From the Antlers at Vail to Cornell University

Hannah Hervert at Cornell University where she will attend this fall.

Hannah Hervert is an ambitious, aspiring hotelier and marketing professional. Over the past few years, we at the Antlers at Vail have had the privilege of working with her. She started with us as an intern, assisting with our conference, and housekeeping departments. She also helped come up with some fun, new amenities that we have since added to our ongoing list of excellent amenities. Since her internship and graduating from high school, we had an open position on our guest services team that we offered to her. Hannah excelled at this – providing our guests with top-notch service, and attention to detail. We are proud to share that her hard work has truly paid off. She has officially been accepted to Cornell University’s Hospitality Management program where she will begin studying this fall. We are simply ecstatic for her to attend Cornell and begin her collegiate journey. I asked Hannah how she felt about her experience here at the Antlers, and here’s what she had to say: 

“My experience at the Antlers has been one that I will never forget. Every single person here has opened up their arms to me, and I have never felt out of place. During the first year of being an intern, I learned so much about how each department works, and ultimately how all of the departments blend together to make up the amazing hotel that we have today. Through moving up to working the front desk, I have learned the importance of guest relations, kindness, and putting others needs before myself. This is knowledge that I will take with me throughout my schooling and future career. The Antlers has given me vast opportunities, and I feel so fortunate to be able to say that I have worked here.

As I am moving on to the next phase of my life at Cornell University, I am confident that the teachings that I have learned at the Antlers will help me in pursuing my Hospitality Management degree. I plan to seek two minors in real estate and communications, and I would like to go into marketing in the hospitality industry. Cornell has always been my dream school, and I am so excited to be able to learn from some of the greatest professors in the country, and to be able to share my hospitality passion with my classmates. I will be sitting in the same classrooms and walking on the same paths that many of my idols have (Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Bill Nye to name a couple). I am beyond excited to leave for Cornell, and I will always remember my time here at the Antlers.”

Our feelings are mutual. We feel very fortunate to have worked with Hannah. Our Assistant General Manager, Kim Rediker, also wanted to share her experience in working with Hannah:

“Two years ago, we hired Hannah as an intern at our property, with the expectation that she would serve as sort of just an extra set of hands. We intended to introduce her to the hospitality business, giving her insight into all aspects of operations, but without an overwhelming list of responsibilities. Well, Hannah soon proved herself to be way more than “just an extra set of hands”. She is an outstanding young woman with a strong sense of responsibility and an extremely strong work ethic.

After the initial summer internship with us, we invited Hannah to stay with us through the very busy ski season and gave her additional responsibilities in the Front Desk & Administration departments. She again made it through the season with flying colors, and upon graduation from high school, we offered her a permanent position as a Front Desk Agent. As a resort condominium-hotel property, we rely heavily on our Front Desk Agents to provide incomparable customer service. Hannah has been, without a doubt, one of our best. She has a wonderful demeanor, she is kind and welcoming to our guests, and she always handles problems and complaints with a calm and helpful attitude.”

All in all, we couldn’t be more thrilled for Hannah and the journey she is about to embark on. We wish her all the best in her bright future ahead! 

Antlers Staff Lend a Helping Hand to Restore Gore Creek

Newly planted willow cuttings along Gore Creek. These will establish roots throughout the summer, and if they survive through the winter, will continue to grow for years to come.

Gore Creek is a special part of Vail. Residents and tourists alike appreciate the natural beauty it brings to our town. One of the features our guests and homeowners enjoy most about the Antlers at Vail is our creek-side location. But due to urbanization, Gore Creek is in trouble. In 2012, after numerous assessments of the health of the macro-invertebrate community, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) listed Gore Creek on the Clean Water Act’s Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. Since then, the Town of Vail and other stakeholders have put programs in place to restore Gore Creek. We know that our town’s local businesses affect Gore Creek, so at the Antlers at Vail, we make environmentally-conscious decisions everyday. This past weekend, our team went a little further and partnered with Love Vail, a Town of Vail program committed to keeping our footprint small, our resources plentiful, and our contribution to sustainability top of mind.

Peter Wadden shows the Antlers staff what to look for and how to collect willow cuttings.

