"Some people do not have to search, for they find their niche easily in life and rest there seemingly contented and resigned. At times, I envy them, but usually I do not understnad..and seldom do they understnad me. I am on of the searches. There are, I believe, millionsof us. We are not unhappy, but n neither are we completely content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power and unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests, mountains, deserts, hiddern rivers, and lovely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as our laughter; to share our sadness with the ones we love is perhaps as great a joy as we know. Unless it is to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious but only for life itself and anything beautiful it can provide. Most of all, we want to love and be loved, to live in a relationship that will not impede our wanderings and prevail our search. We do not want to prove ourselves to others or compete for love. This passage is for wanderers, dreamers, and lovers who dare to ask of life, everything which is good and beautiful." ~Found in the door of a deserted store in Colorado

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Careful what you wish for...

So after my last post you would think all of this snow is a good thing...well not so much. We have seen record snow fall in a very short amount of time. Over 5 feet in less than a week. All of this snow fell on a very weak base layer which is recipe for disaster. Since Saturday the 27th, we have had 2 in-bounds slides (this means 2 avalanches within our resort boundaries). This is extremely rare but with the conditions the way they have been...it was only time before we would see something like this occur. I am very sad to report that on Saturday, December 27th, a man was killed in an in-bounds avalanche. He was a local from Wilson, WY and skied the resort frequently. We are saddened greatly by this loss and our ski patrol is doing everything in their power to prevent something like this from happening again. Unfortunately when you are fighting Mother Nature...she is going to win. We have some of the best ski patrollers working our mountain and they risk their lives every day so that we can ski safely. But with these conditions...it is very difficult to make skiing 100% safe...no matter what you do. Yesterday December 29th, we had another slide. The Headwall slid and ran into the Bridger Restaurant at the top of the Gondola lift. There are 3 restaurants and 1 store in this building. Fortunately no one was hurt...which is a miracle...and there was no structural damage to the building...just busted out windows and scattered tables and chairs all over. This part of the mountain wasn't open yet so there were minimal amounts of people up there. Below are 2 links to articles about these 2 incidents.

The incidents have been quite devastating to our company, my co-workers, our guests, and my friends. We are all trying to be as positive as possible and looking forward and not to the past. There is no blame to be placed for these incidents. We are all very thankful for the people working to make our mountain safe and we look forward to getting back on the hill as soon as possible. I just wanted to provide you all with an update to the events happening here in Jackson. Please keep the families and friends affected by these events in your prayers. Thank you for all of your support and comments. I love and miss you all bunches and bunches.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Merry Christmas! I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope all of your wishes come true this holiday season! For me here in Jackson, Christmas isn't quite the same as home but I am so fortunate and blessed to have the friends here who are like my family to make Christmas so wonderful. I miss home terribly this time of year and I miss all of the precious comforts home provides.

The past couple of weeks, everyone here in Jackson has been praying for snow. The season started off a little scary with not much snow. With the new Tram and with the state of the economy, snow is our only chance at survival being that it is the main reason people travel to Jackson in the winter. Well it looks like our prayers have been answered and the snow has come and is still "dumping"! Last night we received 18" of new snow and since 6:00 a.m. it has probably snowed another 8"...and it is still dumping! Unfortunately I am at work instead of out skiing but I am hopefully going to get a break at lunch to go take a few turns on the hill.

So...LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW! Here are some pictures I took with my phone this morning of the snow covered village. ENJOY :)

The view out the front door of our main office in the village.

The mountain is back there somewhere but is covered by all of the snow!

This is just outside my office in the village...Lucy is the one in the middle...she was a champ this morning getting me to work. I cruised right past a van stuck in the snow and she kept trekking along with just a few squirrely moments ;)

This is my place! I have the upstaires unit. Finally a picture for you all to see...there will be more of the inside to come later :)

The view from my driveway. This is looking toward the mountain but you can't see it because of all of the snow falling!

Standing in my driveway looking toward the mountain.

Jay and my neighbor's trucks.

My other neighbors SUV...crazy amounts of snow!

