We had a phenomenal family vacation in Westminster, Vermont:
1) the storm that beat us back and made us postpone snowboarding became a cloud with a silver lining, as the crowds at Bromley emptied out on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and there was plenty of powder . . . if you stayed on the right side of the trail, where the wind piled the snow, it was almost like being out west-- my kids had a blast, after six years of snowboarding, it was the first time they ever got to experience decent conditions-- and they are getting brave, going into the woods, trying out jumps, and getting quite comfortable on the mountain;
2) I kicked ass at the board games-- we were in what was essentially a one-room cabin (with two bedrooms) so we had a lot of together time and played many rounds of Carcassonne-- and I won them all!-- and I also won at Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride, games which I do not usually win . . . and that's the real purpose of this blog, to note these great victories, so I can refer to them many years hence when my kids try to revise history;
2.5) I learned that my snowboarding boots are a size and a half too big and that's why my heels were lifting and I felt out of control on my board the past two seasons . . . when I told the Bromley boot tech that I bought my boots in Jersey at my local ski shop, he said, "Would you buy a surfboard in the mountains?"
3) I brought back lots of great beer . . . local brews like Switchback and Conehead and Rock Art and Goodwater, and some Sixpoint Global Warmer, which I can never seem to find in Jersey, even though it's from Brooklyn;
4) we ate several times at the Moon Dog Cafe in Chester, and my wife and I wondered why we don't have any places like this around here;
5) there was loads of snow, and my kids and I built a fantastically dangerous sled run through the woods-- I rode the orange plastic toboggan down it and got airborne-- and it was just nice to hike around the property, which was hilly and heavily wooded;
6) my wife enjoyed watching the fireworks from our bedroom window, a farm across the way shot them off and they looked quite spectacular through the trees and arcing over the snow fields;
7) the cabin had Netflix, and aside from Saving Private Ryan, all we watched was episode after episode of 30 Rock . . . I love that show, and my kids love it too;
and then we hit Massachusetts, and the snow was gone, and then it started to rain, and when we finally pulled onto our road, I looked down into Donaldson Park and there was a huge flock of geese, in the mud, shitting everywhere . . . and unless it snows soon, that's going to be the scenery for the next two months-- mud, goose shit, and damp, cloudy weather.