Monday, January 31, 2011

Mom's Birthday

When I came back from Burlington, it was my Mom's birthday! We skied for some of the day, went to the gym and went out for dinner, with my sister (Jenna), my mom's boyfriend (Clay) and Clay's son (Chris).

Chris and I swapped places

Could be Jenna's first real head-shot on my blog! I don't see her very often, so my Mom's birthday was the best!

Chris and Clay... Chris is definately not adopted. 

Jenna and the Birthday girl!! "Erin, you sound like Dad. Who cares what the F-stop is... just take the pictures."  - Now I know what my Dad went through when we would wine that he said 1 more after 10 more.
But look at what came out of all that!

Despite what Clay thinks... I think this is a cute picture! 

My strawberry blonde sister and I... (haha)

"I recognize this smirk Erin." -Geez thanks Mom

Happy Birthday Mom/H. The best birthday cake ever!! It is an ice cream cake with cookie dough! Before we went home we ate all of the cookie dough off the top, my mom and Clay had another piece before bed and we finished it up the next night! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! 

This action shot was better than the one before when my Mom was hysterically laughing. Yes, what you are imagining is correct.

My sister dragged me along on one of her favourite adventures, singing kareoke. Besides seeing everyone all together, my favourite part of the weekend was seeing Jenna and Chris sing a couple duets together!
The morning before I left, my mom and I took Clay's dog, Haley, for a walk. She was hit by a car when she was little and is now afraid of everything that moves. She cowers when you try to look her in the eye. But, she LOVES people that are nice to her and THE SNOW!

She rolls in the snow...

Eats the snow

Runs through the snow 
Bites the snow out of her paws. 

All in all my time at home was incredible! I'm back in Europe now at our home base in Kirchberg, Austria for the final long haul of the season! I'll be here for at least a month and a half. Our next World Cup slalom is on Saturday! Hopefully everything falls nicely into place!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

BURLINGTON!! January Break

After MANY hours of traveling and very FEW hours of sleep I made it to Burlington, VT to see Kevin!
My body was not used to the extremely cold weather. When I stepped outside my breath felt like it would freeze in my chest. However, it was a beautiful day, so I bundled up (while Kevin became the polar bear that he is) and we went out into the cold.
The new headband I made...


Kevin and his Black Friday sunglasses. Not even a jacket in -20C... weirdo!

 My new camera!!!

Church Street... In the dead of winter! 

And our favourite place for a treat....

Hot chocolate with whipped cream! Oh plus Mr. Tough Guy

Latte with whipped cream...

 MMMMM... A warm drink on a cold day.

Can you see Kevin's scar from skeet shooting? "Erin... I have something I think I need to tell you." Thanks Kev for the beautiful intro to telling me you cut your face...

The view from Kevin's apartment...

I love it
 
And then we went skiing... BRRRR


Kev with his sweet roll up! I tried to crop it, but third time was NOT the charm.

Colton Knifing!


Some of the UVM boys.

When Kev was studying I found this video.


After being in Burlington I went home for a few days and now I am back in Austria. I will post pictures from home soon!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tarvisio, Italy

I love Italy. I have yet to travel to the really incredible parts, but I still like the small towns I've seen. I love the old buildings, the food, the people, everything. I love pizza with ham, mushrooms and a fried egg on it!! Mmmm
When we left Maribor, we traveled to Tarvisio, Italy for a couple of Europa Cups. The snow was icy, the hill was good and we were all ready to race. We were joined by three Canadian girls that have been doing Europa Cups; Maddy Irwin, Julia Roth and Madi Mcleish. It was nice to have a bigger Canadian team for a couple of days.
The races were alright for me, but not entirely what I was looking for. On the first day I came 10th first run, and ended up 11th overall. The second day I came 7th first run and ended up about 13th overall. I still have to say that coming down second run, looking up at the leader board and seeing that you have moved back significantly is not a good feeling, at all.
After the races, we headed back to Kirchberg for the night for a night off; to eat Marcel's food, see the rest of the team, reorganize, have a night in "our own" beds, and pick up the rest of our stuff. In a couple of hours we will head to Switzerland for a Europa Cup gs and a Europa Cup Night slalom.
Then....!!!! I get to come back to Canada for 6 days!

I didn't take any pictures this time... sorry! I'm on conserve energy mode, but here are a few pictures Malcolm took for our Dale photo-shoot.
Probably looking at one of Kelly's funny videos.
 I'm not the only one with a red nose... for once!
Do something crazy... And yes, throwing my arms up in the air is crazy! 

 Kelly, Mitch and I

*On a sad note: A couple of weeks ago Kelly McBroom crashed while doing Super G in Europe and broke her leg. She was in the hospital here for a while getting what seemed like surgery after surgery, but now she is finally home! Kelly is a huge part of our team and keeps us all happy when we are having a tough time. We will all miss her everyday! Elli Terwiel set up a coffee fund for Kelly on her blog, so if you have time check it out at elliterwiel.blogspot.com, or you can click on the link on my page. We want everyone on our team back together, so get better soon everyone!