I miss and love you all bunches and bunches! Merry Christmas XOXO :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2 years and $31 million later...THE Tram is HERE!

So, I am starting the beginning of my second winter here in Jackson. After an amazing summer, I am ready for tons and tons of skiing and apres' ski! Unfortunately, last winter I didn't get to experience the legendary Tram. In 2006 they decided after 40 years of service to deconstruct the Tram and replace it with a new and improved Tram. The old Tram carried 50 people per car (there are only 2 cars) and the new Tram carries 100 people per car. 2 years and $31 million later...we have the new Tram which is the largest and longest non-stop lift in North America. It travels from the base of the mountain to the very top of the mountain; traveling over 4,000 vertical feet in 9 minutes. Many people here have experienced years of the Tram and hearing their stories is magical and chilling. To be part of the new Tram is something I am so happy and proud to experience. This is something that will not happen again in our lifetime! We have some of the best skiing in the world and now we have the best Tram in the world! I am looking forward to a very exciting ski season full the 'pow'! The excerpt below gives a little insight to what the Tram was all about years ago...so you can only imagine how it will be now!

Excerpt from Jackson Hole: On a Grand Scale
by David Gonzales
The phone’s keypad glows in the dark as I dial the number for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s morning snow report. “Six inches of new snow in the past twenty-four hours,” says the recording. Outside the window, fresh pillows of snow crown fence posts and shrubs. Waves of flakes halo the streetlights. The sky wears the slightest tinge of blue. The report, taken from an automatic gauge high on Rendezvous Mountain, has been stingy all season. Instead of six inches, there could be eight. Or ten. Sleeping any longer is out of the question.

On the road to Teton Village, I pass a herd of horses moving across a pasture in the predawn gloom. They plod in single file, their backs dusted white.

At 7:15 AM, one hour and forty-five minutes before the resort opens, the tram maze at the village already sprouts a thicket of skis and poles. The protocol: If you arrive early – by seven – you can leave your skis in line while you buy a breakfast burrito or warm up in Nick Wilson’s restaurant. Don’t return to your spot much later than eight, however, or you might find your skis tossed over the rail into the snow thirty feet below.

But if you’re unwilling to stake out a place in line, you’re missing the point. Arriving early enough for the “first box” is as much about the buzz as it is about the snow. First box doesn’t necessarily mean first tracks. After all, the ski area opens to the public only after several tram-loads of patrollers, guides, instructors, clients, photographers, models, and a few smooth talkers have already unloaded atop the mountain. But it does mean fresh tracks, as well as a fresh chance to bond with others in line who share your disease.

Call it Rendezvous fever. It’s marked by insomnia (many in the tram line woke before their alarm clocks rang), numbness (the body’s natural defense when standing in the frigid tram dock for two or more hours) and restlessness (only on a powder day does 9 AM seem like a long time in coming).

The disease is particularly virulent among young Jacksonites, but its range is far wider. First in line this morning is a group of five from California. “We live in San Diego,” one of them says. He nods to their ringleader, who perches on the barricade closest to the turnstile. “Actually, he lives in Jackson; he just visits San Diego 360 days a year.”

The ringleader grins and shrugs. He woke his companions up at 6:00 this morning to be at the tram at 6:30. “I fell in love with this place the first time I came, in 1973,” he says. On that trip, it snowed three feet one morning; he was one of only eight skiers on first box.

Times have changed. It’s 8:15, and the maze at the tram dock is completely full. Outside the maze, all the neophytes who thought they’d get first box by arriving forty-five minutes early mill about helplessly, like sheep on the wrong side of the fence, cut off from the rest of the flock. Inside the maze, rumors abound of snowfall twice as deep as what was reported. Previous powder days are relived. Plans for the day’s first run are mulled over. You can bet everybody knows exactly where they will head once they’ve unloaded at the top. But don’t bet on them telling you.

Nine AM finally arrives. “Have your passes and lift tickets ready!” Fifty-four skiers and boarders file through the turnstile and crowd into the tramcar. It leaves the dock, floating for the summit. Conversation dwindles. Everybody studies the mountain as it slips past, drinking in with their eyes what they will soon consume with their feet. Near the upper tram dock, the attendant’s radio crackles with an order from ski patrol: “You’re going to have to hold that car at the top. Don’t open the doors.”

