Category Archives: Skiing

Whistler Vacation

Whistler is one of Alex’s and my favorite places to visit and ski. The village is adorable and the mountains are extraordinary – Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America! We thought it would be the perfect destination for our first family-of-three vacation. Alex and I hadn’t been there together since 2013, though I was there last winter with my dad. While the trip was very different than we expected, we had a great time and we’re scheming on making an annual family Whistler trip every winter.

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Our trip began on Friday morning – we had gotten pretty much everything packed up the night before and were hoping to wake up and load up the car and then hit the road before Ben took his morning nap so that he could snooze in the car. The timing worked out really well, but I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a train. I was operating at about 20% and that’s being generous. Alex took one for the team and by some miracle we were out the door by 9 and Ben quickly fell asleep, as did I.

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The drive to Whistler is 4.5 to 5 hours, depending on Vancouver traffic and border wait times. Once you pass through Vancouver the drive is absolutely breathtaking along the Sea to Sky highway. Sadly I did not enjoy any part of the drive other than when it was over. By then I was feeling better but not 100% {by the next morning I was fine}.

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This was going to be our “big vacation” and we had reserved a condo for a full week – Friday to Friday. We scheduled a babysitter for three days so that Alex and I could ski. In addition to downhill skiing we brought our cross country gear so that we could take Ben out too. We’ve heard from several friends that there is a lot to do with babies in Whistler and we were really excited to experience that first-hand.

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The condo we stayed at had a really good location for being a young family in Whistler, though it wasn’t as close to the lifts as we had hoped. It was situated just outside the village, quite close to the Olympic Plaza, which has a skating rink, a sledding hill, and a playground. It was also near the library, a grocery store, several coffee shops and other great restaurants. Next time we visit we’d opt for a place closer to the gondola and more in the heart of the village.

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Our first full day was great – the sun was out and it had snowed a few inches overnight. Perfect for exploring the village and doing some sledding!

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Day two was scheduled as a ski day. We requested a babysitter through a local service, confirmed with her the night before and much to our surprise, she never showed up! Our “Plan B” was pretty okay and we spent another day in the village and went cross country skiing.

{Coffee on the couch instead of skiing!}

{Coffee on the couch instead of skiing!}

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{Coffee on the couch quickly turned into boozy hot drinks on the patio…}

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{We skied around Lost Lake – it was a short 2.5 mile trail and by the time we made the first loop the trail was getting icy so we opted to call it quits. This trail was a little more hilly than the one we’re used to at home and I wasn’t very comfortable going downhill with Ben on my back.}

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We were able to flex our skiing schedule a little bit and the babysitting service managed to switch us to a different gal who did show up on Monday morning so we could go skiing. Alex and I were more apprehensive about leaving Ben with a babysitter than we expected – something about a stranger and being in another country, not to mention we were going to be skiing, was a little weird. Once she arrived in the morning she put our nerves at ease and we hit the slopes.

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What ended up being our one and only ski day was terrific. We skied our hearts out! We skied on Blackcomb Mountain and covered it top to bottom. The sun was out, the snow was soft and we were ripping it up. The combination of being there on a Monday at the end of March meant we skied right on to the lifts every run – we got so many runs in that we found the time to take a much needed coffee break.

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{One of our favorite areas was the new Crystal chair – we found some powder pockets and skied in an area that had been hit by a forest fire, which provided a perfect gladed run through the trees with some nice soft bumps.}

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At the end of our ski day we were very happy to get back to a content Ben who had a great day with his Aussie babysitter. She offered to come watch him the next evening for us, so we happily took her up on that so we could have a date night together. We went out for a glass of wine first and then headed to a fancy restaurant for dinner. It was a great night!

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Taking Ben to restaurants is totally hit or miss {mostly miss right now} – he’s got to be in the right mood and he’s not particularly fond of sitting still {just like his mama!} so it’s not always fun for anyone. If we can get him in the right mood he’ll just sit there and munch on a pickle or a french fry or whatever we’ve got in a similar shape/size. But mostly he just wants to get down and crawl around and say hello to the other diners.

