Skiing – I learned to ski in the mid-80s, at Boston Mills with a $39.00 learn-to-ski coupon clipped out of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. After taking the two ‘learn-to-ski’ lessons, my brother Graham, took me skiing. It was total immersion and I skied everything – not well – and learned the basics. Within a year, it was a trip to Europe to ski the slopes around the Aosta Valley in Italy.

From that start, I’ve skied the Italian Dolomites’ Super Ski region, several areas of Switzerland, the French Alps and the Sierra Nevada in Spain. In North America, I’ve skied areas in Colorado, Utah, Lake Tahoe, Cascades in Washington State and Whistler-Blackcomb in Canada.

My favorite ski resorts are in Utah, with a warm spot in my heart for Alta, and in France where the Ports du Soleil provide a wide range of terrain.   Yes, there are differences between Europe and North America, mostly in facilities and people. Big mountains share many common characteristics, and all have challenging slopes.

I’ve eased back on skiing, having had two hip replacements. However, I still enjoy skiing long cruising runs on sunny days. There’s nothing better than working up a good appetite from lots of skiing and sitting down to an elegant lunch with a glass of good wine.

My brother, Graham, is a stronger skier than me, however, he is an excellent ski companion, for he never pushes the envelope and has the same appreciation for combing skiing with fine dining.