Model Matzah Bakery

We all went to a Model Matzah Bakery this morning. The kids ground the wheat to make flower, rolled out the dough and into the over the matza went.

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Wheat.

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Separating the wheat from the chaff.

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Grinding the wheat.

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Rolling the dough.

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Into the over.

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The end result.

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Smugglers Notch wrap-up

Overall it was good. I was hoping for more snow, but I’m sure everyone else was also.

Condo:

The condo was fine and suited our needs. The only suggestions I can make are swapping out the very loud bathroom fan and making it possible to leave via the back slider by having a lock on it. I didn’t mind walking around the building, but the ability to leave and lock thru the back would be nice. It was unclear where to put out the trash. Did I miss a sign? Also, the self closer on the door is way to active! My son could hardly open the door and I was very wary of it accidentally hitting one of us while coming or going.

Fun Zone:

The Fun Zone needs more activities for ages 8 to teens. Perhaps a few video games and the music is way too loud. Typically we were there in the afternoon but on out last day we got in later and it was so loud I had to turn off my hearing aids!

Pool:

Overall the pool area was very clean and the life guards were very attentive. The only things I would like to see is a towels service and find another solution to the revolving door. I understand the need, but it looks very dirty as the aluminum is oxidized and it’s a little off putting. Also, trying to enter with a bag is hard as the revolving door is small. Perhaps a simply vestibule type set up would work better.

Restaurants:

We hit most and the prices seem a little high. I know that eating at any mountain is more expensive but this is a resort and we are paying to stay. $25 for a meat ball sub, small garden salad, two sodas and two chips is a little much for lunch. Overall the food was okay but seemed high in price.

Other:

My son attended one of the kids programs (movie, pizza, dancing). We missed the photo, which I’m okay with and my son did want to stay for the dancing. Then I saw the $39 charge! Seemed really high for pizza and a movie.

Now the good stuff!

The boarding lessons were great. Bryce is a wonderful instructor and I would go back in the morning and take more lessons with him.

All staff members that we interacted with seemed very polite and helpful.

The overall resort (what we saw and used) was clear and in good repair, but some was a little dated. Given the time of year the roads were rough but in good shape.

Will I go back….yes. Will I check out other possibilities….yes. We are tired, from all the boarding, but happy.

Smugg’s last day

We pack most of the car last night and left out our boarding gear and a change for the ride home. At 8:50am we were the first up the hill. The temp was in the forties. My guess is they groomed last night as I did not hear the car this am and the trails were super fast and icy. By the second run it was loosing up and it got better as the sun got hotter.

I was a little unsteady on the new board, but a few runs into it I started to loosen up. It’s a lot more forgiving that my old one. I know I would have face planted on some of the mistakes I made if I was riding my K2! All in all I’m happy with the purchase.

A few runs later we went down and meet Bryce for our final lesson. I had him work with the GMan on the run do I could get into my new blank. By the end of Bryce had me doing back side turns where you lean back and pick up the front of the board and then spin around. Both of us managed to pull off a few.

All in all the lessons were great and we both learned a great deal. Too bad that the season on this coast is over. We’ll be back.

Currently on the road home.

Day 3 – Smugglers Notch

First on the lift again. Half the trails were groomed and the rest were hard pack ice. I did my very best falling leaf leaf move on the ice. We got in three and a half runs as we attempted the park which was all ice.

Again the lessons was good. Same as yesterday for participants. Today Bryce had us make two snow balls and see if we could balance them on our hands on the way down! It was all about disconnecting your upper and bottom halves and letting the bottom do all the work. Nice smooth turned and controlling speed, all the while not dropping our snow balls. At first I said no way, but I actually made it all the way!

We worked on everything from turns to catching some air in the park. I took a few hits but nothing bad. I’m getting a little more comfortable at going goofy, and the GMan now faster, smoother and more in control.

After lessons we headed back to the condo and dried our gear on the back deck. Another global warming sort of day with a high of 78. A friend from work gave me a few passes to Bolton Valley and we were thinking of taking in some night boarding. First, it was a trip to Burton in Burlington for a tour of their R+D facility and perhaps a little shopping (snowboarding style).

