Four winds opened the 2018-2019 ski season with a trip to Minnesota at the end of December 2018. The club had 19 people on the trip and stayed at a Minneapolis-area hotel with a pool, hot tub, and free breakfast buffet every morning.
Most people arrived on Friday and skied Afton Alps on Saturday. While Afton was only about 75% open and it was a little cold (I guess it's all relative since this is Minnesota of course... it was much warmer than a previous club trip here a few years earlier), we all had a good time skiing and snowboarding. On Saturday night, we had a pizza party back at the hotel, and played some games and sat around swapping ski stories.
On Sunday, most of us went to the Bears/Vikings game, with some going to Mall of America first, and all of us taking the light rail into the city. The Vikings new indoor stadium (U.S. Bank Stadium) is very nice, with every seat having a good view of the action, and the crowd was quite electric (and record-breaking for the Vikings at 66,878). While the Bears had already clinched a playoff spot before the game (and were only playing for a remote chance at a first-week bye), for the Vikings, they had to win to get into the playoffs (or hope for an Eagles loss). The game was tight for the first 3 quarters, but the Bears defense was stingy as usual, and in the end, the Bears prevailed 24-10. The Vikings fans were cordial, even after the game, especially since the loss knocked them out of the playoffs.
Monday (new year's eve), most of the groups headed home, with some of them skiing Afton Alps again on their way home (it was a perfect day to ski during the day, as the crowds didn't start coming until after 2 PM), and one group visiting the late rocker Prince's home and studio at Paisley Park. There were some exciting driving conditions for a brief period around the Wisconsin Dells on the way home as a winter storm had rolled through the area earlier, but everyone that left on Monday made it home before midnight to celebrate New Year's day.