It is rare for me to hit the slopes before Christmas, but with all the snow piling up and a prodding son, I began my snowboard season today. We were able to take advantage of some two-for-one ticket coupons that Markus snagged. Oh, it does a dutchman good to see his son pinching pennies! Calvin's friend, Josh deLacy joined us for the Crystal Mountain adventure, albeit on skiis:( It turned out to be a great day. Probably the only non-stormy day of a two-week stretch, with lots of powder and no crowds. Yesterday was a bulthuis-shop-till-you-drop day (downtown Seattle, Universtiy Village, Southcenter, Ikea and the Supermall) Today was a nice contrast to traffic and shopping malls.