The Antlers is privileged to be playing host to Connie Lawn this week. Connie is the Senior White House Correspondent and when you see Jay Carney speaking from the podium in the WH press room, that just might be the back of Connie’s head that you see sitting in the front row. Much more importantly than her role at the nation’s capital (in our mind, anyway) is her passion for skiing and her superior skills writing about it.
Connie’s writing skills also go beyond regular WH journalism, and even the incredibly important ski blogging …
Click the picture for a link to her autobiography
On Friday morning, Randi and I had the great good fortune to make a few turns with Connie and her husband Dr. Charles Sneiderman. We knew from reading some of her blog posts that she’d be a hoot, and as usual … we were right.
The quintessential shot with the Gore Range in the background …just above chair 2.
That ever-tough chairlift self portrait … am I pointing this thing in the right direction? If only my arm was a little longer …
With any luck at all, we’ll get a chance to ski with Connie and Charles again next year. Until then, we’ll just remember Connie’s cantagious joy as she heads west on Eagle’s Nest Ridge …
The Vail Valley Partnership recently hosted their annual community awards Gala. It’s the same gig where the Antlers won Green Business of the Year in 2010 and a few years before that the big prize, Business of the Year. No awards for us this year, although we were one of three finalists for Spirit of the Vail Valley (formerly the Corporate Citizenship Award).
As usual, the Antlers table was called out as the room’s most raucous. More than a few folks asked if they could sit at OUR table next year! New to the picture this year was our choice of headgear (you knew it had to happen). Wearing them throughout the evening undaunted, we even got the piano player and our photographer friend Ryan Iguchi to don them by night’s end.
NEVER let it be said that we at the Antlers take ourselves too seriously. Seriously.
Click on any thumbnail for full size pic …
The award winning Antlers at Vail bowling team will be at it again soon. Just some random pictures from last year.
Settle down guys !
Very fashionable !
Come on team !
Two things motivated this story. The first is a website sponsored by the Town of Vail called solepower.org (very cool). This should be a blogpost in itself, but as you can see if you visit the site, it’s a way to log miles walked or pedaled in lieu of driving. Check out the Team Leaderboard and you’ll see that the Antlers is kicking just about everyone’s butt, with the exception of our friends (ahem) over at the West Vail Liquor Mart. If you scroll the Solepower blog, you just might also see some smack talk between the two of us. It’s all good.
The second big driver was just the attraction of being one of the few people (to say the least) to ride a bike from Vail to Denver for a business meeting. Call me crazy … everyone does.
So Sunday afternoon at 2:00 (after walking 18 holes and shooting a million, by the way) I set out from home on my trusty Giant armed with rain gear, a couple fresh jerseys and a healthy supply of “vitamin i” in my backpack.
3:00 found me at the East Vail exit feeling great.
Shortly after passing our namesake signage on the way up, by 4:20 I was cresting Vail Pass and happy, happy, happy.
A mere thirty-five downhill minutes later it was hi and bye to Frisco.
Who knew that the bikepath across the Dillon Dam was painted bright pink … what’s that all about?
Forty-five minutes further up the road, I pedalled into Keystone. It was at this point that I started feeling less than 100%. When I realized that one of my original two water bottles was still half full, it dawned on me that I wasn’t drinking nearly enough and might be getting dehydrated. Duh. In retrospect, I was already well beyond what I could fix by simply drinking a bunch. In fact, although I didn’t know it yet, I was toast. More on that later.
After hanging at Keystone from 6:00 to about 6:30, eating power bars, drinking Gatorade, drinking Gatorade and eating power bars, I hit the road still foolish enough to think that Loveland Pass summit would be no sweat.
Notice that the sky is a bit dusky. Right. What should be an hour and change took me over two (with more than a couple catch-your-breath stops (piss me off). At that point I had been on the road for six and a half hours, it’s beyond “dusky” and I hadn’t pee’d once. Pardon me, but this isn’t good.
Nevertheless, the gratification of being at the top, combined with less than no alternatives of what to do next, made for an exciting (shall we say?) descent. Just me, my bike, my little headlight (thank you again, Evelyn) and an occasional eighteen wheeler. Yipee. By the time I rolled into Georgetown at 9:30 I was beyond pooped, and really, really happy to call it a day.
I posted a picture of my luxurious motel room on Facebook and quickly got a “Motel 3?” response from Boomer. I replied “two point five”. But who really cares?
I should back up and tell you that the destination for this (not ill advised, but poorly executed) adventure was a CACI Executive Committee meeting at the University Club, a block from the capitol building in Denver. Prior to being dim-witted enough to let myself dry out, I was sharp enough when I met with them the week before, to ask Darla and Eliza (our queens of PR) if they could deliver my suit to said destination. Brill, and thanks.
Day 2 -Rise and shine … 7:00, out the door, back on the steed and Ya-hoo … another 18 mile thrilling descent into Idaho Springs. And this time I can SEE WHERE I’M GOING! It just doesn’t get any better.
From there, it’s a not-too-tough climb up Floyd Hill. Now I’m no medic, but methinks that the dehydration screwed up my system beyond what guzzling water and one night’s fitfull sleep could fix. When it took me at least twice as long as it should have, to climb FH and everything else, I was sure of it.
Reminiscent of Loveland Pass, reaching the crest of the hill next to Lookout Mountain got me stoked, with those familiar great views both east and west.
Toasted or not, the E-ticket ride down Route 40 is a hoot. I confess to being a little preoccupied with the prospect of having to crawl back up that same path later in the day, but it was still really fun.
Once in Denver, I made my way east on Colfax (bad idea) and some side streets (slightly better) until I eventually reached my final
resting place destination.
