Friday, December 30, 2011

it's ski time!

"Crested Butte, Colorado here we come!"
This month we were blessed to be able to meet up for some family time in the mountains. (Clay has only been "packing" and getting his ski gear ready since late fall! ha ha! Have I mentioned that dear hubby wants to move us to Colorado...begs me actually, at least once a week!)

The boys did amazingly well considering we left the house for the airport at 3:45am. Neither one of them needed to sleep at all on the 6am flight. ;) Bags loaded down; we were off!

Cooper wanted to help with the carry-on bags when we got to our gate. He felt like such a big boy. Parker was very content to wish everyone a Merry Christmas over the loudspeaker at our terminal (thanks again to the nice and extremely patient gate agent!) and to watch out the floor to ceiling windows at the workers and activity outside.

We had a lay-over in Denver, so while there, we grabbed breakfast at this nice little restaurant. It was just what we needed. We showed up 4 tired and hungry travelers. These entertained us while we waited on our bacon, eggs, fruit, pancakes and biscuits....did I mention how hungry we all were? Mmmm...much better when we have full tummy's.
I personally think that all restaurants need to adapt Wikki Stix to their table-time activity for kids and adults. :) Hubby agrees.

We arrived in Gunnison, Colorado (the second smallest airport I have ever been to) in the early afternoon, pooped, but excited to see family and hit the slopes. Parker patiently waited first in line for the bags.

Here we are!

The 45 minute drive from Gunnison to Crested Butte did not seem like more than 10 minutes with the breathtaking sights we took in along the way. Though Colorado (like Minnesota) has had a record-breaking year with such little amounts of snow, it was just enough to make for great skiing and sights!

When we arrived at the mountain and got our bags to the room, we headed to meet the others for a late lunch. Hello Nana and Poppie! We are here!

Hmmm...what slopes shall we hit first?
Clay: scariest and steepest black on the mountain
Carrie: greens please...I'll advance to the blues later in the week ;)

I cannot say enough great things about the lodge we stayed at for the time we were in Crested Butte. The Nordic Inn is owned by Allen and Judy, who put their heart and soul into each little detail of their family-owned lodge. They are known, and have been known, in the area for years for their personal, old-fashioned hospitality. Planning a trip to the Crested Butte area anytime soon? Give them a call. They would welcome you with a huge grin and open, being veterans of the area, they can give you a number of ideas of fun things to do while in the area and a listing of all the local events.
Each morning, we would go to the lobby area where Allen and Judy served a delicious breakfast complete with fruit, danishes, cereal, boiled eggs, (gotta get that protein in for a day of skiing!) juice and other scrumptious items.

This was Parker's first go at ski school; to say he was a little excited would be an understatement. Clay and I both dropped him off each day. On Day 1, we stayed around for a bit to make sure he was all settled in and ok for us to leave. On Day 2, as soon as his little ski's were strapped on, he headed straight for the magic carpet as his instructor called out for him to please wait for the others. Day 3, when Clay and I wished him off and said bye, he did not even turn around on the Magic Carpet he was on...he simply lifted his arm to say bye and off he went. Sniff. My little boy is so independent. Sniff sniff. Parker was so close to the cut off for the 4 year old ski school that they let us go ahead and put him in the older group. The difference between the 3 year old and 4 year old class is that in the 3 year old sessions, they only ski for about 1 1/2 hours in the morning and 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon. In between that, they have what's considered a daycare. The four year olds ski from 9:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon. It was the right choice for Parker. He did not want to take his ski's off when we picked him up in the afternoon and couldn't wait to put them on again the next morning.

That a way to make a pizza pie Parker!!! Whoohoo! (Day 1)
I have some great pictures that the photographer took on the slopes of Parker, our whole family, etc. but I do not have them back yet to share.

One of the only pictures Clay and I took together on the trip. ha ha! Like you could tell! I realized the other night after reviewing my photos from skiing that almost all of them are of fully bundled and masked people...

4 generations: Great-grandfather, grandfather, father and sons
December 2011

A view of Crested Butte.

On Day 2 of skiing, I left the group early for a few minutes of r&r before picking up Parker from ski school (my legs were killing me after 1/4 of a run and I was having to stop it seemed like every 30 seconds for a short break...definately not in ski shape!) Anyway, I skied down to the center square area and bought a hot chocolate. I found the perfect seat in an adirondack chair right next to a cozy fire....and I sat. As I lounged in my ski gear sipping my hot cocoa, my mind drifted off to a fairytale place. Wish I had had a pen and paper. Words would have come to life on that blank page. :)
A different view of my surroundings.
Ice sculptures that decorated the center square.
Time went by far too quickly and it was 3 p.m....time to head over to ski school to see the little man. :)

One of the traditions that Crested Butte continues each year, is Santa visiting the village. He starts at the top of the mountain on his sleigh and makes his way down to the bottom of the hill. The snowcat   pulls from the front, which makes it even more fun!

