My Birthday Ski Weekend!

For my birthday, Stacy planned a ski getaway weekend at one of our favorite “local” ski hills, Holiday Valley. My in-laws live halfway between Bellefonte and Ellicottville (where Holiday Valley is located) so we stayed with them Friday night and left Jo there while we continued up north. Originally we were going to ski both Saturday and Sunday, but since there’s this crazy snow storm making it’s way northeast (actually, it’s here now as I write this) we decided it would be best if we skipped Sunday skiing and headed back to PA before the worst of the storm.


Eagle Lift at Holiday Valley. The slope is also called Eagle, a black diamond, and pretty good run!


Goggle selfie on the chairlift!


One of the black diamond slopes became a holding area for huge piles of snow. It’s hard to see the depth from the photo, but this was a crazy slope. Mostly just for skiers and boarders who like the thrill of pissing around on rough terrain.


Stacy watching skies and boarders pick their way down the moguls and huge mounds of snow.


Me and the big trees in my favorite area of the mountain to ski.


Post-skiing selfie. Tired but happy. Time for an overpriced beer!

Stacy booked us at a beautiful B&B called The Manor House, which is in the woods about 15 miles outside of Ellicottville. We had stayed at it once before a few years ago, before Jo. The hosts, Carolyn and Larry, are super friendly and charming. They made us feel welcome and comfortable. I spent a bit of time after breakfast talking with Larry about ancient history, and the “myth” of Christianity, or rather, how the organization of Christianity by Constantine and the Romans changed it into something that was different than what Jesus had intended. He recommended a special that the History Channel had done not too long ago.

Since we weren’t skiing Sunday we were able to sleep in!  Carolyn made us sausage and blueberry pancakes for breakfast and afterward we went on a walk around the property. They have over 100 acres, so there was tons to explore, but we stuck pretty close to home.


This is Hemmy, the very handsome and charming resident cat. He somehow managed to snag a bite of my blueberry pancakes.


The old sugar shack on the other side of the property. It’s not longer used for collecting and making maple syrup.


Stacy standing in the spot where a deer must have decided to take a rest.


Our very snowy walk through the woods.


I took this from inside the sugar shack. Needless to say we got a little snowy on our walk.


Inside the sugar shack.


Old door to the sugar shack.


Inside the sugar shack: cobwebs and window.


Where are my feet?! Where are my legs?!


In case you can’t tell, I’m loving the snowy wooded walk! If we wouldn’t have had to travel, I would have laid down in the snow.




When you gotta go…

IMG_0471 - Version 2

winter selfie


The main road to the B&B. Not plowed… at least not recently.


The B&B also had horses, some owned by the daughter of the hosts, and others were being boarded there. They were all beautiful!

Despite only getting to ski one day, me having a bit of a head cold / sore throat, and having to leave early because of the snow storm, it was really a great weekend.

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! Here’s to 31 on 31!

About Gina Marie Thompson

writer • mom • mountain biker • outdoor adventurer • educator • social justice crusader • seeker of love & beauty• living locally • I CHOOSE LOVE ❤️
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