SKIING CHRISTMAS WEEKEND
by Paul Maraschiello

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I was invited to spend Christmas weekend at the Century House in Woodstock, Vermont. The Century House is a charming intimate little bed and breakfast just 15 minutes from Killington and only a half hour from Okemo. I had never stayed there before but the photos on their website looked inviting. This B&B has one two-bedroom suite with its own kitchen and two single rooms. I was in one of the single rooms. The room was very comfortable with a bright patchwork quilt decorating the four-poster bed.





Breakfast was served from 7 until 9 AM and it was really tasty. Innkeeper Anne Foye-Cosgriff brought many of her favorite recipes collected during her years of innkeeping on Nantucket island, with her to the Century House. Guests will enjoy a full breakfast menu with many of Anne's award winning New England recipes: Granny Smith bundt cake with burnt caramel sauce, vegetable du jour quiches, cranberry apple walnut crisp, salmon, cream cheese and onion omelettes and the best blueberry muffins you've ever tasted.



I'm doing the Atkins diet, so Anne made me a tasty omelet and sausage that I washed down with a great cup of coffee. The place is tastefully furnished with antiques and very comfortable. Sitting around the diningroom table that morning with the other guests made me feel right at home.



The owners were very friendly and easy to be around. Although I had just met my hostess Anne and her husband Buzz, they really made me fee at home. The conversation soon turned to skiing and Buzz invited me to join him for a few runs. He didn't have to twist my arm, I was ready to head out and make a few turns and I always like company.



We drove to the mountain and hit the slopes. As I was skiing with a "local" who was not planning to ski all day, I skied as fast as I could so he could get in a lot of runs before he had to leave. The weather was sunny and brisk and there were no lift lines. I couldn't believe my luck. Skiing in Vermont on Christmas week and there were no holiday crowds. What a nice Christmas present. We chalked up the vertical miles, speeding down uncrowded slopes as fast as we could, hopping on the chair and taking another run.



The sun came out and it turned into a really great day. We took run after run. It turned out that Buzz was a good skier and didn't have any problem keeping up with an old ski bum like me. We talked about skis and the resorts we had skied at and had a really good time.



We zoomed down groomed slopes at high speed stopping as little as possible. The bumps were my favorite kind of moguls and I was skiing them really well. Steep expert trails and cruisers were all enjoyed. We skied all the good trails from one side of the resort to the other.



Buzz bagged it early because he had chores the take care of and I was left on my own. I met a few friendly people riding the chairlift and had a really nice day skiing trails that I had skied many times before. After skiing, I went to the Grist Mill for happy hour. They had a great band, as usual and I chatted with my old friend Carl Lorenzo who tends bar there.



PRIVATE COACHING BY A REAL PRO



On the way back to the Century House, I stopped in to see Glenn Testa. I was delighted to hear that Glenn had joined the coaching staff of Killington and was now providing ski coaching to adults who want to improve their racing technique and skiing ability. I've known Glenn for over 25 year and really respect his ability as a ski coach. He has a great eye and can diagnose problems in an instant. If you are looking to improve your skiing contact Johnny "O", the director of the Killington racing program. He can be reached at (802) 422-6894. I highly recommend this program.



I went back to Century House and got cleaned up and dressed for dinner and a little partying. The Killington access road is a great place for both. I dined on venison and had a few drinks before I called it a night.



The next day, it was warm and sunny. I had another great breakfast. The other guests had left early, so I ate in the kitchen with Buzz and Anne. They made me feel so comfortable that I felt like I was staying with old friends rather than staying at a commercial establishment. They are definitely that kind of a couple.



SPRING SKIING AT CHRISTMAS



It was more like skiing at Easter that skiing at Christmas. The sun shone brightly in the sky, the air was warm and the snow was forgiving. I skied all my favorite trails that morning and enjoyed a burger grilled on the porch and could have sworn that in was mid-April, not the end of December. The trails were covered with "ego snow" and I could do no wrong. I made really great linked turns and was looking good in the bumps. Every place I skied, the snow was in really good shape. With no crowds, pleasant weather and good snow, I was really happy. I had picked a perfect weekend to sample the ski trails of Vermont.



I had a chance to visit with some old friends and made some new friends too that weekend. If you are looking for a place to stay that really feels like home in the heart of ski country, I can recommend the Century House. A family would be really comfortable in the Vermont suite with its own kitchenette, and a small group of friends could easily book the entire place for a really comfortable ski weekend. With such friendly hosts as Buzz and Anne I can guarantee you will feel right at home. I know I did. The rates are very reasonable ($65.00 - $85.00 for west wing rooms. Vermont Country Suite: $145.00 - $175.00).
To book a reservation call (802) 457-2857. Tell them that you read about them in the Ski Bum News.


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