What are these boards strapped to my feet, and why am I sliding down this hill? Pre-Trip

Cast of Characters:
Eric (me): 34 year old Disney-Geek Desk Jockey
Tracy (wife): My better half. For some reason, she puts up with me. Voluntarily.
Daniel: My brother who lives in Colorado
Jennifer: Daniel’s wife
Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film: For tonight’s performance, this role will be played by Eric Idle.  Because.

So, mid to late December, Tracy and I started discussing our vacation plans for the upcoming year.  We typically do an early-spring vacation, usually in March, but we had both been having a pretty rough time at work, and wanted something sooner than that.  Plus, it had been a while since our last vacation (flying to Michigan for Daniel’s wedding last October doesn’t really count as a vacation).  Many options were thrown out – California, a cruise, an all-inclusive resort somewhere in the Caribbean, skiing in “some mountainous place”, and probably others.

In the end, Colorado won out.  Tracy has been wanting to go skiing for a while, Daniel works at a ski resort, and could get us discounts on lift tickets, and flights seemed reasonable. Plus, I’d never been skiing before, and almost wanted to try it.

We booked our hotel and flights on December 24.  Our vacation was January 7. This would be, without a doubt, the fastest vacation prep that we had done, plus of all the trips we’ve taken, this one required the most planning and pre-purchasing.  (We live in Florida.  Most of our vacations have been to warm tourist destinations … Or to visit family.  While there is a need for some warm clothing, it’s not as much as is needed for a ski trip.)

So … what all did we need to buy, or make sure we already had?

  • Winter Coats
  • Snowpants
  • Warm socks
  • stuff to wear under winter coats and snowpants
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Hats
  • Maybe boots? Not ski boots, just boots

Tracy and I each had warm coats. But neither one had anything waterproof. Like I said earlier, I’ve never been skiing before. So I harnessed the power of the Google to learn about clothing suggestions.  I wasn’t terribly surprised to see waterproof as a “must-have” recommendation.  So, now the question is … where can I get a waterproof winter coat in Orlando?

The answer turns out to be “The store formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, even though it’s not a factory”.  They now go by just “Burlington”, apparently, after having realized that they sold more than just coats, and they weren’t a factory.  I found a coat I liked, took it home … and promptly realized that there was a rip near one of the shoulder.  Back to the store I go, this time with Tracy, who also needs a winter coat.  We both find something we like, and we leave.

Snowpants were also a little bit of a challenge.  Those are not very easily accessible in Florida.  However, we have an Amazon Prime membership, so a large selection was a few clicks away.  We determined that there are a LOT of things on Amazon, and their search filters aren’t always as accurate as you’d like them to be.  That being said, we were both able to find something we liked.

And then the boxes showed up. Tracy’s fit fine, mine didn’t.  So, I sent them back to Amazon. By now, we were getting close on time, so I ordered 2 other pairs, hoping to improve the odds of finding something that will fit (one from the same mfr in a larger size, one from a different mfr).  The first pair I tried on was missing half of the snap at the waist.  The “receptor” was there, but not the other piece of the snap.  Down to 1 pair … my hopes of not paying the markup in a ski resort were rapidly diminishing!  I tried them on and …

(insert dramatic pause here)

(really dramatic pause … pretend that William Shatner is acting this out)

They fit! Another item can be checked off the list.

Warm clothes (apparently, in skiier parlance, “base layers”) for under the ski outerwear were accomplished with a trip to Academy Sports, where I was able to find some cold-weather rated workout gear, and some nice fleece pullovers that happened to be on sale.

I had gloves and hats, Tracy had a hat and a pair of ski goggles that her family brought for her when they came to visit right after Christmas.  Another Amazon order lead to warm socks for both of us, ski goggles for me, and gloves for Tracy.

And now, we’re all set … we think … it’s time to pack all of this!  We knew that we’d have too much stuff for just carryons, so we paid the airline for one checked bag each.  And I let Tracy do the packing, because she’s far better than I am at packing suitcases.

Next up: Leaving Florida

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