2018 Vermont Trip

Day 3: You live, and you learn, right?

BOY was today a day… brace yourself for this one. This morning started out very nice! Despite the fact that I was awake at 7:20am because our Airbnb also houses roosters (who’s call I have mastered), there were snow flurries outside!! I threw on my hoodie and some sweats, grabbed my boots, and walked around for a little bit outside. It’s a much nicer view during the day than at night, with lots of interesting things near by. The owner is definitely a hippie or nature lover for sure. There’s tons of plants in the house, everything is in mason jars, there’s a very hippie vibe going. Eventually, I headed back inside, went to see if Jamison was up, and we hung out for a bit to watch the snow fall outside (from the warmth of the inside of course). Not too long after, we had pizza for breakfast and then got ready to start our day….. SNOWBOARDING.

Let me just say, our first L of the day (of many) was not doing enough research on the resort to figure out where to go. Also, they don’t have many signs so shame on them a little as well, right? Finally, we found our way to a parking lot, got our lift tickets for today and tomorrow (that we preordered online — good to know for later), and got back onto the gondola to get to the trails and lifts. I have only every snowboarded once in my whole life, and it was probably about seven years ago. Jamison has never snowboarded in his life, only skied. When we go off the gondola, we walked towards the hill we could climb in order to test out the ride down. We hiked up the bottom of the slope a little, strapped ourselves into our boards, and attempted to head down the mountain. Jamison went down pretty fast. I went down after my foot came out of my board. Several attempts later, we unclipped our boots and walked down the rest of the mountain. Everyone around us seemed to be very good whether they were snowboarding or skiing. Obviously beginners, we found a hill leading down to a  little deli/locker/lounge building. Most people ride down this hill to go down to the building, but we decided we would instead try to practice just going down this hill. I have decided that I do much better when only my front foot is clipped in, and I just push my back foot against the binding. Jamison believes that opposite, and prefers to have both feet clicked in. To each their own. Jamison started to have a little bit of a rough time coming down the hill, and I wasn’t too much better. At one point I did make it mostly down the hill, but then fell. One of the workers of the resort walking down the hill was laughing at us! (Rude) Then when I made it to the end of the hill I saw him again and said, “Made it to the end this time *eyebrow raise*, we’re making progress” as he then smiled and laughed and continued walking up the hill. Unfortunately, we weren’t feeling to hot and confident and decided to sit down in the lounge for a little.

While sitting down we decided to download the Stowe Resort App so that way we could always pull up a map, since that’s another thing they don’t believe they should have multiple signs of apparently. After staring at the map for a decent amount of time and trying to figure out how the heck to read it and understand what any of it means, I figured out that instead of crossing back over on the gondola after getting our rentals, we should’ve stayed on that side, because that’s where all the beginner and easy courses are. Second L of the day — not thoroughly checking the maps prior to arriving. Once we figured out where we were going, we decided that we would just continue to find hills of some sort to ride down to practice and then, assuming we start to actually get better, try maybe going on an actual lift tomorrow. Here is where our third L of the day comes in. I try to plan ahead, so I thought we should order our lift tickets online ahead of time. I tried to reserve our rentals as well, but the site wouldn’t work for me. We bought our lift tickets for today and tomorrow (2 day pass), thinking we would be going on a lift, because we were a little naive. In the future, we know to maybe buy a lift ticket for one day and practice the first day instead of spending the money on two days and not using one of them (you live and you learn).

We made it over to the easy area and let me tell you, THIS WAS THE MOVE. (Finally a W) We 100% should have started here, no doubt. They had a couple lifts, that we are pretty sure aren’t as high and lead you to main straight forward paths (but we don’t know for sure). And then they had these things called “carpets” that essentially tow you up to the top of a mini hill so you can ride down… so pretty much our entire lifeline and the best part of our entire day. After a few times up and down this hill, we were getting the hang of it (definitely me more than Jamison 😉 ). Our confidence started to build up, we were learning how to veer left and veer right, and were attempting to stop without falling down or even coming close. This is where we spent the rest of our day! Jamison took a few hard falls to the back and arms, and he wasn’t as prepared as I was as far as the accessories went (you’d think I was meant to live up here or something *sips tea*), but he said he still had a great time! We took some videos of each other, and I even got a snapchat video of us while we were snowboarding! As the mountains and lifts were going to be closing shortly, we decided to head home to shower before heading to dinner to meet back up with Jamison’s cousin and his girlfriend.

