Having a blast in Salt Lake City with Shawn. The first evening here, we were pretty tired (I did catch my 0618 flight, which would have been 0418 SLC time. Good thing I am used to being sleep deprived.) So all we accomplished the first day was unpacking in our lovely room, exploring the hotel, having a snack, then attending a reception for Shawn's Hospital Association meeting.
We did notice early on the incredible dryness of the air here. I first noticed that my face felt dry and sunburned, then we noticed our hands were incredibly dry. We attributed all this to the flight, and hydrated madly, but it didn't help, and by now, day 3, we know we have to slather on lotion just to keep from looking like The Mummy (OK, I speak for myself here). Also my hair has taken on a life of its own and requires a lot of gunk to keep from looking like baby duck feathers.
Our sitting room.
Notice the garden tub, marble floors and luxurious amenities.
That's Shawn in the mirror, with my elbow. I have some other shots of her, like in the airport at Dallas/Ft. Worth. She was mostly covering her face with her purse in those shots. I'd have published them, but...well, she has some of me. Stalemate.
Yesterday, Shawn had meetings all day, so I decided it was time to take my first ski lesson. I took the Trax (streetcar) then bus, up to Alta. Breathtakingly beautiful. I hate to break it to you, but I didn't take my camera, because I was sure I would fall and break it. Portentious sentiment, as what I did best all day was fall.
I was told that the beginners ski class would be as good a way to start as a private lesson. So I bought my ticket, and went and rented boots, skis and poles. The boots are something else. Just getting into them was difficult. I have very high arches and have a hard time getting into boots (you should see me struggling with cowboy boots), and in fact, I love the way boots look, but about the only ones I can get into (and out of) are lace-ups. In college, I remember having a pair of Capezio mid-thigh vinyl boots that I wore with mini-skirts. I have managed to erase all memory of getting in and out of them. Back then, fashion must have been more important to me than it is now.
So I struggled into the ski boots. Then practiced walking around a bit. You can't move your ankles, which makes it a new way of walking. While practicing, I noticed that it felt I had something in my left boot. I partially opened it, and didn't see anything. Snugged it back up with all those clamps, same sensation. So I took the darned boot off, and realized I had an ankle bracelet on. I can imagine what hamburger my ankle would have looked like by the end of the day if I had left it on.
(BTW, I bought a lovely ankle bracelet, and it broke the second time I wore it. It was, you see, delicate. Now I wear a 16" neck chain wrapped twice around the ankle. I like the way it looks and when I need a short neck chain, I have it for that too. Maybe take some photos after we get our pedicures tomorrow...)
Anyway, I stomped around in the boots for about a half-hour, trying to balance skis and poles at the same time.
Got to the class. There were five of us. Doug was our ever patient instructor. We started with basics like putting on the downhill ski first, and doing so perpendicular to the slope. Then we did some shallow slopes and learned to stop. This was not a strong suit of mine. Apparently I pulled in my knees when I should just have been bringing the tips of the skis together. And I angled the skis off the plane of the snow. Another no-no.
I wiped out early, giving my tailbone a good smack. Then, we were going down a slope, and I found myself, in spite of my instructions to my legs and skis, heading right for the tow rope. Now I had been watching experienced skiiers duck under these. I hadn't had that class on that maneuver yet, and envisioned garrotting myself on the rope. So, as a lesser-of-two-evils maneuver, I hit the ground. OK. Later, I fell to keep from running over a classmate who was moving slowly ahead of me. So one of my problems was that I couldn't stop at will. I kept falling down to keep something worse from happening. And once I fell, getting me back up wasn't pretty.
Then when Doug showed us the tow rope, I fell down twice because I didn't keep my skis parallel.
Bottom line: I am not sitting here in a cast. My tail is still sore, the rest of me is OK, and I'm pretty sure I didn't fracture my coccyx. In fact, I'm not even bruised back there. But I am grateful that at no time when I became a pile of limbs and skis, did I hear a loud snap.
Back at the hotel, I took a long hot bath. Normally, I am a morning shower girl, but I thought a hot soak migh temper the soreness awaiting me.
Shawn and I went out last night for a lovely Italian dinner. She has the souvenir menu, so I'll let her tell you about that. It was great, except I kept complaining about my butt being sore.
So the first thing this morning, I opened my eyes and said: "You know, it would have been much better if I had taken a private lesson. Maybe I'll go back up and try that." The truth is, I feel good. My muscles aren't sore, and my tail bone is much better. But then I thought--this would be my last day to practice (tomorrow is Spa day--more on that later) and I'd surely forget it before I ever have a chance to ski again. And I had this feeling I was tempting fate. I tried at least a half-dozen times to hurt myself. The next one might be the one I dislocated someting or broke something. And if I fell on my butt again, the recovery might not be quite so fast.
One thing for sure, I proved I don't have osteoporosis.
So instead, I think I'll just take my camera around the neighborhood and try to get you some good photos. Sort of like Joan does.
Tonight, we go to Park City for a wagon ride and dinner and drinks at a lodge. More on that later, too.
And lest you think we forgot: Happy St. Patrick's Day!