Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A forgotten video

I was cleaning up my camera SD cards after our ski vacation when I came across a video of Gardner dreaming that I had forgotten to post. I thought I would post it now just for kicks. Its not one of the best dreams I have seen him have but is still cute. Make sure you have your volume all the way up when you watch it. He barks and chases things a lot in his dreams.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Dream Come True!

Our cabin first thing this morning.

When we woke up this morning we had over 8 fresh inches of snow and it was still coming down. We packed up and headed out ASAP to Winter Park. We were some of the first people on the slopes and it was like a dream! It was the first time since I have learned to ski that ALL of the runs were covered in over a foot of fresh powder by the time we got there and were nearly untouched. There are not enough words for how amazing it was! The upper most runs and lifts were closed because of the winds - gusts up to 60 MPH.

This is the view of the Mary Jane Run fist thing in the morning.

Here comes Alex down Mary Jane and loving the powder.

However, just a few minutes later, this is Alex after a beautiful spill. His helmet flew off with his goggles and got full of snow. Poor guy had a cold head for awhile.

Trees along the runs.

Alex and I spent a lot of time today in the trees. The powder there is amazing and it is so much fun to zip in and out between them. I came out from a clump of trees onto a run that was full of Moguls but I didn't see them and when I hi them I went flying up in the air and landed on my face. Alex snapped some pictures of me right after I had flipped over and was trying to get up.

Skiing in powder over a foot deep is challenging but a ton of fun. We both spent a lot of time on the ground today.

Luckily all of the fresh snow makes for a soft landing.

A view of the trees we were skiing in and out of. It was so quiet, soft and beautiful. By 3pm the storm got worse and the snow was really falling like mad. The wind was howling and we couldn't even see the slopes. The temp was more than -10 degrees out so we decided to call it a day and head home. Below is Alex being pelted with snow, notice you can't even see the trees behind him.

The past four days has been an amazing adventure!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A relaxing day at Breckenridge.

I expected to hurt all over when I got up this morning, after our workout at Vail, but by some miracle I didn't. We decided to take it easy today and went to Breckenridge. It was really windy so all of the fun stuff up at the top was closed. We just took it easy on the blues. It was probably a good thing that the wind had kicked up because we were both really tired. We ended up only skiing for about three hours before heading down into the village and walking around.

Views from the top of peak seven.

This was my first trip to Breck and they have the best ski town by far! It is just so darn cute I could just wander around for hours. Alex wanted some ice cream so we wandered through the town a bit and found a shop that sold the fun hats that you put on top of your helmets while skiing. I thought maybe y'all could give us your opinions on a few of them.

This was my favorite of all of all of them.

What a sexy guy!

Luckily we didn't walk around for too long because just as we got over the pass on the way back to our awesome little cabin another winter storm hit. We plan to ski at Winter Park tomorrow so yippee for fresh snow! I just hope it isn't so much that we can't get out tomorrow night. Our cats might get mad at us if we don't get home tomorrow. God forbid bailey goes a day without food.

This is the entrance to the hospital in Breck. How great must the views from their bed's be?

This was the view out of our cabin tonight. This morning you could see huge mountains and now there is nothing but snow and trees.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yet another great day at Vail

We had another amazing day of skiing today. We decided to go to Vail for the day. The drive there was spectacular! The mountains were all covered in snow and the morning sunshine looked so beautiful. We even passed a big group of rocky mountain sheep on the side of the road. Their horns always look so cool.

Vail was amazing as always. We have gotten so lucky to have sunshine every time we go up there. We really challenged ourselves today. We spent most of the day taking on the amazing back bowls! There is no place like the back bowls of Vail! It took us almost an hour to make it to the bottom of one of the bigger ones. We finished off the day by tackling the double black diamond runs. By the time the lifts stopped running I hurt in places I didn't know I had! Overall though I was really proud of myself that I could make it down a double black diamond, especially since I just started skiing last year.

This is the top of the Sun Down bowl. It was really warm out and the snow was so soft.

This is me about half way down Sun Down Bowl.

At most resorts out here you can find a spot on one lift where the trees are decorated with strange stuff people throw in them. For example, at keystone there are a group of trees off of one of the lifts that are covered in colorful beads. On the way up on chair five at Vail, there are several trees covered in ladies underwear and bras. There are beads too of course. The sight of them always makes me smile. I tried to get a picture, didn't turn out great but I think you will get the idea.