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We had some really terrific food while we were in Whistler. In past years Whistler has not been my favorite ski town for good food but it’s starting to move up the ranks. Some of our favorites were a bakery called Pure Bread {should have been named “Heaven”}, an adorable creparie called Crepe Montagne, as well as Araxi and Basalt, where we went out for our date night.

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Wednesday ended up being our last day in Whistler, though we were booked until Friday. Ben somehow contracted hand, foot and mouth disease which is a really awful and highly contagious virus that’s very common in young children. After a couple hours Wednesday morning we pulled the plug and started packing up to go home. Since home is so close for us we thought we’d all be more comfortable there and saw no point in staying in Whistler.

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The drive home was slightly better than expected, though I spent most of it in the back seat with Ben so I could be there if he needed some comfort, which he undoubtedly did. On the drive home we decided to stop at the famous Tim Hortons because we had heard it is the cat’s meow. Turns out it’s Canada’s version of Dunkin’ Donuts and we’d have been much better off stopping just about anywhere else. Otherwise, the car ride home was mostly uneventful and we made great time. We were fortunate to arrive home to a clean house with banana bread in the oven – our nanny stayed at our house while we were gone.

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All in all, even though our trip was very different than we had expected, we had a terrific time and I’ll look back on it with many positive memories. We’re excited to get back up to Whistler!

Day in the Mountains

Alex’s dad has been out here for the long holiday weekend and was itching to go cross country skiing. We headed to our trusty spot at Hyak out at Snoqualmie Pass and showed him where we’ve been going this winter.

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The weather was pretty good – it was rather warm. Mother Nature was having a hard time deciding whether it should snow or rain, and thankfully for us she primarily opted for the former.

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We had a great day getting some fresh mountain air and stretching our legs. Now if only we had a hot tub to come back and soak in…

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Another Ski Day!

Last weekend Alex and I headed to the mountains for our second ski day of the season. We timed it well because it ended up being a bluebird day {skier speak for a sunny day 😉 } – the weather was perfect and the conditions were pretty great for the most part.

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Powder Bowl and the King are poking out behind us… Crystal Mountain is our absolute favorite place to ski. The terrain and opportunities are limitless! Whistler Blackcomb comes in at a very close second, followed by Jackson Hole and Snowbird. Oh, and Snowbasin is awesome too. We’re pretty spoiled with incredible mountains nearby, I guess!

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Mount Rainier was out in all her glory. We saw Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens and Mount Baker, too! Everybody came out to enjoy the day.

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The view from the top of the High Campbell area. This is an incredible part of the mountain to ski, but it’s experts only. I opted to not venture up there last season during my pregnancy so we had a great time exploring the terrain last weekend.

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We have our nanny lined up for one more ski day in March and we are taking a week-long ski trip to Whistler later this season, as well. I’d love to get at least 5 days of skiing in this year!

Mom & Dad’s Ski Day

Can I just say I really don’t love referring to myself in the third person? It’s kind of obnoxious and I fully intended on not doing that but one day it crossed my mind that Ben almost never heard of me referred to as “mama” so I caved. And every time I refer to myself as “mama” I cringe but hope it means he’ll know what to call me one day soon…… and then I’ll resume being an adult who can form a grammatically correct sentence…..

Anyway! Last weekend our wonderful nanny signed on to watch Ben for an extra day so that Alex and I could high tail it to the mountains for a ski day just the two of us. It was really strange leaving Ben for so long when Alex and I were going off to do something together but we knew he was in good hands and he kept Edina entertained.

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The forecast was predicting a powder day for us on Sunday. Unfortunately mother nature and the meteorologists were not on the same page, as is usually the case in Seattle. We got a little snow and a lot of wind. So much wind that the upper mountain was closed all day. Knowing the mountain well came in handy! There are some sneaky, awesome runs that most people don’t know about that we got to explore.

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While the terrain was quite limited, the snow was actually really nice. We had a couple of great runs and both of us got to make a few powder turns, too! It felt so nice to be back on skis again. Even though our runs were limited we were really glad we were able to get out.

