Friday, January 05, 2007

Our First Family Ski Trip

We spent five days in Wilmington, NY (near Lake Placid where the 1980 Olympics were held) skiing Whiteface Mountain (see

The first day of skiing was a bit stressful as we all rented skis and that took us a while. After we had all the gear we needed we hit the slopes. Syd was great. She didn't mind the big clunky boots and loved sliding on the skis. We started out on the smallest slope (besides the little kid's obstacle course) and I skied with Syd between my legs (see picture below). She had a ball. She kept wanting to go faster and faster. While Syd and I skied, Zack tried his hand at snowboarding. After about four hours of crashing onto his knees and working his butt off trying to stay up, he was actually doing okay on it. But, it took it's toll and he decided to get skis for the next two days.

On the second day, we stopped 1/3 of the way down the second smallest trail to take a family picture (for this one Zack balanced the camera on one of the chair lift poles and set the timer) and also spent some time chilling out at the lodge. Syd skied with Zack much of this day, because he skis much faster than I do. She really loved the speed. She couldn't get enough of it. It was really sunny that day and the slopes were basically ice.

The third day we skied, it was snowing like crazy. It was perfect for skiing, big fluffy white flakes, but Syd wasn't crazy about it. We had an inch of snow on us by the time we got up the chair lift and she wasn't excited about the pelting snow hitting her face going down. But she actually got used to it and we ended up having some real fun. She even skied on her own (we have this on video... request it if you want it.)

When we weren't skiing we did some sight seeing around Lake Placid. They have a lot of stuff related to the Olympics so there's plenty to see. We started at the ski jump, which is taller than you could ever imagine. We took the chair lift, then elevator to the top. You can go out on an observation deck and even stand where the skiers stand before they jump. I can't even tell you how high this is and how scary it is just to stand there. We were mesmerized and couldn't imagine why anyone would ever go down that on skis. You have to experience it to believe it.

After we went up to the top of the ski jump, Syd and I accepted our oh so deserved medals.

We also went to the Olympic Center where the Olympic Museum is and the skating rink where the Miracle on Ice happened (if you're unfamiliar with this go to your local video rental place and get the movie starring Kurt Russell). While there we got to see the U.S. Women's Hockey team practicing.

We also got to skate on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, which is outdoors. For those of you alive in 1980, this is where Eric Heiden won 5 Olympic gold medals for the U.S. We were there at night and they have this area in the middle of the oval where there are trees and a fire with benches. We took some time to enjoy the fire.

We had a great time. Syd loved skiing so we will definitely try to do that more. And she loved all the snow. Hopefully, we'll actually get some here in Ohio. We highly recommend Whiteface Mountain to the avid skiiers. And the best part is that you're only about an hour west of Vermont where there's more skiing to be had. This was a great way to tend the year.

A Phenomenal Christmas

Hey we're back and we have lots to share with all of you. We had a great Christmas Vacation.

Christmas came early for us. Because we knew we'd be at Grandpa & Grandma Burns' house Christmas morning, Santa came a day early and delivered presents for Christmas Eve morning. Syd's favorites were her new Matchbox cars and her Christmas Bear (which was the only thing she asked for when anyone asked what she wanted for Christmas). We had a great morning filled with lots of presents and good cheer.

Later that day, Christmas Eve, we went to Grandma & Grandpa Burns' house for dinner and celebration. Uncle Derek, Aunt Shana, and cousin Zane were all there as well. Syd and Zane got to open plenty of presents and then had a ball playing in Syd's new green frog tent (another favorite gift). There was even a chocolate volcano for desert.

We stayed overnight at G & G Burns' house and then drove on to Grandma & Grandpa Capwell's house on Christmas Day. Christmas night we had dinner with the whole Capwell/Bouwens family and Syd got to open even more gifts. Syd got a little silly by the end of the night.

The next morning we opened more gifts with Grandma & Grandpa Capwell. Syd's favorite among these being the guitar and microphone set she got from G & G Capwell. She spent quite a bit of time singing Jingle Bells and other Christmas classics putting on a great concert for all of us. She's performing a guitar solo below. We have videos of this as well. If you're interested, request them.

The next day, December 27th, we drove to Wilmington, NY for our ski trip at Whiteface Mountain. I've created a separate post for that... check it out.

All in all we had a great Christmas and Syd received an unbelievable amount of presents. Thanks to everyone!!!