Everybody groans. But when the tram stops, the doors fly open. A cold wind leaps into the car, and the tram dock rumbles under 108 heavy boots. Despite the patrol’s protests, the eager occupants of the first box have been unleashed onto the mountain. They clatter down the metal stairs, throw skis and snowboards onto the snow, and shove boots into bindings. A minute later, the mountain’s summit is silent again, save for the whirring of the tram’s haul cable as the car heads back down. From below, in Rendezvous Bowl, come the whoops and howls of paradise found.

Below are some pictures old and new...ENJOY!

The very first Tram car.

The new Tram car (in it's protective Marmot cover) being placed on the cables.

The beginning of the contruction for the Clock Tower over 40 years ago.

The new Clock Tower and base of the Tram.

December 19th...the unveiling of the new Tram car.

The new Tram car...it is HUGE!

December 20th...the launch of the Tram.

Box 1 leaving the base heading to the top!

What a magnificent construction full of history and adventure!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dos Cafe Con Leche, Por Favor

I have been contemplating what to post for this blog entry and I just don't think there are any words or pictures that can accurately describe our trip to Spain and how wonderfully fantastic and amazing it was!

We flew in to Barcelona and stayed there for 3 days and toured around the city as much as we could and we also went on a wine tour to a local vineyard. We were lucky because it ended up being a private tour of the vineyard with lunch and wine tasting. We also had the chance to take part in the cava (champagne) making experience which was a lot of fun. We also visited the Sagrada Familia which is an amazing cathedral that is still under construction after 100 years. Needless to say, it is impressive.

We left Barcelona on a train to Girona which is just north and inland from Barcelona. We spent the day there and then took a bus to Sant Feliu which was a small coastal town where we ended up renting a car and exploring the coast north all the way up to Cadaques which was one of my favorite tiny towns we visited.

From Sant Feliu we took the bus back to Barcelona and then a train from Barcelona to Valencia City. Valencia was really beautiful and full of things to see. They have this amazing complex where there is a Science Museum, Solarium, and Aquarium. We didn't spend too much time here but the time we spent, was absolutely fantastic.

From Valencia we rented another car and headed south along the coast. This was great because our schedule wasn't dictated by bus or train schedules anymore. We could go wherever we wanted to go and stay as little or as long as we wanted. We stopped in Altea, Alicante, and landed in Totona for the night. Just a small town along the way...nothing special except for a really decent hotel for cheap. We had been staying in hostels everywhere else, so to come across this place with a king size bed, free Internet in the room, and a flat screen TV for hardly anything, we couldn't pass it up.

We woke up early the next morning and headed to San Jose which is a tiny coastal town that we feel in love with. This stop was roughly half way so we took a couple days to just relax and read our books on the beach and enjoy some R & R. San Jose provided virtually private beaches with insane views. We didn't want to leave.

After San Jose, we headed to Granada where we visited the Alhambra. Granada is beautiful and full of so much culture...like most everywhere we visited.

From Granada we headed to Seville which was probably my favorite place we visited. Her we saw the Alcazar which was even more impressive than the Alhambra (which I didn't think was even possible).

From Seville we headed North to Madrid where we spent our last 3 days. Madrid is a massive city full of things to do and see. To only have 3 days there is crazy. We decided to hit all the places we could starting with The Prado which is one of the world's most famous art museums. I was blown away by this place. We spent over 3 hours here and that is a quick tour of the place. The pieces in this museum are incredible. We also visited the Royal Palace which has over 2,000 rooms which we only visited 20 of...and the 20 we saw blew us away with their elegance and detail!

That is a very brief summary of our 18 day trip. I could right forever if I gave all the details. We really enjoyed our time in Spain and are so fortunate we had the opportunity to go and spend the amount of time we did there. There were many firsts for me on this trip...my first time in a hostel, my first time in Spain, my first time in the Mediterranean, and the list continues. Jay is an amazing travel partner who made this trip so wonderful for me. His eagerness to see everything, his excitement to explore the unknown, his ability to speak Spanish, his patience with me, and so many other things, made this trip what it was...AMAZING!

