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Winter on Winter: Welcome Home

Winter on Winter: Welcome Home

[ January 12, 2010 - 11:47pm ]
Winter on Winter, bars
Our online columnist, Tom Winter, explains why it's OK to frequent the same watering hole.

The scariest moment I ever had in skiing was when I finally caught up on a couple of years worth of tax returns and added up all of my receipts. Those receipts included everything I’d spent over a two-year period at a local bar in Vail. Let’s just say that the grand total for those years at that particular watering hole was a bit, well, breathtaking. Especially when I remembered that I’d been frequenting that particular establishment for nearly two decades.

While it’s easy to look back upon what might have been had I forgone all of those beers and slices and more beers (or how much more svelte I’d be today), I prefer to look on the bright side.

First, let’s take affairs of the heart. As Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” That kind of applies to a crush I had for a few years on a particularly fetching blonde bartender. While I never kissed said bartender, my love did not go unrequited: I know she’s served me at least one free beer during the last decade.

Then there are affairs of the mind. I, along with other close friends, have solved most of the world’s problems during late night “brainstorming” sessions at this establishment. In fact, we’ve not only solved the world’s problems, but we’ve figured out how Vail should be run, decried the obvious idiocy of many a football coach, and made plans for the future, most of which may or may not have panned out, I’ve forgotten.

Finally, let’s take health. We all know that happy people are healthy people. And I have to admit that during nearly 20 years of ski bumming, nothing made me happier than sucking down a cold one after a day of skiing powder while watching the storm come in harder and knowing I’d do it all over again the next day, and hopefully the day after that, too.

While I’ve grown up now, and have all the wonderful accoutrements that go along with adulthood (a wife, a mortgage, and a lot less time to ski), I still fondly look back on those carefree years, when all I needed was a season pass, the time to use it, and a cold one after a day on the mountain. Home, after all, is where the heart is. —Tom Winter

Check out the first installment of Tom Winter's column, which is about the best powder days of his life. And don't miss Tom's seven favorite bars in ski country.

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