We went to place called Prohibition Pig which is both a restaurant and a brewery, what a name. We got a full dinner, drank some beers, and jumped from topic to topic. After dinner we headed back towards our Airbnb for the night. This is where our day/night takes yet another turn. Which means yet another L, this one being a big one. While we’re driving home, it starts to snow. Mind you, we’re staying in a house in the woods essentially in the middle of nowhere with not really any civilization to be seen. We’re about 20 minutes away and heading up a hill when our car starts to lose traction and we no longer are moving. Tires spinning and the car moving from side to side (putting us on the left side of the road), we stop. A little bit of anxiety starts to set in as we try again. Tires still spinning and no movement. Stopped, think about what to do next, reverse the car a little, and try to see if we can move forward that way. Nope. I tell Jamison to just put it in park and take a break. We sat there for a few seconds, and I tell him to wait there as I get out of the car. I see these things that look like sticks so I’m thinking I can grab them to put until the tires to get us out of the area we’re in and hopefully up the hill. (A good idea in theory I think) I approach the sticks to find they’re branches/roots of trees and are not to be easily taken. Scratch that idea. I get back into the car, and ask Jamison for his phone so I can call his cousin. As I do that, Jamison gets his squeegee and gets out to attempt to essentially “plow” the road. I call his cousin and ask him if there’s anything he can think of that we can do, and the only thing we could really come up with was Triple AAA which Jamison doesn’t have, and he doesn’t know his Geico login to see if he has roadside assistance (men *rolls eyes*). I get off the phone and get out of the car to try to help him. While he is using his squeegee, I decide I’m going to “skate” the snow in a path wide enough for the tires to essentially do the same thing he was doing. Fingers crossed, we get back into the car, put it in drive, and attempt to head up the hill. Nothing. Cue more anxiety. Literally not knowing what to do, in an area we’re not familiar in, in the pitch black darkness, with no street lights or lights of any sort around, while it’s snowing, we have barely any service, and we’re on the left side of the road on the bottom end of a hill…great. I decide to just call 911 as I would declare this a bit of an emergency. They continue to tell me I’m breaking up and they can’t really hear me, but they understand I’m stuck, where I am, and are sending a plow out to plow the roads so we can make it home. They tell me to hang in there.

An hour goes by, and there still has not been a single plow. A few people stopped by to see if we’re okay, but since there’s not much they can do, they all go home anyways. One guy in a truck even laughed at us and told us “well you have summer tires on” (which isn’t true) — cool. I call again and explain that I called an hour ago. They give me to the same lady who tells me they just made contact with the plow and he’s on the way and ask if I want a tow truck as well. I say yes, because honestly at this point I don’t want us driving anymore and would rather ride safely in a tow truck home. She says she will send both out and to hang in there. About 30 minutes later, she calls me back saying the tow truck will be expensive and that she advises that if we’re only lacking traction because of the snow to wait for the plow and the tow shouldn’t be needed. So we continue to wait. About another 20 minutes goes by and we see a man walking down the road (assuming from the only house we can see). I get out of the car to talk to him and explain what’s going on. He goes on to tell me not to trust the police dept because they’re not sending a plow out here (how hopeful) and that he thinks we should turn around and go the other way (which we aren’t aware of because our gps only tells us one way). We learn that we have to reverse the car the entire way down the hill to get to the road at the end in order to then turn right to head back the way we came to essentially go back on the highway to drive on “actual roads” to get home. Why our gps doesn’t give this option to us is beyond me, but this guy seemed to be cool, he hadn’t killed me yet, and he seemed to know what he was talking about. Not wanting Jamison to reverse the car down the hill himself, in fear that he will drive or fall off the edge of the cliff and the fact that our situation was stressful enough on us, I finally got the guy to do it for us. PRAISE THE LORD FOR GOOD PEOPLE. This guy reverses the car for us the entire way down. Side note: while heading down the hill we see a plow. (They weren’t lying !!!) We try to wave them down, but they drive right by us.. rude. The guy makes it to the end of the hill and onto the side road, YAY, and gets out to explain to us where we need to go next to get home. As we’re standing there, another plow (probably the same one honestly) comes back our way and drives right by us. We then realize that we’re pretty sure they plowed the first time and then salted/sanded the second time. Either way, this guy told us how to get home, got our car to the end of the hill safely, and definitely is the sole and only reason we did not give up and just sleep in the car until morning. And yes, I did try to give him $20, but he refused and said all he wanted was a hug and for us to say that we were going to get home safely. We both did, and we headed on our way. (Major L turned into a slightly smaller l)