If you have stayed at the Antlers at Vail in the past few years, you have probably met Gabe Kossman who was previously one of our all-star front desk agents. Gabe is now our Conference Services Coordinator, and recently completed a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability at Colorado Mountain College. In addition to conference services, Gabe is also now leading our sustainability efforts. Gabe organized a volunteer session for our team with Peter Wadden at Love Vail to harvest and replant willows along sections of Gore Creek that are lacking in natural flora.

Gabe Kossman collects willow cuttings.

Our team had a great time learning about the importance of Gore Creek and doing our part to revitalize the area. By removing willow cuttings from surrounding areas where willows are well established and replanting willows along areas of the creek where they are lacking, we helped reestablish a vital part of the local ecosystem. Willows provide shade to streams and critical habitats for a large number of terrestrial and aquatic species. They slow water flow and allow the ground to absorb water and nutrients, stabilize stream banks, and provide food and construction material for beavers and their dams.

Previous General Manager, Rob LeVine, and General Manager, Magda King, plant willow cuttings along the banks of Gore Creek.

For more information about Love Vail, the Gore Creek program, and to find out how you can preserve and restore Gore Creek, please visit their website at lovevail.org/programs/gore-creek/.

What’s Coming to Vail 2019-2020 Ski Season

We may be biased but we think that Vail’s 2019-2020 ski season is going to be the best yet. There are two reasons for this. One has to do with the Antlers, and the other with a new product offering from Vail Resorts, “Epic for Everyone”.

Antlers Breaks Ground April 2019 on $5M Elevator & Lobby Project

In 2013 the Antlers implemented a Unit Quality Improvement plan, a property-wide project with the objective of bringing our Lodging Quality Assurance ranking up to Vail’s highest possible status. In July of 2015, thanks to the commitment of Antlers condominium owners, this goal of platinum status was achieved. But improvements to individual condominiums continue. There are now only a handful of units left that are not platinum rated.

Exterior rendering of Antlers new lobby and elevator.

Now, with the goal of bringing common areas to the same standard as individual condos, Antlers at Vail will break ground on a $5 million renovation. This project will transform the hotel’s lobby, front desk, reception area and associated office spaces. Perhaps most importantly, it will provide a new relocated elevator to speed guests to upper levels. The project will be completed by December 1, 2019, just in time to greet winter guests with a new warm welcome.

Antlers at Vail new lobby

Rendering of Antlers new light-filled spacious lobby.

As Always, the earlier guests book, the better the pricing will be. Booking early also gives us the most opportunity to accommodate specific requests. While we do not guarantee condo numbers, we do typically honor requests for specific bedding, location and more. These can only be honored as long as we have availability. So the early bird gets the worm. And, did you know that you can book now with no deposit due until August?!

Vail Resorts Offers Epic for Everyone

Another exciting development that guests can take advantage of this winter is advance day lift ticket purchases for a more reasonable price. There will be no more of $200 plus lift ticket prices for guests who plan ahead. 

“Epic for Everyone,” from Vail Resorts is a customizable pass for those skiers and riders who may not need the unlimited skiing offered by traditional season passes. Guests can create their own pass by selecting the number of days they plan to ski or ride – from one day to seven days – and whether or not to add holiday access. Guests can use their customized Epic Day Pass anytime throughout the season at any of the Company’s North American owned resorts, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Whistler Blackcomb, Keystone, Crested Butte, Park City, and more. Those purchasing four or more days will also get access to Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

Don't miss out on another epic ski season at Vail. You can purchase yuor lift tickets now for incredible savings!

Don’t miss out on another epic ski season at Vail. You can purchase your lift tickets now for incredible savings!

With the Epic Day Pass, guests can ski world-class resorts for an unmatched price. Offering a discount of up to 50 percent off of lift ticket window prices, the Epic Day Pass starts as low as $106 for one day of skiing at any of the Company’s North American resorts. Guests can also lower their cost per day by adding more days and can lock in the lowest prices by purchasing this spring. The catch is that these passes must be purchased by the fall at whichever date Vail Resorts cuts off season pass sales.

