We spent several days in oregon for our annual president's day holiday extended family ski trip. John's two sisters and their families joined us for several wonderful days in the mountains. Because of all the gear we need we drove there and it was a manageable drive with the only real difficulties along the way coming from Allison. Let me tell you, nine miles to the next rest stop doesn't normally seem like a terribly long distance, unless the inside of your car smelled like ours did at that moment. It was the longest and slowest nine miles I can remember, ever.
And on the way home she positively exploded at one point. Everywhere. We spent 1/2 hour cleaning up the best we could but we lacked the bleach and hazmat suits to really do the job properly. John and I are now suffering from a bit of PTSD.
The girls enjoyed playing with their 2 year-old cousin Lucy in the snow.
Erin got plenty more ski experience, doing two full days of ski school and in the off day between ski school days she asked to go skiing again, so she did a few runs with John that morning. She's really doing well and there is a gigantic difference in her skill and confidence compared to last year, and she really enjoys it. She is now skiing at a level 4, with level 9 being the highest. Not bad at all for a 5 year-old! Next year we'll get the twins on skis too.
Here's Erin in her ski class:
That morning Erin skied with John I waited at the base of the mountain with the twins, who busied themselves climbing up and sliding down a gigantic snow mound, about 15 feet high. "Kate and Allison's Everest" is the way I'd describe it. It was a bit of work getting up there but they were thrilled and very proud of themselves when they made it each time, often taking a celebratory look around and pose at the top before sliding back down.
The conditions up there were quite a bit different that our last ski trip, last month. There were bright sunny skies and moderate temperatures every day but it had not snowed in at least 10 days so the snow was packed down and hard and fast. The views from everywhere were spectacular.
And a first for Erin--ice skating in the village with Uncle Randy. She had these great double-blade skates on for added stability. In the pictures it looks like she wasn't really moving, and in reality she wasn't really moving, much. She shuffled her feet along very modestly and fell once or twice but didn't seemed to bothered by that. Despite her lack of momentum she really enjoyed skating and was disappointed when we had to leave.
There were a few miles through the forest to drive in between the ski resort and the rental home every day. On our usual drives that take us outside of our home town, the girls like spotting grazing domestic animals on grassy hillsides. One day as I was driving this forest route back to the ski house Erin asked, "Why are there so MANY trees in Oregon?"
"There's TOO many trees!" Allison added, "I can't see any sheep or cows!"