Jump to content
Bellosh

[Marelia] Away in the Mountains

Recommended Posts

14aittd.png

Ingrid Marie so desperately wished she’d never have to fly in an aerial wagon. Despite those things being large enough to hold five passengers and all their luggage, those things were cramped beyond all belief. At least the drivers were skilled enough to make sure the wagon didn’t sway terribly from turbulence throughout the flight.

And just where Ingrid Marie and her group were going to? Why, to the alpine village of Marelia, to spend a winter vacation with several of her friends. It had started about a year ago or more with her first encounter with Cheerilee, a dedicated teacher who ran the schoolhouse in Ponyville. Sharing a passion for mentoring students, the two hit it off fast at a birthday party for one of Ingrid’s distant nieces.

Next came Bramble Rose and Apple Bumpkin, two ponies the magic counselor met later during the last zap apple harvest. Apple Bumpkin was a farming relative of Ingrid’s, and a very close friend of Cheerilee’s as well. Bramble Rose meanwhile worked as a magic researcher, and his acumen proved a valuable asset to solve a crisis that nearly stopped the harvest dead in its tracks. That event brought the four ponies closer together; though they couldn’t visit each other too often, they maintained their bond through heavy written correspondence.

So when it came time to take time off for Winter Break, a lightbulb turned on in Counselor Marie’s head. Why not take this band on friends to a vacation in Marelia, a winter resort she always wanted to go back to ever since she was a little filly. For a week, they could ski the slopes, skate on a ice rink, or just kick back in the lodge by the fire. All they’d have to do to get there was to travel by aerial wagon, because passage on hoof through the mountains was nearly impossible.

Despite being squished on the voyage to Marelia, Ingrid at least stayed relatively warm. Thanks in no part to her smart choice of winter garb, but all the ponies crowding against her also ensured a source of body warmth. Now that the wagon was on its final approach for landing, snow-covered peaks could be seen in every direction. the middle-aged mare used this moment to take a look at how well her friends were doing, along with that one guest Bramble Rose brought along.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8551964415_94230e5678_o.jpg

Fuchsia Blooms had been thrilled but unsure when Bramble Rose first asked her to go on this ski trip with him. Sure, she was flattered that he invited her, and excited at getting to visit somewhere new. But she had the shop to run, and her greenhouses to maintain. Fortunately, her parents stepped in to help. Her mother was more than happy to take care of her greenhouse flowers. And her father was a natural born sales pony, so he would not only keep the shop running, but probably bring in record profits for the season.

Then Bramble mentioned that they would be joined by three other mares, friends of his. So it was to be a group outing, not a romantic retreat. Just as well, she supposed. They didn't really know each other that well yet, so it was probably for the best that they had chaperones. Besides, she was a friendly sort, and the five of them might have a grand time together!

So when it was time to meet the airship for the voyage up into the mountains, Fuchsia was waiting at the platform with her baggage and a smile on her face. She was wearing a new ski sweater that she had bought just for the occasion, dark green with white trees and snowflake patterns. She also had matching dark green boots with white fur trim, and a green and white striped scarf wrapped around her neck. No skis or skates, but she was pretty certain that those would be available for rent at the resort.

Her first real vacation in years, and with a handsome gentleman friend to boot. This was going to be fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheerilee was honestly surprised when she first received the letter from Ingrid Marie inviting her to Marelia. It was an unusually spontaneous idea from the beige unicorn mare Cheerilee had been regularly corresponding with since they met by chance at Applebloom's birthday party. Since that moment though they had meticulously planned for the vacation, making sure the time was optimal for everypony involved. All the schools and universities were out for a couple weeks during the Winter Break, which made it easy to take a vacation for the group primarily made up educators and researchers. It also made it easy for Apple Bumpkin to come along since there was less to do on a farm during the colder months. Cheerilee just assumed it was relatively easy for Bramble's friend, Fuchsia Blooms. She didn't know pink maned unicorn, but there would be plenty of time, that is, if her and Bramble don't decide they reather sspend most of the trip alone.

As for Marelia itself, this was a first for Cheerilee. It was true that over the years she had used her free time during those weeks when school was closed for various breaks to tour various parts of Equestria: Appleloosa, Canterlot, Manehatten, Roam, Stallongrad, among others, but never the famed resort town of Marelia, snugly placed in a valley of the northern Solstice Heights. It was an opportunity she couldn't afford to miss! Besides, she could get some first hoof knowledge of the village to take back to her students to further enhance the regular geography lessons, along with a great many pictures, thanks to her trusted, if a bit well worn, camera.

Another first for the mauve schoolmare was the aerial wagon. The only time Cheerilee had been in the air beforehoof was the occasional balloon ride. Those tended to be slow and over short distances, and even then she found them disconcerting. Some unicorns and earth ponies were as comfortable being up in the air as the pegasai, but she wasn't one of them, and it showed as she sat low in the wagon, clinging tightly to the side rail as if for dear life. At least the ride was smooth enough not to give her true flight sickness, she was queasy enough as is.

