Friday, February 3, 2017

Ski Trip 2017: Part 1

Last week Adam had an American College of Healthcare Executives conference out in Breckenridge, Colorado.  We took the opportunity to join him afterwards and spend a few days skiing together as a family.  My parents and sister joined us and we truly had a great time.  We had an early start to the day, but these kiddos did phenomenal, they were super excited to not be in school and to be flying to Colorado; we even got to watch the sun rise!
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Prepped with extra i-phones, i-pads and a laptop all loaded up with digital Disney movies for the kids to watch and games to play, the first leg of our trip went seamlessly.  I don't know if it's just user error or what, but several times during the flight, if a child switched from the movie I'd started at take off, to a game, for some reason when we tried to put the movie back on it would say "can't connect to i-tunes"...to which this little Momma had hot flashes and sweaty palms as I tried to keep the kids entertained with the small packages of Lego sets leftover from Emerson's party along with Star Wars coloring pages and books to read.
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The pilot tried to land in Denver on Tuesday morning but the fog was too dense so they re-routed us to Amarillo, TX where we landed and waited for the fog to dissipate.  The airline gave us each $10 vouchers for lunch so I took my five vouchers and ordered some quesadillas.  As I waited, the stewardess called all the passengers to re-board the plane.   Literally, the ONLY restaurant was right across from the gate where our plane was waiting, the stewardess could see me and my little posse, waiting for our food, so I calmly walked over and said, "we are waiting for our quesadillas, should we wait or re-board?"   She said, we could wait another few more minutes.  So the kids and I took the 20 or so, some odd steps back over to the restaurant (which was taking an exorbitantly long time to make cheese quesadillas!!)  At that point a male flight attendant came over the loud speaker and said, "all passengers on flight 4246 to Denver need to board immediately!"  I literally looked at him from across the way and said, "c'mon kids, we'll have to get food in Denver"...to which both attendants said, "I'm sorry, we need to try and get the plane to Denver so you don't miss your connecting flight." Well, I wasn't catching a connecting flight, thank goodness, but I did have whiny, hungry children who were very disappointed to have ordered and NOT received their food.   I pulled out all the electronic devices again, got everyone settled with a movie and their headphones on, when the gate attendant, kindly walked onto the plane and handed me the quesadillas we'd been waiting twenty plus minutes for...there are truly thoughtful people still left in this world!

The kids traveled great and were thrilled to finally land in Denver just 2.5 hours later then expected. Our week of snowy adventure had begun and we were all excited to make fun memories!
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The drive up I-70 was quite foggy, but we made it.  We got to the cabin, unloaded our luggage, then got back in the van to rent all our gear, grab dinner and grocery shop.  It was a long day, but it was worth it!  Lachie-poo wanted to wear Ava Jane's helmet.
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The guys at Alpine Sports were so helpful and fast, we got eight people fitted and out the door in less than an hour, I thought that was great!
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Wednesday morning we had reservations for the kids to be in ski school and they had to be there by 8:15, so it was another bright and early wakeup for us all, but the kids were totally stoked, so there was no bemoaning or whining which was nice!
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After we got the kids checked in and settled, Adam and I took off, up the hill, for a few early morning runs and a fun day-date.   First out of the shoot, you know where we went?   Right to a black diamond.  It was a total accident, so I told Adam, "well, I guess this is one way to warm up!" (He'd been there for two days prior to our arrival, so he'd had a chance to practice a bit before hitting the black diamond that we were on!)  Let me also say, we usually Spring ski, so this winter weather, of 2 and 9 degrees during the day, was quite chilly!!
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We decided to take a hot chocolate break after several runs while waiting on Mom, Dad and Whitney after dropping Lachlan in child care.
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Here are the original four McLellan's reliving the skiing memories that we made almost every year together when Whitney and I were growing up.
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We enjoyed the house we rented very much.  It was about a five minute drive from the gondola at Breckenridge so it was very convenient to the slopes and the historic downtown Breckenridge.
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Beautiful Mount Quandary, with its over 14,000 feet stood beautifully in the backyard of the home.
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All the boys (small and large) had a great time in the downstairs playroom.  The pool table, pac man game and TV were all a huge hit.
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The boys enjoyed curling up with G-Dad to watch River Monsters.
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All the kids did ski school for the first two days which couldn't have been better.  All the instructors were kind and engaging and none of my kids were sad to see us leave them there.  They enjoyed ski school and fell in love with snow skiing!!  Adam and I are excited about the fun family memories we hope to make in the future.
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The last day, all the kids skied with us and it was seriously so much fun!  Honestly, with the cold weather and the learning curve of skiing, my expectations were very low as to how Emerson and Ava Jane would do, but I was so very pleasantly surprised that they LOVED it.  In fact, whenever we suggested to Ava Jane that we take a break and go get some hot chocolate she would cry because she didn't want to leave the slopes.  That was a good/bad thing since Momma here got cold and wanted to warm up a bit, but I took it since the alternative could have been constant crying and whining because of the cold.  This sweet girl completely shocked me with her desire and "want to" to ski.
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This was the first of hopefully many more years of skiing together!  I sure love these people, the smiles on the faces you can't see behind those warm face masks, and the excitement that the kids had when barreling down the slopes toward the lodge.  I'll finish up blogging about our trip tomorrow with our visit to the International Ice Sculpture contest and our family tubing trip to Keystone.  We truly had a great time together; I'm so thankful we had the chance to go.
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