I didn't have anything easily removable for the tree, how sad.

Another beautiful day at Vail.
View from one of the eight back bowls.

View from a lift in he back. I just love the way the pine trees look when they are all covered with snow.

The lodge where we went to get warm and eat lunch was covered in icicles. They were really beautiful.

Our view during lunch.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day One Post Blizzard

Fort Collins and Denver only ended up getting about a foot of snow. Below the snow on the roads however was about three inches of ice, which made the highway a skating rink. Alex and I were hell bent on making it to the mountains today though. I want to send a special thank you to the state of Michigan today for its crappy weather. Because of all the driving on snow I did growing up I was able to white knuckle us to the mountains. The roads to Denver and west for about 30 miles were a solid sheet of pitted ice! But once we got past Denver it was clear as a bell on the roads. We decided to stop at Keystone today and head to Vail tomorrow. We were anxious to get on the slops. And OMG was it worth the drive! Today was amazing - sunny, warm and more fresh snow than we knew what to do with.

This is taken from the outpost Gondola. We were heading into the back to reach the way-back bowls in search of fresh powder. For those of you that don't ski, the runs on the front of the mountains are usually groomed every day. They are great for sore knees and are so smooth and soft after a fresh snow but there is no powder. You have to go into the back bowls to find ungroomed trails and fun runs with lots of trees. Usually I don't like the way back bowls because they are so choppy that it really hurts my knees. But today was different.

We caught another chair lift or two and finally made it to the back ridge and started to hike up onto the ridge to reach all of the untouched areas and the north and south bowls. Above is the sign you see when you finally reach the top of the mountain. Hiking in ski boots is not easy and your shoulders get sore from your skies resting on them.

Look how miserable Alex looks trying to climb up the mountain ridge with his skies on. They have a snowmobile that will run you up to the top so you don't have to hike but we didn't want to pay the $5 it cost to get a ride.

Alex is leaning on his ski's near the top trying to catch his breath.

The View from the top. All of the runs you see are the runs at Breckenridge. You can't see the mountains above them because they are covered in clouds.

So off in to the South Bowl we went. The powder was over knee deep at spots. I quickly learned that skiing in deep powder is VERY different than skiing on groomed trails. I was on my face or my butt or side every few feet. It was so much fun! The snow was so deep that when you fell it was like falling into a giant fluffy pillow. My skies were constantly popping off when I fell and often I couldn't find them because they were buried too deep. Once I fell forward in a splits like face plant and couldn't get up because the tips of my skies were stuck deep down in the snow. If the camera had not been in my pants pockets I would have had Alex take a picture.  He probably couldn't have taken one anyways because he was laughing too hard at my silly struggle to get up. He ended up having to pull my skies out and help me flip over. Alex took quit a few spills too. Below are a few pictures of our deep powder adventures.

I stuck my poles in the snow and nearly lost them. They just kept going down, the more I pushed the deeper they went. The base back there is about 60 inches.

Alex dove off the edge ahead of me and made it a few feet before becoming a giant rolling ball of snow, feet and arms. This is him climbing back up the hill to try and reclaim his skies. It took him forever to find them because they got buried over two feet deep.

I went off down the mountain without Alex and checked back on him awhile later, he is STILL looking for his lost ski. He is poking the snow with his pole trying to find it. Poor guy!

We finally made it through the steep part and in to the trees. It was so much fun. The path was narrow and I felt like I was on a half pipe with trees at the edges. I came out of one set of trees and didn't have enough room to stop and decided to crash into a pile of snow to stop myself. I quickly learned that what I thought was a pile of snow was really a rock covered in snow. Ouch! No major damage was done and at least it stopped me. While I was sitting smashed up against the rock I took the below picture.

I am not sure if you can tell or not but it is fairly steep and is shaped like a chute.

It got cloudy around 3pm and really started to get cold and snow again. Yippee for more snow. After the lifts closed we headed back to our rooms. Thank you Laurie for the FANTASTIC accommodations you got us! Below is the view from our room.

We are staying at Snow Mountain Ranch over by Winter Park. The activities for families here are amazing. Well I better hit the sack, we are headed off early to Vail tomorrow. One last thing I have to say though: Happy 35th Birthday Alex! I hope it was a good one!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Blizzard!

