Friday, December 21, 2007

Greetings from Aspen!

But my worldly possessions will have to send their regards from Basalt. Allow me to explain.

Seeking to run-around the inevitable delayed baggage that inevitably occurs when flying into Aspen Airport, the 'rents seized on the idea of shipping our stuff ahead of us via FedEx. Two-day delivery, guaranteed, which meant it would get to the place we're staying at a day ahead of us. How perfect! We'd back only carry-on stuff, and all our clothes and ski stuff would be at the lodge when we arrived.

Alas, it was not to be. It is now Friday, and said luggage has still yet to arrive. It got to Denver alright, then detoured to Grand Junction, where it sat for awhile -- awhile past Wednesday, when it was day to arrive, for example. After a significant amount of hectoring, we got them to move it to Basalt -- closer, but still not at its destination, namely, us. They promised us it would arrive today (two days late, in other words) -- no dice. But the lady in Basalt was friendly enough to ask us to give them until 5:00 PM before checking again. 5:00 PM, as it turns out, is closing time. Calls to UPS yielded a lot of waiting times, a lot of run around, and a lot of false promises. We did find out that someone had issued an order to "hold" our package in Basalt. We did not, tragically, figure out who did so or why they felt compelled to. Alas, this was about the time that the inevitable disconnect occurred.

Now, Aspen is a very lovely place. But it is rather difficult to enjoy its charms when you don't have any clothing beyond what is on your back. It is even more difficult to rebuild your wardrobe in this town without seriously risking bankruptcy. We're trying to get FedEx to pay for the clothes we've needed so we can actually go outside. In the meantime, my brother and I are borrowing some over-sized material from our cousins so we can at least get some skiing in.

One thing I will say: the conditions are great. It snowed all day today, and the entire mountain was filled with fresh powder. I can't really enjoy it as much as I'd like, since my knee has started acting up again, but in principle it's quite nice.

It was also dead empty, and, as one employee cheerfully remarked, with the blizzard that's been ripping through Colorado, it's likely to stay empty for at least another day. The airport here is closed, which means that dad can't get here -- he's trying to figure out an alternative path from Denver to Aspen at 10:00 PM at the start of a holiday weekend in a snow-storm. Best of luck to you, dad! We're rooting for you here.

In any event, it remains a vacation, and we're making the best of it. Hope I'm at least absorbing some of your bad holiday karma, and that all y'all are having a great holiday season.

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