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Afterthoughts - Vail a winter wonderland
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It’s time for another page from the family travelogue. My husband, Michael and I recently enjoyed a trip of a lifetime to Vail, Colorado, enjoying the lovely mountain scenery, unique town with friendly residents and lots of snow.

Since Vail is a ski town, our daughter Emily, her husband Davey and a friend chose to ski and snowboard, while we toured the village with our 2-year-old grandson, Behr. Upon arrival we were told they just received 11 inches of fresh snow, making ski conditions perfect, and blanketing the mountains.

Vail is home to 5,305 permanent residents, plus another 5,000 part-time residents with vacation properties. Their purpose is to make the visitors feel welcome and to make the visit as pleasant as possible. We experienced some firsts in Vail, one seeing heated driveways and streets. Never thought about how convenient it would be for the

snow and ice to almost disappear upon landing on the surface, making it much easier to clear for passage. Of course they are prepared for huge amounts of snow, with snow plows, blowers and brushes cleaning the streets. We also got to ride a snowmobile through the mountains, with help from a local guide. It was awesome!

The town provides free bus service to everyone, which was especially helpful to us because we didn’t have a car. The bus was filled with skiers each day, going to and from their various destinations. Vail was founded in 1962 as a ski resort and has become one of the favorite ski destinations in the world.

The flights into Vail were uneventful, with little Behr amusing everyone with the excitement of his first flight, but the return home was a different story.

With a big storm coming across the country, bringing more snow and frigid temperatures, we had to do some strategic planning to get home. We made it to the very small airport in Vail, to be told there would be delays. This went on all day, making our stay in the airport seven hours. Seven hours with a 2-year-old is an experience in itself, but he handled it like a trooper. I can’t say the same for my “grumpy” old man!

We did get out of Vail that night, making it to Denver in more snow and ice about midnight. After four hours sleep, we were able to get a flight to Chicago, with a connection to Nashville. Yeah, I was so happy to see Nashville.

So, after 30 hours of traveling and three flights, we were able to get to Music City, and then on to McMinnville. We loved Vail, and the majestic snowy mountains, but for our next vacation we will be seeking warm, white sand beaches.