Because Epic is for everyone, guests who purchase a day lift ticket this season also have the opportunity to apply the value of their ticket toward the price of an eligible 2019-20 pass, including an Epic Day Pass with four or more days. Guests can visit www.epicpass.com for more details on this offer and other incentives.

Top Ten Reasons to Stay at the Antlers at Vail

As Vail’s opening day for the 2018-2019 Ski Season is quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about booking your next ski vacation! Imagine bluebird days, fresh powder, après at your favorite Vail eatery, and your lovely home-away-from-home at Antlers just steps away from all the fun. Here are the Top Ten Reasons to stay at the Antlers at Vail this winter as curated by the friendly Antlers staff:

10. Your furry friends will LOVE it

Even our pets need a little R&R sometimes. We encourage you to bring them along on your family vacation! Just let us know ahead of time as we have a limited number of Pet-Friendly Condos available.

9. Enjoy all the comforts of home in your Antlers Condo

Relax with a mug of hot chocolate by the crackling fireplace in your living room or enjoy the breathtaking views from your private balcony.

8. Free Courtesy Shuttle

Don’t have a car? Don’t worry. Our front desk staff will gladly take you to the supermarket or anywhere else around Vail. Antlers’ shuttle service is a seasonal amenity. 

7. Weekly Complimentary Guest Receptions

Who doesn’t like free wine and cheese? Join other Antlers guests and our staff each week for a glass of wine and light appetizers January through March.

6. Spectacular Pool and Hot Tubs 

What better way to unwind after a long day of skiing? Our two outdoor hot tubs and pool are the place to be after hitting the slopes. The views of Vail Mountain and Gore Creek are hard to beat!

5. Fully-Equipped Kitchens

Each of our condominiums whether it’s a Studio Suite or a Four-Bedroom Penthouse has a fully equipped kitchen complete with pots, pans, plates, and everything needed to prepare a culinary masterpiece. Just BYOF (Bring Your Own Food).

4. Our Friendly and Informative Staff

From our front desk team to our housekeeping team, everyone is here to ensure you have a great vacation!

3. Daily Housekeeping Service

These days, it’s hard to find a condominium-hotel that doesn’t charge outrageous housekeeping fees. The Antlers at Vail still provides complimentary daily housekeeping services to help you have more time for fun and enjoying Vail.

2. Free Parking When You Book Directly

When you book directly with us via our website or by calling our reservations team, we do not charge for parking! So, say goodbye to parking fees and to scraping snow and ice off your car. Help yourself to our heated, underground garage located just beneath our property.

1. Location, Location, Location

 

The Antlers is located only 150 yards from the Eagle Bahn Gondola, bringing you closer to the slopes, ski school, and all the shops and restaurants that Lionshead Village has to offer. With Ski Butlers Complimentary Valet Service, your commute just got easier! Ski Butlers will even store and transport your skis to the gondola – just wear your boots and bring your poles. Didn’t feel like bringing your skis along? No Problem! Ski Butlers will even fit you in the comfort of your condo with top-of-the-line skis and equipment rentals, then store and transport your skis to the Eagle Bahn Gondola daily.

Ready to book? Give us a call at 1-800-843-8245 or choose your arrival and departure dates below to check availability.

Thanksgiving in Vail | Leave the Cooking to Us

 

Chef Barry Robinson’s Delicious Thanksgiving Feast

Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner this year at the Antlers, catered by Chef Barry Robinson.

This Thanksgiving, leave the cooking to us! Enjoy Chef Barry Robinson’s delicious thanksgiving feast. Ideal for those who’d rather spend Thanksgiving in Vail on the slopes rather than in the kitchen. Chef Barry’s classic Thanksgiving feast lets guests enjoy the excitement of a Vail ski vacation, while still relishing the comforts of a home-cooked meal. Add Chef Barry’s Thanksgiving Dinner to your lodging reservation by Tuesday, November 20th, 2018. We will deliver it to your condo in recyclable, oven-proof containers in time for Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018. 

Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner this year at the Antlers, catered by Chef Barry Robinson.

