Thursday, December 29, 2016

Way Out West

For the first time since either Maddux or Ruby has been alive, we were not home for Christmas this year. We (read: I) tend to hold on to that day as a sacred, at home, our traditions day, which doesn't blend well with travel by planes, trains or automobiles. This year, however, Lehr suggested we go, and go we did.
For ten days we invaded the space at Grandma Cathie and Grandpa Jim's townhouse, leaving traces of us in every corner imaginable. We ate all of their food, slept in all of their bedrooms and offices, and filled every waking second with noise. They claim they loved it.

Eli, Maddux and Ruby were overjoyed to see the snow immediately upon landing. Not only was it on the ground, but it was on the rooftops, the cars, the lake...everything. And it snowed at least half of the days we were there, adding to the already impressive base.
We took advantage of that by making several outings to sled, including two trips to the same hill my brother and I spent our childhood climbing up and sledding down.
My parents live on the river in a very walkable area, so we walked through the snow to the 'beach' or through the neighborhood pretty much every day. Ruby preferred to be pulled by sled, but she did plenty of walking too.
One day my brother's kids came over to hang out with us all day, and then the big kids went home to his house for a movie, pizza and a sleepover.
The next day we met them just after lunch for ice skating. Ruby sat that activity out, but she followed us on the perimeter of the rink on dry ground.
The biggest event was probably skiing. Eli and Maddux have skied a few times before in North Carolina, but nothing as big as what we took them to. The first day out, we all went and pledged to work with Ruby as long as she'd let us. My parents came along to watch and to provide a ride home for Ruby when she tired of the snow. That girl was amazing! She could not stand up in the boots and/or skis very well, but she had a blast when Lehr held her under her arms so she could coast down the hill. She did NOT want to stop!
Just before lunchtime, we loaded her up on the gondola with Grandma and Grandpa and she immediately fell asleep. Eli and Maddux stayed with Lehr and I and finished out a great day of skiing. The day after Chrsitmas, Lehr and the big kids returned and knocked out another full day on the mountain.
The day before we left we drove up the coast a little to an area that was known for it's bald eagle sightings. We were amazed at the amount of birds we saw! They were perched everywhere, as well as flying overhead. It was definitely not something you see every day!
It was so great to spend time with everyone; we do not get to see my brother's family often at all. Ruby especially enjoyed meeting her youngest male cousin, Boden. She is still wandering around the house saying, "Bodie!" like she did while we were there. Hopefully we can do it again before another ten years passes!

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