25 and Blue Skies

If you know Casey and I, then you probably know that Winter Park, Colorado is our favorite place to be. Whenever we have the free time and the cash, we cruise I-70 to our beloved destination. With that said, it was truly amazing and exciting, when Casey surprised me by booking two nights at the wonderful Founders Pointe resort at Winter Park to celebrate my 25th birthday.
We have always wanted to ski together on a weekday, so I was extremely stoked to hit the slopes to celebrate the big 2-5. Resorts are always busy on the weekends, but we had no idea they were so vacant during the weekdays. It felt like Casey had reserved the mountain just for us! On Wednesday, February 9, the temperature was -10 degrees with a wind chill of -30, but that wasn't stopping us. Bundled in multiple layers, we were one of the first people to hit the chairlifts around 9:15 a.m. Winter Park had received over a foot of snow in the past week, so we wanted to be first in line to take advantage of the powder buffet.
The snow seriously could not have been more perfect! In this photo you can see us making our tracks in the freshly groomed powder. If you're an avid skier, you know just how awesome that feeling is.
Before moving to Colorado, I had never been skiing. Casey was ever so patient and taught me last season and since then I have predominately stuck to green runs, until this season when I finally conquered some blues. Because I wasn't the most coordinated or advanced skier, Casey and I have primarily stuck to Winter Park runs until my birthday. I have been doing well on blue runs lately, so we decided to ski all blues, finally take on Mary Jane and travel above the tree line to the top of the mountain! Above is a picture of the Panoramic Express, the chairlift that takes you to the Parsenn Bowl (the top of Mary Jane) at 12,060 ft. The Panoramic Express was just recently built in 2007 and is North America's highest high-speed 6-pack chairlift.

Once we got near the top of the Panoramic Express it really felt as though we were in the clouds. The only thing that surrounded us was a blue sky and an incredible view. It felt as though we were in an airplane without the protective shell. Above are a few pictures we took at the top of the Parsenn Bowl, we only wish the photographs did the views justice. The sight was unbelievably peaceful and absolutely breathtaking. 
The first time we went up the Panoramic Express we took Village Way down and we would recommend  not doing that. You'll be walking instead of skiing. On our second try, we took Forget me Not down Mary Jane and it was awesome. We were up to our  knees in snow! 
After about six hours of non-stop skiing, we decided to call it a day a little after 3 p.m. and retire to our hotel. Shortly after we decided to exchange our ski gear for some swimwear and soak in our amazing outdoor hot tub. Not too shabby for negative temperatures. It felt so good to submerge our muscles in some hot water, relax with resort views, and tap the Rockies with a can of Coors Light. 
To top off the most perfect birthday celebration, we went to our favorite pizza joint in Winter Park, Hernando's Pizza & Pasta Pub. I had been craving a thin crust sausage pizza and it did not disappoint. Hernando's is the local hot spot in the old town of Winter Park serving delicious pies, beer in mason jars, and over $20,000 worth of $1 bills hanging from their venue. It's a special little place and I could not have picked a better setting to dine as I had literally been salivating thinking of their pizza these past few weeks. After inhaling our large pizza we ended the night with Buck Hunter at Randi's and then back home in bed before 10 p.m. We were pooped. 
All in all, Twenty-five, blues skies, and pizza pie....I could not have asked for a more PERFECT birthday. Thank you so much Casey for making my 25th so special! xoxo 

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