"So Miss Fuchsia…" Cheerilee figured this was a good time as any to get to know the pink maned unicorn, if for nothing else, just to get her mind off of being so high in the sky, "if you don't mind me asking, what do you do for a living?" The unicorn mare's cutie mark initially suggested botany, but as Cheerilee well knew, that was no guarantee, especially given her own flower like cutie mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bramble Rose had grown up half his life in Canterlot, and through his mother's contacts, had spent a large portion of that youth at parties that were, quite often, held on air yachts. He had never picked up that healthy appreciation for the dangers of heights that other ponies often seemed to have. Quite the opposite, he still had a foal-like glee at flying, and much of this trip had him leaning half out of the wagon, admiring the view as the world flew past under him. "Oh, wow! Fuchsia, look at the color on that mountainside! I bet that's natural Snow-Lilies, I bet that we could get some bulbs while we're here! I wonder how I'd get a reverse greenhouse made that would keep the insides cold... someone must have come up with a device. Just can't forget to charge it in the morning!" His horn gave a little green *spark*."

Then he was leaning across the wagon towards the other side. "Oooo! Look over there! That flickering light just around the cliff. I bet there's some everflame trees over there! Fascinating natural defenses - they protect their soil and make sure they don't have to fight other plants for nutrients by always being on fire. Since they only co-exist in cold climates, and evergreens are so very flammable, the sprouts burn up before they get more than an inch tall. But on mountainsides like this, there's actually a symbiotic relationship involved - some pine cones actually sprout better once they've been exposed to high heat, so the evergreens higher up the mountain drop their pine cones, which bounce through the everflame trees and open up, then land further down the slope to start up new saplings. It's an amazing magical adaptation! I wonder if we could get some pictures? Don't have the tools to collect the burning pine cones this trip, but maybe I should make a weekend trip back here for research purposes... "

He grinned hapily to the mares in the wagon. "Isn't this so exciting? Even the trip is fun!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apple Bumpkin

Bumpkin sat next to Cheerilee cuddled close for warmth. Being a farm pony meant she had a lot of energy to spend keeping the others warm as they flew in the areal wagon to their destination. All Bumpkin new was that she was invited to go with Ingrid and Cheerilee. She was also told that Bramble Rose would be going and even bringing a special somepony. Oh my things were sure to get interesting. There was only one problem with their trip. Bumpkin bent her head down in shame as she mumbles out loud.

"I don't know how to ski or snowhoof or any of this winter stuff. I only know how to clean it up." She had learned how to do that from her times coming to Ponyville and helping with their end of winter festival known as 'Winter Wrap-Up' which was one of her favorites. Other then apple bucking season and the Zap Apple Harvest of course, and any day ending in y.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14aittd.png

"I don't know how to ski or snowhoof or any of this winter stuff. I only know how to clean it up."

"Try not to think too much about that, mmkay," Ingrid Marie reassured her distant cousin; “I don’t think most of us have been up here for a long time. In fact, I’ve probably forgotten all about how to ski ever since I did it as a filly.” Assuming they all didn’t have a clue about winter sports, Ingrid felt they’d be all the same playing field; which was to say, it’d be a very low one.

".....I wonder if we could get some pictures?....."

The unicorn mare remembered the everflame trees Bramble Rose pointed out all too well. She distinctly remembered those fiery trees and how they popped up here and there on the mountain slopes. According to Ingrid’s memory of her last air-ride, once they started clustering in groves, you’d know that Marelia was only 5 minutes away. Lo and behold; near the edge of the treeline, the everflames clustered together more, their burning leaves doubling as convenient beacons. It was just so marvellous how a species of plant could evolve with the ability to spout fire without ever burning. Just one of the wonders of the magical world of Equestria...

“Quickly!” Ingrid encouraged Cheerilee, the mare who brought the camera along for the trip; “Take the pictures of those everflames if you can!” The mauve earth pony didn’t look so hot earlier, showcasing signs of a fear of flying. Hopefully Cheerilee can get through these last five minutes.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8551964415_94230e5678_o.jpg

Bramble Rose's enthusiasm was infectious. He zipped back and forth across the airship wagon, pointing out all the local flora growing on the mountainsides. "I bet that's natural Snow-Lilies, I bet that we could get some bulbs while we're here! I wonder how I'd get a reverse greenhouse made that would keep the insides cold... someone must have come up with a device."

"Oh, like an icebox? I'm sure someone must have come up with something that would be large enough to walk into. Maybe a unicorn with ice magic."

"Oooo! Look over there! That flickering light just around the cliff. I bet there's some everflame trees over there! Fascinating natural defenses - they protect their soil and make sure they don't have to fight other plants for nutrients by always being on fire."

"Very fascinating indeed! I wonder if it's safe to go for a walk in one of the groves? Maybe not... but we could get a few snapshots."

Unfortunately for miss Cherilee, Bramble's moving excitedly made the wagon sway back and forth in the air. The mauve mare was starting to look a little green. "So Miss Fuchsia, if you don't mind me asking, what do you do for a living?"

