Mel with Eileen before she ditched us at Beaver Creek

DAY 7 — Fresh baked cookie anyone?

It’s the beginning of the ski day and the chef is fielding a silver platter heaped with fresh baked chocolate chunk cookies. Yum! Beaver Creek’s motto is “not roughing it,” and the cookies are just the beginning. There are mountain welcome tours, the chance to send a post card anywhere in the world courtesy of the resort and après ski for families in the village on Saturday. Today, skiers and riders are participating in The Talons Challenge—ski or ride 13 black runs in one day, 24,000 vertical feet! Tomorrow, there is a Talons kids challenge event.

In case you are wondering, Beaver Creek hands out nearly 400,000 cookies each season to skiers and riders. There’s village entertainer Helmut Fricker dressed in his lederhosen with his accordion and long alpenhorn. On Saturdays, there’s an Apres Ski Family FunFest with music, magic, games, après ski at the ice rink in the village. Did I mention the complimentary hot chocolate every day? Several times a season, there’s Beaver Creek Loves Kids with special activities. We’ve met up with my daughter Mel, who just turned 21, and some of her friends from Colorado College for a belated birthday celebration.

We’re staying in a spacious condo in the village at the St James Club, enjoyed dinner and spa at the nearby Park Hyatt and now we’re ready to ski.

We turned down the option of doing an afternoon clinic –Max-3 Coaching Clinic geared toward strong intermediates and advanced skiers with only three in a group—so we could ski with Melanie. Our first run, Mel leads me to a double black diamond. I’m not thrilled. We lead her over to the Arrowhead area and Bachelor Gulch. She’s not thrilled. Too far…too much easy terrain.

When we suggest stopping for some soup, Mel sees her opening to leave us. “I have a PB&J in my pocket,” she says, “I want to keep skiing!”

So much for family time.

We‘ve been taking the kids on ski trips since they were toddlers—including to Beaver Creek. “This is the living life,” my then six year old daughter Reggie declared when she looked around the condo we’d been assigned here. 

I  learned a long time ago nothing goes as planned. Someone gets sick (we’ve had lots of ear infections). Someone ends up in the ER (me, here three years ago after a bad fall).  Someone has a meltdown. And someone just doesn’t want to spend that much time with mom and dad.

That’s the way it goes. I’m just glad Mel and her brother and sister love being outdoors and out on the mountain. All those years of schlepping them to ski school have paid off royally—all can ski anything.

So my husband and I ski down to the Broken Arrow restaurant at the Arrowhead area where we chow down on excellent tortilla soup. We ski our way around the mountain and down to the bottom and guess who is waiting for the chairlift?  Mel and her friends.

One last run together. Everyone’s smiling. Sometimes, you can’t ask for more than that.