Over the long Martin Luther King, Jr holiday weekend, Jon, Ian, and I joined my family for our annual ski trip. This little tradition is something my parents started over 5 years ago, and they’ve continued to foster it so that each year my entire family gets together and enjoys each other’s company while hitting the slopes. It’s always a lot of fun, and even though I couldn’t actually go on the mountain this year, I still enjoyed myself. We had a packed house- 9 adults and 4 kids (ages 3 months, 2 years, 9 years, and 11 years), but the house we rented was nice and spacious so it didn’t feel crowded or overrun.
I could probably write a hugely long post about this fabulous trip, but instead I’ll just hit the highlights (though it will still probably be long!).
- The weather was actually pretty great
The weather was not too cold, but also not so hot that the conditions on the slopes were terrible. It hovered around the 30s on Saturday and the 20s on Sunday. All in all, pretty nice. This allowed me and Ian to go outside and play in the snow a large majority of the weekend. He LOVED tromping through the snow.
- Seeing family was fantastic
Since we do live 10 hours away from my family, it was so nice to be able to get together with everyone and just relax. The house we rented this year was enormous- each family had their own bedroom and bathroom. There were also two large gathering areas and a really big kitchen with a table that fit everyone comfortably. It was wonderful to have a bit of your own space to balance the family togetherness.
- Ian rode a horse and got a cowboy hat
On Sunday, only my dad, mom, brother #2, and Jon went on the slopes. The rest of us decided to get out of the house together and do something together. We found there was a little farm not too far away that offered hour long trail rides. Riding a horse was out of the question for me, but they told us there were pony rides for younger kids, so I decided to tag along for Ian’s sake. Well, the pony was not a pony- but a full size horse! After some coaxing (and yes, maybe even a bribe of ice cream), Ian finally agreed to get on the horse and ride around the field a bit. He was a bit apprehensive at first, but before too long he really seemed to enjoy himself. He was talking to me and the horse and even cracked a smile or two.
- Ian also let a llama eat out of his hand
At the same farm where we did the horribly misnamed “pony ride”, there was a petting zoo. Ian was intrigued by the alpacas that were out grazing in the field. He also seemed to really like the donkey. Inside the small barn, we met some rabbits, a llama, and a goat. After watching me feed the llama, Ian decided he was brave enough to attempt it. He stuck his hand out flat, we poured the feed into it, and he let the llama eat all the food from his hand! I was amazed and also a little proud.
- Caring for a toddler and an infant is HARD!
On Sunday evening, everyone trekked out to the tubing park and spent 2 hours going down the runs. Since my doctor told me tubing was not in the cards for me, I ended up babysitting Ian and my baby nephew. Fortunately, my brother and sister-in-law had a baby carrier, so I was able to strap my nephew to me, and he fell asleep almost instantly. Unfortunately, Ian was so annoyed that he wasn’t able to tube with everyone else that he became cranky and whiney and insisted on being carried, too. Carrying three kids is tough. Thankfully, my brother came to my aid about halfway through tubing and took his son off my hands so I could focus on Ian. And then for the last 30 minutes of tubing, Jon came and played with Ian (putting him in a tube and pushing him down a small hill) while I carried my nephew in the carrier again so my brother could tube more. Having help made such a big difference. I went from feeling so incredibly overwhelmed (and frankly, a little scared of what things will be like when I have 2 like this of my own) to feeling like things were easily under control. If anything, this showed that I will need to learn to accept (and welcome!) help when this baby comes in May.
I’m excited for next year’s trip… I’ll be able to participate, and Ian might even be able to strap on a pair of skis or go tubing with us (he just might be 42 inches next January!).
Do you go on a trip with your family during the year? Where do you go/what do you do?