"I'm a florist by trade. I have a little shop in Canterlot, which is where I met Bramble Rose. He sometimes works as a delivery pony." the white unicorn replied with a smile. "By the way, I've got a little ginger root, if you would like to chew on it. I read that it is supposed to help with motion sickness. I wasn't sure how well I would take to air travel, so I brought some along just in case."

The other earth pony, Apple Bumpkin, looked a little downcast and mumbled that she was unfamiliar with winter leisure activities. “I don’t think most of us have been up here for a long time. In fact, I’ve probably forgotten all about how to ski ever since I did it as a filly.” replied Ingrid Marie in a reassuring tone.

"Oh, I've never been to Marelia. This will be the first time for me. I can ice skate, but that's about it. But I'm fairly certain that resorts like this one will have instructors to teach us how to do anything we want to learn." Fuchsia said with a laugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheerilee sat low in the chariot, one foreleg gripping the side with all her might and the other gripping around Apple Bumpkin's foreleg with just as much force. She knew she was going to do rather poorly flying on the way there, she didn't realize she would do this bad though. At least Fuchsia Blooms was in a talkative mood, the more conversation to keep her mind off of the flight, the better. The pink maned unicorn's response made Cheerilee wonder though if Fuchsia and Bramble were an item, or still trying to figure that out for themselves; she felt it would be a bit too nosy and presumptuous to ask though. More surprising was Fuchsia's mention of Bramble's job, "I thought you were a researcher Mr. Rose? Are you a postdoc then?" Cheerilee knew about the university life enough to know that postdocs are seemingly always on the edge of being flat broke, even with their stipends.

Fuchsia also had more foresight for this trip than Cheerilee, having the prudence to carry some ginger root with her. She gave a weak smile at the pink maned unicorn's generosity, "why thank you, I'm not so prideful or crazy not to take you up on that offer Miss Blooms." Cheerilee slowly slid over and reached out to take some of the root and began to chew, hopefully the effects would be quick. Wanting to keep her mind on anything other than being in the air, she figured to inquire further about Fuchsia's job "Are you the shop's owner then? I imagine you grow the flowers to as well as sell them."

Speaking of plants, all the unicorns were fascinated by the exotic flowers that dotted the landscape below. Up until now Cheerilee hadn't even bothered to look, satisfied with looking upwards at the bluish-white clouds above rather than the earth far, far beneath them. She was curious though, especially since she was the only one with a camera at hoof, secured around her neck. Still the purple mare wasn't particularly motivated to lean over the side and take images, that was until Ingrid excitedly implored her to get some snapshots of the everflames below.

Cheerilee leaned over the edge and lifted her camera to grab a few snapshots of the receding fiery plants, using every bit of willpower she had, not to mention the ginger she was currently crewing, to keep herself from getting sick. The purple school mare managed to get two or three quick snapshots in before it was becoming too much for her. In a moment of weakness in her struggle to keep her stomach from losing its contents, the camera slipped from her hooves, "oh Celestia no!!" Cheerilee flailed her hooves in a pathetic attempt to try and catch the falling camera, but she only managed to knock it even further away, well almost, as it quickly recoiled back as Cheerilee in her panic, and then embarrassment, forgot it was safely strung around her with a soft elastic band. For a moment she was more red than green and offered only an awkward laugh as she pulled herself and the camera back inside the safe confines of the carriage.

Having enough of photographing until they were safely on the ground, Cheerilee sat next to Bumpkin, both hooves this time wrapped securely around her filly-friend, who appeared morose about her inexperience with winter activities. The school teacher gave her best wide smile of encouragement, "aww, don't worry hon… I don't think any of us are experts when it comes to skiing, snow boarding, or ice skating, at least I am not. I do have past experience though so don't worry hon, I'll teach you and I'll be right beside you when we both fall". Alright, the joke was a little lame, but hopefully it would brighten Bumpkin a little bit. This was a vacation after all, there is no real pressure to be good at any of the sports, just to have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bramble stared in awe as they actually passed over a small grove of Everflames, leaning over the edge of the carriage to feel the heat on his face, then turned back with a sheepish grin as he realized how foolish he was being. His Canterlot manner settled over him like a coat. "Ah, of course. Yes, I am a researcher, Miss Cheerilee. But I'm a bit short on grants at the moment, and a doctorate in theoretical aetherics with a focus in nonstandard secondary aetheric aspecting and a few papers in active floral dynamics can only make bits in a few ways - teaching or asking 'do you want hay fries with that?' Happily, I've avoided the latter, but I do hold down quite a few little odd jobs here and there."

He turned back to Fuchsia with a big grin. "I do know a unicorn from back in college, though I haven't talked with her in over a year ... And a few engineering grads. We'll have to see what we can do! Can you imagine having an everflame sapling in a pot on the counter of your shop? We can go walking in the groves as long as we're careful - they tend to drop burning pine cones when they feel they're being encroached upon."

He settled back in his seat. "As for the rest of it - I've not skied nor skated in years, either. But one never forgets - even if your mind forgets, the muscle memory tends to take over. We'll none of us be polished, I'm sure, but we'll not hold it against each other."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OOC: Since I need to fulfill my Ingrid posting requirements soon, I'm skipping ahead.

