Weekend Adventures: Ski slopes, craft beers, and a cabin in the woods…

It feels good to be home, but I’m notΒ I wasn’t ready for the week to begin! This weekend was just the out-of-town adventure Mike & I needed. My friend Dawn’s company had a ski trip to Holiday Valley Resort in New York and a few of us were able to tag along! There were 6 of us piled into an SUV plus all of our overnight bags, alcohol, ski pants, and so on… but it was so worth it. Dawn’s parents have a cabin that’s about an hour away from Holiday Valley, so we opted to go there Friday night and meet up with her work group Saturday morning instead of going on the bus with her coworkers and only being able to stay from 6am-6pm. (Though after the long day of skiing we were actually ready to leave by 6 haha). It was nice to sleep in though and the cabin was awesome! Think secluded, woods, snow, big windows, hardwood floors, and rustic. I loved it. On the ride up, we had many jam sessions, including my big (Dawn) rapping. Hilarious! I have a video (and it’s not even of the best/fastest part, but still hilarious):

Friday night once we got to the cabin, we settled in and had a night cap (or 2), while hanging out and chatting, etc. Then it was off to bed for our early AM wake-up alarm so we could meet up with Dawn’s coworkers and get all of our paperwork & lift passes.

A little gin & "juice" ;) haha...
A little gin & “juice” πŸ˜‰ haha…
The cabin! It is so cute and cozy :)
The cabin! It is so cute and cozy πŸ™‚

None of us (except for Dawn as a kid) had been to Holiday Valley before, but it made it a fun new experience for us. We got our lift tickets, waited in line for all of our rental equipment, then got suited/bundled up! (A little too bundled up, actually…)

Dawn & I getting all of our gear on.
Dawn & I getting all of our gear on.

It’s been YEARS since I’ve skied (and since Dawn’s skied) so there were some bumps along the way, including getting too small of a boot size and wearing too many layers inside my boot (it’s very misleading thinking you need to be all bundled up!). Once we got all of our gear, we were split into 2 groups for our group lesson. Dawn, Jesse, and I went to the lesson for those who have skiied before, and Mike, Eli, and Nancy went to the beginner’s lesson. I was so impressed by how well Mike did, for never skiing before! He picked it up really well πŸ™‚ Oh, I almost forgot! Dawn & Jesse just got a GoPro so they got great use of that! I can’t wait to see all of the videos πŸ™‚

I had so much trouble at the beginning – not with the actual skiing but just with my boots. I was in so much pain, I was on the verge of tears! Dawn, Jesse, and I ended up leaving the class to go back into the lodge and take off some layers. I took off my ski socks (which I had on top of regular socks and leggings), and it did WONDERS. Granted, ski boots (especially rentals) aren’t the most comfortable things to wear but generally you shouldn’t be almost crying in pain, so I was actually really glad we left and did that. We tried to go back to meet up with our lesson group but by the time we got there they had either moved on to another hill or the class had ended. Luckily we did get a few good tips from the first part of the lesson. We went back and forth from skiing down one of the easy hills to watching the beginners go down the bunny hill. For me it was really fun to watch Mike as he was learning, he looked adorable πŸ™‚

After the beginner’s lesson was done, our whole group went on the first easy hill with a chairlift (called the SchoolHaus) that Dawn, Jesse, and I had been doing and we skied that hill a couple of times – the guys who hadn’t skied before enjoyed it and really started to get the hang of this whole skiing thing!

We took a break for lunch and got sandwiches from this cafe in the lodge and I also got hot apple cider – yum! After lunch, we started back on the easy hill we were on before lunch, then after a little while decided to explore some of the other “easy” or green hills… they weren’t quite as easy but were still a lot of fun. I got an incredible leg workout, my thighs and my calfs were killing me after a while. I think I need to start doing some leg presses at the gym, haha. For awhile it was snowing and it was very pretty, but then the temperatures must’ve warmed up because it turned to sleet/rain… so we all decided to get ski goggles and look super profesh.


