By Amy Sunshine
The third bus trip of the year was uneventful on the way up to Miramar’s lodge in Waitsfield, Vermont, until we were a few miles from the lodge. Turning on to Plunkton Road from Route 100, the bus hit a patch of black ice, fishtailed and ended up striking a rock wall. Everyone was a shocked, but fine. We even arrived at the lodge more or less at the normal time.
It turned out, though, that the door had been banged up enough that our driver Ray couldn’t open it. Members Paul and Rafael were already at the lodge and came out with crowbars to open the door for us. The next morning, Ray dropped the skiers off at Sugarbush and drove down to Stratton to get a new bus.
The new bus took the group to Stowe the next two days, though there were a few hardy folks who preferred to go to Sugarbush. One of those was Dennis, who took a bit of a fall on Spring Fling. He was helped by kind strangers and the ski patrol. It turned out that one of them was our cook’s chimney sweep, and he drove Dennis back to the lodge. Of course, he was invited to stay for cocktail hour.
On the slopes, conditions over the weekend rivaled, if not exceeded, the best of last year, and there were some significant skiing breakthroughs. Ruth, Renata, Sandy and guest Ron all skied Goat. It was Ruth’s first time, and she made it down without falling. In fact, the only one to fall was Sandy, who took a spill at the top. Ruth thanked Sandy for all she learned from him.
Earlier in the day, Virginia had made multiple trips down Morningstar with Renata and Sandy and was still glowing over Renata’s praise, “You look good!”
Maureen Cavanaugh made a triumphant return to downhill skiing after her bike accident, and you could not wipe the smile off of her face.
Off of the slopes, New Year’s Eve was also the last night of Chanukkah. Sharon brought her family menorah and had a bunch of the goys light the candles as the Jews sang the prayers and explained the meaning of the holiday, which turned into a debate that lasted well into the night.
Colleen Curry and Susan Weintraub were the before dinner bartenders and made excellent prosecco cocktails that were heartily enjoyed by all. Yours truly also donated a bottle of French absinthe to the bar, which many enjoyed that night, but not so much in the morning.
It being Miramar, there was an intense game of Left-Right-Center. In the end, it came down to Sandy and Liz. Liz prevailed. She’d explained the game to everyone, but she swears she didn’t load the dice.
We were also treated to the unveiling of Robin’s commissioned painting of the back side of Sugarbush as seen from Bristol. The way the painter captured the Vermont light is truly amazing.
I’d like to add a personal thank you to Ray: You drive us up every weekend, often in awful conditions. This is the first time anything has happened. I don’t know that I trust you with my virtue, but I most definitely trust you with my life.