14aittd.png

The rest of the air chariot ride passed uneventfully, at least for those ponies like Ingrid Marie who didn't suffer from a fear of heights. True to the unicorn's memory, the alpine valley town of Marelia revealed itself after passing those special fiery trees. At first glance, the settlement looked every bit like those lovely miniature villages Ingrid's family used to set up every Hearth's Warming season. Almost like a snowy cross between Ponyville and a small Germane town. All in all, it appeared that nothing had changed about picturesque Marelia since Ms. Marie's last visit decades ago.

The pegasi chariot pullers found a large snow-covered flat area near the town center suitable for a landing. Ingrid managed to squeeze herself off the vehicle first, longing for solid ground of any sort. "Ugggh, finally," she groaned, levitating her luggage onto the snow beside her.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheerilee listened as Bramble Rose described in more detail his field of expertise. Although he trended towards using wooden academic language in describing what he studied for, she was able to follow along quite easily, although the purple mare had little detailed knowledge of the subject itself. Like most academics who aren’t a professor or a full time researcher, the silver maned unicorn lamented how he had to find any work he could while pursuing his dream. His situation did pique her curiosity, partly because she wanted to better know the ponies she would be staying with, and partly because she had a similar experience while at university. “So… Mr. Rose, or would you prefer Bramble Rose, or just Bramble? Anyway, I was just curious, what ‘odd jobs’ have you done, or are doing now? I remember when I pursuing my degree in education that I worked a gig as a tour guide for the famous places of Canterlot, annnd selling flowers on the street, why I was even a really minor, basically anonymous grunge model for a year.” Cheerilee laughed about the latter as a reminder of her various “phases” growing up and in college; some more outrageous than others, all done in the vain cause of rebelliousness and attempts to be ‘hip’.

When the chariot finally landed Cherrilee began to feel much more chipper now she had all four hooves on the snowy ground. It had been a long time since she got to vacation in the snowy, forested peaks and village of Mareila and she was determined to get pictures of everything as evident of her already taking photos the moment she stepped into the snow, that is until she became a little self-conscious about her enthusiasm with the camera, “oops, guess I am getting a little carried away. We should check in, there will be plenty of time to take in the scenes afterwards.” As the one earth pony, it wasn’t much effort for her to fling all her luggage onto her back and trot towards the lodge, only to stop a few steps out, “oh! Did any of you need help carrying any of your stuff?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bramble blushed as Cheerilee talked about the odd jobs she'd had to take, thinking of his own stint at modelling. Well, he'd share some of the other jobs, at least. "Bramble, just Bramble, thank you. And, yes, goodness, all the odd jobs... I've served coffee, passed out flyers at conventions, in some of the oddest costumes ... done some field hoof work, served drinks on the train, some seasonal jobs at various gardens and parks... " He shook his head. He didn't mind the seasonal jobs at the public display gardens, to be sure - he just wished they could be year round.

Conversation lapsed as they started to come in for a landing, and Bramble's mind wandered back over the years. It had been a while since he'd been up here - and he had a lot of fond memories of the region. He couldn't remember which of the resorts it had been when he'd gotten first place at the skating competition, when he was very young - for his age group, of course. For a while, they were convinced he was going to get a skating cutie mark, but that had never really panned out. His ongoing skill hadn't developed with the same promise as his natural grace. But that was all right.

He let the two educators out first, as they seemed very eager to disembark, then hopped down to politely offer his hoof to Fuchsia, helping her from the cart. Then they set to gathering their luggage. He grabbed up two of his bags with his magic, stacked the other two on his back, and grinned at Cheerilee's offer. "S'okay," he grunted. "I got mine... " he staggered a step and then stubbornly made his way towards the hostel office to find out which of the little cabins they'd been assigned for their stay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8551964415_94230e5678_o.jpg

Fuchsia Blooms listened with half an ear to Cherilee and Bramble Rose talk with each other. She focused on taking in the sights. She had only seen quaint little villages like this in storybook illustrations. It was all so marvelous, to think they would be actually staying here! As soon as the airship landed and Bramble helped her out of the carriage, she took a deep breath. In the crisp air, she could smell the fresh fallen snow, and hints of the everflame trees, green and smoky at the same time.

Fuchsia noticed Cherilee taking lots of pictures, and wished she had a camera of her own. Instead, she approached her and asked, "Miss Cherilee, I wonder if you would be willing to get prints made of the photos you're taking? I would so love to have a few to help me remember this trip."

At the mention of checking in, the pink maned unicorn wondered just what their living arrangements would be like. All five of them sharing one cabin? Or perhaps a suite in one of the larger chalets? What about sleeping? Would they have to share rooms, or each get their own? She felt perfectly fine sharing with one of the other ladies present, but she wasn't too sure about sleeping with Bramble Rose. They didn't have that kind of relationship, at least not yet.

Fuchsia Blooms gathered her luggage, each bag held aloft in a pink aura of magic, and followed the others towards the resort office. Seeing the silver maned stallion stagger under the weight of his bags, she extendeded a puff more magic, making his load a bit lighter without removing it completely. There was no reason to make Bramble look bad in front of his friends. Besides, she wasn't so sure her levitation magic was strong enough to carry all their baggage combined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Huh, guess it's been a REALLY long time since the last post. Guess I'll drop in then.)

