Vail, Colorado

We’re back from the Vail Invitational. Alex competed in two skate events, compulsory and free skate. The whole experience left me with a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. Not from how Alex preformed, because I couldn’t be more proud at how she handled herself, but from how so many skate-parents behaved.

ice skating
A catch

Let me start with the good stuff. We stayed at the Evergreen Lodge because it is conveniently adjacent to the ice area. There is no A/C but they do supply a very noisy box fan with each room. The beds are hard as rocks and there was a stained ottoman at the foot of the bed (yuk). The hotel is old and in need of a serious remodel. I did say “the good stuff” right? Well, here it is: what the hotel lacked in ambiances it made up for with their great staff. The Evergreen staff was extremely helpful and friendly, always offering a smile.Because of Alex’s competition schedule, they so kindly allowed us to check out at 2 p.m. rather than at the 11 a.m. check out time. It was “no problem”. When you have such a courteous staff at a hotel you are more willing to overlook the downside.

It was a good thing the staff was so pleasant, because I couldn’t say the same about the rest of our experience.

ice skater
A lunge

Dealing with the skate-parents was a test in patience. Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut rather than start a skate-parent-brawl that will be uploaded to YouTube. I debated whether to discuss the rudeness we experienced by skate-parents at the rink. After sleeping on it, I have come to the realization that there are a lot of self-entitled people out there and my complaints would only fall on deaf ears.

Instead, I will share some common sense manners that I live by. At least, they should be common sense. When I am in someone’s house or, in this case, the hosting Skate Club’s house, I remember that I am their guest. I will say “please” and “thank you” with a smile, not with an attitude of entitlement because adding those words to something rude doesn’t make it polite.

I will clean up after myself. I will respect their things, and the things of other competing skaters. I will be courteous to their other guests, and I will demand that my children do the same. I will wait my turn in line, not cut in front of fellow skate-parents because I am in a hurry. {sigh}

The trip wasn’t all bad, I mean, once I got out of the ice rink…

botanical gardens

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens was a highlight.

Saturday we stopped by the Gardens late in the afternoon and preceded to get drenched by rain. Then on Sunday, in between programs, we headed back over for a second look.

vail parks

I have to say that Vail has some of the best playgrounds I have ever seen! Its very unique and creative playground equipment made it difficult to pull the kids (and the big kid) away from. And scenic walking trails…they are everywhere. Kudos, Vail.

The garden stays in bloom so long because of the altitude and cool evenings the mountains provide. There was a hummingbird (or maybe more than one) that I was stalking to get his picture…but he wasn’t in the mood. I want hummingbirds in backyard now!

mountain flowers
And I need some Lupine in the backyard too.
colorado state flower
Columbine is Colorado’s state flower.
macro photography
This little bee was very cooperative to hold still.

Sunday night we headed home. Normally Vail is two hours from Denver, but (there’s always a but) it took us over 4 hours to get home. Why? I have no idea. There was no accident that we could see. CDOT stopped traffic at Eisenhower Tunnel in 20 minute intervals, so that traffic wouldn’t gridlock inside. And it was stop and go from there to Hwy 40. {ugh}

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