And some pictures of our home training slope in Europe! The Gaisberg...
 Mmm... peaceful!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Maribor... or Lack There Of

It has been difficult to find training lately. On Friday we couldn't train because of warm conditions and lack of snow, so we traveled to Maribor. On Saturday, (the day of the GS), we traveled 2.5hours to Tarvisio to train some slalom. When we saw the hill, we knew it was worth the drive! The hill was actually hard and icy and we had some amazing training. After training we learned that the GS in Maribor had been canceled after number 25, with Mitch waiting in the gate.
This morning (Sunday), we woke up to another warm day and headed to the hill.
The only snow to be found was on the strip of hill that the race is on.

There were so many volunteers on the hill trying to make it raceable.
Two men were sliding down with skis injecting the track. Behind them two sets of 8 men, in four rows of four walked down the track in their boots. Behind them people were throwing chemicals and salt. Then came another two men with an injection bar and finally, slippers. However, when I was at the top of the hill, before my first warm up run we found out that the race was canceled. There was just no way they could have a race on the hill. We took a couple of runs in the warm up course and on the way down we were allowed to ski the race course, which is cool! Canceling the race was a good decision though, as Tim would say, "The snow was rotten" and the gates were falling out of the snow.
We watched the men's first run in Wegen and then hit the road for Tarvisio for a couple of Europa Cup slaloms! Congratulations to Mike (4th), Cousi (17th) and Spence (13th), it looked like it was rough conditions!
Tarvisio should be amazing! The snow is hard, the hill is good and we have a few more races to show them who Canada really is, and then we go home!

My flowers from Kevin have traveled everywhere with me. This is after two van rides, not bad..

And my "cute dark bag" under my eye has almost healed, thankfully because I see my Mom soon, sorry Mom... I promise it wasn't Kevin, and the flowers were not a make-up gift!

This is a new video Anna made at our home hill! (Sorry this blog is so random!)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Flachau... and then the Rain!

I like this...

The morning before our race in Flachau, Austria I went out to take some pictures of the surrounding area.

Flachau- The hometown of Hermann Maier.
And the cloud's cowlick...
A castle... or just a hotel?
The cross-country tracks that lead to... who knows where.
Well, maybe this lady does, which is why she is aborting mission.
I found a few signs that you hardly ever see in Canada...
And the countdown is on!
The day was warm and beautiful, and as we warmed up the sun began to go down. On my first warm-up run, a gate hit me in the face... again. This time instead of moving my helmet it just decided to go right in for my face. My cheek is fairly sore. I have a little cut and my the bag under my eye is a little more purple than usual at this point in the trip... I mean, the "cute, little" bag under my eye....
Anyways, the snow was icy, the lights were shining and the course looked amazing.


I'm not going to re-live it fully, but on my first run I didn't ski the way I should have. I made a mistake about halfway down and then went up near the bottom. When I was sliding out of the course, I thought I slid between the two gates, so I pushed back into the course and finished. However, I ended up sliding past the outside gate... big mistake! In the middle of going out, trying to stay in and attempting to miss the red gate I was going towards, I lost track of exactly where I was. Again, BIG MISTAKE. Needless to say, I didn't get a second run. BUT...
ANNA DID!
Anna came 26th first run, and 9th second run putting her into 14th!!
She dominated the leader-board for quite a while.
The stands were full to watch her second run! (And all the other racers' too I guess...)
Nolan Kasper, a skier on the US team, wrote a recent blog on Outside Television. (http://www.outsidetelevision.com/blog/life-moves-fast/trials-and-tribulations) It talks about the trials and tribulations of our sport and how we are on a team, but competing against one another every day. He wrote, "We are all fighting against each other and this is an individual sport, but if you always take that approach, the sport will get pretty depressing and lonely. The key is to find little victories every day. Earlier today, I won four games of solitaire in a row on my phone… Win!"

In Flachau, I got a picture with my childhood idol Hermann Maier... WIN!
Actually I had two wins... when I came back to my hotel, I walked into my room, put my stuff down, went to the bathroom and realized that there were flowers waiting for me with a card. They were exactly what I needed... Kevin always seems to know!!

Last night and today it poured rain!! Our coaches went up early to salt our course and we followed a little bit later. Instead of taking the chair up every run and getting really wet, we jumped in the car and drove up a turny, switchback road to the start of our course. The course was one of the toughest we have skied in a while and the visibility didn't help. As soon as I hit the first few gates your goggles were covered and my mouth was filled with salt. Spitting on the way down the course is my new-found skill. However, the snow held up really well and today might have been exactly what we needed. Despite the weather, it was a fun and challenging day. It is days like today when I realize exactly why I love what I do. Days when the sun and amazing conditions are taken away. Days when you have to fight for what you want. Days when so many different things happen when you least expect them to!

Tomorrow we train in the morning and then drive to Maribor, Slovenia.

Here are a few pictures our physio, Jenny, took at the top of a FIS race we did.
"Pretend your boyfriend just cheated on you."

"Pretend you're a skater!"


"Pretend you just won!"