14aittd.png

Ingrid Marie was pretty sure that she wouldn't need help from Cheerilee in carrying her luggage; the unicorn's levitation magic being enough to do the job. As it was Ms. Marie who pitched the trip to everypony in her group, it was of course her who made all the cabin arrangements. The place the mare ultimately selected was not too shabby; it was slightly larger than the average cabin, having two stories and three guest bedrooms. From the advertisement Ingrid remembered, this cabin was going to be a little more rustic and older than the ones typically found in Marelia, and the bedrooms were not all that big, but it was pretty dirt cheap.

Apparently, the cabin the group were being led to was also quite a distance aways from the town center, secluded on a forested slope. Ingrid Marie hadn’t taken this fact into account; about two-thirds of the way there, she was clearly straining to magically keep her belongings in the air, and the cold didn't do much to make things better either. Perhaps she should have paid out more for someplace much closer? Brushing the negativity aside for the time being, Ingrid looked around to see how well her companions were faring with their own luggage.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheerilee smiled as she listened to her alum rattle off the various odd jobs he had to do as part of the college life, “those don’t sound so bad, certainly less embarrassing then my silly “modeling” stint. I can’t imagine what was going through my mind when I thought that was a good idea. Could have been worse I suppose, one mare was asked to model as a stallion, they said she had “the look”, she didn’t take it too well.”

She slipped her camera back into her saddlebag, triple checking if she had brought enough film, not wanting to repeat the mistake on her last outing. A dozen rolls; should be good. “I can have copies made for the pictures I made for each of you if you like Fuchsia, it would only cost a few bits extra, and can be all done at once. I have to have the rolls Pegasus delivered to Canterlot though so it will take a week or so; unfortunately we don’t have any film development place back in Ponyville, too small I guess.” If she didn’t enjoy teaching so much, it may have been a business Cheerilee would have been willing to risk starting up herself.

It turned out their cabin was on the edge of the resort, which was just fine, as it meant things would be nice and quiet when it was time to relax for all the fun they no doubt would have on the wintery slopes. Cheerilee only had her saddlebags and one large suitcase, which easily tossed onto her back, and trotted up the hill without any difficulty. Ponies may be surprised how often she had to luge large amounts of supplies on a regular basis as part of her job, but having outdoor field trips was a part of every school year, and the students were often too excited and bouncing around to safety carry anything more than their own saddle bags anywhere.

One thing did make her curious as she trotted up along Ingrid, how the rooms would be distributed since there were more ponies than bedrooms in the cabin. “Say Ingrid, how did we want to divide up the rooms? I don’t mind sharing at all, but maybe Bramble and Fuchsia want to share one? I dunno, are they a couple?” Cheerilee never thought to ask either of them, mainly because if the answer was no, it had the potential of being very awkward; they appeared to at least, friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gqu1u2z.png

Bramble's face flushed hotly as Cheerilee started talking about her own modelling stint. "I can imagine she wouldn't," Bramble mumbled in response, then suddenly got interested in a passing bit of scenery. "Ooo, look at that .. cloud! Good work by the pegasus ponies on that one."

He hadn't really expected to have to carry his bags so far - surely at the front desk there'd be ... porters or something, to carry bags for tips. But no, no porters, no cart - they'd have to hoof it. He was lagging behind the group as they trudged up towards their cabin. Even all-unknowing that Fuschia was helping him with the load, he didn't think he could actually feel his legs anymore. They must be there, because he wasn't chin-first in the snow. Yet. Oooo, that snow looked so soft...

It was a good thing he was too far back to hear Cheerilee, or he might not have made it... but looking up, seeing the cabin *right there* ... only a few hundred more paces... he could make it!

When they finally reached the door, he sloughed off luggage as he made a beeline for the couch, and *FWUMP* landed facefirst into it, letting out a sigh of relief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8551964415_94230e5678_o.jpg

In answer to her query, Miss Cherilee replied “I can have copies made for the pictures I made for each of you if you like Fuchsia, it would only cost a few bits extra, and can be all done at once. I have to have the rolls Pegasus delivered to Canterlot though so it will take a week or so; unfortunately we don’t have any film development place back in Ponyville, too small I guess.”

"Oh, that would be wonderful! Actually, my shop is in Canterlot, so I could drop off the film for you, if you wanted me to. The prints would still need to be delivered to Ponyville by courier, though." It wouldn't be any trouble, provided she still had room in her bags for the rolls of film. There was a distinct possibility that she would be packing out some bulbs and seeds from the local flora, if she could find them.

Fuchsia Blooms carried her bags with ease. Ponies didn't realize that gardening required physical strength, they all thought it was just leisurely trimming of stems for making nosegays. But keeping a greenhouse meant having quite a lot of soil on hoof, and bags of potting soil got heavy quickly. Still, she was glad that all she had packed were a few sweaters and one or two nice dresses in case they might go dancing some evening. Fuchsia really truly hoped that they would go dancing, or at least that she and Bramble Rose would do so. They had so much fun at the Grand Galloping Gala last time...