Here is a link to some of the pictures from our trip. Enjoy :)


I love and miss everyone bunches! Hope all is well with everyone :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Season

The past couple weeks I have been dying to go to a pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin and carve it...hay ride and all. The weather is finally just right for it (well except for the few bouts of snow we have had recently) but none-the-less, it is fall and time to go pumpkin hunting. Well, apparently it is too cold to grow pumpkins in this part of the world so we were unsuccessful in finding a pumpkin patch. I never really imagined a place where pumpkin patches don't exist...but oh well. So, Jay and I headed out to Albertson's (a local grocery store) to pick out our pumpkin. We had a great time...I cleaned out the guts of the pumpkin, Jay carved it, and I toasted the pumpkin seeds afterwards! I love this time of year! Below are some pictures from our evening of pumpkin carving. Enjoy :)

Jay starting to carve the pumpkin.

Evaluating what to do next...
Part way through...looking good!

Carving the mouth

And he is done! Looks GREAT :)

Say cheese :)

The master pumpkin carver!

All lit up outside

First time ever toasting pumpkin seeds. We did one batch regular with just salt and butter and one batch with cinnamon, ginger, salt, and butter...YUM! They turned out pretty good for my first time but I definitely put too much butter on...whoops. Still pretty tasty though :)

Who ever said wine and pumpkin seeds don't go together...wine goes with EVERYTHING :)

So, I am officially starting to move my things into my new place in the village. And hopefully moving everything this weekend. I am very excited about the move and my new place. Can't wait to get settled in! AND...I will be home in 8 days...can't wait to see you all! Hope all is well! Big hugs and kisses :) LOVE YOU!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Missing Reese

Well, Reese is safe and sound at Mom and Dad's...but me...not so good. I had to send Reese to live with Mom and Dad for a bit because my new place doesn't allow dogs. I am absolutely sick about not having her here. I wasn't really sure how things would be...but they are tough :( I didn't want to send her back at all but I didn't have a choice. Finding housing that allows dogs around this town is very difficult. She flew back to Atlanta yesterday from Idaho Falls. Jay and I took our time driving back to Jackson...I wasn't ready to go back to my house where Reese wouldn't be there to great me as she always was...so excited EVERY time I walked in the door. That is one thing I love about dogs, especially Reese, they are always so happy to see you :) Well, I kept busy the rest of yesterday and last night but then this morning when I went home and walked in the door to no little Reese jumping up and down and dying to go for a walk...I lost it. I was consumed with sadness and loneliness. She was my best little pal and always there...always. I know as the days go by things will get easier, but right now they are not so easy and I miss her bunches and bunches. I know she is living in the best possible place she could live...at Mom and Dad's with 5 acres and 2 other dogs to run and play with all day. I couldn't ask for more and I am so blessed that Mom and Dad are so willing to let her live with them and take care of her like she is their own. I know you are probably thinking that she is just a dog...but she was more than just a dog, she was my best little friend and she has been apart of my life day in and day out for 3 1/2 years. It is my day to day routine that has been turned upside down and that will be so hard. I hate that it was so difficult for me to find a place that would allow her, but around here it is just so hard and I couldn't pass on the opportunity and location of my new place. The apartment is through my employer. They offer employee housing to full time/year round employees and they don't gouge you on the rent. So, for my situation, I couldn't pass on this deal.

Anywhoooo, with all that being said, I just wanted to share with you where Reese is living now and why I don't have her anymore. I am very sad right now but I know I couldn't ask for a better home for Reese to live than Mom and Dad's. Fortunately dogs have short memories and she is already loving life and happy as can be. Me on the other hand...I just need some time.

