Bill Clinton's Czech Holidays It was five days before Christmas, 1969. A time when Americans are busy converging on family, celebrating Chanukah, offering prayers of thanksgiving, trimming trees, or, if Christians, preparing to rejoice in the birth of their Savior. ...

A Day of Czech Snowboardin'
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(Or, twelve hours; four on the road, four on the slopes, four to get organized...)

7:30 AM - Seven friends all meet at your house. Have the coffee brewing, most of the eyes are are going to be propped open. Those who already have their gear compare and talk wax; those who don't, drool. 

7:35 AM - Your phone rings. They are leaving the house now, they will be there in five minutes.

8:15 AM - They finally arrive.

8:20 AM - Esso gas station. You have a Mr. Brown's Cafe Noir, a gas station cellophane sandwich, a juice box and a Bifi. Yum.

8:40 AM - Esso gas station. Trying to pay with a credit card? Don't bother. Check the oil while you wait for the not-so-friendly service...

8:45 AM - Your "morning person" friend is playing loud music and jumping around the car like he drank a case of Red Bull.

10:45 AM - Arrive Špindlerův Mlýn. You know you are there when you pass under a green and yellow sign that says "Vita Vas Špindlerův Mlýn." Police on the road explain that you can't go any further, the town is already full. The police direct you into a parking area that is walking distance from the slopes. 150Kč for the day.

11:15 AM - Attempting to procure rental equipment. there are plenty of places. But don't forget your ID. No rentals without IDs.

Snow Job

A Day of Czech Snowboardin'

Snowboarding; Getting Started

Hit the slopes: Guide to Resorts in the Czechlands

11:30 AM - Attempting to procure rental equipment. You rent equipment for your friend who forgot his ID. Remember the Deer Hunter? This is this, this ain't something else. 

11:45 AM - Lift ticket line. Luckily, there are plenty of options for partial day tickets. Your friend turns to you and asks if you think it would be okay to buy the noon-to-four ticket even though you are going to have to wait fifteen minutes...

12:30 PM - Waiting on the lift line. There are two equally overcrowded chair lifts, and both of them are filled with German tourists slumming it., this place is still predominately two-plank wanks, but Ride snowboards is sponsoring a race on the mountain today. So there are a few normal people...

1:00 PM - Top of the mountain. The skies are gray and flurries have just begun. We didn't think we were cold until we sat on the lift for ten minutes.

2:00 PM - The lodge. The snow is pretty good, patches of ice here and there, but not bad overall. There are some nice jumps on the easy run, and we have two runs in so far, but we're hungry. Soups are 20 - 30 Kč, entrees run in the 50 - 80 Kč range, and Gambrinus in cans is 20Kč. We get the gulaš, pretty tasteless, but what did you expect? This ain't Palffy Palac.

3:55 PM - The last run. The Germans managed to occupy the lift lines all day long, and even now as the clock runs down (lifts close at 4) they are pushing and shoving.

5:00 PM - The beer after. We find a table in a hotel pivnice after returning the rentals. We only managed five runs in a half day, and it was not because it takes a long time to come down the hill. The heat is turned up high, and we are getting ready for the drive home. We run into quite a few other Prague-lodites during the day, and we have a table of them next to us. They managed to find a hotel that would take eight to a room at 150 Kč per night.

7:30 PM - Back in the City of Sin. Unload, shower, we got plans to meet for dinner before we go out for the the night. Ah, life in paradise!

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