The drive home was a little bit less stressful and then a lot more less stressful when we got onto an actual road and eventually hit an area with civilization. However, we all know the entire way to the house isn’t paved, so eventually came the snowy, not actual roads. With lots of prayers, fingers crossed, and Jamison’s confident driving skills (as I looked down at the gps to motivate us while not looking in front of me), we eventually made it home safely.

For those of you who have been following me from the beginning (DC trip from 2 summers ago!), this was WAY WORSE than getting lost the first night I arrived in DC when my phone died, and I got off at the wrong metro stop (check out that trips blog here 😉 )

Once we got home, I immediately greeted the roosters. You honestly have no idea how good it feels to hear a roosters voice until you were scared out of your mind with no idea what to do a couple hours prior. I took the longest and nicest shower, grabbed our leftovers from dinner, and we got ready to watch some netflix outside on our mini deck. We got outside when I saw that the bench had snow on it so I asked Jamison to grab a towel to throw on the bench (which looking back on it didn’t really do much good, but it’s a placebo I suppose). We quickly realized the door was still locked. Why the door handle doesn’t unlock when you open it is beyond me, but this seemed to be our luck today. When then also quickly realized I had locked the sliding door after we got home in which case we have no way to get into our Airbnb…. yay. L number 1047235 of the day. I walk over to the sliding door to check anyways, but it was locked. However, we realized that the screen to the window of my room was raised and could be lifted. Fingers crossed that my window was unlocked, we lifted the screen, and tried to push the window up. IT MOVED! It moved so much that we actually took the bottom part of the window off its’ tracks and it fell onto the table full of plants and knocked one over (luckily it didn’t break). We then took yet another L, and pulled it out onto our side – one thing at a time. I climbed into the window and moved the table so I could get onto the floor. I have also come to terms with the fact that I am a ninja. Once I got onto the floor, I had Jamison hand me the bottom part of the window. After fiddling around for a few seconds, I was able to get the window back in place (not just beauty here boys 😉 ) We pushed the screen back down, shut the window, and unlocked the sliding door to let Jamison in. We then headed back out the back door, make sure that it was unlocked this time and didn’t even shut it all the way because we were still paranoid, and then ate our leftovers and watched netflix. Another semi major L turned into a little lesser of an l and maybe even a little w?

After the long day it has been, the massive amount of L’s we have taken today, and the little bit of W’s we also took, Jamison and I both agreed that today wasn’t actually half bad and that you truly do live and learn. Traveling on my own every year is about experiencing something new and getting a little out of your comfort zone. While I don’t want to necessarily get that out of my comfort zone, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world considering we did make it home safely…. even if it was after 2 hours of sitting in the car scared and anxious. Thank God for nice strangers who still exist in today’s society — let’s not forget that guy.

It is now 3:30am, I am exhausted, have had a very stressful yet still decent day, and I have a super long day ahead of me tomorrow. So I shall see you all tomorrow when we finish up the Vermont leg of our trip and shortly being to wrap up the trip all together 😦 Thanks for sticking around till the end! ❤

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