Thanks for listening...writing all of this out has been nice. If any of you stop by the house, give Reese a big hug and kiss for me. Love and miss everyone bunches but I will be home in 10 days!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mom and Dad's Wild Wild West Adventure

Mom and Dad came out in August to visit me and they stay on a ranch in the Gros Ventre's called The Gros Ventre River Ranch. This place was so beautiful and had incredible views. It was located right on the Gros Ventre River which was great for fly fishing. They rode horses all day long and were able to see some of the best views in Jackson Hole. Their patio looked right at The Grand Teton. I absolutely loved having them here and getting to spend quality time with them doing so many fun things...hot air balloon ride, horse back riding, white water rafting, cowboy camp fires and cookouts! We had a ball!!! I loved that they were able to see Jackson Hole as it truly is...full of adventure and beautiful scenery...you honestly can't beat it! Here are some pictures from their trip. Enjoy :)

Dad in front of the hot air balloon before we went up. This was both of our first trips in a hot air balloon!

This is a great view of the Teton's! So beautiful!

I love this picture because you can't tell we are in a hot air balloon. Great view of the valley!

The champagne toast afterward. A common tradition among balloonists is to have a champagne toast upon landing. Legend has it that early French aeronauts carried champagne to appease angry or frightened spectators at the landing site. Along with the champagne, a popular toast among balloonists is: "soft winds and gentle landings" Many balloonists recite the Balloonists Blessing (author unknown) with the champagne toast:

The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has blessed you with warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God had joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.

Mom and I being silly!

Mom and Dad's cabin

The view of the Teton's from their porch...amazing and this picture doesn't do the view justice at all.A great view of the Gros Ventre River from one of the main areas of the ranch.

Mom and I in front of Lewis Falls in Yellowstone National Park.

Dad, Jay, and I in front of Lewis Falls.

Dad and I at Oxbow Bend. Also, a great view of Mt. Moran. Look at the reflection in the bend.

Jay, Mom, and I at Jackson Lake.

Dad and I inside the Old Faithful in (the largest solid wood structure in America). Check out the lady with the blue hat..very typical for the type of tourist you see walking around that place...ha :)

One of the many geysers we saw. The blue color in this one was simply amazing!

And another one...

Towards the end of the trip we came across a huge herd of buffalo hanging out by the river.

Mom and I at Lower Fall.

Mom and Dad's new friends...they were so very nice and fun! This is us at one of the cowboy campfire cookouts.

The campfire cookout.

Dad, Mom, and I at the campfire.

Dad and I.

Mom and I...great laughing picture!

Jenny, Mom, and I at the Couloir and underneath Corbet's. We had lunch and it was such a beautiful day. We were so happy Jenny could join us as well.

One of the many beautiful views that Mom and Dad enjoyed on their horse back rides.

Breakfast ride. It was early and cold but so worth it for the views and the yummy breakfast they prepared for us by the warm fire :)

Us and our horses...gitty up!

Dad and I before white water rafting.

Dad fly fishing on the Gros Venre river.

Mom gettin after it...she rounded the cattle like it was her job. Pretty sure they won the team pinning contest...yeah they are pretty bad ass :)

More cattle herding.

Yay! They won!

The Four Musketeers...they are so cute in their matching shirts. This was our last night at dinner before the rodeo.

Jay and I at the rodeo.

Awe aren't they so cute! I love them :) This was the last night and we went to the rodeo. They knew more people there then I did and I have lived here almost a year.

Well, I think that is all. We had such a fantastic time! I loved having them here so much and I loved the time we were able to spend together and the memories we created that will last forever. There was a lot of "stepping out of the box" on this trip...and I love that! I am pretty sure they will be returning to the ranch again next summer because they had such a grand time this trip. I miss them so much and wish they could be here more. But Mom is flying now so they can come anytime they want :) Good times, great company, lots of laughs...what more can you ask for...I LOVE YOU!

So, Jay and I will be flying to Atlanta October 30th for a few days so I can move my things out of my house and in to storage (a.k.a Mom and Dad's basement). I can't wait to see the family and go trick-or-treating with the little ones! After the few days at home, Jay and I are heading to Spain for just over 2 weeks of holiday! I am beyond excited about this trip and the adventures that lay ahead. Neither Jay nor I have been to Spain so it will be a first for both of us. I look forward to sharing our pictures and stories with you when we return. Lots of love, hugs, and kisses to all! See you soon :)