Skiing in Shigakogen

We just finished our first day of skiing and I don't ever want to leave here.

This morning however I was really questioning my ability to make good decisions. First of all I was a lot more sore than yesterday. Darn that 48 hours DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness for all you non-fitness folk.) I don't know why on Earth I scheduled a ski vacation directly after a marathon. Secondly, the cold that I started to come down with on marathon day is now full blown. I was up most of the night because I couldn't breathe at all lying down. I felt horrible. Finally, the weather forecast for the day was for temperatures in the 20's with winds picking up. I was apparently looking at the weather for the wrong town when I checked at home when I was packing because I decided not to bring my ski coat in order to save room in my suitcase.

I was really longing for my sick day comfort breakfast from home, some yogurt with honey and raspberry zinger tea. But it turns out miso soup, plain rice, and green tea also make a great breakfast when you aren't feeling so hot.

We are staying at the Hotel Khuls in the village of Ichinose. Unlike at home where there are giant resorts, here the ski area of Shigakogen is actually a series of small villages and individual tiny ski areas. But they are all connected so you can ski from one to another and your ticket is good at all of them. Instead of paper tickets, here you get a proximity card. So as you approach the lift the scanner automatically recognizes it and opens the turnstile to let you in. We need this in the US!

The snow is simply amazing here! I was a little worried because I felt my legs from the very first run. Usually I am good for a solid 8 hours of skiing and don't start to feel the burn until the end of the day or if I do a mogul run. But unlike in the marathon, the longer I skied here the better I felt. There are tons of groomed, wide open trails that you can just blast down. My favorite type of skiing.

We even got to go down the giant slalom run from the Nagano Olympics!

For lunch we stopped at the Prince Hotel West where I had my umpeenth bowl of noodles. Seriously I may come home having turned into a giant udon noodle. But they are just so good and there are so many variations. Today I had seaweed, mushrooms, and a little veggie tempura cake on top. 

We enjoyed the fact that most places had some sort of English translations, so we had some idea what we were ordering. Our favorite mis-translation of the day was "curry of child." We guessed they meant a curry dish FOR children, but just in case we didn't order it.

 Mid-afternoon Rory wanted to shed some layers (while I underpacked for the weather, he totally overpacked). I used that as an opporuntity to get a vending machine coffee because that thing totally amazes me. The same machine sells cold water and soda and hot cans of coffee and tea. The hot beverages comes out hot and the cold ones come out cold. I don't know how it works!

After skiing I went in search of some sort of cold medicine in the few little convenience stores in town. I finally found one that had some medicines. At first they thought I was cold so they tried to sell me hand warmers. Finally after faking a cough and blowing my nose they understood better what I wanted. At least I think they did, but I really have no idea what I bought because the box is all in Japanese. Rory is also making me wear a surgical mask, like everyone here wears, so that I don't pollute our room with germs. I look pretty awesome.

I just enjoyed another blissful soak in the Onsen and now we are off to dinner. I still haven't seen a snow monkey.

Bye for Now!