Monday, January 7, 2013

OK, it's only been 4+ months since I blogged.  But I'm back with a new resolve to post.  Last week, our family returned from a week long vacation to snowy Utah, where we skied our little hearts out.  What a great trip for our family!
We flew up on a 10:00pm flight December 26th, which ended up being delayed, so we didn't arrive at our hotel until a little after midnight.  Still, it was better than driving for 12 hours without a doubt!  We spent our first night in Salt Lake City right by the airport, then left the following morning to begin our adventures.  We enjoyed the afternoon in Park City, where we ate and played at The Shed Clubhouse at Promontory, then drove into Eden, Utah (right by Powder Mountain Ski Resort) and got settled into our condo.  My good friend who works at Promontory let us use his ski condo for the week while his family spent the holiday in Peru.  Sweet gig for sure!

We skied our first day at Snow Basin, about 15 miles from the condo just east of Ogden, along with a ton of other fellow skiers.   It was busy for sure, but the lift lines still moved quickly.  Snowbasin is such a nice ski resort!  And the lodge...holy cow!  Talk about fancy.  They spent a ton of mula upgrading the resort for the Olympics and it sure paid off.  To their dismay, I signed Easton and Rowan up for a refresher day of ski school so the rest of could ski.  I think it was a great decision as they both got back on the saddle so quickly and were super ready to ski with the rest of us by the end of the day.  We all skied together the last hour and had a blast.  Sadly, Afton was a little under the weather with a bad sore throat and fever and took a long mid-day break in the lodge.  Thanks to an emergency prescription call in, we were able to get her some antibiotics later that night and she recovered well. 
All in all, the first day on the slopes was a little slow going getting everyone back into the routine of skiing and getting everyone where they needed to be, but it was all good and so fun to be back on the mountain with the kids.  The snow was fantastic (they'd had a ton of fresh new snowfall the 2 days before), the weather was gorgeous and crisp, and the good times began.  We even ran into some friends of ours from Mesa (the Rheads) at lunch in the lodge!  Crazy small world!

On our second ski day, we celebrated Rowan's 9th birthday by shredding some powder at Powder Mountain ski resort (only 5 mins from our condo).  I really, really liked the hills and sweet snow at Powder Mountain, although the whole joint is definitely a throw back to the 1960's.  It's so different than Snowbasin, but very cool.  When we were just about to start our first run of the day, a nice older man who was a "ski host" at PM approached us and asked us if we had any questions or needed directions on runs, etc.  We told him this was our first time skiing at Powder Mountain, at which he lit up and said, "Well, great.  Then I'm your guy.  I'll be your host for the morning and show you around."  He seriously skied with us all morning and showed us various runs and lifts that would suit our family well.  Amazing service!
Easton had a partial meltdown after the first very long 3-mile run as his fingers were freezing to death (or so he claims) and his nose was running from the tears.  Being the low sympathy mom that I am, I struggled with his "sit down in the powder boycott to go any further" and told him to get up and quit acting like a baby to which he just got more mad and ornery.  Not my finest hour.  Or his. The two older girls took off down the mountain somewhere, so Ry and Rowan and our ski host left to meet up with them, so I finally bribed Buddy into getting back on the lift to head up again with the notion of hot chocolate at the top.  He quickly agreed, and we made a little pit stop at the lodge at the top of the mountain for some warm beverages. 
I have to admit, it might have been just about the best hot chocolate I have ever consumed, and worth every cent of the $3.00 I paid to make this little man so happy again.  After the warming up, he was like a new man, and was a skiing machine for the rest of the day.  We had so much fun.  We had burgers and fries for lunch, and I visited with some super cool people from Texas who had been coming to Powder Mountain for over a decade and who proclaimed it to be their favorite place to ski. 
After 2 fun and tiring days on the slopes, we finished off celebrating Rowan's 9th birthday by dining at the only Mexican food joint in town, Carlos & Harley's, for some really delicious grub.  Of course, Rowan got to sport the obligatory sombrero and enjoy a birthday song.  She shared her "churro split" with the rest of us, since our crazy girl doesn't like ice cream?? Go figure.
Sunday we took a break from skiing, went to church at an ultra packed building in Eden, Utah (the small little town by Powder Mountain) along with a ton of other visiting skiers.  The meeting was awesome, followed by leisurely day.
Later in the afternoon, we went on a walk, played in the snow, and sledded for a bit on the hill right behind our condo.  We all had so much fun.  As always, the Sunday weather was the most exquisite of the week (totally clear and sunny).  We watched a couple of movies and had pizza in the condo that night by the fire.
New Year's Eve day was spent skiing at Snow Basin again, this time with everyone together.  We rode the gondola lift up all day long (so many times), which was fantastic because we had a chance to warm up on the ride up the mountain.  Since the gondola only serves blue and black runs from the top, the kids were happy to ski blue all day long, and their abilities all seemed to increase quickly.  Easton was a crazy speed demon and it was almost all we could do to keep up.  Ry and I took turns playing sweeper (the one who skis in the back of the pack to help "sweep" any fallen kids and gear) along the way.  We did stray and take the kids on one black, and they all survived, happy to report that they skied a black diamond.  Barrett unfortunately took a bad crash on her last run of the day, and ended up with one heck of a huge egg on the back of her head and a crazy sore neck and headache to boot.  She had unfastened her helmet on the gondola ride up, and forgot to re-hook it again when we started skiing.  So it flew off when she crashed and didn't protect her head like it would have had it been latched.  She was a hurting pup that night and the next couple of days with a sore neck and bruised ego. 
On New Year's Day, we went back to Park City and ate lunch/dinner at The Shed, played some games, and had a blast.  Later that evening after we checked in at a hotel in south Salt Lake, we went to Temple Square to see all the lights.  They were incredible!  Probably our highlight was touring the tabernacle and getting the "famous pin drop" demonstration from the sister missionaries.  It was so neat to hear all the acoustics in there.  It was so cold that night, and lightly snowing too.  Such a winter wonderland!

Barrett ended up sitting out the last day of skiing, reading a book in the lodge, because she was so sore. We are not sure if she had a concussion or not, but we watched her closely and gave her lots of ibuprofen for the pain. All is well now, but she sadly missed out on our last day of skiing at Brighton on 1/2/13, which was the best weather day of all and probably the most fun with the kids. They were crazy skiing through trees and taking small jumps and having so much fun. I was all grins watching my kiddos on the slopes.

 It was a trip to remember for sure, and I am so thankful that we are able to create these fun memories with our kids.  It was so cold the whole time we were there without a doubt (temperatures in the teens and single digits), but we were blessed with mostly sunny skies.  We are already looking forward to our next ski trip the first week of February and hope that the Sunrise snow stays sticking strong!  We will be there with Mike & Shari's family and can hardly wait.

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