Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Storm Eases; Faithful Return to the Slopes

Wednesday, March 25

Tuesday’s storm blew itself out, the lifts reopened and the group ventured out to explore the new fallen and somewhat wind blown snow.

The aggressive group was out by 9:00 hoping to find some off piste pleasure. Reports indicate that, while there were moments of exhilaration, many icy surprises lurked beneath the new snow forcing most back to the pistes.

The more refined skiers departed later in the morning and found lots of available snow. The long run to Oz was not up to Monday standards but everyone took the occasional flat light and sticky snow in stride. Once again skiers were able to discover new areas just when they thought they’d seen it all. This is a big place!

Afternoon breezes in upper areas slowed beer sales but hot wine consumption took up the slack.

The highlight of Tuesday evening was the much loved Ron Lyle bargain wine event. Thirty people packed into Sylvie and Kevin’s room, which was itself noteworthy. Competition for the least expensive, drinkable wine was fierce. Mark Matthews weighed in with a worthy contender in the bubbly category with a champagne like beverage that was high on the drinkability scale. But, at over two Euros a bottle, it was not a finalist. Trip rookie Katie Van Hees contributed a red with a fine looking label and a 1.90 Euro pricetag. While a fine wine she soon learned that price is more important than quality.

In the end it was Kim Kaiser’s 1.25 red that was eased out by my own 1.20 white. I made no claims as to quality but it was drinkable and cheap. In all modesty I owe my success to years of travel under the tutelage of the bargain wine master himself, Mr. Ron Lyle.

Steve Proudly Displays His Cheap Wine Award

The wine portion of the event was closed with Bob Dixey serenading his wife with a wine fueled rendition of “Happy Birthday” in his best Donald Duck voice. Some may remember the event from past trips.
Bob Singing to Mo; A Touching Scene

Kevin was unable to make a spoon presentation. The foul weather had kept the group from committing any reported screw ups. But he was on alert today, Wednesday, and we can assume a new spoon holder will be crowned this evening.

While we were gathered for the wine event and in a small room where we wouldn’t offend the other hotel guests an “Untold Spoon Stories” program was launched. Promised immunity from spooning, attendees were encouraged to tell of incidents on past trips that, while spoonable, went unreported.

Kim Kaiser and Lin Sanford reported on a time they and the Powis’ left a restaurant without paying their bill. Each assumed the other had handled it and, between restroom stops and other distractions, no one did. Later in the day Kim returned to the restaurant, confessed to the crime, paid the bill and was rewarded with several rounds of grappa by a grateful owner.

Several hillside restroom incidents were reported but will not be repeated.

Carol Powis’ name frequently came up amid accusations that she has, in the past, resorted to bribery and granting of unnamed favors to avoid being nominated for a spoon.

Gretchen Callan reported on several occasions when she was new to the group and traveling as a single that watchful and caring Tom McGrath and Jay Kane saved her bacon and helped her avoid the indignity of a spoon.

The spoon’s rich and storied history was enhanced by the evening discussions/confessions.

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