Winter Whatnots

Spring is finally here, and with it comes the warm temperatures and pollen. It also means it’s time for me to post about my winter activities. Winter tends to be the slow season when it comes to activities, but I managed to get out and keep life from getting too boring. Here is just a quick list of my winter highlights with some photos to boot.

Skytrain Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station
Took a ride on the Skytrain to the end of the new Evergreen extension in Coquitlam

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Car Accident and Spring Break

There is a first time for everything, and unfortunately I got into my first car accident a week or two ago. My car got rear-ended by another SUV, and it was a little more than a fender-bender as you can see in the photo. Fortunately nobody was injured, and I was able to drive away from the incident. My ML-350 took a pretty good hit in the back, but the fact that I was able to drive it for quite some distance to go home shows that these German cars are definitely built solid. I took my car to the shop, and it’ll probably be there for a while since the bumper, real left tail lights and the whole tail gate near to be replaced. It was good that I wasn’t liable for the accident. I was fortunate this time, and I’ll certainly strive to be a safer driver. Hopefully I’ll get my car back soon.

Damage to Tony's car
My car was rear-ended and it got a fair bit of damage.

On a lighter note, this week was my university’s spring break. I’m still busy with preparing my dissertation and trying to find a job, but I did find a day to go skiing with some friends. We headed to a mountain in the Green Mountains of Vermont for a fun day of skiing. Even though I haven’t skied in a year, I did pretty well and only really fell once during the whole day. That ski hill was nice in that most of the trails were pretty wide, so there was room to turn. We also went on a weekday so the place wasn’t crowded, and the weather was great for skiing: not too cold or too warm, and mostly sunny. I had hoped to go to another bigger ski hill during the week, but things didn’t work out. Still, being able to go skiing once was a nice break from work. Now that spring break is coming to an end, I’ll have to work hard to make sure I graduate, and also find a job to boot.

Learning How to Ski

It’s the middle of March already and winter is finally showing some signs of ending. Because of the winter and because of school work, I haven’t done much traveling since my last post. However, over the last few weeks I did go skiing a couple of times, and took some beginner’s lessons with some friends. Here in the Northeast there isn’t much else to do in winter other than skiing or snowboarding. I got my first taste of skiing a year ago, and I wanted to get better at it instead of falling all over the place. There were plenty of skiing hills not far away from my location, and some of them were very reasonable in terms of pricing. I also joined the school ski club which offered much lower rates on equipment rentals. We had three lessons, and they definitely helped. I was able to ski down from the top of a mountain (a small one) through a blue trail and not fall in the process. Of course, I was skiing quite slowly, but it was a significant improvement compared to before the lessons.

 

At this point, I think I’m fine on green trails, but I might still take a tumble on the steeper sections of blue trails. Skiing is all about making the turns and using that to control speed, and I still need to improve in my turns in order to handle the more difficult trails with more consistency. Falling does hurt, and I got pretty sore, but overall I think skiing is a very fun activity. It’s very late in the ski season and I don’t know if I’ll go again this season, but I’ll be sure to head back to the hills next winter.

Skiing for the First Time

This week was my spring break. I had a lot of work to do and spent most of the break working, but it would have been pretty sad if I had to work the whole week and not do anything fun. So one day, I went with some of my friends to ski on a local ski hill. This was the first time I have ever skied, which is actually kind of weird given that I’ve lived in Vancouver for well over a decade. Vancouver has a couple of ski hills nearby, and the world famous Whistler is not that far away either.

The day we went, the weather was very nice and it was sunny the whole day. However, it is March and spring time has come, and so it was quite warm and thus the snow was a little slushy at the base of the mountain. Given this was my first time skiing, I went and took the beginner lessons to learn the basics. On the bunny hill I actually wasn’t doing too bad. I could turn and had some control over where I was going, and I didn’t fall while skiing. It did take me a few tries to figure out how to get off the chairlift without falling though. After a few times down the bunny hill, I then moved on to try the novice hill. I found out the hard way that the novice hill was way steeper than the bunny hill, and on my first trip down I ended up falling 4 or 5 times. I can’t seem to control my speed on the steeper hill and end up going too fast and then losing control. After a couple of tries I did make it down the hill once without crashing, but I still haven’t really figured out how to control my speed. I tried the “pizza slice” stance and that doesn’t seem to work.

Despite the falls and the slushy conditions, my first ski experience was pretty fun. I expected to fall a couple of times as a first-timer, and I think I did better than expected. The weather is getting too warm now and my spring break is over, so looks like my next skiing experience will have to wait until next winter.