I woke up this morning with North Carolina on my mind. We had about 4 inches of snow on the ground and it was coming down hard. I rolled over and thought, if only we still lived in North Carolina...I wouldn't have to go to work. But instead I got up and drove through 6 inches of snow to work and had a busy morning in clinic. Denver may get up to three feet and we are predicted to get over a foot. It started snowing last night and is suppose to keep snowing until 9am tomorrow morning. The exciting thing is that Alex and I have plans to stay in the mountains all weekend to celebrate Alex's 35th birthday. So if we can get there tomorrow it should be an amazing weekend - Vail has gotten over 3 feet of snow in the past 3 days and it is still falling. Because Denver was getting so much snow and the headquarters of Salud (where I work) is in Denver, they decided to close our clinic early. Yippeee!!! I got an afternoon snow day!!!

Above is a close up of part of the hill behind our house. Kids hit the hill as soon as school let out. The picture is dark because it's snowing.

Alex and Bailey were happy that I came home early.

spoiled puppies

So either I love our Guide Dog Puppies a lot or I am really lazy. Probably a little a both. I made Gardner a puppy bed and have been moving it back and forth between the living room and the bedroom. Yesterday I decided to make a second bed that we could keep in the living room. I think they turned out pretty cute.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Alex and I were sitting watching a movie Friday night when I realized I didn't know where Dusty was. I called for her and no puppy came. She is really good about coming when called so I knew something was amiss. I called and called and finally saw her up on the landing looking down at us. So why wasn't she running down the stairs to us when called? Because what you can't see in the picture is that there were two feisty kitties keeping her trapped up stairs. Dusty often tries to steal the cats food so they guard her closely when she is not by our side. Dusty will be headed back to Calf. next month for training. We will miss her and wish her luck.

Yoga Puppy

Gardner has been going with me to my Yoga classes for awhile now. He is usually really good and everybody loves to watch him when he decides to do "down dog" or "up dog" at the same moment we do. I had last Thursday off and went to an early morning class with him. I gave him his own mat, he seems to get up and try to wander less that way, and the class was really small. Since I know the instructor well I asked if she would take a picture of Gardner for me during classes. I was hoping to get some more shots of him at the Saturday class that I go to but I had a migraine and couldn't go. He is back at the Guys now for two weeks. I sure am going to miss the big knuckle head.

He is sitting in these pictures but he often lays on his back in "shavasana" the whole class.

Hike up Horsetooth "mountain"

Horsetooth as seen from the trail.

Fort Collins is famous for the large rock formation that is on top of the foothills. The formation looks like a set of Horse teeth, thus its name - Horsetooth mountain. We have lived her almost two years and haven't hiked up to it yet. It was sunny and almost 80 today and since Alex needed a break from studying we decided to head out for a short hike.

A view of part of Horsetooth reservoir.

Some giant rocks we passed on our way up.

The view to the west from the trail - I think that is longs peak.

I posted the rest of the pictures of our hike on our website, if you want to see more. www.kaplunfamily.com on the page - Colorado travels.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thankful for the pain

I woke yet again this morning with another migraine (that makes 5 so far this week). I was quite disappointed as I knew it would slow me down for the day. Its Saturday and I had a ton planned. Yet as the morning wore on, my attitude changed. I ate breakfast with Alex, took a slow shower and then sat in my robe on the porch in the sun. As I sat there and listened to the ducks and watched the kids playing in the park, I suddenly became thankful that I had a headache. It made me slow down, rest and enjoy the moment. Maybe I should do this more often without a headache.

The puppies enjoyed the morning sun too. Isn't Dusty "in season" diaper cute?

Tug, Tug, Tug

Early this morning I was resting peacefully in bed and all was quiet (except for the squawking geese of course) when I suddenly heard noises that sounded as if the puppies were playing tug. I was a bit perplexed, as I know I put all of the tug toys away last night. I sat up and found them trying to play tug with a large bone. They weren't really tugging but rather were running in circles with each of them holding on to an end. I didn't have the camera with the video on it so all I could capture was a still photo but it was pretty funny to watch.

The kitties of course were watching all of this with great looks of disgust on their faces.

While I made Alex breakfast the puppies snuggled in the sunbeam by the patio door. It was an absolutely gorgeous spring day in Fort Collins!

Gardner would only put up with Dusty laying on him for so long before he would kick her off and move. A few minutes later she would snuggle up to him again. Aahhh, the life of a dog.