Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Wonderful Week in Sun Valley, Idaho! - "It Happened in Sun Valley!"

I went to Sun Valley, Idaho for a week from April 8 through April 15, 2017 with my dad. 

Below is a summary of one of the most wonderful weeks of my life!  What a wonderful, beautiful, and magical place!

Saturday, April 8:

We arrived at the Boise Airport in the late afternoon and drove to Sun Valley.  I knew we were almost there when we stopped in Bellevue for a short break.  Once we drove through Hailey, I knew we were really close.  We must have arrived at our hostess's home a little before 8:00 pm.  Our hostess, Donna, gave us a suggestion on where to eat a good Sunday breakfast, and then we unpacked and went to bed.

Sunday, April 9:

I woke up to the most beautiful views!  I could see snow on the mountains!

We had breakfast at The Kneadery, and then we spent the day exploring the Sun Valley area.  The first thing we did was check out the ice skating rinks and got there just as my family's childhood skating friend, Judy Blumberg was exiting the indoor ice rink after teaching her Sunday morning lessons.

We then found the ski areas, checked out Ketchum's beautiful YMCA, did some shopping, and even went to the Sawtooth National Forest area to check out where I could nordic ski.  At the Sun Valley lodge, I stopped at the information area and asked questions and was disappointed to hear that the last day the Gondola lift was open was that day, but was told I could still ski in Warm Springs and was given information about where I could nordic ski.

In the early evening, I skated on Sun Valley's outdoor ice rink and I had the rink all to myself!  That itself was totally amazing and awesome!

Then we had a wonderful dinner at the Pioneer Saloon!  I found out that that restaurant may be Sun Valley's most popular place to eat for dinner.

Monday, April 10:

I made my dad breakfast at the wonderful house we stayed at in Hulen Meadows, and then I headed off to the Sawtooth National Forest and bought a trail pass and got information on where I could ski.  I decided to drive a little north and parked near a nordic ski area called Billy's Bridge.  There is no cell phone signals in the Sawtooth National Forest, so I just took my camera with me and left my cell phone in the car.

Billy's Bridge was groomed and the skiing was wonderful.  I met several people on the trails who skied with their dogs running with them.  When I got to a creek with a little hill to look at my map, a man named John who was skiing with his dog stopped to talk to me and also taught me how to do a "pole grip" so I could get down what was kind of a scary and icy hill where there was a stream at the bottom.  I certainly did not want to fall in that stream!

Everyone I met at Billy's Bridge was so friendly!  I didn't want to stop skiing, but it began to snow, so I decided to head back to my car.

By the time I returned to the house in Ketchum, my dad was glad to see me and I was also glad to be back where there was a cell phone signal.  After I rested a bit, we explored the Sun Valley Lodge and Sun Valley Inn.  Then, we decided to head to Hailey to find a place to eat dinner.

After I did some brief shopping at the Albertsons in Hailey, we drove around Hailey searching for a place to eat.  I checked out Hailey's new indoor ice rink, but it was closed.

Finally, we decided to eat at the Sun Valley Brewing Company.  That was a good choice! My dad had a steak dinner and I had a wonderful Thai noodle dish!

After dinner, we headed back to Ketchum-Sun Valley, and talked about our wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 11:

After eating breakfast at Sun Valley's Konditorei Restaurant, I skated for three hours on Sun Valley's outdoor ice rink!  I did every figure I could think of and laid figures out.  There were only a handful of other people on the ice.  Then, I went through all the ice dances I knew that were on the ice rink's board.  Finally, I skated in my ice hockey skates.  I was really tired by the time I left the rink.

After an hour or so of resting at our lodgings, we got ready to attend the Wood River Jewish Community seder.  The seder began at 5:30 pm and was held at the American Legion Hall which I'd located on Sunday.

This is a photo of me and my dad at the Passover Seder last Tuesday, 4-11-17 with the Wood River Jewish Community in Sun Valley, Idaho. They asked us to bring items we'd take with us at a "moment's notice," so I brought my book since it records memories that can't be replaced!

Everyone at the seder was so friendly and nice.  We especially enjoyed getting to know Marty and Mila Lyon.  I also enjoyed talking to a couple named Naomi and Art.  Naomi told me her three daughters had skated recreationally and skated in the old Sun Valley ice shows.  We also met Dora Levin, who co-led the seder.  Dora sat next to my dad and was so frienly and nice.  We both felt so welcome at the Wood River Jewish Community event.

The seder was great.  It was led by a rabbinical student named Jamie Hyams.  Jamie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but her parents live in Sun Valley.  The food was incredible too.  There was homemade gefilte fish and homemade matzah ball soup.  Then there was a catered dinner that was made by a restaurant in Ketchum called Parry's.

Wednesday, April 12

We slept late and when I woke up to a beautiful and sunny and clear Wednesday morning, I decided that I had to downhill ski, so after my dad and I got dressed we headed directly to Warm Springs.  We got to the day lodge just before they stopped serving breakfast, so I ordered food for my dad and then parked the car.

After we ate, I went back to the car and put on my skiing clothes.  Then,  I went to a ski rental shop called Sturtevant's that was right next to the day lodge and rented skis. I should have brought my downhill skis with me to Sun Valley, but the cost of the rental was not too expensive.

After getting my ski gear, I bought a lift ticket and got my dad to sit in a sunny place near the ski lodge, then off I went to get on the lift.