As they kept walking, she started to get a bit worried. Their cabin was farther away from the main village than she thought they would be. Thank goodness her boots were as functional as they were stylish, or her hooves would be frostbitten right now. Poor Bramble looked so tired. She stayed close to the stallion's side so he wouldn't get left in the back of the herd by himself. Fuchsia used a bit more magic to unobtrusively help him, but not too much. She still had her own things to carry as well.

When they finally reached the cabin, she increased her hold on Bramble's bags just as he started dropping them on the floor by the front door. Carefully moving them out of the way, Fuchsia laid their luggage against a wall and looked around. The place was definitely rustic. Not a gorgeous ski chalet like she was expecting, but not a total dump either. Everything was made from heavy looking wood, and there were braided wool rugs covering the floor. It did have quite a nice fireplace in the main room though. The mare trotted up to it, tossed some kindling and a few split logs onto the grate, and lit a warming fire. Surely she wouldn't be the only pony who was chilled after that hike!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14aittd.png

Walking inside the cabin, Ingrid Marie set her belongings down over to where Fuchsia Blooms moved the luggage to. There was time later to take her stuff into her room; right now, the unicorn mare just wanted to kick back and relax after that long trot. With that aim in mind, Ingrid felt free to lay down on her belly in front of the recently ignited fireplace. Ahhhhh; the warmth was most appreciated!

Not getting up from her spot, Ms. Marie joined Cheerilee in planning out the rooming arrangement. Or to be more precise, Bramble Rose’s love life. “You know... I’m really not all that sure. Personally though, I think its best for me and you to share a bedroom Cheerilee, and let Bramble and Fuchsia have the other two.” In Ingrid’s eyes, Bramble didn’t strike her as somepony comfortable enough to share a room with a special somepony. But that was just the middle-aged mare’s perception of her colleague.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheerilee wasn't as put out by the snow and cold as her companions, however even she was a bit chilly from the long walk to the cabin in the snow, so when Fuchsia Blooms started a small fire burning, it was a welcomed distraction. The mauve colored mare relaxed on the floor with her legs folded under her next to Ingrid Marie, the only other pony in the group who she really had gotten to know beforehand, although both Bramble and Fuchsia appeared to be a quite affable pair.

What Cheerilee didn't know but made some educated guesses about was the relationship between the silver maned stallion and the pink maned mare. It was obvious, at least in Cheerilee's mind, that there was something there, but how much of something was still the question. Ingrid's suggested room arrangement gave her a better insight though, the pair were not a couple, but all the same, it wasn't hard to tell there was an energy of mutual interest between them. As for herself sharing a room with Ingrid, not the first time she had such an arrangement while on vacation, but to avoid possibly making Bramble or Fuchsia feel awkward, she kept her voice down in responding to the beige unicorn's suggestion, "I'm good with the two of us sharing a room Ingrid, especially if it helps our two companions be more at ease, and don't worry, I am a heavy sleeper, so I doubt if you'll wake me up at night barring something crazy! Fortunately this isn't Ponyville so I'm expecting a quite, relaxing weekend for the first time in a while". Cheerilee smiled and snickered, she had shared many beds before while traveling, especially back in her university days, when hoofing out bits for a room of one's own while traveling was impossible on a student's budget.

Of course this lead in Cheerilee's mind to the next question, what first to do now that they had arrived? She preferred skiing and was about to suggest that is what they all should do before stopping herself with the realization she wasn't at work and her companions weren't all foals who needed somepony to bring order to the natural chaos of foals unchecked. "So, what would you all like to do first, after you all settle in of course. We could check out the main lodge and the restaurants there, or those fancy trees Bramble was talking about, or we could go skating, or skiing!! Can't vacation in Marelia without skiing!! So, what do you all think?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gqu1u2z.png

As Fuschia set to clearing Bramble's luggage out of the way, most of it seemed fairly light and unimpressive. Then she reached the bag with all the books and papers in it. The little scholarly unicorn was apparently planning on taking notes and looking up references on the local flora while he was up here! And quite a load it was, too.

Bramble raised one hoof from where he was face-first in the couch. "You three can have the three rooms, and I'll sleep on the couch," he suggested, his voice muffled by the cushions. "I'm becoming fast friends with the couch. In fact, that's my first activity suggestion. Making friends. I'll stay here and get right on that. Be rude not to make proper introductions. Hello, Couch, I'm Bramble. Pleasure to meet you." He let out a little self-deprecating laugh, then pulled himself upright again. "Sorry, I really have to learn to pack lighter. But then I keep remembering one more reference book that might come in handy..."

Bramble considered a moment. "Though I will probably need someone's room to keep my things in, just to keep this main room clean. If it's all right with you mares - specifically, I would hope to keep my things in your room, Fuschia? As for your question, Cheerilee, I think that after we move our things in, it is rather late in the day, so let's head to the main lodge and find ourselves some dinner to settle our stomachs. The food up here is quite worth it. Then, while we digest, there used to be a small museum here while I was younger, detailing the history of the area and some of the local high points. Then this evening, as it gets dark, we can skate on their small mountaintop pond, which is nice and well-lit, and has music."

