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11:00am You arrive in Eagle Airport, on time and only minutes from your hotel room at the mountain. The sounds of your children clamoring excitedly as you passed over Vail Mountain still resonating in your ears. Your spouse’s warm assuring smile reminds you why you’re here and the glorious long weekend ahead. And you smile to yourself knowing your kids flew free on American Airlines.
12:30 Check in is a breeze – and only now do you share the secret with the family! You’re skiing for free that afternoon with your airline boarding passes, and your rentals have been reserved along with the hotel, and airport transfers through Vail’s convenient Central Reservations Center1:15 Speeding up the Eagle Bahn High-speed Gondola. A quick lunch of Vail’s new value priced Lunch For Less at The Marketplace Restaurant at the top of Eagle’s Nest, and your enjoying the luxuriously groomed expanses of Lionshead’s long intermediate groomers.
4:00 A quick cat nap but no rest for the weary. The kids want to try dinner back on top of Eagle’s Nest at family friendly Bistro Fourteen, but not before stopping at Adventure Ridge to sign up for the tubing. Oh, you don’t really mind because the gondola ride is free after 4:00, and your not sure you can remember having this much fun when you were a kid!
9:00 Wow. And that’s day 1. Dreaming of Day 2 and your heart hasn’t even stopped thumping!
7:00am Open curtains. Vail. Close curtains, open again. Still Vail. Pat yourself on the back. A powder day ahead, and this hotel room to come back to. Courtesy of the cool new extend-your-stay option on Vail’s Ski Free Stay Free package. What a deal.
8:15 Drop the kids at Vail’s legendary Ski and Snowboard School. Booked their lesson on Vail’s on-line reservations system. Great time saver. Thank you.
8:30 And now the dividend. First chair, first tracks, big powder day ahead. And only Day 2. Man, the snow is dependable. Checked out the new powder video on Vail.com beforehand. Can almost taste it!
12:30 Still untracked powder, but lunch beckons. The kids are in good hands at Eagle’s Nest enjoying their own lunch. Going to try the new EPIC Burger at Two Elk. Have an epic appetite after three glorious back bowls. Can’t which is better. EPIC Burger or an EPIC powder day. I think we’ll have both thank you!
3:30 Ready for a massage at the world class Arrabelle Spa. Which is conveniently close to the Arrabelle Ice Rink. Perfect, his and hers relaxation plus the munchkins too. We’re really starting to like Vail!6:00 Just enough energy left for a free bus ride into Vail Village for shopping, and another family friendly dinner. Day 1 versus Day 2. Well, if you need to pick a winner…. well, how about a tie!
7:30am Open curtains. Vail. Close curtains, open again. Still Vail. Yikes. Feeling the quads a little. Maybe back on the groomers today! Think I’ll check out the handy grooming report conveniently available at the Vail ticket office.
8:15 The kids loved their instructor yesterday, and are already skiing better. Think we’re going to book a private for the last two days so we can guarantee the experience. Going to talk with the Ski and Snowboard School office first thing!
8:30 Done. That was easy. The children are ecstatic. Maybe we should try a lesson? Better yet we’ll come back later this year and do it!
9:30 But first things first. Just what the sore legs needed. Another powder day! Hair of the dog that bit you. Woo hoo.
12:30 Now, I’m not from Minnesota. But I’ve had their Wild Rice Soup. And it’s awesome. And if I wasn’t at 9,000 feet at the Wildwood Restaurant surrounded by a foot of fresh powder having the best Wild rice soup I’ve ever had, I’d think I was in Minnesota! Oh, and the skis are yards away ready to try Vail’s legendary back bowls again!
3:30 Now the wife and I both need the masseuse. What a day. Where’s that Spa at Arrabelle number when we need it! Or maybe we’ll try the Spa at The Lodge At Vail. Twist our arms!
6:00 So it’s our last night. It’s snowed and snowed. The kids are loving it, and so are we. But it’s back to the real world tomorrow. So it’s up the free Eagle Bahn Gondola again, only now there’s a really cool surprise in store for the munchkins. It’s into the cooler than I can describe Snowcat for a ride through the snow to what must be Shangri-La. Only Vail calls it the Game Creek Restaurant. Never mind Minnesota, this must be Europe. Wow. Stylish, but friendly enough for the kids. A view to die for. And food to write home about. Life is getting pretty good right now.
8:30 Snowcat back to the Gondola, waiting for us as if on cue. And a high speed run back down from the top of world.
7:30am Open curtains. Vail. Close curtains, open again. Still Vail. Pretend we’re not flying back this afternoon! Hmmmm. Not working. Maybe get on the lap top and take a look at Vail’s Central Reservations for weekend last minute deals next month! Good idea. Getting here is less expensive and easier than we thought!
8:15 Half day private for the kids. They’ve gotten so good in such a short time. Oh to be young again say our aching thighs!
8:30 Note to self. Treat aching thighs and rest of body to the best Buffet Breakfast in Vail at the Arrabelle’s Centre V. Mmmmm. That worked. Should have been a doctor!
9:30 Alas, the powder has subsided but Vail even grooms the back bowls. Best of both worlds if you ask us! Head Wall here we come!
12:30 Collect the children, mind you, unwillingly. Late check out. Skis and luggage safely stored by the hotel, CME Van dutifully waiting, and we, begrudgingly head back on the too short ride to EagleAirport. We remind ourselves that the kids once again fly free on American Airlines, and that we’ll be home in time for dinner.
Life can be really good if you make it so.