At the end of my first day skiing at Keystone, SVV had recovered enough to take a stab at dinner. So we headed down the road to Ski Tip Lodge for dinner with Justine and her professional skier husband.
I realize that not everyone who goes to ski resorts actually enjoys skiing and snowboarding, and that’s fine. I can’t think of a sport I like less than baseball, and yet I occasionally don’t mind attending a baseball game: It’s less about the (lack of) action on the field, and more about the whole experience—the mustard-covered hot dogs, the frothy beer, the pulsating crowd, the fact that baseball is a sign that spring has come. The same metaphor could be applied to ski resorts: At many of them, but particularly Keystone, there’s so much more to do than spending your days on the slopes. SVV and I could have foregone skiing entirely and spent our time eating our way through the place. Which is precisely what we did that night at Ski Tip Lodge.
I can’t even remember what all was on the menu for our four-course tasting, but I recall it was one of the hardest dining decisions I’ve made in a really long time! Rough life, I know.
After soup, salad and entrees—and wine for those of us not recovering from a migraine—we retired to the living room. Dessert and coffee were served in front of a giant crackling fire. We each ordered a different dessert—I had the s’mores, of course, which is within my top three desserts of all time, no contest—then passed them around to share.
The Ski Tip Lodge also rents out 10 rooms during both winter and summer season, and I can’t imagine a more romantic place to stay than in the secluded log cabin draped in mounds of fresh-fallen snow.
The next morning, SVV and I logged another 15,000 vertical feet on our EpicMix pass. Since we had the Vail Resorts season pass to Tahoe this winter and Keystone is also a Vail Resorts property, all of our stats were added to our existing count. How excited was this Harry Potter freak to log on at the end of the day and find she had earned the Wingardium Leviosa pin? Very.
Our ski day was cut short as I had an appointment at Keystone Lodge’s spa. (We didn’t have to wait a single time for any of the lifts so we got plenty of runs in, and I can’t imagine we would have lasted more than four hours on the slopes anyway.) I took the free shuttle from River Run Village to Lakeside Village and prepared to get my pamper on, while I left SVV to fend for himself.
I wish I were one of those people who is a frequent visitor to a spa, and with as much running as I do, I really should get more massages. (If only my bank account would agree.) But for now it’s more of a special occasion treat: on my birthday, occasional trips, an amazing Groupon I can’t pass up. In this case, I was scheduled for a Mala Mayi, an Aboriginal treatment that’s only offered at six spas in the United States. My therapist Peggy (I think?) was awesome, sitting me down before we started to explain the process and the purpose of each step.
First, I had to close my eyes as she waved three kinds of oil in front of my nose. My body was supposed to be instinctively drawn to the one I needed most, which turned out to be “reharmonizing” (with as many long runs as I’ve logged lately, I’m shocked it didn’t pick the muscle-soothing oil instead). Next up, she did the same with the salts and the mud.
After my nose was given a break, Peggy cleared the negative energy in the room by burning sage (called “smudging”) as I settled in for what was possibly the greatest 100 minutes of my life. She exfoliated every last inch of me with the desert salt first before layering the Mapi Body Mud over my body then wrapped me up in a warm cocoon. After letting the mud soak into my skin, I showered off my red body armor; then, Peggy returned and it was time for the best part of the whole day—the massage, a special Kodo treatment for which therapists have to be specially trained—which was not too hard, not too soft, but just right. She had to peel me off the table when she was through with me.
That night, SVV and I returned to Lakeside Village for dinner. We had wanted to dine at Alpenglow Stube, the highest elevation AAA Four-Diamond restaurant on the continent, or Der Fondue Chessel, the fondue restaurant atop the mountain, but as luck would have it, the day we arrived was the night many of the restaurants stopped serving during the shoulder season. (They start serving again mid-June should you be visiting Keystone this summer.) Instead, we had delicious steaks, Parmesan mashed potatoes and crème brule at Bighorn Steakhouse before returning to the Springs for a soak in the hot tubs.
(But not before taking a few photos first, of course.)