Last weekend Michael and I ventured to Sugarloaf Mountain in western-Maine. The resort is a four and a half hour drive from Boston so I was getting a little hungry towards the end of the trip. In an effort to avoid a hangry meltdown, we stopped at The Orange Cat Cafe in Kingfield, about 15 minutes away from the resort. The cafe is super colorful and cozy and as you might expect, feline-friendly. Copper the cat kept us company as we waited for our lunch. I had the Cauliflower, Carrot & Cheddar soup, which was probably my favorite snack from the weekend and the Tomato Basil Quiche, which was also delicious. Michael had the Surfire sandwich (roasted turkey with avocado and chipotle mayo), which kept him well-satiated until dinner that evening. It was a beautiful, clear day so while we waited for my siblings and their families to arrive, Michael and I moseyed around the base of the mountain and went for a beer at The Rack with my Dad and Judi. Once the rest of the crew arrived, we built a fire at the condo and ordered pizza from The Shipyard Brew Haus, which was delivered crispy and piping hot.
I must confess, I’m new to Winter sports. Despite having grown-up in southern-Maine, until last weekend, I’d never actually gone skiing, which may sound crazy, but it’s true. After a Saturday morning breakfast of bagels and coffee, we piled on our ski gear and headed to the lodge. While my Dad and Michael hit the slopes with my brother-in-law Silas and sister-in-law Seanna, my brother Jon and I signed-up for a lesson. Sugarloaf has great packages available for first-time skiers and the instructors couldn’t have been nicer. Dick and Lona outfitted Jon and me with rentals and walked us through the basics of their Guaranteed Learning Method program. There were six students in the 90-minute class and everyone was extremely friendly. I tend to get a bit giggly when I’m feeling a little out of my element and let’s just say I was borderline hysterical as Jon and I made our way out to the bunny slopes. Eventually I pulled myself together and listened intently as the instructors taught us to snowplough and turn. I definitely had butterflies in my stomach as we boarded our first chairlift, but managed to get the hang of it. My five-year-old niece Lucia was taking a Mountain Magic kids lesson and Jon and I spotted her from our aerial vantage point. We took 4 or 5 runs down the bunny slopes and I only fell a few times. Learning to ski definitely works up an appetite! I was tempted to swing by the Urban Sugar Mobile Cafe for fresh-baked donuts, but opted for Maine Crabackes at Gepetto’s instead. After lunch we all hit the slopes again. My Dad and Silas went to the very top of the mountain, while the rest of us stuck to the lower trails. I’ll be honest, friends, I’m not certain the US Olympic Ski Team will be calling immediately, but after the Winter we’ve had, spending an entire day in the great outdoors was refreshing and long overdue.
After our day on the slopes we headed back to the condo for a dip in the hot tub and a little après-ski. Dinner was a group effort which included a warm queso dip from my brother, guacamole and corn muffins from Silas and hearty beef chili courtesy of yours truly (and a little help from the slow cooker). Jon also made a batch of cool Cucumber Smash cocktails, which I’ll be sure to share the recipe for in the coming weeks.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend and getting ready for the first day of Spring!
Visit Sugarloaf Mountain