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This year we won’t be clicking into our downhill skis nearly as much as we have in the past but we have made arrangements with our nanny to watch Ben once a month for the rest of the winter so we can ski. We’ve also got a ski trip planned for later this season. Cross country skiing seems to be a good supplement/compromise and we’re a-okay with that! We’re just happy to be able to spend time in the mountains.

Spring Skiing!

I think it’s safe to say that our ski season is officially over. We had one final glorious day on skis to close out the year, but now it’s time to say farewell…

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Despite being pregnant for the whole ski season and enduring another “el nino” year, we really had a great winter and filled it with as much skiing as we could. Winter started out being cold and wet, which of course creates perfect ski conditions! We had several December powder days to remember. Sadly it warmed up in the Pacific Northwest after the new year and we’ve hardly skied in Washington since the holidays.

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Our trip to Deer Valley with Alex’s parents, then Alex’s cat skiing trip and my trip to Whistler were perfect mid-season stints that carried us through. Alex managed to get about 16 ski days in this year, while I got 13.

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For our last ski day of the season it really was just what we were hoping for! Perfect spring-skiing conditions – bluebird skies and soft groomers. We had cheeseburgers out on the patio for lunch and loved feeling the sun soak into our skin. Somehow I managed to still zip my ski coat {though just barely!}, but this growing baby made it a little harder to comfortably sit on the chairlift and properly position myself when going downhill, so our day was fairly short-lived, but that’s okay! We had a great time in the sun and enjoyed the time together. I’ll always look back fondly and with much appreciation on this ski season.

Cat Skiing Rossland, BC

While Ali and her dad were off skiing Whistler, my friend Patrick and I packed up and headed North as well. We were aiming for Rossland, BC a town just across the Canadian border. We chose Rossland for its proximity to Washington as well as its access to several resorts and (more importantly) several Cat Skiing operations.

What is Cat Skiing you ask? Well, imagine a giant snowmobile with a box on the back that can fit you, two guides, and 10 of your closest friends (or strangers, in our case). These cats can access great skiing far from anyone else, and we had our fingers crossed that conditions would be good.

This is the cat - a magic box that takes you into great terrain.

This is the cat – a magic box that takes you into great terrain.

We arrived in Rossland on a Saturday and things did not look great. It was warm, raining, and the locals were wandering around the quaint little ski town rather than up at the mountain skiing. Still, we woke up Sunday morning and headed up to Red Mountain Resort for some skiing. Unfortunately conditions were not great. Lets just say Patrick and I usually avoid groomed ski runs, and on Sunday we were seeking them out. Still, there was snow in the forecast so we again went to bed with visions of powder skiing in our heads.

Monday morning Patrick and I woke up and headed up to another resort nearby, called Whitewater. We didn’t know much about Whitewater other than the tree skiing was good, but rumor had it that they got some good snow Sunday night. This turned out to be more than true. When we arrived at around 11 AM, we were greeting with no lift lines, lots of new snow, and the best tree skiing I’ve ever experienced. The runs were mostly open glades, with the spaces between the trees filled with nice light powder snow.

Patrick in the trees, wondering where everyone else is.

Patrick in the trees, wondering where everyone else is.

With tired legs and faces sore from smiling, we prepped for our first day of Cat Skiing at Valhalla Powder Cats.

 

The Valhalla office, complete with transportation.

The Valhalla office, complete with ski bum transportation.

Having never been Cat Skiing before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was prepared for a hard day of skiing as I knew it had snowed a lot more overnight and that Valhalla had a reputation for excellent terrain – it seems to be the choice of pro skiers. I was a little intimidated, but luckily we were set for another excellent day of skiing.

Our guide, showing us the ropes before we drop in.

Our guide, showing us the ropes before we drop in.

Our day started with an avalanche briefing and a long bus ride up to Valhalla Pass. Once there, we did some rescue drills and loaded up into the cat for our first run. After a few turns all concerns about being over my head were replaced with the feeling one gets when they are over their head in powder. Turns were deep, terrain was great, and our guide kept us moving and safe all day. Needless to say, it was excellent.