"Then, unless that gives us some specific hiking ideas for the local landmarks, I'd say that tomorrow morning we get up bright and early and get some skiing in, then take the lift to the halfway point and hike the rest of the way up, taking the opportunity to look at the Everflame Pines and the Snow Lillies, and whatever else we can find." Not that he'd been eagerly thinking of how to get in the most for his trip for the past month or anything ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8551964415_94230e5678_o.jpg

 

Fuchsia Blooms sighed in contentment as the fire started warming her and her companions. Conversation turned to how the rooms were to be divided. Bramble Rose had offered to sleep on the couch, and let the ladies each have a room, which was sweet.

"Don't be silly! There's no reason to sleep on the couch. Let's go up and see the rooms. If one is bigger than the others, then perhaps Ingrid Marie and Cherilee can have that one, while you and I will each take the other two?" she suggested. "However, if you insist on sleeping down here, you may of course keep your bags in my room." That way, she reasoned to herself, she could read some of the books and papers he had brought with him. Some of them would be dull and overly academic of course, but they might also be very educational.

 

Fuchsia trotted over to the cabin's small kitchen. There wasn't much in it, a small stove, an icebox, some cabinets with dishes and mugs, a drawer of utensils, things like that. On the counter was a teakettle and a coffee percolator, but no tea or coffee packets. The icebox had ice, but nothing else. Hmm, they would have to go into town and get a few supplies, if they didn't want to eat out every meal. That could be taken care of tomorrow, though.

 

"I think we should get settled in and warmed up a bit before we head back outside. Then dinner sounds like a good idea. Perhaps afterwards we could go into town, pick up a few essential things like coffee, maybe some muffins or scones from the bakery. Ice skating on the pond sounds lovely, too! I hope they'll have skates to rent, I didn't bring any myself."

 

Fuchsia came back to the main room and went over to her bags. Rooting through one of the smaller ones, she brought out a basket with magically preserved tea roses in various shades of pink, white, and yellow, with a few stems of ferns for greenery. The pink maned unicorn placed it on the table in the dining area. "There. I never go anywhere without bringing a little bit of color and cheer with me," she smiled. Then, returning to the pile of luggage, she suggested to the group, "Shall we go upstairs, and see about the room arrangements?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14aittd.png

 

Ingrid Marie gave everypony’s suggestions some thought. Seems like they all wanted to go skiing or skating eventually. Unlike Bramble Rose however, Ingrid had no plans to really wake up early for anything because for her, vacations simply weren’t vacations if you couldn’t sleep in. And if the group agreed on Bramble’s plan for tonight, perhaps Fuchsia Blooms ought to do her errand before dinner. As for what Ingrid herself wanted to do on her trip; “Since nopony’s brought it up yet, I’d be interested in making the trip to the Watchtower at the end of the mountain range. I’ve heard on a clear day, you can glimpse Seaddle from the other side of the big bay. The hike there and back takes an entire day, but it’ll be worth it.”

 

But now, to deal with more immediate needs. “Sure, I’ll be right there,” Ingrid told Fuchsia as she got up to help inspect the rooms upstairs. There better be a room up there bigger than the others, because Ingrid would not let Bramble sleep downstairs on a silly couch in the middle of winter. He would probably only bring himself misery at night, and that couldn’t be allowed. Besides, Ingrid and Cheerilee were big girls; they’d be able to share a bed just fine.

 

----------

 

OOC: Decision time, folks! I plan on doing a time-skip to one of the following events:

  1. To the dinner at the lodge.
  2. To post-dinner activities.

Let me know what you prefer, please.

Edited by Bellosh101

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listening to Fuchsia Blooms and Bramble Rose's conversation about the rooms it was clear to Cheerilee that they certainly weren't in any deep relationship, now she wondered if they were in any sort of relationship at all.  Even with this revaluation, it was obvious, at least to Cheerilee, that there was mutual chemistry between the unicorn pair, maybe they were still working it out, or they hadn't revealed their true feelings, whatever it was this vacation in the beautiful, and romantic mountains may be exactly what the two of them needed.  Or it could be all in the purple mare's head.  Nahh… she was sure it was real.

As standard for a party sized private cabin at a mountain retreat there were a few bedrooms, in this case two smaller ones with twin beds and one master bedroom, significantly larger than the others, complete with a single king sized bed.  Cheerilee took a peer into the largest room as she spoke, "well, it looks likes this one is big enough for Ingrid and I to share, so you don't have to worry about sleeping on any couch, Bramble.  You and Fuchsia will each have your own room right next to each other!  As soon as you two get settled we can head to the main lodge and get some dinner!"  Was she subtly hinting at anything?  Nahh, she was just being friendly!  Cheerilee turned to Ingrid and gave a bright smile, "Don't worry about me Ingrid, I am a sound sleeper who doesn't toss or turn much, and I don't snore!"  She was excited about getting to know her fellow teacher better - they had hit it off well at little Applebloom's last birthday party, and Cheerilee was always happy to meet new friends and colleagues.  First things first, though, dinner time!

