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For the past ten days Elena and I have been living it up in CALI! We were lucky enough to qualify to compete in the J2 Nationals at Mammoth Mountain in California. After departing from Manchester, NH last saturday, we explored the activities of the "California Girl" lifestyle..except we went skiing. Believe it or not (probably not), we actually made some new friends in Mammoth. We stayed in the Mammoth Lakes Chalets, a collection of fine chalets on the mountainside, with the rest of the East team. The sloped roofs made excellent sledding hills for our days off, as did the snow mobile trails and the hills above our chalet. We started the week with a downhill training run, in which we both launched ourselves off of "Hair Jump," resulting in large sprays of snow, multiple yard of sliding, and gasps from the spectators along the side of the course. After examining a few bumps and bruises, we were allowed to finish our runs, being merely 40 seconds out of the rest of the field. 

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The next day was cancelled due to strong winds and snow. So, we all headed out to the rec center in Mammoth Lakes for some Wally ball, basketball, and soccer..and a little bit of yoga. The rest of the day was spent building trails and jumps for our sledding hill, while the rest of the teams tuned their skis, did homework, or rested. The next few days were jam packed with racing. Slalom, followed by another Downhill run, then super G, and lastly GS. After GS we had a day off for the boys to compete in their GS race. Kelly and I took the opportunity to free ski around the incredible mountain of Mammoth. It was slightly treacherous. The flat light combined with a lack of snow and lack of edges on our skis resulted in a briefer ski outing than planned, but nevertheless we had a jolly good time. The last day had been deeply anticipated. Hearts were racing and stress levels were high as we headed up for the final, and most testing event...the Panelled Slalom. In the end we had a blast, and went away with new friends, high spirits, and great tans. Back in the DiNapoli abode, we slept till 12 completely disoriented with the three hours time difference plus daylight savings. 

Enjoying the Totally '80s banquet with none other than Chaz Sheils!



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