Let me start by saying that I am NOT a skier. Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, New Jersey offered me the opportunity to spend the day with my husband by hitting the slopes and enjoying a meal at one of their restaurants. How could I say no? The above photo is how I felt after making it off my first run down Sugar!
I tried skiing for the first time 2 years ago probably right around this time. At 46 I found that I was not the oldest newbie! While it was exhilarating, it was not my first love, but I would do it again and now seemed like a great time.
My husband and I took a day to spend just to ourselves- no kids! Mountain Creek was perfect for us. We headed over, just an hour away from our home, during the week. Check in was easy and the staff was helpful. We had our own gear so we didn’t need to rent. The plus side to having teen boys just my size is that I could borrow their gear.
We didn’t see a map at first so we were a bit confused, but the staff was right there to point us in the right direction. ( It was right there!) For me that meant the bunny hill and carpet! Still scary! I was able to witness some people getting lessons on snowboards from the staff. Lessons are available at different rates, but today they were giving refreshers free of charge! I almost took them up on it, but I wanted to give it a go and see if I still had it. Although I know it isn’t much for me. LOL!
I did it! Probably at least 10 times, and the staff at the top and bottom of the carpet offered me tips and encouraged me to ride the lift and give it a go on a real slope. They didn’t laugh at me and were incredibly positive. That made me feel confident. My husband had been skiing a few times this season with our boys so he only came to help me and try to calm my fears. It was a different experience not having our kids with us. I completely enjoyed myself and didn’t have to worry about them.
The staff recommended that I make Sugar my first stop after the bunny hill. Of course, I missed the lift my husband got on and had to get on by myself. I was so frazzled. Then in Lucille Ball fashion I fell getting off the lift! My husband and the staff helped me get back on my feet. So, embarrassing! This was not good! I was scared. My husband offered me tips, I remembered with the staff had told me, and then I set off to make it down the hill. The promise of cocktails awaiting me at Schuss helped me get my act together. Then with my husband my my side I gave it my best shot. I fell once and he was there to help me on my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing. My head focused on making to the bottom.
My husband must have taken a million shots of me at the bottom! He said he never sees me smile like that. I felt so accomplished. It was worth falling down twice to have that feeling. I was so proud of myself. Now, I was ready for some food and drinks. I was done for the day.
Mountain Creek offers several options for food and drink. We went to Schuss. Located on the mezzanine level of the Red Tail Lodge you’ll find Schuss a classic Après ski hotspot. Schuss offers gourmet food, signature cocktails and over 20 varieties of beer. While families dined below, we headed up top!
We ordered 3 shareables. These pretzel sticks with bier cheese and grainy mustard were yummy and perfect to go along with our beer! Of course I also ordered the Mac and Cheese Eggrolls! Yes, you heard that correctly! So, so, so good served with a creamy siracha dip. (My photo failed in comparison to the taste.)
Our favorite by far was the Pulled Pork Poutine! I will go there again just for these! Delish!! Our server told us that this is one of her favorites as well. Schuss also has a full line of cocktails and I ended our meal with a Winter Sangria that was to die for. No more skiing for me, but husband was about hit the slopes again on a a route that would have been far to difficult for me.
I had hoped that I would be able to ride the lift up with my husband then take it back down, but no luck. I didn’t ask why, but I’m thinking it might have something to do with safety. I guess I’ll just have to watch from below.
There were lots of snowboards out that day and lots of people coming down covered in snow. I guess I’m not the only one that took a spill.
My husband also stated that it was different experience being out on the slopes without our kids. He loved it. I highly encouraged parents to try and do something that you would normally do as a family as just a couple. It will give you another perspective. He went a few more times. Lucky for me there is an outdoor Biergarten where we met up when he was done.
Located “Sunnyside” on the Red Tail Lodge outdoor patio, The Biergarten offers cold German brews, hot burgers and brats fresh off the grill. There are several outdoor fireplaces and fire pits where you can rest your tired legs in a real Adirondack lounge chair and watch what’s happening on the slopes or meet new people. It was a wonderful way to end our day before we headed home. We loved our time on the mountain! We will be sure to come back and if they are lucky, we will bring the kids next time!
About Mountain Creek Resort:
Mountain Creek Resort offers snow sports enthusiasts 100%-night skiing coverage and the region’s highest vertical drop. Just 47 miles from the George Washington Bridge, Mountain Creek is easily accessible for New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania residents looking for a world-class resort experience.