Wow...was I excited!  As I rode the lift up the mountain, I just couldn't believe how beautiful everything was!  Finally, when I did reach the top of the mountain, what I saw at the top came right out of a movie.  It was just incredible.

It seemed like the "easy" green trails in Sun Valley were like skiing on difficult intermediate Colorado ski trails, so it took me a long time to ski down.   I did ride the lift up one more time from the other side of the mountain.

By the end of the day, I really got tired.  A local skier named Bruce noticed I was struggling, so he stayed with me as I slowly skied down to the bottom and to the day lodge at the end of the day.

I got back at 4:45 pm, so I quickly returned my skis since the store I'd rented them at closed at 5 pm.
Before my dad and I left the day lodge, I drank a full bottle of flavored water quickly since I was so thirsty, and then my dad headed back into Ketchum and decided to eat at a place called Lefty's for dinner.  It was a noisy type bar, but I was so hungry and so was my dad, that we were grateful for the quick service and good food!

Thursday, April 13:

I was so tired from the downhill skiing I did on Wednesday, that I decided to stay off my feet on Thursday.   After picking up my nordic skis that I left to get waxed at SkiTek, my dad and I first headed to Hailey for breakfast at Shorty's Diner.

Then, we returned to Ketchum and then went to the Sun Valley History Museum.  We both enjoyed learning about Sun Valley's ski history and about Ernest Hemingway's life in Sun Valley.

Then, we headed to the Sun Valley YMCA where I enjoyed swimming 20 laps in a wonderful indoor pool and sitting in the hot tub.  Wow...did I need that hot tub since I was so sore from skiing!

Dinner was fun inside a Mexican restaurant that was inside an old train car.

Friday, April 14:

We woke up to snow coming down kind of hard, so I decided to go skating at Sun Valley's indoor ice rink on the morning 9:00 am freestyle.  Only one other skater, named Mia, was on that session.  We met both Mia and her mom Beth in the locker room and found out that they were on vacation and staying at their family's condo near the ski lifts.  They were from the San Francisco bay area and Mia's coach at home was someone I taught skating with way back in the early 1990s named Lisa Brody.

That morning, Mia had a lesson with my family's childhood skating friend, Judy Blumberg.  After Judy finished teaching her lesson, I was able to get some photos of me and Judy and my dad.

After that, my dad and I headed to Parry's and had a wonderful breakfast.  Then we headed back to our lodging.

I noticed that the snow stopped around 2 pm, so I loaded my Nordic skis in the car and my dad and I headed to the Sawtooth Recreation Area office where I bought a trail pass.  I decided to ski on the Harriman Trail that was on the other side of the road, across Highway 75.  I would have liked to have gone all the way to Galena to ski, since the map made those trails look so inviting, but we were low on gas and there is no cell phone signal in the area.

I really enjoyed the Harriman Trail though and took some breathtaking photos.  The trail parallel's Highway 75, but is so, so beautiful.

After that, it was time for another dinner at at burger place in Ketchum,where I had the best tomato soup ever!  Then, it was time to go back to our lodgings and pack.

Saturday, April 15, 2017:

I woke up at 6 am and finished packing.  Wow...did I bring a lot of stuff, but I did use everything I packed including my ice hockey skates and swimsuit!  I woke my dad up a 7 am.  Below are some photos of how our rooms looked after we packed.

We drove away from our hostess's home at 8:15 am and we reached Hailey about 20 minutes later, bought gas and then drove through McDonalds so we could eat breakfast on the road.

The drive was nice and quiet.  I noticed as we drove south, that the snow began to disappear and it became much warmer outside.

We reached the Boise airport just a little before noon, returned our rental car, checked our luggage, headed through TSA, and then to the gate.  I bought me and my dad food to eat on the plane and it wasn't long before we boarded the plane.  The flight was empty so we had a whole row in the front to ourselves which was so nice!  The flight was a short flight from Boise to Denver and then we were home!

Wow what a wonderful week!  It was "like a dream" and I'll never forget it!  It really did "Happen In Sun Valley!"

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rebekah Abigail Farris is 21 Years Old Today! April 16, 1996--April 16, 2017

Twenty-one years ago today, on April 16, 1996, my daughter Rebekah was born.


Of my three children, Rebekah's birth was probably the easiest.  I got to pick her birthday since I she was a planned C-Section baby.  I picked April 16 since it was the day after tax day.

I remember arriving at the hospital at about 6:00 AM.  The whole thing seemed like a trip to the airport!  Rebekah came on schedule; there were no delays.  Everything went according to plan and Rebekah neatly arrived at 8:50 AM!

 Rebekah was also a very easy baby.  She was the only baby that would drink formula in addition to breast milk.  She has always been easy going and sweet since the day she was born.  She loved everyone and everyone loved her.  She did what she was told and rarely caused anyone trouble.

As she grew older, she tried hard to be good at everything she tried.  She is so creative and is especially is passionate about the outdoors, music, the piano, singing, reading, animals, and skiing!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet daughter!

Below are some of my favorite photos of Rebekah.  She's grown up!

Rebekah has not been online much lately due to a bad experience she had this past year with a certain organization in Colorado Springs, but is doing fine now....she is about to complete her second year at Pikes Peak Community College and will be playing the Mayor's Daughter in the Ballet Society's performance of The Music Man in June.  Then, she will transfer to a four year university.  She is also learning international ice dances with Olympic silver medalist Ben Agosto!