A Meaningful Memory: JP Sanieski
In 2009 I was working at a school in Northfield, MA called Linden Hill School. It was the oldest boarding school in the country for Middle School aged boys with Learning Disabilities. My father had worked at Linden Hill School for 30 years and was the Asst. Headmaster; my mother was the Academic Dean. I had been a part of the Linden Hill family for 32 years. I loved the school, faculty and the boys who were there working on their education. Every year there were always a few boys that could not go home for the Thanksgiving week due to distance. The school did its best to place these boys with a classmate’s family or faculty member for the week.
That year I took a cross-country trip in an RV from Massachusetts to Colorado with three students from Abu Dhabi, visiting many tourist sites and states along the way. On this trip we drove through Vail and I realized I really wanted to visit in the winter to ski. After this 19-day 9000-mile road trip, I started to develop a plan to ski at Vail.
I planned to bring a group of students, so I had some important criteria for the Vail hotel where we would stay. The hotel accommodations needed to accommodate the entire group in one condo. It had to have a kitchen so I could cook and prepare meals for the group. It needed to be within in walking distance of a ski lift so we could just dress and go. And, it needed to be affordable. After searching and searching I found the ANTLERS AT VAIL, WHICH MET ALL OF THE CRITERIA!
As I was planning the trip for myself and 3 other boys, word got around that I was planning a ski trip to Vail. Parents started calling me and telling me that their son was also asking to spend Thanksgiving with me in Vail. I ultimately ended up bringing 8 students on the trip. 2 boys were from Abu Dhabi, 2 from Saudi Arabia, 3 from Mexico and 1 from Costa Rica.
The weekend before Thanksgiving we boarded a plane and flew out to Colorado. After landing and getting our rental vehicle we headed to Vail. Out of the 8 boys 4 had seen snow before, 3 had seen it once and 1 had never seen snow or skied before! While driving to Vail the boys were so excited to see the spectacular Rocky Mountains and to go through the tunnels. We loved the views. But I will admit that driving in the snow gave me white knuckles (though more from the precious cargo I had in the car then from the snow)!
When we arrived at Antlers at Vail the boys thought it was amazing! Our accommodations were awesome with a small condo that fit us tight but well. There was a complete kitchen and plenty of space for them to relax. The location was perfect. We were close to all of the attractions Vail has to offer, and we were less than 5 min to the lift! It was a great week and I know the boys loved it.
The memories I have with these boys at Antlers and Vail are priceless. Even more these days because the school I had called home for 32 years has now closed. The Antlers hotel is a fantastic lodge for groups. It allowed me to have this great time and give these kids an experience they and I will never forget!
Thank You Antlers at Vail
JP Sanieski, 2010 Antlers at Vail guest