Merry Late Christmas!

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I'm sitting at the airport in Milwaukee waiting for my flight back to Colorado. I actually don't mind sitting at the airport. As much as I hate being in a crowd, I like sitting off to the side people watching, which is a good thing because I'm usually pretty early for my flights. Unfortunately that wasn't the case when I left Colorado. I had no idea the Denver storm would be as bad as it was, so the highway was a parking lot. When I finally got to the airport I waited in a ridiculous ticket line to find out that I was in the wrong one. Midwest and Frontier were both bought by Republic, so there has been some mix-ups with their tickets. My ticket said I was flying out Frontier, but I had to get my ticket via MidWest. Long story short, I ended up making it just in time. Then we sat in the airplane for a half hour while we waited in a line down the runway. If taking off in a blizzard wasn't bad enough, we had to circle a few times before landing in Milwaukee... there was a blizzard there, too. I arrived an hour late, and I was tired, hot, and crabby. But nothing like good ol' Wisconsin humor to cheer me up as I'm walking through the airport.

Here's a T-Shirt that was in a gift shop window:
(Contrary to "Nothing Runs Like A Deere" for John Deere tractors.)

Yes, I live in Wisconsin. Yes, my dad does have a big new John Deere. Yes, I like Cheese. But no, I don't drink beer and or eat brats. In fact, I hate both.

I spent Christmas day at my Grandparents house with all my cousins, aunts, and uncles. We found out my younger cousin Michael was accepted into the Army and we are all really proud of him.

I also spent a lot of time at the hill I grew up riding on. I knew the hill was going to look a lot smaller, but clearly I was still unprepared. I walked into the Ski Instructors backroom and out to the office where the windows open up to the biggest hills- my jaw dropped. All my friends who were there started laughing, all I could say was "wow!" It was the day after Christmas, so naturally it was packed with families from Milwaukee and Chicago. The morning wasn't too bad though, so I was able to get in a few hot laps with a good friend I hadn't seen in ages. I forgot how freezing it was in the Midwest. And to top things off it was snowing, so all my clothes were soaked. Around noon it got really busy, and I quickly realized why I had left in the first place. I spent about 6-7 minutes in the lift line, 2-3 minutes on the lift, and 30 seconds going down the hill... literally. And then I'd have to go inside every 5 or 6 runs to warm up my hands and feet and face and, you get the idea. I stuck it out though and stayed to do some night riding which I haven't done since last season. I also got to catch up with a lot of friends. I had worked in ski school full time last year, so I got to know a lot of the instructors really well. During the week days a lot of them were older and retired, and I always loved their company. Two of which taught me how to ski (thanks Randy and Louie!) Going back also made me realize how spoiled I really am. I am so thankful for where I live, that I can walk to the gondola, and the beautiful mountain I get to ride on everyday. I really am living the dream.

This picture is from last season, but here's our big hill!

Unfortunately I also had to spend a lot of time at home, since I didn't have a car. I learned graphic design and how to make websites when I was about 14, so sometimes I use it to pass time. I added a "bulletin board" I made to my About Me page that has all things Ali! If you haven't yet, check it out.

I'm also going to be adding a Q & A page for prospective students or curious parents. If you have any questions, ask away! Or if you have any you'd think parents or prospective students would ask, send them my way!


Dew Tour

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This past week was definitely one of the funnest weeks of my life. Why? The Dew Tour was in town! Wednesday was practice and Mens and Womens snowboard halfpipe qualifiers. I went over to the Media Center on Peak 9 to get my media credential. The media credential gave me behind the scenes access, and access to the course and halfpipe during competitions to take pictures. The media center was on the same floor as the athlete registration, so that was pretty cool.

Then I went up to the hill to get my first look at the course and halfpipe. This was the picture I took on the way up the chairlift. It was pretty awesome to see it in person. I had always watched it on TV, but this time I was living it for real! As you can see it was still pretty quiet. It was only practice, and not everything was set up yet.


Thursday was pretty much the same. All the "village tents" were still being set up, and it was still a lot of practice and qualifiers. Thursday night I got to watch a lot of friends in the Ski Halpipe Open Qualifiers though. I want to congratulate Kolby Ward, Gus Kenworthy, Bobby Brown, Adam Battersby, and all my other friends who killed it! Friday is when the party really started! The "village tents" were all set up, including the CMC tents. There was the Power Bar tent with tons of Power Bars to give away. There was a Tostino's tent giving out Pizza. A Nike tent, a Paul Mitchell tent with free shampoo and hand massages, two Mountain Dew tents, a LibTech snowboards tent... the list goes on forever! (Obviously the best tent of all was the CMC tent!) We had a ton of fun giving away a lot of free stuff and talking to future students!


