troubles with her bindings. She bought a new board this year and this was her virgin voyage not without difficulties.
When we arrived back in the “resort” the bar had opened so it was time for a beer. Late lunch was enjoyed in the form of chicken wings and OK, one more beer than!
We drove to our hotel, only about 300 yards down the road, to check in and be told that our room was even closer to the lift.
We unpacked, showered and decided to get a quick dinner before Gray’s Autonomy started. Besides we got a coupon for a free drink, so those couldn’t go to waste!
We walked back to the restaurant, which was connected to the bar we were before, and finished our food pretty quickly.
Back in the hotel room we switched on the fireplace and found out that Gray’s was a rerun. That was the end of the day for Kharmen, who had been up until after 2am the night before. I made it to about 10pm before calling it a night.
The next day the temperatures had risen and the snow was a lot softer. We started on time and had a wonderful day. Kharmen was able to sort of fix her binding problems what made things a lot more comfortable for her. I didn’t get cold hands or feet and besides the occasional slowdown due to slush we “ripped it up!”
At the end of the day we jumped back in the Saab to get to Duluth for our Ice-hockey tournament. Dinner was at Betty’s Pies, which is besides it’s pies famous for the “Backpacker” a wild rice veggie burger, Kharmen is well informed when it comes to food. We both ordered one and it turned out to be true, the best veggie burger I ever tasted!
A piece of pie to go, which I eventually eat on Sunday after returning to Minneapolis, it was still tasty!
At the hotel we met up with the rest of the team and got ready for the first game. This was at 10.30pm and we actually played a good game despite loosing. I ended up missing a penalty shot and spending some time in the penalty box, innocent of course; she was holding my stick!
Back at the hotel we hang out in Kim and Michelle’s room for a while but I was quickly ready to hit the sack.
The next day started with a breakfast of many choices and a trip to Walgreen’s for my diet coke and toothpaste.
It was time for Kharmen to leave, as we got ready for our next game. She had a wedding reception to attend in the Cities. We were unable to convince her to stay and just wear her sweatpants to the reception. Who needs a little black dress when you have “Golden Stars” pants!
We again played a good game, even though we didn’t win. We have to learn to score to win!
Deb arrived during the second period and took some team pictures after the game.
We returned to the hotel to meet up in and around the hot tub and bubble our soreness away. The plan was to meet up for “happy hour” in Kim and Michelle’s room but Deb and I got side tracked and ended up, after getting coffee and a smoothie at Starbucks, trying on and eventually buying shoes at DSW.
Back at the hotel it was time to go out for dinner at “Grandma’s” with most of the team. Barb told me she found the perfect hill to go tubing right in the back of the hotel. So when I got back to the room I got out the pump and tube and got ready. I donned my ski pants, mittens, jacket, goggles and hockey helmet and was good to go.
The hill turned out to be perfect and before long we were taking turns sliding down trying to find better and faster paths. The spectators were able to keep their drinks cold in the snow bank and I found a shovel to improve and maintain the course as needed.
“Blue Bird” as my penguin was named did a great job with standing efforts to slide down luge-style with 2 people and sometimes sliding onto the parking lot pavement.
When everybody was soaked and cold we returned to the “party-room” were everybody soon figured out that watching to movie from the comfort of your own hotel bed would be much more comfortable.
The next day the last game of the tournament finally brought a win for us! Katie started out by score one, in our own goal, oops! But we stayed focused and played a good game, resulting in 4 goals for us including one by yours truly, who by the way ended up in the penalty box again. It was she or I going down to the ice, what’s a girl to do?
It was great to leave Duluth with a win and we now have a new mascot: Little Snowman or do we?


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