Picture of Sheri Burns
A Slippery Slope

Somehow, I’ve made plans for two trips to Vail this ski season — and they’re within 30 days of each other! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of skiing. I just don’t get the crazy high that so many people get (perhaps because I’m just not that good at it). But I love what skiing represents — good friends, lots of laughs, warm fires, and warm drinks. It’s always a very comfy, cozy scene.

On page 30, we have a story about a guy and some friends who skied at seven different ski resorts near Salt Lake City in one day. To me, that just sounds nuts. I mean, there’s absolutely no time to visit the mountaintop restaurant or to sit in the hot tub and enjoy the scenery. They scarfed down pizza in a parking lot, for goodness’ sake!

It’s an interesting challenge nonetheless, and it makes for a great story. And I’m sure there are many of you who, after reading the story, will want to try it out for yourself. If you do, please write to us and let us know how you fare.

Recently, some of you have suggested I take on a different kind of challenge. In my December 15 Editor’s Note — yeah, the one that “the Geek” wrote (if you didn’t see it, I will begrudgingly admit that it was quite good, and I would highly recommend you go online and read it) — Wes ­Besio (the Geek) kindly provided a count of how many first-­person pronouns I used during the year. This encouraged many of you to write in and suggest that I try writing a column without referring to myself.

I was really up to the challenge, and I even spent the last couple of weeks thinking about how I would do it and what I would say.

But the conclusion I’ve come to after all that thought is that I don’t think I can do it. I know, I know; it shames me to admit defeat without even having tried. But I simply can’t help myself. Without my injecting some sort of personal touch into this column, it just seems so boring.

For those of you who are disappointed, I’d love for you to write a column for me. Perhaps I can learn by example. That is cheating a bit on my part, I suppose, but if you get the results you’re looking for, perhaps it’s also a brilliant plan.

Or maybe I should just take baby steps and start with a paragraph. Let’s see …

In this issue, two of our most prolific writers bring you stories on two phenomenal places. Mark Seal spent some time with Eva Mendes and talked to her about Rome, one of her favorite cities. On page 64, Kevin Raub writes about an adventure he had in New Zealand. Like with the ski story, you may find yourself­ thinking of following in the writer’s footsteps — or tire tracks, as the case may be.

Phew! I did it! And it wasn’t all that hard. But is it interesting? Would you want to read a whole page of it? Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if I had also told you about my trip to New Zealand, which made me think I might have a career in sheepshearing? Or my trip to Rome, where ... wait, I’ve never been to Rome. Can you believe that? I’ve been to Italy four or five times and still haven’t made it to Rome!

It may not be more or less interesting. But instead of making me guess, tell me what you think. Do you prefer the version with no mention of me (sniff, sniff)? And if so, do you have suggestions as to how you think it could be better?

In the meantime, I think I’ll go sign up for snowboard lessons. At the very least, I’ll have something to talk about when I get back.

Signature of Sheri Burns

Sherri Gulczynski Burns