By Henry Dai  

A little over a year after graduation, my friends and I planned this wonderful trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving. After catching an early morning Dallas flight, I met Pranav for the first time in a year at Denver International Airport. It was the Thanksgiving Thursday and we were eager to meet up with the rest of our friends at Breckenridge. The two-hour drive to the resort started off on the relatively flat plains of Denver and I was mostly engaged in conversation with Pranav. Before too long, our conversations were interrupted by the stunning views of snowy mountain caps that unveiled themselves in the distance. It was a quiet drive from that point on as we both observed the scenic white peaks of the Rockies as the shuttle continued towards Breckenridge.

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Once we arrived at the resort, we wasted little time unpacking our stuff, and found ourselves on the road to a grocery store. It was a long morning and we were starving. A friend told us about a store that was just fifteen minutes away on foot, so we walked.

Thirty minutes into the stroll we found out he actually meant it was fifty minutes away!

Soon after, we were introduced to the resort shuttle services that could take us to the store from the resort in five minutes!

If I could relive day, I would still choose to walk because of the “breath-taking” view along the way. Later that evening, we had a nice thanksgiving dinner together.

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The very next morning, we took a forty-five minutes’ drive to a ranch to ride horses. We had originally planned to ride snowmobile but due to the lack of snow inches in Breckenridge we had to change the plan. Guys, global warming is a real thing!

Trigger was the name of the horse I rode. The owner of the ranch told me that the horse is named after cowboy star Roy Rogers’ horse. For two hours, trigger and I roamed through vast plains and rocky mountain sides. It was a spectacular experience! I am very glad that we decided to go to the field still and change the activity to horse riding.

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Once the horses were returned to their stable, we decided to take on a different kind of ride.

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It was fast, and we couldn’t feel our cold fingers after the speedy race on the field. As you can see, some of us had forgotten our gloves.

Later that day, I lost horribly in mini-golf at the resorts arcade room. Yes. the resort had an arcade room.

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To build an appetite for dinner, we decided to go swimming. The awkward contrast of cold air on my face and the warm water stream on my toes really made me uncomfortable. So, I left the pool after a few minutes, returned to the room, lit a fire in the fireplace, and warmed myself back up.

Finally, to the big day, skiing! The 6 of us signed up for “Adult’s first skiing day” class. As lame as the name sounds, it was actually pretty fun – at least for us beginners.

We accomplished the goals for the day, learned how to control our speed and direction, and conquered the light green route. The light green route was the beginners route. We did fall, couple dozen times! But it was no biggie – soft snow keeps your butt safe.

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After seven hours of skiing, we were exhausted. As the night came, we were all cozy by the fire place watching a horror movie on the television – Annabelle: Creation. Everyone grabbed their last piece of pie, saved from Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great end to a great day.

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The next morning, we decided to go shopping for the few hours we had left in Breckenridge. I bought myself some t-shirts and souvenirs.

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As the afternoon rolled over, it was time to say goodbye. It was tough, but we knew we’d see each other again, soon.

This trip was amazing! I cannot wait to do something like this again as we did toss around ideas for our next trip – hint: Brazil!

Here’s hoping your time with friends and family this holiday season is fantastic and best wishes for the New Year. Happy holidays!