Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blue and Bamboozled

Saturday morning we woke up before sunrise and hit the road to Monarch Mountain, where the sky was so blue everything had a cobalt hue. 
It was a lengthy drive, but a beautiful one, and the lift tickets were half the price of most places. We'd heard we were headed to a fairly isolated place, and all of us were excited to explore new grounds. What we didn't expect was to find ourselves in "throw back the decades land", amongst 80's style onsie ski suits, paper sticker lift tickets, and tiny old school lifts.  
The weather was still and sunny......and of course I forgot to bring the sunscreen, so our main goal became  keeping our faces covered as much as possible with our alien goggles and fuzzy neck warmers......which resulted in me having fur balls in my mouth all day.
Monarch reminded us all of SoCal skiing, which is ironically how we met, and probably why Greg loved it so much; the runs were easy groomed packed powder, and the lifts were fairly short. Quick up, quick down.
You'll never hear me complain about no one being in my way to speed down some runs!!
When lunch time rolled around we had a picnic in the car and then headed back to the lodge separately to meet for a quick holiday drink.
I decided I wanted something to warm by belly, since we ate cold food outside in the snow. Little did I know just how warm this Irish coffee would be!! Let's just say, I definitely got my money's worth.
It's not uncommon during group times for Patrick to get lost (last year he somehow got on the wrong trail, accidentally skied down to a road, and had to take a bus back to the lodge where we were meeting), and this day would be no exception. After wasting half of Lindsey's beer in efforts to send out a search party, and about half an hour later, he was found by our skis, arms up in the air, mumbling to himself in defeat.
It's a good thing a shot of vodka cures all frustrations!
I didn't realize just how close to nature all of our colors were until now, looking at these ridiculously blue photos!
I could have gazed in this direction for hours, but for some reason my group thought we should move on and ski some more.
We'd worked up a buffet style appetite by the time dinner rolled around and after a story that's too ridiculous to mention, ended up at this all you can eat Mongolian Stir Fry hole in the wall.
They cooked our food on a wok with over-sized chopsticks, slid it back into our bowl, brought us bottomless soup with square tortillas, and steamed rice........as if we needed anything else. Patrick was feeling frisky and ordered some hot Sake while Greg and I re-hydrated.
 When we got back to the table, a charming kettle was waiting for him, accompanied with a tiny sake cup. He hastily poured his first shot, clumsily spilling the clear hot liquid all over the table, threw the porcelain bottom up, and swallowed.

Pat: That's some gooooood sake! So smooth!

A couple of shots later and his face started to change, scrunching up in confusion.
Pat: It kinda tastes like this Sake is watered down.

Me: What do you mean? Like they bamboozled you?

Pat: I don't know.....it just kinda tastes like.....like.....warm water. (Keep in mind this is coming from the guy to who enjoys straight vodka.)

Me: Hmm......Let me smell it.

I sniffed the shot of Sake, then handed it to Greg for a third inspection.

Me: It doesn't smell! 
I don't know why, but I started feeling like I should investigate the situation more thoroughly before accusing the waitress of bringing us hot water instead of hot Sake.
I picked up the kettle, noticing it was unusually heavy for a single order with a single cup. So I opened the kettle to see what it looked like inside.
Lo and behold, mystery solved: The pitcher was sitting inside a kettle filled with hot water so the Sake would stay warm!!!
The kicker: My husband drank at least 3 cups of hot water before he realized something was off!!! Imagine the embarrassment we'd faced had we complained, instead of me discovering the hidden pitcher!!!!!

Pat: Are you going to make fun of me on your blog now?

Me: Probably. Yes...............Yes I'm sure of it. 

Would you rather try some place new or stick with what you know?


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