Family Vacation

This past weekend, my family took our first family vacation in more than six years. The last trip we took together was to Alaska and was definitely a high point in my life. This time, we took a trip to Park City, Utah for some skiing and family fun. To make things even more exciting, this was our first family vacation with Matt. While going from a group of 4, to a group of 5 proved slightly difficult, especially with all of the “quad” chairlifts, overall his addition proved to be a positive one.

Besides the incredible scenery, the beauty of Utah is that you there are so many incredible places to ski, all within an hour drive from Salt Lake. We skied at four different mountains: Park City, Snowbird, Snow Basin and Deer Valley. While Park City is close to our family’s heart (Abby worked there for a season back when she was 24 years old), I think Snow Basin is my favorite.

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Snow Basin
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Snowbird
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Snowbird

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Snowbird
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Park CIty
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Snowbird

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Snowbird

Snowbird
Snowbird
Deer Valley
Deer Valley

Back in 2004, when Abby was working at Park City, we flew out to see her over Christmas. Here are some of our pictures from that trip.  It is crazy to see essentially the same pictures 9 years later.

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Then – 2004
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Now – 2013
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Then – 2004

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Now -2013

Hmm, suddenly I feel old. And I realized that I need a new ski coat.

Thanks for the great trip family! I wouldn’t want to go anywhere with anyone else.

 

 

Fish Out of Water

This weekend, Matt and I decided to take a day trip out of the city. Living in New York can be particularly challenging in the winter. Unless you are a committed skier, you find yourself never leaving the city. And even though New York is a big city, let’s be serious, never leaving a 23 square mile island, filled with 1.6 million people, can make you a little stir crazy.

We tried to plan a weekend getaway to somewhere like the Catskills, the Berkshires or Lake Placid but our timing wasn’t great – with the combination of President’s Day Weekend and MA/NY school vacations, everything was booked. So instead, we rented a car for the day and drove out to NJ.

We drove out to High Point State Park for a little cross-country skiing. Although the north-east received a big storm only a week ago, a lot of the snow had melted so the coverage on the trails wasn’t great. However, it was well worth it – just to get out of the city. Oh yeah, and to see Matt on cross-country skis for the first time. That was fun too!

photo (12)

photo (11)

Snowed In

Growing up in New Hampshire, I am no stranger to blizzards. Nearly every winter, we would get a handful of big storms and if we were lucky,  a snow day or two would result. My family would often take advantage of the snow by heading up North to ski. And for the days where we reminded at home, we would spend at least half of the day playing outside, building snowmen, making snow forts and sledding. In preparation for these activities I would spend hours bundling up before heading outside. I assembled the perfect snow outfit, complete with the trick of pulling my wool socks OVER my pant legs to ensure that no snow would touch my skin! After time in the snow, we would warm up with hot chocolate and, more often than not, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Blizzards in New York City are a little different. People freak out leading up to the storm, but then once it comes even though this city is a little quieter, things continue on as normal. Restaurants still deliver, Starbucks remains open and Broadway shows still go on.

I took advantage of the quite weekend to stay in a do a little baking and crafting. Unfortunately, I don’t have completed projects or blog posts to show you so hang tight.

That's right - the sewing machine came out this weekend!
That’s right – the sewing machine came out this weekend!
Some exciting things went down in the kitchen this weekend. More to come!
Some exciting things went down in the kitchen this weekend. More to come!

What did you do this weekend during the storm? Anything fun?

Rain Rain Go Away

Why is it that rainy weather has such a gloomy effect on me?

When I was younger I used to love the rain – especially during the summer. The rain wouldn’t stop us from having fun, if anything, it would increase it.

A little light rain wouldn’t stop us from going to the Bluffs (our swim and tennis club) but it would send other families home. As a result, Abby and I would have the whole pool to ourselves and there was no line for the diving board. It was only years later, when I was a lifeguard at the Bluffs myself, that I realized just how annoying our family must have been – forcing the lifeguards to keep the pool open and sit out in the rain while they watched us swim around.

When we weren’t at the Bluffs, Abby and I would put our bathing suits on and run around the yard stomping in puddles. Unfortunately, when I learned about acid rain in my 6th grade science class, that fun sort of died.

Other rainy day activities included making chocolate chip cookies, doing arts and crafts, trips to the library and watching Disney movies in our pjs. No wonder I liked the rain, it was so much fun.

As an adult, the rain has most of its appeal.

  • On my walk to the subway, even if I am wearing a rain coat and carrying an umbrella I will inevitably get wet.
  • The rain seems to heighten the smell of urine that is a constant on the streets of NYC.
  • I will inevitably get hit in the head by someone’s umbrella.
  • The subway smells like wet dog.
  • Unfortunately, “rain” isn’t a suitable excuse to miss work, or even to wear your pjs to the office.
  • Eating an entire bowlful of chocolate chip cookie dough isn’t an option anymore.
  • You think going to a museum on a rainy day would be fun? Oh right, so do 2.5 million other NYers.

Thankfully it looks like the sun is starting to come out!

Butterflies

She planted dill for swallow-tails
and milkweed where monarchs would lay
their caterpillar offspring round
the grass green meadows of May.

The migrants returned then as always;
how quickly her crops were consumed!
but countless chrysalides dotted the dell
tucked inside their golden cocoons.

Then early one morning she beckoned
us watch the mystery unfold;
the metamorphosis almost complete
translucent shells gave up their gold.

Wet wings greeted the rising sun
and the warmth of a soft summer breeze,
soon butterflies coloured meadow and wood
floating gracefully throughout the trees.

She told us of unseen transcendings
as we watched the born-agains soar;
so certain were we then of heaven
as if we had been there before.

J.D. Deutschendorf

I’m a Mooseman!

This past weekend, Matt and I continued our suburban tour — only this time we headed north.

On Friday, we loaded up the car with wetsuits, bikes and running shoes and drove up to the great state of New Hampshire for the Mooseman Half Ironman Triathlon.

We spent Friday night with my parents before heading up to Wellington State Park to check in and attending the athlete meeting. The entire day on Friday, it was pouring rain. Not really ideal conditions for a triathlon. Between the rain and the  insanely fit people all around me, I got ridiculously nervous. But thankfully my fan club of two, Matt and our friend Ryan (who were both racing as well) convinced me that everything was going to be ok and I wasn’t going to come in last. After a long, soggy day and a pasta dinner, we turned in for the night.

Now, I don’t really want to relive all 70.3 miles so here are some highlights.

1. Getting my wetsuit (thanks Jamie) on with only a minor amount of wiggling, pulling and yanking

2. The temperature was right around 60 degrees – sounds cold but it made the 62 degree temperature of the water seem much much warmer.

3. The pouring rain we experienced Friday slowed to a very light drizzle.

4. During the bike, the hills were so steep that my speed dropped down to 2 mph and I almost fell off my bike (but I didn’t!)

5. My feet were numb  from being cold and wet on the bike for 3 hours. During the first two miles of the run I felt like I was running on stumps. But I kept running.

6. The run was painful, but since it was an out and back run that we did twice, I got to see both Matt and Ryan a few times. It is surprising how far a fist pump can get you :)

7. I ran through the finish line with a smile on my face!

While the race wasn’t always pretty and my time wasn’t earth shattering, I was happy with it. Just getting out there and doing it was enough for me. However, for Matt and Ryan, this race is just the beginning… they are both competing in the Ironman US National Championships being held in NYC in August. I’m not going to lie, the thought of doing a race twice that length makes me throw up in my mouth a little. 70.3 is enough for me!

**See a recap of the race by this year’s winner, Alex Mcdonald. Congratulations on your big win!