Here's a thumbnail of a slide show I put together for the boyz. I hope you can view it on a big enough screen to enjoy it;) The annual trip to the north woods was full of fun, wonder, and time in the great outdoors. I marvel at what we accomplish each year, all disguised as pure fun. Ethan snowshoed 9 miles in 2 days, tackled his first blue downhill run, and played his first semi-aggressive game of snow football. Kola poured on the focus for his first solo runs on some steepish green downhill cruiser runs, spent about six hours outside with only a short lunch break, and did his first solo tube run. I managed more than 20 miles of cross country over about four days, and was awash in the sights and sounds of an expansive forest all to myself. This was the first year I tackled the black cross country runs -- the uphill treks were like inner thigh camp, but the downhill payoff was exhilarating.
It's always enlightening to enter a new environment and see what the boys come up with. When we got to the hotel we overnighted in on the way up, Kola asked, "mommy -how are you going to cook here?" When Pete - the operator/groomer at Afterglow - towed the kids up the tubing run in his snowmobile (it's the only way up) Kola asked, "mommy, can I have Pete over to our house sometime for a playdate?" I'm sure Pete would be quickly conned into taking Kola to school on his snowmobile.
Ethan was highly motivated to snowshoe all the trails since they're color-coded on the map, matched with colored tags along the routes. As with his CTA obsession, he had to do all the colors and check all the transfer points and when he wasn't trekking, he was making intricate drawings of the trails.
I grinned ear-to-ear on the two downhill days we had - one was sunny and warm, and the other delivered 4-5" of fresh powder throughout the day. Ski school and my hula hoop training paid off with two kids who could safely ski solo, and feel happy and proud on the hill.
On one of our lift rides up, I took a picture of Kola's skis. "Why did you do that mommy?" "Because they're so cute and little and someday you'll be big a big guy with big skis and you'll beat your mommy down a realllllllly big mountain." "A really big mountain? Let's go there! And will you be a fireman with me, too?" Ah, what a great day.
Other highlights - seeing two bald eagles, frequenting supper clubs, eating my weight in leftover christmas cookies, broomball (glad my dad recovered from a super hard fall), Kola's 5th birthday on 1/5. We already booked our res. for next year!