Wednesday, January 31, 2024

January 2024 recap - New Years, snowboarding x3

 Happy New Year! 

Snowboarding in Myoko, Yuzawa and Hakuba
We jumped into 2024 (Jan 1) with snowboarding - ending 2023 and starting 2024 with friends in Myoko and getting out to the slopes at Suginohara close to opening time after checking out of the Airbnb early in the morning. 
We only had a couple of hours before we had to head home, but with the fresh snow at the top, it was worth it and so much fun. 
lots of snow!

The second weekend, a smaller group went for Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon to Yuzawa with a stay at Kagura White Horse. Drove in early Saturday morning and were met with less than ideal snow on the slopes at Kagura resort, but it helped that I was a little familiar with the runs from last March.
My husband charged through a tree when the group (everyone except me) was going through an ungroomed section before lunch and some branches punctured his face wtf. Thankfully he's fine (and he should have been wearing the googles), but he took it easy for the rest of the weekend. 

It snowed a bit between Saturday night and Sunday morning which was great. I went without my husband for the second day and again did a bunch of runs on my own bc everyone else was much more advanced than me (which I don't have a problem with). Same two shorter courses from the previous day and very familiar to me by that point. I was able to go at my own speed, get in the single line on the lift which eliminated a lot of waiting, and with the improved snow on the slopes, actually felt pretty capable by the end. 
Just did a half day lift ticket since my husband wasn't riding and we had to get home, but with improved speed, I was able to get in the same amount of runs as the first day!

Third weekend, we were out in Hakuba again (first time this season was during Christmas weekend last month), but staying at Kizuna Lodge. It's nearby the lodge we stayed in several times last year (Mojo Lodge) but the inside is definitely different and quite nice. Plus, it's pet (dog) friendly which is good for our friends.

On Saturday, forecast had snow all day and it was terribly cold. We went to Happo-one and actually stayed all day for once lol. Lots of powder, but not one but two people in our group broke their bindings and had to walk down the mountain this day wtf?

Sunday was a bluebird day, and honestly I felt a little bit of relief not having to do everything with the snow constantly falling and making my entire body cold and wet all the time. The snow wasn't nearly as great on the slopes, but we still had a decent time at Goryu/Hakuba47. 

We parked and entered on the Goryu side and then a smaller group of us spent the morning on the 47 beginner side before meeting up for lunch back at the Goryu gondola. We then took our chances riding down the intermediate courses to get to the bottom. Definitely would have been easier with more snow but we made it lol. 
This completed our 4th straight weekend of snowboarding this season, but only the first time we did two full days. Monday's forecast was great for powder again, but we opted to just rest and head home while our friends stayed to board at Cortina which they reported as amazing. 

I ended up catching a really bad cold and started feeling the effects of it that Monday, so even though I had a lot of FOMO, I'm glad we didn't stay out or I would have been miserable. I even had to take sick leave from work and was totally miserable for the rest of the week.  

What we ate
Shoya 庄や 

Mendokoro Shinya

Jokun Craft Beer (Yuzawa)

Mama Bhanja


Coco Ichibanya

Kizuna Lodge breakfast (Hakuba)

Indy Momo (Hakuba)

Hakuba Taproom

Kappa Sushi

Ramen En

Gyukatsu Motomura

I didn't buy any fukubukuro this year! I was very tempted several times, but held back since I know I don't need any more coats, even if its at a steep discount. Obviously, that didn't stop me from buying coats ala carte earlier in the year...but I did my best, I guess lol. 

Outfits this month are lesser in number that I prefer, but with nothing over the weekends, being in the office only 3-4 days a week and then taking an entire week off for being sick, I guess that's what I have to show for it. (When I was sick, I documented absolutely nothing lol.) See them here!

I was feeling really good about my running momentum this month (and starting into this year) at the beginning even with the constant snowboarding every weekend, but the cold I got in the middle hit me harder than I ever expected. I rarely get sick to that extent and the congestion affected my breathing a lot. The cold weather outside didn't really help but I hope I can pull the pieces back together to continue keep my goals within reach. 
I started what I hope will be a new "series" on this blog for my running diary. First post was published here if you missed it and you're interested!

On a somewhat surprising note for myself, I've found myself back into a reading hobby. I finished re-reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall at the very beginning of the month and then started on The Bonesetter's Daughter from Amy Tan. I also bought/downloaded and read What I Think About When I Think About Running from Haruki Murakami on my iPad and finished that quite quickly. Currently slowed down but have Gone Girl from Gillian Flynn newly downloaded. I probably would read more each time if I didn't already see the movie though!

Lots of road trips to snowy places and time with friends this month.We're happy about it :)