Vail Chef Barry Robinson will prepare Thanksgiving dishes he’s cooked for his own family for years. Dishes include roasted turkey breast and slow-cooked giblet gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with toasted almonds, caramelized butternut squash, savory stuffing, tart cranberry sauce and mixed greens with herb dressing. And dinner wouldn’t be complete without the Chef’s classic pumpkin pie with vanilla bean ice cream. Chef will deliver the meal to your condo in ovenproof, recyclable containers for heating and serving at your convenience on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving dinner is $40 per person (plus 8.4% tax).

Home-Away-From-Home Antlers at Vail Thanksgiving

Relax in the Antlers platinum-rated Condo Suites.

With our friendly staff and comfortable condominiums, we strive to provide a “home away from home” experience for our guests. Antlers condos are comfortable for families, groups of friends and even pets. All Antlers’ suites feature a fully equipped kitchen making leftovers easy to reheat. A spacious dining and living area, cozy bedrooms and gas fireplaces make relaxing easy. Book your Thanksgiving lodging reservation with us today. Enjoy Vail, a delicious thanksgiving meal, and all the comforts of home at the Antlers. 

Simply add dinner to your reservation when you book your Antlers lodging, or call 970.476.2471 to add it on to an existing reservation.

An Antlers at Vail lodging & Thanksgiving dinner package is also available.

 

Relax this Thanksgiving in Vail. This Thanksgiving leave the cooking to us and enjoy Chef Barry Robinson's delicious thanksgiving feast, and bake-your-own sugar cookies.

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Blind Date with a Book

This spring the Antlers at Vail housekeeping department participated in a fun book club, Blind Date with a Book. They had ten books to read. All books were from several different genres, some in English, some in Spanish. These included titles such as Romeo & Juliet and Selena’s Story. Everyone chose different books to read and discuss. They then traded books. Myrna and Carolina each read three books, tying for most books read. Congratulations, Myrna & Carolina!

Next up they will participate in One Book One Valley and read Like Water for Chocolate.

A Farewell and A Welcome

We recently featured our Controller, Randi Davis, here on the blog. She was celebrating her 30th anniversary with the Antlers. Happily for her, this milestone also meant that she started thinking a bit more seriously about retirement. Randi has announced that she will be retiring at the end of May. We are excited for her and her future adventures — traveling the country in an RV. Randi is not one to sit still and we are sure she’ll make the most of and enjoy this next chapter.

We are glad to have found an enthusiastic replacement for Randi who has an entire month to work alongside her. Welcome to Chase Simmons, our new Controller!

Chase Simmons is from Peachtree City, Georgia, which sounds like an interesting place. It is a golf cart community outside of Atlanta where instead of parking lots full of cars you will find parking lots full of golf carts. He graduated from the University of Georgia and in his own words is a HUGE sports fan. Going to Georgia sporting events continues to be an active hobby. Since his father is a pilot he has managed to make it in person to six games in the past year, all while living here in Colorado.

Chase originally moved out to Breckenridge to be a ski bum for a year. He soon realized that he didn’t want to leave but also didn’t want to give up his career aspirations. He proceeded to find a job at the Vail Marriott where he quickly moved up the ladder, being promoted to Assistant Director of Finance within 16 months.

He is a whitewater kayaker, having attended a traveling kayaking boarding school for his last semester of high school. So he loves to kayak, bike and ski. Chase is also a lover of Golden Doodles and Labs, and is getting his daily fix now in the sales and marketing office.

Also somewhat new to the department is Elena, handling accounts payable. Elena is originally from Moldova and has been in the US for 10 years.  She is married and has 2 children, in preschool and elementary school.  She is currently studying accounting at Colorado Mountain College.  She loves to travel.  

Welcome to both Chase and Elena!

BIG Improvements in 2019

With all of the many improvements that the Antlers has made over the years, we know that our real Achilles’ Heel is the south (original) elevator. Clearly it does not begin to match the Platinum quality that we have worked so hard to achieve in the condominiums, and all around the property. Although we have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to make that elevator acceptable, the handwriting is on the wall that it just needs to be completely replaced.

