Sunday, February 1, 2009

Crystal Mountain Ski Trip

This past week we took a trip to northern Michigan to spend a few days at Crystal Mountain. We had a great time. We were accompanied by my parents, Bob and Miriam (Grandpa and Grandpa) and Ryan's parents, Kris and Linda (Papa and Nana). It was Keira's first experience on skis, and Soren got to have his first experience with swimming.

Monday was a big day of preparations. I went visiting teaching in the morning to Courtnie's home and then down to Plymouth for some errands prior to the trip. We met up with Linda in downtown Plymouth and got to check out the ice sculptures that remained from the previous weekend's Ice Festival.

We also did a lot of laundry and packing. We planned to take a lot of food to cook in the townhome. We planned to take Kris and Linda's Edge, and it was jam packed with everything we needed for skiing and two small children. We had a lot of stuff.
Soren looked so cute sleeping in his seat and holding his nuk in his hand.
Keira still loves her crown from nursery. She wore it again today.
On Tuesday, we made the drive up to Crystal Mountain. We could not check in until 5pm with our package, so Ryan took a half day, and we left in the afternoon. We stayed in a mountain top townhome, which was beautiful. Here are some shots of the main floor. I can't believe I didn't get any shots of the upstairs master bedroom or the downstairs rec room plus additional bedroom. It could have slept 12, if all the beds/sleeper sofas were used (13 if you included the pack n play we brought).
The living room, with a gas log fireplace (above and below).
Keira loved this rocking chair. You can see the cool dinning room behind her. It had a big round table in a room that was bumped out with windows. I had a picture of the dining room, but Keira looked funny in it. This was the kitchen. It was very well equipped. Since the home could sleep 12, there were tons of dishes and a lot of utensils, making cooking a breeze. We also brought our griddler.
Here is a small bench for putting on boots in the entryway. There was also an additional entryway/foyer with a large bench and a door to dress for skiing. We kept our boots out there to keep the floor dry. The home had a ski storage locker on the front as well.
Keira loved this bench. She still loved it after she fell off of it.
Crystal Mountain had night skiing, and with our package, we had unlimited skiing Tuesday-Friday for everyone. My parents arrived that evening. My mom was a bit under the weather, so she had taken a sick day which enabled her to drive up earlier than planned. She also lucked out and had two "snow days" from work, so she only had to use one day of her personal days for her four day vacation. Ryan is all set to go skiing on the first night below. He is in the enclosed entryway.
Wednesday morning we had a big breakfast and then hit the slopes. My mom was still not feeling so great, so she didn't make it out to ski and instead was a huge help with Soren inside. Keira was a bit apprehensive at first, but excited to ski. Since we were in the mountain top home with ski in ski out, we had to ski her down the whole way before we could get to the children's "camp totem" area. Ryan was able to build up her confidence here before taking her back to the bigger slopes. She did great all around. All of the skiing pictures from the trip are in the slide show. We don't have any from Friday, though.
These two shots below show the townhomes where we stayed in the background. We were not on the slope side, but we just had to walk across the street to get to the skiing. It was closer to skiing than if we had parked in a parking lot at the base. The top shot has my dad in the background.

Keira is all decked out and smiling in the camp totem area.
Soren and I hung out for a bit in the afternoon.
Here is Keira all excited from skiing. Her Patagonia thermals fit her still from when she stayed in the Alta Children's center when she was only 9 months old (2007). They were big on her then.
Slide show of all skiing shots.

Ryan, my dad, and I skied a bit more in the afternoon and then we all headed to the pool (part of the brand new Crystal Spa and Peak Fitness Center) to let Keira and Soren swim. Soren did great. He whined a bit when each body part had to get acclimated to the water temperature, but once all in, he was great, and even started to fall asleep in Ryan's arms in the water.