The face of a man who just skied untouched powder and is about to do it again.

The face of a man who just skied untouched powder and is about to do it again.

It snowed hard all day, and everyone in our group was having a blast. We ended up being paired with a group of German tourists who came to BC specifically for powder skiing. I think they timed it quite well. We slowly developed into a rhythm – ski one at a time up top with a buddy keeping an eye on you. Once out of the steep terrain, we would dip into trees together (again, keeping an eye on each other) and find our way down to a road where the cat would be waiting to pick us up and do it all over again. The guides were constantly re-assessing conditions and safety and making changes to the plan along the way. From top to bottom we skiing untouched powder in great steep terrain.

Loading up for another run.

Loading up for another run.

At the end of the day we had developed a great group and tired legs. Luckily, we had another day of Cat Skiing ahead of us the very next day. Even more luckily, we realized that even though we were going with a different company we would actually spend the day skiing with the German group as well as our guide from Valhalla.

Day two - tired legs but big smiles.

Day two – tired legs but big smiles (and the sun even came out).

Day two found us at Big Red Cats, a different cat operation with the same group and same guide. The day progressed mostly the same – meet at the office, load up into a bus, load up a cat, safety briefing, and then of course powder skiing.

Resting the legs after skiing powder for 3 days straight.

Resting the legs after skiing powder for 3 days straight.

We once again found excellent conditions, great terrain, and a really fun day. The sun even came out for a bit, allowing us to get a sense of what we were skiing and the vastness of the terrain. Its hard to complain when you have a large section of a mountain range to yourself and the snow is soft, but by the end we were definitely feeling our tired legs.

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Looking up at our tracks coming out of the forest.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. As this was the last Cat Skiing day, I took the next day off to rest up my legs so they could be fresh for Friday’s attempt to ski Red Mountain in better conditions.

Our group on day two. Tired and happy.

Our group on day two. Tired and happy.

While there wasn’t much new snow Friday, the sun did come out allowing us to ski Red Mountain in Spring-like conditions. It also gave us a chance to glance at their abundant (and steep!) terrain. We scoped out a few named in-bound runs that would put Jackson Hole to shame. Needless to say, I will be back.

Enjoying the view at Red Mountain.

Enjoying the view at Red Mountain.

After a hard week of skiing, the only thing left to do was head to our favorite ski town bar and drink a few beers to celebrate. We packed up the car Saturday morning and hit the road just as the rain came back. Somehow we managed to time this trip just right. Given the terrain, the snow, and the fun we had I can’t help but think we will need to make this trip something of a tradition.

Whistler Ski Trip

While Alex is off in eastern British Columbia on a ski trip with our friend Patrick, my dad flew out for a long weekend with me in Whistler, on the west side of BC. Alex and I had been to Whistler several times before, but it was my dad’s first trip to the magnificent mountain. He says he’ll be back for sure!

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Whistler is just north of Vancouver, British Columbia and is about a 4.5 hour drive from Seattle. It is also the largest ski resort in North America, offering more than 8,000 acres of skiable terrain {Vail “only” boasts 5,000 and until this year, was the largest resort in the US} across the two mountains {Whistler and Blackcomb}. It is so expansive and I am certain a person could spend an entire season skiing there and not ski the same run twice.

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It’s a toss up between here and Jackson Hole which one is my favorite destination, but Whistler is a very special place for Alex and me {and now my dad understands it!}.

{Best mountain hot chocolate is at Whistler!}

{Best mountain hot chocolate is at Whistler!}

Our trip was great, albeit a bit short {and sadly the snow kept flying as we left and we missed a couple consecutive powder days}, but we had a really nice time skiing together. The conditions were much better than I had expected, given the recent warming trend in the west. We were blessed with fresh snow on our first day, as well as untouched snow on the upper mountain the second day.