While it would seem logical to replace the elevator in its current location (and as much as we’d like to), due to current code issues and a myriad of physical constraints, it’s just not feasible.  Fortunately, local architect Henry Pratt has helped us to identify a new, alternative location in the southeast corner of the courtyard.  It’s next to the area that we currently use as bicycle storage in the summer. We’ll still have to cut through the post tension slabs that comprise the garage and parking deck.  That isn’t cheap or easy, but at least it’s viable. With that new location comes the opportunity to make some much needed improvements to the lobby, front desk, reception area and associated office spaces. If we’re going to be considered a Platinum rated property, those spaces also need to be upgraded to that level of quality, just as the condominiums have been. 

A much more welcoming entrance will give our guests and owners a far better first impression.  For anyone who has visited grand hotels or five-star resorts and observed how much gets invested in the arrival experience, it’s easy to understand the importance of that concept … particularly in the hospitality business.  A two story structure with vaulted ceilings will replace the Antlers current one-level front desk “pill box”, offering much more efficiency in addition to the radically improved aesthetics.

Fortunately, at a recent special meeting of the Antlers owners, there was overwhelming consensus to do what needs to be done, even if it is quite expensive. The total cost of the project is around four million dollars! We’re lucky that our ownership understands and appreciates the need to provide a great product for our guests … throughout the building.  Those that have been around for awhile also remember that similar investments they’ve made in the past, have been more than offset by the increased value of their property.

The plan now is to break ground in April 2019, at the end of ski season. Look for some good lodging deals during the summer! Then we should be 100% complete and ship shape in time for the 2019-2020 ski season.  Stay tuned for more information!

 

Pay It Backward Returns!

In today’s lexicon, the term “Pay It Forward” has come to mean doing something nice for someone in hopes that they’ll do something nice for someone else … a wonderful gesture of blind faith with the intent to perpetuate a series of future generous acts.

Logically then, “Pay It Backward” must refer to that circumstance when someone has already been so nice that they simply deserve a little reward.

With that in mind, several years ago we at the Antlers decided to host a Pay It Backward weekend. In line with our constant desire to be a good corporate citizen, we identified three dozen deserving non-profits and invited each of them to designate a person of their choice to spend two free nights in Vail … no strings attached. It could be their Executive Director or a hard working staff member. It might be their Volunteer of the Year. It could even be a recipient of their services, who they just think deserves a break today. Whoever they wanted … totally their choice. Naturally, “significant others” and family members were welcome also. We simply wanted to take the opportunity to thank them for doing what they do … helping to make this world a little better place.

 

Pay It Backward s

Needless to say, that first year was a tremendous success. Almost all of the invited nonprofits participated and sent a deserving staff member or volunteer.  They were all so appreciative and not only enjoyed a relaxing weekend away, but also the opportunity to connect with others.

Since then, we have held the second and third annual Pay It Backward Weekends. Not surprisingly, those were just as successful as the first one. In addition to the two free nights, the Antlers hosts a reception for everyone on Saturday evening. Similar to our weekly guest receptions in the winter, Chef Barry Robinson wows the crowd with his gourmet offerings. The Antlers provides plenty of wine and refreshments and people have a chance to share their non-profit’s story, if they choose. Again, no strings attached … people can come to mingle and network with all the other humanitarians, or they are totally excused if they’re just too busy enjoying Vail and our surrounding mountains.

In 2015, Fireside Productions attended on behalf of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and donated their time in producing a video that captured the spirit of the event …

The list of invitees has changed a bit, but over the years the following organizations have been invited (somewhat randomly) to participate. We have tried to find a good mix of social, environmental, humanitarian, health, military, children and animal related causes. The Antlers had a previous relationship with some of them and others we had just always admired. Naturally, there are a million others who would be equally deserving, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. 