It was 10:30 and I had time to shower (thanks U Club), change, and get ready for our meeting. I did my best to not let on that I felt somewhat like badly overcooked spaghetti, and seemingly got away with it, as the meeting went well and we adjourned just prior to 2:00 like usual.
When it came time to head out, I shared my adventure with Dan, Ann and Chuck, but predictably left out the part that I felt like hell and should have been ever so much smarter about drinking an ample amount of water along the way. They were each more impressed than was deserved and Dan even went so far as to email out my undertaking to the entire CACI board. Slightly embarrassing, but okay.
True to form, Ann took a picture.
Once changed back into my bike gear, I texted Evelyn that all was well (although my pants were on fire), telling her that the meeting went fine, but I didn’t feel great and was starting to question my ability to make it all the way home. I presumed that we would communicate more and ultimately make arrangements to meet in Idaho Springs or similar. You have to know that Ev was never too fond of the whole idea in the first place. A short time later I got a return text telling me that she was passing Frisco and “on her way”. At that point I had mixed emotions, part of me unhappy with her rush to judgment (and action), doubting my abilities altogether. The other half of me was completely of the attitude, “OH THANK GOD!”. By the time she picked me up just as I was about to begin the long ascent up to Lookout Mountain, the latter feeling had won out completely.
In sum, I think I can claim to be one of the few people to ever ride from Vail to Denver for a business meeting, but it does still leave me with one more goal for the future … down AND back. And I’ll be a LOT smarter about how much water I drink!
The 2010-2011 ski season has come to an end with over 525″ of snow and an extended season, while we are sad to see it go, a great big thank you is in order for everyone that made it a wonderful time! We at the Antlers took some time off on Tuesday to celebrate all of our hard working employee’s. Thanks to the Turtle Bus we were able to head down to Glenwood Caverns for a day of laser tag, mountain coaster rides, and cave tours.
Thank you for a great season to all of our employee’s, guests and owners and also for making the Antlers at Vail a fun place to work and play!
Everyone at the Antlers seems to work a little too hard… and sometimes this can cause certain special days to be over looked. Some of us decided that we needed to relieve the tension and celebrate a birthday! The first major task was getting the Boss out of the building so we could start working on the party plans, that proved to be harder than we thought because he seemed to be enjoying his meeting.
Once the meeting was over Randi Accountant Extraordinaire/Human Resources Guru, and Magda Queen of Sales/Master of 4 languages proceeded to hang the Balloons to start the celebration, good thing Randi is tall. Amy Reservations/Bionic Woman, kept watch at the front desk just in case the Boss decided that he wasn’t quite done working for the day. Katie Jane of all Trades/Foodie tirelessly filled the balloons with air and Greg Director of Nothing/Bowling Aficionado, supervised the process and helped to tie the balloons off.
It was a difficult task but we got it done in record time. I think some of us even enjoyed ourselves! Now all we had to do was hang out and wait for the Birthday Boy to show up… When he did arrive, even with the festive mood he couldn’t resist doing a little work!
Since we couldn’t get everyone to totally enjoy themselves with the temptation to work so strong we decided to play hooky and go skiing. It was hard to tear ourselves away but we did our best to enjoy it.
P.S. Don’t tell the Boss!
It’s very busy around here.
The snow is “epic”. The atmosphere is festive. Grand-parents, parents, kids, cousins and friends are all having a thrill.
Un-noticed while the outside world spins is the quiet man. This particular person is working as hard as anyone at the Antlers this time of year. You need to know what goes on downstairs and what he does. A few facts and history.
One of the requirements on the original job description stated “individual must have the ability to work independently”. Aniceto Quinones was looking at the classifieds in 1994 and jumped out of his chair and ran to the kitchen where his wife was cooking his favorite meal. “Ilda, Ilda, I found the job I want. I’m going to the Antlers to tell them I’m their man.” Millie Barela hired him that week to take care of the overwhelming laundry situation we have here. Ever since, he’s been the first here in the morning, one of the last to leave at night and he takes his job very seriously. On average, Aniceto works 10 hours a day because he wants to and as Randi put it “we have to force him to take a vacation.”
He told me “I love my job and it is very important not to fall behind. If we miss one day it is very hard to catch up. Our guests would not like drying themselves after a shower with a wash cloth.”
“So how much laundry is there Aniceto?” He got out a scratch pad and started writing numbers down and then multiplying them by storage closets and whoa. “Many thousands every week and do not forget that I have to do bath mats, bedding and throw rugs.” He also tears and squares linens and towels that are not up to standards for guest use. Those are recycled for housekeepers to use as rags. He washes those as well.
(Honorable mentions need to go to Cristobal, Darwin, Macario, Calletano and Bryan who fill in when Aniceto sleeps, and who could forget Igor.)
Legend has it that rubbing Buddhas belly will bring you luck. Well I’m starting to think that being at Antlers Front desk area is luckier. So far in our towns ritualistic prize giveaway events the Antlers and friends have cleaned up. Even people just sitting at our table during the Red Lions bingo nights were luckier just from our presence. Just for the bingo night we had an Antlers associate win a limited edition Fat Tire bike (the grand prize of a bingo night) and a friend of ours at the table won a snowboard on a different night (also a grand prize). Also, a myriad of the smaller prizes have ended up in our groups possession (nerf footballs, hats, t-shirts etc.).
To make matters even better, during the pub crawls Vail PM throws every Tuesday night (last one is this coming Tuesday ending at Samana) our luck continues. One of our front desk associates came away with 2 Denver Nuggets tickets a few weeks ago at the George on Bridge St. Most recently I finally felt the love when I came away from this past Tuesdays pub crawl with the grand prize of an Epic Pass! Sadly I have already been provided one by my gracious employers so I either need to give it away or save it for next year. I guess I’m stuck here in Vail for another season. Drat…
Antlers resident lucky geek