Eileen at Vail after eye injury

DAY 2 — Family vacations never go as planned.  


I’m thinking that as I’m sitting at the Vail Medical Center waiting to be seen. No it wasn’t a ski injury (though I was here once before after a bad fall). I somehow managed to scratch my cornea with my contact lens. Ouch!  I knew what it was — I’m embarrassed to admit I have done this before. 


It  is incredibly painful — and stupid on my part. I left the rest of our gang (my daughter Mel, six of her college friends, my husband Andy and son Matt) at our luxe condo at the  Ritz-Carlton Residences (www.legendarylodging.com) in the Lionshead section of Vail —brand new  this year.  They ate the chili and cornbread Andy had made when we arrived (my Texas-bred husband is famous for his chili).  The condo is everything you could want and then some. Did I mention they’ll even buckle your ski boots for you?   


When I told the staff no worries if we couldn’t get a second roll-away –that our Colorado College crew had sleeping bags and would happily sleep on the floor — we were told, “You don’t hear that at The Ritz very often!”  Both roll-aways appeared, of course.  


So I didn’t worry about my gang ensconced in the condo while I was at the ER — not with the big flat screen TV , with killer views of the mountain where the staff can’t do enough for you. This place isn’t ski in ski out. Instead, the staff keeps your skis and boots (they bring out your skis from storage, put them on the shuttle for you take you over to Lionshead Village and then carry your skis over to the slope. “A little ridiculous,” said one of my daughter’s friends. Maybe, but I like the service. 


No schlepping at the end of the day either. You just ski down, put your skis on special racks, find the shuttle and let the always smiling staff take care of everything else.  


There were two  hot tubs , a pool and a teen room with air hockey, billiards, Wii and Foosball. 


I love having the amenities of a five-star hotel with the space of a condo so the kids can eat breakfast in their PJs and spread out after dinner and watch TV. 


A  tip: I was glad I had travel insurance (www.insuremytrip.com).  Instead of paying and submitting the claim to my insurance company, it would be billed directly to TravelGuard  (www.travelguard.com ). 


So I had to wait a couple of hours at the ER — my emergency wasn’t nearly as serious as others here. The staff was so nice. Finally, the doc took care of me, got me some antibiotic drops and just as important, pain meds. The next day, while everyone else skied, I laid in bed, a black patch over my right eye. 


 It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, though I couldn’t enjoy the views of the mountains from the bedroom windows. The bed was oh so comfy and by the time the crew came back, I was starting to feel like myself again—looking forward to skiing tomorrow. 


Next:   A lot more to today’s ski resorts than just skiing