The ride over was nice as it was all farm land and little villages. It was a little weird to be driving again as I parked the car on Monday and never looked at it since. In any event as usual we were early so we had lunch and then made our way to Burton. Its in an odd location as you pass though a residential neighborhood then over a single lane bridge and then you enter the industrial park. Burton was just around the corner and you could easily miss it. No bill boards or big signage, just the following next to the road.

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The store and office is housed in one building and the R+D in another. The former has a sort of Arizona, south of the border look. I’m not sure what the exterior is meant to be but it’s sharply contrasted by the interior.

Outside photo.

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I didn’t take any shots of the inside, but it’s very modern and flows very well. Nice mixture of materials with an array of Burton boards displayed on the walls and in glass panels in the floor.

We had a few minutes to kill so we headed onto the store. Everything was on sale and they had a good see selection. I wandered around and the GMan spotted the balance boards. We set one up and he played around with it while I was checking out new boards. Chuck, another very happy looking Burton employee ask if I needed help and that started a conversation around the new technology in boards. My current is a traditional cambered style (K2) approximately five years old.

Chuck gave me the run down on what has changed since then and showed me the difference between mine and a new one. I didn’t go in thinking of buying a board but the more he explained it the more I wanted one! 3pm rolled around and we needed to get ready for the tour. Chuck said joking that he would put my K2 behind the counter as it was such a sought after item and we headed for reception.

Todd our tour guide and Lance (his boss) greeted us like we were long lost friends and we were joined by another couple. Did I forget to mention that all the employees were very friendly and helpful and everyone seemed to be very happy. I wonder whats in the water in the part if VT? Also, the place was full of dogs! Just roaming around or lounging on doggy pillows, and I’m not talking about lap dogs, these puppy’s are big. I spotted a few huskies and other larger breeds. Seems like a very cool place to work.

We headed across the parking lot to the R+D building and started the tour in what’s called “The Barn”

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The facade of the building represents an avalanche and I think the architect nailed it. We went in the barn and Todd gave us a history lesson in Burton. I cannot do it justice so go to the above link for more details. After that we did the R+D portion of the tour. From start to finish they can lay up a board in this building. The technology is very cool and they employee a variety of methods to get to the finished product. Some are very high tech like the 3D plastic printers to using a band saw to cut the access material off the edge of a board.

Todd was a great guide and Lance filled in of details and added additional information. It felt more like a chat than a guided tour, but then again everything about the company is the laid back easy going attitude. Also, if you work here you have to snowboard on company time, it’s considered work! You get in trouble if you don’t, but all that means is your boss will tell you to go boarding! Wow, sounds hard……were do I sign up?

For more information on the R+D facility see the above link or search on line. After the tour we all walked back to the main building and I took up the conversation with Todd. After a few minutes it came down to a “Flying V”. We swapped over my bindings and picked up a few more items. With the discount it was a good days shopping.

We heading for Bolton Valley to see what was going on. It’s about 25 minutes or so from Burlington. As I figured condition was just at good as Smugg’s and I now understand what mud season really means. The parking lot had six to eight inches of muck with thousands of pot holes. If the booth on my 1/2 shaft was not ripped (another blog) I would put mud on the roof just for the fun of it. Before we left the lodge I gave the passed to a couple that were thinking about buy some. I figured why waste then if I can make someone else happy and save a few bucks. We headed for the condo and packing. Not before another trip to the fun zone, a dip in the pool and a slice of veggie pizza that was a little passed it’s prime!

Tomorrow I’ll test out my new ride. Go here for details and I got 30% off…..nice.

The perfect gloves – Update

So I put my Hestra gloves through the ringer this week with all this wet New England snow. I have to say I’m not that impressed. I used the leather balm that came with the gloves and it didn’t seem to work at all. Since its so hot I’m only using the outers and water is soaking in. Granted condition are bad at best but I was hoping for better results.

My guess is you need to apply balm every evening or go ride powder! We’re visiting the Burton R+D facility tomorrow afternoon and if I see anything that peaks my interest in Gore Tex the Hestra’s may end up on e-bay.

Day 2 – Smugglers Notch – Update

After another trip into the Fun Zone (big tent with cool stuff for under 10 years olds).