We spent our first day skiing exclusively on Blackcomb Mountain. Since my last trip to Whistler there was a new chairlift that had been added and it opened up a completely new section of the mountain that I had never skied before. The wind was howling that day, so we didn’t get to ski the upper mountain at all, but that wasn’t a problem.

{I've got to believe this guy is approaching 50 days on skis this year...}

{I’ve got to believe this guy is approaching 50 days on skis this year…}

Our second and final day was spent on Whistler Mountain. We took the Peak 2 Peak gondola from Blackcomb to Whistler that morning and spent most of the day either in the Symphony Amphitheatre area or on the Peak chair. The snow conditions were great for the most part, albeit low visibility in some places, and we had an excellent time exploring the mountain.

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In addition to skiing, we spent some time in the village and relaxed back at the condo we rented. We also brought Jackson with us and he and I took some nice walks on the snowy trails where he was able to run around and play ball in the snow. It took him a while to settle into the new space, but once he got tuckered out enough he seemed pretty comfortable there. I think he was just as sad as we were when it came time to head home and leave the snow behind.

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My dad’s trip came to an end with a really nice dinner in my neighborhood, joined by my two cousins, Chris and Jon. And then he was off… I have a feeling our next ski trip together will include a little one, so things will certainly be a bit different in the future, and until then, we’ve got the memory of our Whistler trip.

Deer Valley Ski Trip

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Last week Alex and I took off and met his parents in Utah for a long ski weekend at Deer Valley.

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We stayed at the Red Stag Lodge which is right at the base of Deer Valley. One of the best parts of a ski vacation where you stay right at the mountain is waking up in the morning, having a leisurely breakfast and then getting ready to go inside {instead of the car!} and slowly meandering to the mountain. We loved taking advantage of that!

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Donna and Stan took a ski lesson on the first ski day. It is always nice to take advantage of the great lesson programs to get their confidence and basics boosted. We saw tremendous improvements with Stan’s skiing this trip, which was really fun to witness.

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It was at Stan’s request that we returned to Deer Valley after our first ski trip together back in 2009. Deer Valley is known for its groomers and we enjoyed skiing them all! In addition to its groomers, Deer Valley is known as a luxury ski resort and caters to a fairly fancy clientele. One of the benefits of that is the on-mountain food selection is superb {and superbly expensive!} and the area is spectacularly gorgeous. One of the downsides, though, is dealing with entitled people who lack self awareness.

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While we were at Deer Valley, the resort was hosting the World Cup moguls and aerials competitions. We didn’t realize the events were taking place through the weekend, otherwise we would have made an effort to go out and watch them. It was exciting and eye opening to see aerials jumps {they launch you literally straight up in the air – terrifying!} and so fun to see the moguls course – all we wanted to do was ski one run down it!

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Donna and Stan conquered Pearl, a ski run that we had discovered back in 2009.

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We skied a lot of runs with Donna and Stan but broke off each day to explore different parts of the mountain together. It sure is different skiing at 9,000 feet elevation while being pregnant! I got really tired skiing the bump runs and on our last day I wasn’t feeling the icy conditions so I played it safe and parked it outside in the sun and ate a cheeseburger.

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One of my favorite parts of Utah and Deer Valley is the Aspen trees mixed in with the evergreens. We were lucky enough to see the evergreens covered in snow. The sun was out each day and the views from the mountain were unbelievably expansive. It felt like you could see forever!

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In addition to the skiing, we had a lot of great food!

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Our first meal was at the St. Regis Bar. After dinner we walked around the hotel and stumbled upon a s’mores bar! We helped ourselves and made some dessert 🙂

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One of our most enjoyable dinners was at Fireside Dining. It’s a ski lodge turned restaurant that features four fireplaces that serve different courses – raclette, stew, leg of lamb and dessert! The food and service were spot on, making this a really memorable meal.

20160207_041235206_iOSWe also went into Park City one night for dinner at High West, which is a bourbon distillery and saloon. Our meal was fantastic there, as well. The food was wonderful!

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We returned to the St. Regis Bar for apres ski on sunny Saturday afternoon and sadly did not have the five star experience we had expected. The weather and the view was about the only nice part of our time there.