Kris and Linda arrived later this evening in time for a lasagna dinner. Here is Keira in a historic moment, she is wearing jeans like mommy's.
We had constant snow all night Wednesday and all day Thursday. We had excellent ski conditions, especially for Michigan. It was the best it could have been. Keira was not so excited to ski in the fresh snow, so she was not as happy, and fell a few more times than before. She didn't stay out long. Once she was inside, we were able to ski in the wonderful conditions and make fresh tracks through the snow. So Fun! We enjoyed a lot of skiing throughout the day and into the evening. We had dinner in the townhome again. It was great to be able to just ski in and out to maximize our time on the slopes since we had to divide it between watching the children. Here is a shot of me with Keira and Soren in their skiing penguin pjs from Grandma.
Keira is getting ready to hit the slopes.
Here is Ryan getting ready to take Keira off a jump in the terrain park. Just kidding! It looks that way, though.
I loved this picture. That is why it appears twice in this post. Kris and Linda are in the background and Ryan has Keira all the way out on her leads in the fresh snow.
Ryan and I overlooking the Loki/Thor area. I had a major meltdown here on our first ski trip prior to ever skiing out in Utah (back in 2004). I laughed when I returned to see what had frightened me at the time.
Keira and Nana
It was also Soren's 4 month birthday, so here are some shots of him. These are the only shots of the master suite, but you can't really tell anything about it from these.

Soren is sporting the Snowbird Bib that we got for Keira in 2007.
Soren and Grandpa

We had to check out by 11am on Friday morning, so we packed up as quickly as we could, just making it out by 10:45. We headed down to the base and grabbed a couch in the Kinlochen building to watch Soren while Keira had a great time skiing. She skied up until lunch with Kris, Linda, Ryan, and Bob. We enjoyed a lunch at the Thistle Restuarant in Kinlochen. It was a great lunch and beautiful building. They had a big fireplace with real fire, and moose and deer heads mounted. I got a little skiing in after lunch and Keira got pulled on a sled before we had to head back home. It was a great trip, and our parents were so helpful in allowing us to ski together. We could not have had such a great trip without them. Here is a shot of Grandma and Soren in the lodge.
Soren and I in the lodge.
Keira and Nana have rosy cheeks from being outside all morning.
Soren is sporting his skiing moose outfit with a moose head in the Thistle lobby.
Keira was also impressed by the moose.
Papa is pulling Keira in the sled. I used this sled when I was little. She was pretty tired from the busy morning and skiing, and was in need of a nap.
We had such a great time on this trip. Although we didn't make it out to Utah, we still had good skiing conditions and a lot of fun. It was also more kid friendly to stay on the mountain than needing to use resort daycare or have someone stuck in the lodges at the base all day which gets really tiring fast. We will probably look into doing this again next year because it is a much cheaper alternative than going out west.

On Saturday, before my parents made their final leg of their trip home, we met up with Kris and Linda at the Grand Traverse Pie Company. We had thought about going into Traverse City while up north, but just ran out of time and had so much food that we brought that we couldn't justify it. This was a great alternative.

Soren tipped over on the couch. He seemed pretty happy to just chill on his side and looked pretty cute.
Today was a usual Sunday, except that the Super Bowl is on right now. The Lions did so bad this year, I have not been interested in pro football at all. At least a former Buckeye, Santonio Holmes (no relation), was responsible for the game winning touchdown and the MVP. These are just some shots from today. Soren grabs his toys on his playmat now.
Keira is finally over her fear of bubble baths. It did take her a while to get in today, though.
Soren and Keira both holding the princess duck. Soren will grab at everything now.
Soren is all casual before church.
Keira, Ryan, and Soren before church.
Keira does not know the meaning of being casual before or after church and wears her dresses all day long.
We love this outfit on Soren. It is at the point where it fits perfectly, which means it probably won't fit too long anymore. He gets so many compliments on it at church.

Next week, Soren has his 4 month checkup, but so far that is the biggest thing we have planned. Also, I am doing a "Goody Goodies Giveaway" on my other blog, "A Fat Lot of Good" for the month of February. Check it out.

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