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A Father-Daughter Weekend at Okemo - Skiing, Swimming, Dining - and Ripping

The resort's annual media weekend showed off its versatile offerings.

 

So it was a chance for dad and his 7-year-old daughter to get away to central Vermont last weekend.

And the perfect destination and event was lined up - Okemo Mountain Resort's annual media weekend.

What started out as a really promising early season has tapered off, but no one can say that what snow is on the mountain does not present good skiing and riding opportunities.

But there is also a lot more to do.

Here is an overview of a weekend at Okemo.

Friday

It was a late start because mom had to work. We were on the road at 9:38 p.m. A stop off I-91 in East Windsor for a doughnut and a bagel and one in Springfield, MA, for gas did not cause much of a delay. Neither did the truck that seemed to go ever so slowly after getting off exit 6 in Vermont. We checked into the Jackson Gore Inn at 12:08 a.m. Grace slept in the SUV after that doughnut.

Saturday

7:30 a.m. - A breakfast of eggs, a croissant, sausage, bacon and yogurt awaited us at the Coleman Brook Tavern at Jackson Gore. We were certainly fueled up as we boarded the shuttle.

8:30 a.m. - The shuttle bus driver insisted at dropping us off at Solitude, the next peak over from Jackson, rather than the main base, where most of the easier trails are featured. It was OK because the high-speed quad chair would get us to the top in no time and Grace would get in a summit run right away. We took a chance by turning left off the lift because it meant a set of blue runs from the start. Route 103 and Upper and Lower Arrow were fine. Grace did well and was pumped for the rest of the day.

9:15 a.m. - The snow at the base quad was fine, and we worked on our turns until lunch.

Noon - At the main base lodge, Okemo has made a transition from a Mexican place over the Sitting Bull Lodge to an outlet of the Vermont Pizza Company, a move Diane Mueller, who owns the resort with her husband, Tim, said is a better fit. The food was certainly a good fit - the Caesar salad, the pizza and the corn chowder were superb.

1:30 p.m. - Two runs down the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster were just what the doctor ordered for dessert. The coaster twists, turns and rips its way through 3,100 feet of forest at Jackson Gore. You control the brakes, but the speed tops out at about 30 mph, which, of course, feels a lot faster.

2:30 - Grace chose the indoor pool at the athletic center over the indoor-outdoor pools at the Jackson Gore Inn. So it was off to the Spring House. Water basketball, a twisting slide and a frog slide that one Okemo executive says, "just spits out kids," keep the youngsters happy. Oh yes, there is a hot tub for the parents.

6 p.m. - A snow cat ride over at Solitude. The mountain can be fascinating at night, between snowmaking, grooming activities and the wildlife.

6:30 - Dinner at Solitude's Epic restaurant. Dad chose Chef Craig Cornell's wild halibut with a ginger jasmine rice and Grace somehow convinced the waitress and the chef to prepare gourmet chicken tenders. The wine tasting showed off some stellar vintages.

9:30 p.m. - Back to Jackson Gore and the spacious suite.

Sunday

7:30 a.m. - Another breakfast at Coleman Brook, this time with French toast. 

9 a.m. -  Two hours of skiing at the main base before the two hour, 20 minute ride back to north central Connecticut.

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