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Before our dinner at Fireside Dining we took a little sleigh ride around the property.

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It’s nearly impossible for me to take a good photo of the town of Park City. It’s one of the cutest, quaintest ski towns I’ve been to and I’ve never managed to capture a photo to do it any sort of justice. In any case, we spent a couple hours on our last day touring the town before heading back to the airport. We had a great lunch at the Park City Delicatessen and I bought a new mid-warmth jacket from Marmot that will carry me nicely through the rest of the winter, I think, as my belly grows…

20160207_142356580_iOSAll in all, it was a wonderful time in Utah with Alex’s parents. We are very fortunate that they are willing to travel and meet us somewhere in the middle of the country and partake in a winter sport they know we love. Until next time, Utah…

Relaxing Weekend in Leavenworth

For a lot of occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases Alex and I opt to get each other “experiences” rather than something tangible. For us, the time together is more meaningful. This year my Christmas gift to Alex was a weekend away in Leavenworth, Washington at the Sleeping Lady Resort.

{This is the rock pool at the resort! Really neat concept. It was really foggy and overcast for our stay, so I didn't get any good pictures, due to the lighting.}

{This is the rock pool at the resort! Really neat concept. It was really foggy and overcast for our stay, so I didn’t get any good pictures, due to the lighting.}

We cashed in on Alex’s gift as soon as we could after Christmas and headed out there this past weekend. Both of us had been to the Sleeping Lady Resort before, which is why it was so appealing to go back. The resort is really unique – the owner turned it from a camp into a high-class resort in the mountains.

Each “room” is essentially its own cabin and there are different clusters of cabins strewn across the property. They all have very modern amenities and are very, very comfortable with nice linens and robes and the like. We were once again very pleased with the accommodations. One of the special perks is that the resort has a huge dining lodge where they offer a gourmet breakfast and dinner buffet that is included with your stay. We felt like we were eating like kings all weekend!

{This is the style of the buildings/cabins on the property.}

{This is the style of the buildings/cabins on the property.}

So – about the trip now… we arrived around dinner time on Friday night, got checked into our room and then headed straight for the dining lodge. Because it’s a buffet, we were able to pace ourselves how we wanted and ended up having a wonderfully slow and leisurely dinner.

When we awoke the next morning it was snowing! After our relaxing breakfast we took a nice stroll around the resort property. Neither one of us had been to the Sleeping Lady when it was particularly light out, so we hadn’t gotten the chance to do much exploring.

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The rest of our morning and early afternoon was spent in downtown Leavenworth where we popped into some shops and had a delicious sausage at our favorite place, Munchen Haus. We needed to fuel up for our afternoon of cross country skiing!

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Alex had never been cross country skiing and I had only been once, but not since I was in 5th grade – so about 20 years ago! We rented our gear from the Mercantile shop at our resort and walked across the street to the public cross country ski trail {couldn’t have been more convenient!} and after watching a quick YouTube video titled “How to Cross Country Ski” we set out for our excursion.

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Our afternoon of cross country skiing turned out to be the highlight of our trip. We had been talking for a couple years about getting into nordic skiing but just never bit the bullet. Now with our little babe on the way we figure that once s/he arrives, it will be much easier for us to strap the kid into a backpack and go cross country skiing, rather than having to trade off who stays in the lodge with the baby while the other one of us downhill skis by him/herself. Plus, it is absolutely fantastic exercise! Both of us are sore in places we’ve never been sore before. We’re hoping to convince one of my cousins to come out with us and give us a few pointers so we can master the skating part of nordic skiing, rather than just the scooting part 😉

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The rest of our Saturday was spent sitting in front of a great outdoor fire at O’Grady’s Pantry {a little restaurant on the Sleeping Lady property}, napping and enjoying another slow-paced dinner at the resort. Both of us were ready to tuck into bed early that night!