After the children have had a chance to see Santa, the Festival of Lights begins. Hundreds of skiiers start at the top of the mountain and work their way down in the dark night holding red lights high above their heads to decorate the sky. It is beautiful! (Personally, I do not know how they do it in the dark because I actually did that run...not by personal preference... ;) and I could barely do it in the daytime with help! ha! Kuddos to the ski dudes who can!)

Clay and his sisters: Ashee, Parker, KK, Clay, Cooper and CiCi
This picture makes me sooo happy!

A couple of snapshots from the trip...not great photo quality but fun memories.

Cooper intently watching Mr. Michael (the soon to be newest official addition to our family!!!) We love you Michael!!! Please do just remember that payback can come in the future; one day you too will have little munchkins all over your house to which we might choose to send something noisy, fast, and wild for them to play with. ha ha! (Parker is LOVING his car!)

A 6am view of our room...all 4 of us sleeping in the same room each night...interesting...and not something I would choose to repeat very often. ;)

2am: Parker gets up to go to bathroom.
2:03am: Cooper wakes up from the noise crying and frustrated because he was woken up.
2:06am: Cooper crying louder...Bah bah, Bah bah, Ma ma Bah Bah (for Bottle! Bottle! Mama Bottle!!!!!)
2:07am: Parker: "Cooper, hush! I'm trying to go to sleep!"
2:10am: Carrie giving Cooper a bottle and changing his diaper
2:26am: Carrie puts Cooper back down in his crib settled
2:31am: Parker gets up and opens curtains at window (he sees the streetlamps outside and the moon reflecting off the white mountains) "Mom! Dad! Look it's daytime! It's time to get ready to ski!"
Carrie: "Parker, it is the middle of the night. Those lights are just from from the moon and outside lamps."
Parker: "No it's not! It's time to get up! It's morning!"
Cooper: Waaaaahhh! waaahhh! mmmmaaaa mmmaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!
Clay: "Parker! Get back in the bed and go to sleep. You are keeping Cooper awake!"
Parker: "Well, I can't sleep like that with him crying so loud."
Carrie: "If you wouldn't wake Cooper up in the first place, he would not be crying."
Cooper: Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Around 3:56 am the cycle ceased and we finally got some sleep....only to repeat it the next night.
Who wants to bunk with us next trip?! :)

Most of the pictures I took on this trip were either when we were all dressed up in our ski garb or when we were hanging out in the evenings in Nana and Poppie's suite (and the majority of those pictures were blurry), so I did not have a large selection of pictures to choose from, but here are a few more:

Family on trip:
Nana, Poppie, Ashleigh, KK, CiCi, Granddaddy, Marilyn, Aunt Kathi, Uncle Sam, Alex, Allysa, Clay, Carrie, Parker and Cooper
Total days on trip: 5
Where: Crested Butte, Colorado at the Nordic Inn
Flights to get there and back: 4
Hours of sleep we got while there: minimal
Days of skiing: 3
How much fun we had: More than we could measure

Special Memories: Parker's first chance at ski school (he loved it; his teacher said he was the most enthusiastic in the class! imagine that! ha!)
Me skiing a black this trip...unknowingly. Dear family thought that I would have no problem doing one as long as I did not know I was going down one...they decided to keep that one a secret from me :) ...and I did it. I took it like the tortoise though..slow and steady, steady and slow (and shaking for dear life! ha! The whole way down I was praying that I would not fall and break anything kids need me!!!)
Poppie and Uncle Sam giving me ski lessons. Everyone hanging out in Nana and Poppie's suite in the evenings. The cozy feeling I got each time I walked into the Nordic lobby. Watching Parker ski. The time that Cooper got to spend with Granddaddy, Marilyn, Nana and Aunt Kathi. All of the family getting stuck in New Mexico (except the 4 of us) during the big blizzard and not arriving till the day we did. Hot chocolate on the mountain with Poppie. Seeing how amazing hubby is on the slopes. Being with Ashee, CiCi, and KK. Celebrating CiCi's graduation of Nursing School and Ashee's and Michael's engagement. The fairytale feeling of the town of Crested Butte.

And to wrap it up...
Parker dancing around the Gunnison airport exclaiming, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

The End.
...oh and Merry Christmas! :)

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