Advocates for Children – CASA
Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
American Heart Association
American Red Cross Mile High Chapter
Arvada Center for the Arts
Audubon Rockies
Bicycle Colorado
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
Boys & Girls Clubs
Canine Companions for Independence
CAR Housing Opportunity Fund
Catholic Charities
The Center For Mental Health
Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Colorado Horse Rescue
Colorado Public Radio
Colorado Fourteener Initiative
Colorado Water Trust
Conservation Colorado
Crossroads Safehouse
Denver Children’s Advocacy Center
Denver Dumb Friends League
Denver Indian Family Resource Center
Denver Rescue Mission
Easter Seals
Engineers Without Borders
Firefly Autism
Food Bank of the Rockies
Habitat for Humanity of Colorado
Hearts and Horses
The Home Front Cares
Hope House of Colorado
Hospice of Northern Colorado
IDE – International Development Enterprises
Joshua Station
MaxFund
Mesa County Partners
Mile High United Way
Mi Casa Resource Center

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group
Ronald McDonald House
Salvation Army of Colorado Springs
Sense of Security
Wounded Warrior Project
Women’s Foundation of Colorado
9 Health Fair

      Plans are now underway for Pay It Backward IV on May 11 – 13, 2018! 

As always, the Antlers takes pride in remembering that life is short and there’s a lot more to a successful business than just making money.

Randi Davis, Controller Extraordinaire

When I became the Antlers General Manager in 1987, the very first senior manager I brought on board was Randi Davis. It’s not very far-fetched to say that my first hire was my best hire. Lucky for us, thirty years later Randi is still with the Antlers today!

In addition to the normal challenges of her role as Controller, Randi had the added pressure of being hired to do a job which I had held along the way. Happily, I can’t think of a single instance when I was tempted to say, “But this is the way I did it.” In virtually every circumstance, she performed her duties as well, and generally better, than I ever did.  Frankly, it’s kind of humbling.

Her job includes ALL of the HOA accounting. Many condominium properties of our size have two, and sometimes three people, to execute their accounting functions.  Not the Antlers … it’s just Randi. Even more impressive is the fact that she handles the majority of the HR functions as well! Again, other properties often have a dedicated person performing just those tasks.  More than once I have explained to the Antlers owners that Randi fulfills the roles of two complete departments … All. By. Herself.

Riding the gondola with Magdalena

The annual audit for the Antlers is always performed by an independent CPA. We’ve had four different companies provide that service for us over the years. Perhaps the greatest testimony to the quality of Randi’s work comes without fail at the end of each fiscal year, when after about a bazillion transactions, the auditing company has so few “adjusting entries” to our books and to all the work that Randi has done throughout the year. There have even been a couple years when they had none.  Now that’s just about unheard of in the accounting world!

Our employees have always enjoyed the enormous benefit of having an on-site HR person helping them with everything from insurance claims to their 401K plan. No outsourcing here. The Antlers was even one of the first small companies to provide a cafeteria plan for our employees, and over the years we’ve continued to be on the cutting edge when it comes to employee benefits. All of those programs were implemented and administered initially by Randi Davis.

Ripping it up in the back bowls

Beyond performing her work duties with the utmost poise, Randi is equally graceful outside the office. Whether it’s carving turns through the powder on Forever (or tearing up the bumps on Highline), or pedaling her bike across the finish line of another one-day century ride, I’ve had the pleasure of watching her always make it look easy. Always up for an adventure, when she announced a few years ago that she was going to climb Kilamanjaro, our collective reaction was … of course you are. And of course she did!

Of all those wonderful qualities, both in and outside the workplace, perhaps Randi’s greatest strength of all has been the fact that everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) at the Antlers, loves her. I think I’ve seen close to 200 employees cross the Antlers threshold since 1978, and there hasn’t been a single other person who has had more universal respect and admiration, than Randi Davis. Of course it helps when you’re the one doing payroll, but still …     In addition to being great at her job, she’s just so damn pleasant.

The women of Antlers … awards banquet 2011

Riding with Team Antlers, here at the famous ice cream truck on the Colorado River Ride, with friend Lisa Siegert Free.

Long story short, it has been my personal immense joy, and the Antlers incredible good fortune, to have known and worked with my friend Randi for these past 30 years.

 

Star Shortstop on the Antlers softball team

You wouldn’t know that these ladies just finished a 100 mile bike ride, Randi and our friend Karen Braden-Butz

With Stephanie Willingham … circa 1990, when big sunglasses were all the rage

The Antlers crack bowling team

Riding the chairlift with our best friend, Bert Farin

Randi Davis … elegant, yet grounded. Never one to take herself too seriously. A role model for all of us.