{The hot tub was built into the rocks!}

{The hot tub was built into the rocks!}

Our stay at the Sleeping Lady included ski passes at Stevens Pass, so on our way back home to Seattle on Sunday we stopped at the ski resort to get some downhill turns in. With the Seahawks/Vikings playoff game on Sunday both of us expected the resort to be completely empty – we were grossly mistaken! It was an absolute zoo! This was the starting weekend of the ski lesson program, so we’re guessing that was the culprit. In addition to the crowds, it was really foggy and there was almost no visibility and the conditions were less than ideal. Needless to say, we took a few runs and continued home… It was a little disappointing, but it wasn’t the best day to be skiing.

All in all, we had a fabulous weekend away! Alex and I have been so enjoying the quality time we’ve been spending together lately. I hope we’re able to take a few more little trips before our little one arrives soon!

Winter Break!

For the first year ever, Alex took off the two weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years and we stayed home with no plans or agenda. It was wonderful and so perfect.

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One of the biggest highlights was sleeping in, popping some cinnamon rolls in the oven, lighting a fire and hanging out in the living room all day for most of the first week off. Our living room is an underused room in our house, but it’s probably our favorite because of our fireplace, and now our leather chairs. It was so nice to spend so much time in front of the fire these last two weeks.

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Another major highlight was skiing. The whole west coast got a really big Christmas present in the form of a gigantic snowstorm. It snowed so much here that one of the ski resorts couldn’t keep up with it and couldn’t open {they got 96 inches of snow in 3 days!!}. We skied four days during the two-week break.

{After the snow storm the temps dropped and the sun came out! It made for a couple of chilly days with sensational views.}

{After the snow storm the temps dropped and the sun came out! It made for a couple of chilly days with sensational views.}

 

{Jackson had the best day ever when he got to come with us to the mountains and play in the snow.}

{Jackson had the best day ever when he got to come with us to the mountains and play in the snow.}

{Yesterday we braved the chilly weather {12 degrees with -2 windchill}  and embarked on our first backcountry ski tour together. The avalanche danger was very low and our trek was super mild. It was really fun to get out and explore and get some exercise together.}

{Yesterday we braved the chilly weather {12 degrees with -2 windchill, which is about as cold as it gets here} and embarked on our first backcountry ski tour together. The avalanche danger was very low and our trek was super mild. It was really fun to get out and explore and get some exercise together.}

{Skinning up through the trees on a very well-traveled trail...}

{Skinning up through the trees on a very well-traveled trail…}

{Didn't do too much skiing down, but we made a few turns.}

{Didn’t do too much skiing down, but we managed to find a spot to make a few turns.}

We spent some quality time with lots of our friends, too. Alex’s friend Brian was here visiting for a few days, so Alex got to catch up with him. We also spent a day skiing with Nigel, and another day skiing with Patrick. We spent a rainy morning at the dog park with Ali, Tyler and their two kiddos {and then warmed up with some hot chocolate and grilled cheese for lunch!}. Ryan and Mary brought their babies over to our house one day, and we met them up at Carrie and Patrick’s new house another day. It has been so nice to be able to spend this much time with friends, too!

{Oliver and August at 4 weeks old!}

{Oliver and August at 4 weeks old!}

Henry seemed to love having both of us home during the days – probably because he got to bug us both to let him outside all the time!

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Jackson on the other hand was completely thrown off his kilter with Alex being home and our change of schedule. Towards the end of our break he seemed to be adjusting a little bit to the temporary normal, but I’m sure once we go back to work tomorrow he’ll be happy to have some consistency.

{Hopefully giving Jackson a cheeseburger as a treat on our way home from skiing made up for him being off his schedule. And no, this is not a normal occurrence for Jackson!}

{Hopefully giving Jackson a cheeseburger as a treat on our way home from skiing made up for him being off his schedule. And no, this is not a normal occurrence for Jackson!}

Our vacation was so relaxing and on the one hand I feel like we did absolutely nothing, but then when I look back at what we did do and realize that’s not quite the case. I am so thankful for this break and for the time we spent together. Who knows when the next time we’ll have two weeks off at home by ourselves will be!