For many, August is a time for rest and relaxation, but not for Erin Andrews. It’s time for the sports journalist to jump back into her skis and hit the slopes for some serious shredding. Since the summer of 2015, Andrews has been travelling the world covering the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and next month’s NFL season. But before she left, she decided to put her feet up on the mountain and hit the slopes for a while. This is the story of her 2019-20 ski season.
The Season Begins
On August 1, 2019, Andrews tweeted, “What a difference a day makes. Can’t believe it’s been a month since I last skied. It feels like it’s been a year! This morning, the mountain was shrouded in fog, but as the day progressed, the sun began baking the snow, and shredders were ripping across the slope.”
This was the beginning of what she later dubbed “The Snowflake Season.” As she made her way to the top of the mountain, the snow started to pile up, and before long, she found herself in a full-blown snowball fight. The snow kept falling, and more and more people got in on the action. Andrews looked like a little white marshmallow as she jumped around in the snow, throwing snowballs at everyone she could. After about 15 minutes, the fight was over, and the snowflake season had officially begun.
The Season Breaks Out
The next day, she was back on the slopes, this time for a day of sightseeing with her friends. Although it was a glorious day and they were able to spot some amazing sights, including the Northern Lights, they missed the chairlift and had to make their way to the top of the mountain on foot. As they topped the ridge and looked out over the valley, the mountainside suddenly fell away, and they found themselves at the top of a cliff. They had taken the ski village shortcut, and it was a terrifying (yet exhilarating) experience. They were able to find their way back to the bottom without falling off the cliff, but the walk back down was certainly one they would not forget.
After lunch, they hopped back on the snowmobile and drove back to the top of the mountain, where they planned to spend the night. Just as they approached the top, they once again took the shortcut through the woods. As they rounded a corner, they were greeted by about a dozen of the most beautiful puppies they had ever seen. It was like an animal magnetism type of situation. They couldn’t help but stop and pet the dogs as they passed. It was then that they discovered that the puppies were all wearing ski clothes, and they burst out laughing. But it wasn’t really funny, because there was also a serious side to their discovery. Since the dogs were wearing ski clothes, and they were cold, they reasoned that perhaps they were lost, and perhaps they should take them back to their dog walker. But before they could do that, they had to find the dog walker first, and that was going to take some time.
Polar Bears, Freezing Rain, And Thicker Than Normal Snows
The following day, August 2, was a cloudy day with flurries, but no snow. Andrews began the day with some yoga and meditation, and then met up with some of her friends for coffee and cake. After coffee, she headed to the gym for a workout, and during her workout, she received a call from one of her assistant. He told her that there was a woman on the other line who wanted to speak to her. Andrews was reluctant to take the call, because she didn’t want to miss her morning workout, but her friend convinced her to take the call. When she did, she found herself talking to a representative from Coca-Cola, who wanted to know if she would be interested in being engaged in a project that would allow her to cover the NFL this season. Andrews was intrigued and immediately put the engagement ring she was wearing during her workout on ice while she discussed the details with the person on the other line. After about an hour, she decided to take the ring off her finger and place it back on ice. She wasn’t wearing any other jewelry at the time, so she figured it was best not to take any chances. Once the deal was sealed, she got back on the phone with the person from Coca-Cola, and they went over the details of the contract. She would get a credit for her work, and would be able to write a story about any game she chose. She also got the green light to access any and all box scores from the previous week’s games.
After the call, she headed to the bank to deposit the check from Coca-Cola and then stopped by the grocery store to get some groceries for dinner. On her way home, she noticed the sky was ominously dark, and the weather had turned cold and wet. As she stepped out of her car, a huge slab of ice the size of a mini-fridge covered in snow fell from the sky and landed neatly in the middle of the road. In the blink of an eye, a grey squirrel darted out from a nearby tree and frantically tried to put the frozen fruit in his mouth before the ice could melt. He didn’t make it very far before he slipped and fell, hitting his head on the pavement. It was then that Andrews knew she was in for a bad winter.
Night fell, and the temperature dropped sharply. Soon, the snow became icy rain, which turned into a sleet shower. By midnight, all of Bristol was covered in a thick blanket of snow. Everything was quiet, except for the sound of falling snow; the birds had gone quiet, and so had the trees. Despite her anxiety over the weather, she slept peacefully that night, and when she woke up the next morning, the sun was shining, the snow had stopped, and life seemed almost normal.
A Weekend Of Indulgence
Over the next few days, the temperature remained stubbornly low. On Thursday afternoon, August 6, it was 27 degrees Fahrenheit, which is extremely low for this time of year. So low in fact, that even the hardest workers were struggling to complete their morning tasks. Andrews awoke feeling particularly grateful that she had stocked up on her winter wardrobe the previous summer. She put on her ski jacket, grabbed her ski poles, and hit the slopes. As she skied down the mountain, the flakes turned to ice, and she was able to carve out an honest to goodness track in the snowy wilderness. It was a beautiful sight to behold, and despite the incredibly low temperatures, the fact that it was summer in the north and winter in the south meant that it was a perfect day for a ski trip.
After lunch, she headed to the pool, where she soaked in the sun’s warmth for a couple of hours before continuing on to the Jacuzzi, which she had a suspicion was going to be even better than the pool. What an understatement that was! The hot tub was so relaxing, she had the urge to jump in and just sit there for a couple of hours. But that was a luxury that her busy schedule couldn’t allow. She got out of the tub, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Her skin was glowing, and the water had done its job. It was time to get back on the snow and get some fresh tracks in. The temperatures were still incredibly low, but she didn’t mind the cold as she skied through the woods.
A Real-Life Game Of Tetris
The following day, August 7, was a beautiful sunny day, which meant that Andrews was able to enjoy a lengthy ski workout. Afterward, she headed to the coffee shop for some post-workout coffee before heading home. While she ate her meal, she checked the weather, and it was still reported as sunny. However, it was in the low 40s, which she considered to be fairly chilly even for this time of year. Nevertheless, she decided to keep the jacket on and hit the slopes. On the way down, she came across a small cabin in the woods. Peering inside, she saw a man and woman huddled over a chessboard. Curious, she walked over to see what was going on. The man looked up from the board and greeted her with a smile. It was then that she noticed the woman wasn’t wearing any makeup, and it was then that she realized these were probably the two friends she had been looking for all this time.
The two were playing a game of “Sarasota” (named after the town they inhabited), and as soon as the game was finished, Andrews was able to see how it worked. Basically, it’s a combination of chess and checkers, with a twist. Each player has a board with a grid of 19×19 squares. The object, in addition to checking off your opponents’ pieces, is to clear a row of blocks by moving each individual piece along the x-axis (horizontally) and/or y-axis (vertically).