We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the other side of the mountain and going down the green “easy” hills (though a lot of them were still very challenging!). We stopped and took pictures, too:


Towards the end of the afternoon, we went down this one hill (Bear Cub Run – sounds like a cute cuddly teddy bear, right?)… Yeah it spits you out onto a black diamond with no other apparent way down. This was when the night took a turn for the worse. I don’t understand the logic of how the slopes are laid out… why would a green/easy slope then turn into a blue or a black diamond/harder slope? Anyways… The 4 braves ones (Dawn, Mike, Eli, and Nancy) decided to try & make it down the harder slope. I was already feeling tired & weak from all of the leg workout I was getting, so I opted to stay behind. Dawn’s boyfriend joined me, and a ski patrolman came over and radioed a snowmobile for us. We thought the snowmobile would just take us back to the main lodge, but that wasn’t the case. We got dropped off at another “green” slope called the Cat Walk, which I guess wasn’t a terribly hard slope but by that point I was so worn out it was hard to keep myself at a slow pace. The other issue was that there was no way to get back to the main cabin from this slope without walking or taking the chair lift back up and then skiing down another hill. I was completely done by this point… and so we decided to walk but even that took a lot of energy for me. Carrying my skis and poles, walking slowly because of the heavy boots, I was not happy. We finally met back up with the rest of our group and we found out they had an interesting time getting down as well (including a few falls). I think it just comes down to us still being beginners and also not being familiar with the different slopes and ways down. All in all, we all had an amazing time and would definitely go back (maybe after some more experience). We’re talking about getting together to go to Boston Mills/Brandywine and maybe even Peek’n PeakΒ (and the idea of getting our own equipment did also come up too, so we can save money!). I’m excited to have something to do during the dreary winters here in Northeast Ohio and even more excited that I have people to do it with! It makes the winter not so bad.

After the long day of skiing, we decided to grab some dinner in town, so we found the Ellicottville Brewing Company! The town of Ellicottville is adorable, and this place was PACKED so we knew it must be good and would be worth the hour-plus long wait. Some of the guys got 2 beer sampler flights while we hung out at the bar waiting for our table. The Blueberry Wheat was a hit so I tried that first.



Blueberry Wheat beer from Ellicottville Brewing Co.
Blueberry Wheat beer from Ellicottville Brewing Co.


It was a really fun atmosphere and we had fun trying different beers. I was less impressed with the food though, to be perfectly honest. I got a 2nd beer (the Winter Witte) and an appetizer (the Bavarian Pretzels) and those two were really great. You know I love a good soft pretzel and beer cheese! My entree though, didn’t quite do it for me. To stay on the slightly-healthier side, I ordered a tomato bacon grilled cheese and got a salad as my side. The salad was awesome, I really liked the lemon vinaigrette dressing. My sandwich was disappointing though, it looked like something I could’ve made myself at home. It wasn’t bad, but nothing special either if that makes sense. (I did sneak a french fry or two and those were AMAZING!)

Jesse, Nancy, Eli, Mike, myself, and Dawn!
Jesse, Nancy, Eli, Mike, myself, and Dawn! (in all our post-skiing sweaty glory – don’t judge!)
The Winter Witte by Ellicottville Brewing Co.
The Winter Witte by Ellicottville Brewing Co.


Bavarian pretzels and beer cheese - YUM!
Bavarian pretzels and beer cheese – YUM! These did not disappoint at all.


My entree. Not terrible, but less impressive.
My entree. Not terrible, but less impressive.

After dinner, we made the hour drive back to Dawn’s cabin and our intentions were to drink more but we were honestly just too exhausted. We did make s’mores though!




We went to bed early and woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland! Yep, New York – you were fun. πŸ™‚



How was your weekend? πŸ™‚

I’m also linking up with Ameliorer La Vie and The Rachael Way for their Weekly Wrap Up!

The Rachael Way

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