It didn't take long for the quartet to make their way back down the snowy trail towards the main lodge.  Cheerilee dressed for the occasion, wearing a pale green sweater with a large, folded-over collar, and long, warm socks with thick stripes alternating between pale greens and yellows, not exactly outdoor clothes for this weather but good enough for an informal, relaxing dinner at the lodge.   However, relaxing wasn't what the cerise mare had in mind, she was here to have fun!  At least the others agreed to some mountain top ice skating afterwards, she'd hate to go to bed on the first night not having done anything.  "So ponies, have any of you ice skated before?  I have a few times myself.  During the winter we have class trips to the local pond as part of physical education.  Gotta be able to get out there with the foals, you know, with all their mischief and all."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gqu1u2z.png

 

Bramble Rose agreed to the plan, and smiled brightly about the tea roses.  "What a lovely touch of home, Fuchsia!  You did a great job with it, as always!"  He scooped up his things and carried them to his new room - several trips instead of one, this time.  He unpacked just a little bit as he stacked up a few books and notebooks on the desk in that room to make sure they'd survived the trip all right.  Everything seemed to be in order.  He sorted out his nicer clothes into the closet, making sure any wrinkles would have time to hang out, but nothing seemed to need an ironing.

He mused upon the clothing he'd brought with him before choosing one of his favorites - a black and white turtleneck.  it started black with a few big white snowflakes at the neck, the snowflakes getting smaller and more numerous on their way down.  Halfway down the speckles reversed, and it started being white with black snowflakes getting larger and larger.  The nervousness was really around how to approach Fuchsia.  He wasn't even really sure if they were dating yet, but this opportunity came up and he couldn't help but invite her.  What an opportunity!  He took several breaths to steady himself as he came up with his plan.  His mother's lessons applied here as much as anywhere.  Whatever she was wearing, he'd be very impressed with it.  But he didn't want the others to feel ignored or for her to feel singled out ... modest compliments for them, more enthusiasm for her.  Make her feel special.  Yes.  Why was his stomach squirming around so much?

He managed the compliments without too much stumbling over his tongue, and they were off.  Without the luggage, it had been an easy trip down to the main building for dinner.  Bramble was feeling quite satisfied after a particularly excellent plate of pasta with a creamy garlic mushroom sauce, and was lingering over the mini lemon confit angel cakes while they were chatting.

"Oh, yes," he affirmed for Cheerilee, "When I was a young colt, I actually was in a junior ice-skating dance competition.  Didn't place anywhere near the top, but I did all right.  It's been a while, so I expect to be rather a bit rusty, but one never forgets.  I'm sure starting off and keeping my balance will be fine - but then, my problem area was always in stopping," he chuckled softly in remembrance.  "I'm looking forward to the museum - we'll probably want to linger there while dinner settles before moving on to the rink.  They have a huge skeleton that some archeologists dug up near her of some ancient monstrous beast that used to live in the area long before ponies ever settled here.  It was always my favorite thing about coming here as a foal, and I can't wait to see what new things they've discovered about it!"
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8551964415_94230e5678_o.jpg

 

Fuchsia brought her bags up to the second floor bedrooms. Bramble had already picked one, so she set her luggage in the other smaller room. It was small, but it had a window with a nice view of the mountainside. Going through the smaller bag that held the tea roses, she removed an orchid in a protective bell jar for traveling. She placed it on a chair near the window, so it would get some sunlight but not catch a chilly draft. Then she unpacked her other suitcases, hanging her dresses in the closet alcove, and placing her sweaters in the cedar chest at the foot of the bed.

 

It seemed the others wanted to head back down to the main lodge for dinner, then go ice skating. Fuchsia debated changing her clothes. The outfit she had on was perfectly suitable for a casual ski chalet evening, but it wouldn't hurt to freshen up a bit. Shedding the green and white sweater and scarf combo, she chose an aran cardigan in natural wool, and slipped on a spring green skirt with kick pleats. When she came downstairs, Bramble complimented her outfit, which made her blush a bit. "I, um, thank you. But you should really save your compliments for if we go out someplace fancy. I brought much flashier ensembles than this." She gave a little twirl, and a wink. She did have much fancier dresses upstairs, all satin and sequins, for spending an evening in a posh ballroom. You know, just in case the group decided to go dancing. It would happen, maybe.

 

Dinner at the lodge was delightful. Over dessert, Cherilee asked "So ponies, have any of you ice skated before?" Bramble responded, "When I was a young colt, I actually was in a junior ice-skating dance competition." The confession surprised Fuchsia. "Really? I never knew that about you." Turning towards Cherilee and Ingrid Marie, she answered the former's question. "Yes, I have ice skated before. I used to go down to the rink in Canterlot's central plaza, by the castle, all the time as a filly. I never competed, but I had a lot of fun anyway." she said, smiling at the silver maned stallion. "I try to get out at least once each winter, when I have a little spare time, to strap on some skates and go for a spin or three."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...