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Interior shot.

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I had a media fix and the GMan racked up some more prize tickets. After that we headed for the pool. The hot tub was my friend today! I’ll admit I’m a little stiff after today’s boarding session. However the GMan is going strong. Supper soon (dinner to the rest of you) and that will do it for me. More later, perhaps.

Okay more. Rental movie from the country store, food (anything that’s not moving faster than me will do), beer and then bed. I’m cooked.

Day 2 – Smugglers Notch

This mornings alarm clock was a snow cat at 6:15am or so. I guess that the price of board in/out condos. In any event the GMan and I want to be first in line this am so we needed to get up anyways.

First in line and first down! I like groomed slush, it’s extra fast! We got in two runs prior to our lesson. Today we lost the kid and picked up a guy about my age. Again Bryce was great and we all picked up a few pointers. The snow is not bad considering the temp. Its 74 degrees right now.

GMan and me.

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Currently we are having lunch and after we are heading to the other side of the mountain. We will sleep well tonight!

Well we make it to the other side of the mountain. A quick ride in a what felt like a 20 year old school bus. A big one, not a small one at least! We checked at the ticket counter and a very friendly lady gave us some pointers on making it off the top in one piece. We headed for the life and took it to the top. Again another non detachable double, circa 1970! Okay Snuggles Notch owners, please spend some money on your equipment! Even Wachusetts Mountain has detachable quads! Anyhow, we all know the routine, the lift come at you at 15mph and the attendant is scratching his you know what, and all you can do is squat and take the hit. Off you go at the same speed. The top is just as amusing. The dismount is more narrow than the chair and at 45+ degrees, and the bottom was a slush pit! Yes, I know it’s spring and conditions are bad, but this is comical. Anyhow, after wading thru the slush pit we strapped in and started down.

The boys at the top.

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We started down and given my attempt to do a self portrait I asked a skier to take a photo. He obliged and here’s the end results.

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Nice job on the photo Mr. Skier! Off we went and the conditions went for okay to slush pushing to dirt digging. At one point I clipped an edge and ended up doing a nice forward roll in some nice VT muck! It was one of those graceful rolls where I managed to control my hurling mass. One hit to my butt, thank you impact pants, and I was back on the board dirt shoving again.

I took it easy on the rest as I knew I was running out of steam. One run and a quick tour of the lodge and it was back to the condo.

Day 1 – Smugglers Notch – Update

Well the Fun Zone was fun. We played ping pong, pool, shuffle board and mini golf. Then it was time for the arcade. The GMan scored a bunch of tickets and he was a happy camper.

From there it was a few hours in the pool and a quick tip in the whirl pool. Them I dropped him to a kid movie. I had a little quite time and we’ll see if he want to continue the fun with some dancing! No go on the kids disco! So we went for ice cream….yes, more Ben and Jerry’s.

Now it chill time a our electronic fix. I’m blogging and GMan is platings games on his iPod.

More coming tomorrow.

Day 1 – Smugglers Notch

After a quick trip to the on site country store at 7:30 to pick up bagels, cream cheese and 1/2 n 1/2 we went back to our condo for breakfast.

(Messy) condo shot.

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Then we got the GMan’s gear sorted and headed straight for the top!

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Clearly this is spring boarding east coast style. Since we were on the hill early the pcondition were okay. However, it got slushy very quickly.

We got in four runs before our lesson at 10:00am. The GMan and I were joined by one other participant so it was more of a private than group lesson. The instructor (Bryce) was very good and we all picked up a few tips. I wanted to get better at going goofy (normally regular) as I seem to end up going goofy when I get in trouble. So picking up a few pointer will help. I think we got in four more runs and two different lifts. By the way all the lifts so far a doubles and lets just say you get a nice rest while ascending!

For the first time ever I jumped the gun on the lift line. After a slice of humble pie we were moving again! I guessed I just spaced for a few.

Next was lunch…a salad for my. I needed a bowl of greens and then back to the condo. Apparently the morning wore out the GMan and he called it quits on boarding for today. No worries are we are here all week, not sure if the snow will be! I believe it’s off to the fun zone in a bit. Nap time.

More later.