It was a beatufiul day saturday, clear sky and puffy clouds -- perfect for a drive through the mountains. We drove through Lowland Pass I think it ws called, which featured a fabulous view plus the Continental Divide. Nifty!
Upon checking into Keystone Resort where the conference is held, I discovered that I have the coolest room ever! Last time I stayed here (two years ago), I stayed in a regular hotel room. This time I registered early enough to snag one of their "condo" rooms. Mine is a studio condo, so I expected it to be fairly tiny. I was wrong. This place is bigger than my first apartment! It has a sitting area which is a few steps down from the rest of the room, complete with a natural-wood fireplace. It has a breakfast nook with a lovely view of the lake, a full kitchen, a walk-in closet, and of course a bed and bathroom. It's so cool!
My ride dropped me off to enjoy my new room, while they went shopping for food for the evening. They also bought me lots of water.
I met up with a bunch of guys for dinner, which was very good. (and I do mean "guys", as I was the only female of the 8 people present.) Dinner ws great, then we just hung out and talked for the evening. I also showed off my skating video.
Sunday morning I attempted to sleep in, but I wasn't very successful. I'm trying to ward off altitude sickness by drinking tons of water. This led to many trips to the bathroom through the night, and I still woke up feeling pretty dehydrated. Oh well, I spent a relaxed morning anyway.
I took a walk around the lake, bought a latte, then went to register for the conference. After some lingering around the conf center, and pouting because they didn't have any small sweatshirts this year, I went to lunch with a bunch of guys.
For lunch we went to the Dam Brewary, located by a dam. But they had fun with their name, talking about your dam beer, the dam menu, etc. I had some dam onion soup.
On the way back from lunch, a few guys suggested we drive up to the pass. Even though 4 of us had just gone the day before, we still agreed it'd be fun.
It's funny what a difference 24 hours can make! This time the mountain was encased in a cloud, and we couldn't see more than about 10 feet in front of us. It was cold and spitting snow. I have comparison shots, one of me with a blue sky and mountain range behind me, and one of the group of guys huddled together with nothing but white mist behind them. I can't upload my pictures until I get home though.
When I got back to my room, I'd been considering a walk around the resort, but the weather was still a bit threatening. It was afternoon, and I still had a few hours before the conference's opening reception. I decided that a fire was in order.
The fire was awesome! The room came with wax firestarters and lots of wood, so it was easy. (Incidentally, those were firestarters and matches scattered around the hearth, not books!) I pulled out my materials and spent the afternoon by the fire, picking out which classes to attend.