I didn't keep up much on the snowboarding prelims on Friday because I had A LOT of friends in the ski slopestyle open qualifiers that morning, and a few friends in the ski halfpipe prelims that night. Unfortunately my friend Gus broke his collarbone, so he only rode down the halfpipe to get his points. My friend Adam hurt his knee that morning, so sadly he wasn't able to compete at all. (I wish you a quick recovery Adam!) My three friends Colby, Bobby, and Jossi got to compete though. All three qualified for finals last year, but apparently it wasn't the Breck locals best season, because only Jossi ended up making it to finals.

Here is the tent for the riders at the top of the slopestyle run.


One of my friends, Jossi Wells, smiles for me after an awesome run.

Colby West, was luckily fine after this!

On Saturday they had the Mens and Womens snowboard halpipe finals and Mens ski halfpipe finals. The snowboard finals were during the day, which was nice because it was a beautiful day out!


The ski halfpipe finals were at night under the lights. The place was packed full of people who were pumped to see everyone ride. They had the Toyota Yeti there, they were giving away skis, they had the music blasting, and even turned the pipe different colors before it started.


I was very very excited, but at the same time very nervous for my friend Jossi. He hadn't made slopestyle finals only an hour earlier, and as I watched him during practice he kept falling. The competition started though, and his first run he pulled an 86 out of 100, awesome!!!! I was up on the side of the halfpipe for his first run, and was screaming at the top of my lungs in excitement. Everyone around me was laughing and said "you must know him!" "YES I DO!" I bragged. I decided I could no longer stay on the side, so I went down to the front. Thanks to my media badge I was able to get right in front. All of the skiers were pulling amazing tricks and getting so much air.


When it came time for Jossi's 2nd and final run I could feel myself shaking in excitement and nervousness. He dropped into the pipe and it was almost like the place went silent... And then his first trick was a double Lincoln Loop (a double sideflip, which is hard and rarely done) and the crowd exploded! He landed it PERFECTLY!!! Each trick after that seemed more and more smooth. When he got to the bottom of the pipe he and the entire crowd knew his score would be high. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, I don't think I've ever been more excited in my entire life.

Then the score came in...


Colby West showing some love. As you can see Jossi was ecstatic.

He smiles again for me. I'm glad he's so photogenic for his friends!

Some other awesome riders went and pulled really good scores, but it wasn't until Mike Riddle went that things changed. Mike had a really good run and ended up getting 1st by only 2 points. Jossi was still very satisfied with 2nd, and I was sooooo proud of him! Right after the last rider went I ran around the fence and gave Jossi a hug. Someone took this picture of us at that very moment.

And here is the podium!

 Sunday was the last and final day. I had been so exhausted from the last few days that I didn't wake up until 9:40am, and the men's ski slopestyle finals started at 10:30am! (Thank GOD I live across the street from the gondola.) I don't think I have ever gotten ready so fast in my life! I made it up there just in time to watch all of my friends and take some really good pictures. My friend Sammy took 3rd, so proud of him!! Later that day were the Men's and Women's snowboard slopestyle finals, but I didn't stay very long for those. Obviously I wasn't completely prepared that day, so I was getting pretty cold.

Overall it was a phenomenal week. I got to meet Bobbie Jo, BeckyAurora, and Ben, who are all CMC Bloggers from different campuses. I got to watch a lot of my friends compete, all whom I am SO proud of! I got to see behind the scenes, and get the best views I possibly could... I don't think I could have asked for anything more. (Okay, or I could... for female freeskiers to be able to compete!) But it was definitely a week I will never forget!

Here are some more of my favorite shots I took.
My friends Kolby Ward (not to be mistaken with Colby West) and Ashley Battersby.


My friend Bobby Brown doing a flip off the top of a rail.


My friend Colby West on the last kicker.



My friend Bobby getting some amazing air!



My friend Phil Casabon.


Music and Art

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Last night my friend Evan had his 19th Birthday so he threw a party. He had his band play in his basement and they were awesome! After they were done playing I asked if I could hop on their drumset for a little while. A few of the band members quickly realized I knew what I was doing, so they started improvising with me. Before I knew it the entire band was jamming with me, including Evan on vocals and guitar. I looked up and the entire party, including all my friends were cheering me on. I hadn't told anyone I knew how to play the drumset, so I think it was quite a surprise. I really missed playing, and it felt awesome to be able to jam again. Hopefully next year I will be living in a house instead of an apartment so I can have my drumset in my basement. It's a natural talent I really took for granted growing up.

Then today me and my friends walked Main St. and looked at all the Snow Sculptures. I had seen a few of them a few days ago, and it's crazy to see how awesome they actually turned out! Here they are! My friend CJ helped sculpt the Starbucks one where she worked. They had put dry ice in the cup so it was steaming, but unfortunately it was done steaming by the time I took the picture.


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