How to Avoid a Vodka Crisis

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March 24th 2017
Published: March 24th 2017
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Spring has arrived which means taking each day as it comes and being prepared to change plans on an hourly basis. Going out everyday for full on days just doesn't always happen. When it's super icy there is no point heading out on the first lift, and on warmer days staying out until last lift means surfing down the lower slopes in slush, or having to deal with that dreaded sticky snow we discovered in Park City.

The changing conditions coincided with my birthday week, which saw a steady increase in our alcohol intake. Katherine and I had bought a bottle of vodka in Park City that lasted about three weeks. In contrast we seemed to be draining our new bottle in record time - this wasn't helped by the christening of our souvenir shot glasses we'd bought (Paul's idea). Unfortunately restocking was not easy as there is no liquor store in Big Sky mountain village - so it meant trekking down to the mountain to the town on two buses. Chore!!!

On my birthday we found the solution to the Vodka Crisis. Simply get disgracefully drunk - so drunk that you cannot walk - this, you will find, puts you off drinking for 6 days (and counting!). Simple!

My birthday was a mix of civilised and not so civilised celebrations. On my birthday eve, Paul and Katherine made an excuse to come in early, and once back in the condo told me that we had to go back out again. My face dropped as I assumed it would be for some boring chore, like grocery shopping, and I'd had my heart set on an afternoon snooze. Katherine handed me a card and I looked at her blankly so she had to explain that we were booked in for a Swedish massage at a spa in a posh hotel. Awesome! Paul came with us but opted to sit in the bar getting slowly drunk whilst we had fun in the hot tub and (super) heated outdoor pool before our massages. It was a lovely relaxing start to my birthday celebrations.

On my actual birthday I got the amazing gift of staying in bed until 8.30 and bacon butties for breakfast (it's been porridge or scrambled eggs for the last 2.5 months so this was a super treat, even if it was nasty American bacon!). The sun was shining and we had a great day on the slopes. I'd decided I wanted to spend my birthday at our favourite apres bar, Scissorbills. Being St Patrick's day always makes for a lively birthday and this was certainly no exception. We rushed to the bar for 4pm, worried we may not get a table as a live Irish band were playing. As Paul and Katherine locked up the skis and snowboards I legged it up three flights of stairs, racing those pesky skiers in the lift, and managed to grab the last table, a booth by the window! Perfect!!

The place was packed full of people dressed in green celebrating Paddys day - we managed to get gifted a hat from one group when they found out it was my birthday. The band were fantastic and we were all up dancing, bouncing around like crazy people. I thought we were being pretty sensible - food was ordered and we were drinking singles. Ok, so there might have been that one super strong cocktail and tequila shots (Paul, again!). And then that shot at the end of the 'night' that I don't remember and refused to drink. But hey - it was definitely not enough to mean that by 7.00 I was literally falling down drunk.

Unfortunately our condo is a five minute bus ride or a 20 minute walk from the bar. There was zero chance I was getting on a bus, so Paul and Katherine had to get all our kit and the falling down drunk birthday girl home. It's a good job they both like a challenge!

Paul charged ahead carrying two snowboards and a pair of skis. That left Katherine with the job of carrying ski boots, ski poles, two ruck sacks, a helmet (well for part of the walk at least!) and a drunken me. I don't know how she did it given I'd lost the ability to walk unaided and was very, very poorly (outside that same posh hotel we'd had the massage at the day before - classy!).

Some time later (the details are hazy) Paul returned to help poor Katherine get me and all the rest of our stuff home. It took a hour in total. I genuinely do not know how they did it as I was quite happy to sleep in the snow!

This reads like I was the lightweight of the group, and there's no denying that, but Paul and Katherine were both a little worse for wear. Once the stress of getting me home wore off, the alcohol (including the last shot that I refused to drink) hit Katherine and she passed out! Paul did an audit of our belongings and discovered that my helmet had not made it home. So he decided that he would head out, again, all the way back to the bar to see if he could find the helmet on route! Not the actions of a sober man.

The next day was not the best, but we did spend a lot of time giggling about the events of the previous evening, trying to piece together what had happened and especially how we had all got so drunk, so quickly, on what was a relatively small amount of alcohol.

My next birthday surprise came that day. Paul and Katherine had booked us into a posh restaurant at the top of the mountain - a place I'd been desperate to go to for apres - for that evening. My face well and truly dropped at the prospect of having to get off the sofa, out of PJs and out of the condo. I wasn't sure I could do it, but a deposit had been paid so we had to go. All I can say is thank goodness for afternoon snoozes and make up!

It turned out to be a brilliant night. We got to ride a chairlift up to the restaurant, which was odd without a snowboard or skis! But better still we got to ride it back down in the dark. The food was totally gorgeous and the setting just beautiful - a grand wooden chalet building with phenomenal views of Lone Peak. All so very civilised and perhaps more in line with how you might expect a 40th birthday to be celebrated.

***please scroll all the way down for more pictures - mum you'll be proud!***

Oh, and if you're interested in the fate of my helmet, Paul's drunken search failed but luckily some lovely person handed it in to lost and found.

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