First Day of Winter!

It’s officially the first day of winter!  There’s something relieving about knowing that each day from now on will have more daylight than the one before.  Winter can get a little depressing when it’s dark in the morning before work and still dark when you get home.  There is just no time to enjoy the daylight.

This is why, being a new englander, you need to take up a winter activity to stay sane.  For the past couple years since we’ve taken up skiing more regularly, we are actually looking forward to the winter!

Last weekend had some of the most unbelieveable ski conditions we’ve experienced in a couple years.  We were skiing in literally 2 feet of powder.  It was up to our knees while going down the trails.  We were in pure heaven.

Ironically, the kids hated it.  They weren’t used to skiing in powder and kept falling.  Once they were on the ground they had a hard time getting back up and were just getting frustrated.  Some day they’ll understand that these are rare days in new england.

So rare in fact the conditions did a complete 180 within 24 hours.  We went from unbelieve powder on Saturday to a complete downpour on Sunday and many of the trails closed.  We decided to have breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor (which I highly recommend) instead.

Just another weekend in the whites!

Ski Weekend #2; more snow, and Tommy gets it!

We had a successful second weekend skiing up at Bretton Woods.  This weekend there were a lot more open trails, with 17 open by Sunday.  Much better than 5 the previous week!

First off, I thought I’d share some pics of the house we are staying at in Whitefield, about a 20 minute drive from Bretton Woods.  Here’s our view of the Lake, which is already frozen!

forest lake, whitefield, nh forest lake, whitefield, nh

The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a nice great room for everyone to sprawl out in:

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Overall we’ve been super happy with the place, it feels like we’re going on a vacation every weekend!

Now, back to skiing.  The weather has been good to the mountain so far.  Temps have been low, enabling the crews to keep the guns running nonstop.  Unfortunately we haven’t had any blockbuster snowfall at the lower (3000′) elevation YET, but I’m sure it will come soon enough.

 

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Above is a shot of Eli and Aaron at the top.  In the background you can see a mountain (Waumbeck I think) covered in snow and the distinct elevation line where that snow occurred.  Unfortunately that line is above Bretton Woods.  Mt. Washington, the mountain right next to us, got something like 4 feet of snow this past week!

The boys did great skiing.  They are all really loving it.  I spend most of the day w/ Eli and Aaron, while Michele is teaching Tommy on the bunny slope.  This week Tommy learned pizza and french fries, and was able to ski down the whole run by himself.  We’re sure he’ll be up at the top in a few weeks!

Another great addition to the mountain this year is the waffle cabin!  The boys loved the sugary treat!

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Kicking off the Ski Season

This weekend we kicked off the ski (snowboarding for me) season at Bretton Woods.  This year we rented a house up in Whitefield, NH on Forest Lake from 12/1-4/1.  We split the rental with another family that has 2 kids about the same age as ours.

Here’s a current trailmap of Bretton Woods:

bretton-woods-trail-map

Overall there were only 4 trails open on Saturday and 3 on Sunday.  The mountain crew was blowing snow on lots of trails so we’re hoping more will be open next weekend.

Here are some pics of the kids having fun:

The house is pretty awesome (pics soon), with lots of frontage on the lake.  We’re hoping to be able to do some ice skating on the pond once it freezes up.  Also, they have a nice big fireplace near the dock that should be fun.  The only downside to the house is that it uses lake water and there is no filtration.  The water really tastes like a fish tank.

Eli and Aaron are doing excellent skiing.  Tommy is still on the bunny slopes using the harness.  He gets exhausted after a couple hours and super cranky, so we’re going to have to figure out how to make that work.

In addition to the season passes, we rented a locker in the lodge this year.  It was pretty expensive but we’re hoping it will be a huge logistics saver.  No need to pack/unpack all of our gear each week.

Overall we’ve found the skiing life to be perfect for our family.  We all enjoy it and get super excited about it during the week.  We get to spend a solid 8 hours a day with the kids enjoying the outdoors.  This is sure to create memories for all of us.

My Intellivision Collection

Geek Alert!

Ok, so I know it’s a totally geeky hobby, but I’ve started collecting Intellivision games a few months ago.  For those that don’t know, Intellivision is a gaming console from Mattel that was released in 1979.  It was very popular in the early eighties and then lost steam when more powerful systems game out like the NES.

We had an intellivision growing up and I get nostalgic when I think about playing these games as a kid.  It turns out that the system isn’t super collectible, so you can get a console and games for relatively cheap on ebay.

Here’s a pic of the console I recently picked up:

intellivision system

My current game collection:

intellivision game collection

I’ve been trying to only buy games in boxes.  The artwork back then was pretty awesome.

Here’s my current list of games:

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Nova Blast
  • Microsurgeon
  • Atlantis
  • Dragonfire
  • Swords & Serpents
  • Bump n’ Jump
  • World Cup Soccer
  • Blockade Runner
  • The Power of He-Man
  • Mission-X
  • Burgertime
  • Frogger
  • Tron Deadly Discs
  • Tron Maze-a-Tron
  • Pinball
  • Space Armada
  • Space Spartans
  • B-17 Bomber
  • Bomb Squad
  • Space Battle
  • Star Strike
  • Astrosmash
  • Sub Hunt
  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
  • Lock N’ Chase
  • Night Stalker
  • Pac-Man
  • Major League Baseball
  • Poker & Blackjack
  • Sea Battle

Most of the games only have a few screens in them.  I’ve tried to get the kids into it, but they lose interest in less than a minute.

In addition to collecting, I’ve started listening to a podcast dedicated exclusively to the console, called Intellivisionaries.  They have some great interviews with original programmers of the games.  Also, it turns out there is quite the homebrew game community and indie games sprouting up for the console.