Fred & John’s Trip to Washington

My brother and father were out visiting for a long weekend to hang out in the mountains and to spend some time with us in Seattle. They sure picked a great weekend to come skiing! In the four days they were here, Crystal Mountain received over 5.5 feet of snow!! Needless to say, we had an unlimited supply of powder waiting for us on Saturday.

View from the top of Crystal Mountain

View from the top of Crystal Mountain

The gang arrived on Friday night, which was Valentine’s Day. Knowing that we had to get up early the next morning we decided not to brave the crowds and go out for dinner. Instead, we all made a big Asian feast together. I made a stir fry while John took charge of fried rice and Alex and Fred conquered the wontons. After dinner we hit the hay to rest up for our big ski day.

Valentine cupcakes!

Valentine cupcakes!

For me, the highlight of the trip was Saturday, our only ski day, which my cousin Chris joined us for. We knew the forecast was predicting snow, snow and more snow, so we decided to do the First Tracks breakfast that Crystal Mountain offers. This is a little early morning event that allows you to take the gondola up to the top of the mountain at 7:30 a.m., eat a nice breakfast and hang out at the summit, then ski for an hour before the rest of the mountain opens. Certainly this isn’t something we’d need to do every weekend, but it was such a nice, relaxing way to start our epic ski day.

Fred, Chris and Alex ready for the powder day

Fred, Chris and Alex ready for the powder day

Once we were unleashed and allowed to go skiing, I bet we got a good 6 runs in before the crowds came in and the lines started to build. On a normal day, I don’t even think Alex and I get 6 runs in before lunch.

Fred & John

Fred & John

To say that the snow was amazing would be the understatement of the year. Alex and I both agreed that it was quite possibly our best ski day ever. The snow was light, soft, perfect powder. The best part was that it snowed all day long, providing “free refills” each run.

Ohhhh yeah!

Ohhhh yeah!

Once our legs were shot we rounded out the day with a drink {or a few} at the world-famous Snorting Elk Cellar before heading back to Seattle for a relaxing night at home. I made a quick batch of macaroni and cheese and we spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympics.

Riding the gondola

Riding the gondola

Everyone was too sore and tired to ski on Sunday so we decided to grab brunch at the Hi Spot Cafe in our neighborhood and head to Woodinville to do a beer tour at Redhook and taste wine at Mark Ryan Winery. John spent the time while we were at the winery in the car, and unfortunately for him, he missed an incredible wine tasting. We drove around Woodinville a bit to check out some different parts of the town before heading back to the Bottlehouse for an evening of wine drinking.

Drinking wine at Mark Ryan

Drinking wine at Mark Ryan

While Alex had to work on Monday, it was our plan to go to Snoqualmie Pass to ski for half a day. Unfortunately the pass was closed all morning so we couldn’t get up there. It snowed over 20 inches overnight so the DOT was having trouble dealing with the avalanche control work and clearing the roads. We had planned on meeting my aunt and uncle up at the pass, but since our plans changed, I ended up dropping my dad and John off at their house for a few hours instead. John and my uncle Michael went canoeing near their house while my dad and aunt Cathy took a walk together to catch up on family business.

John in the gondola

John in the gondola

That evening we met up as a family at Cactus, a Southwestern restaurant in the South Lake Union neighborhood, for happy hour. It was nice to have everyone together and have the chance to catch up!

I was able to get some work out of my brother! That doesn't happen too often...

I was able to get some work out of my brother! That doesn’t happen too often…

We ended the evening back at home by watching some more of the Olympics and having a light dinner. As always, it’s nice to get a chance to spend some extra time with family when they visit Seattle.