Sunday, January 24, 2010

Snow and Water

Today marks the end of another week of vacation. Although (and partially because) this one was eaten up by board study, we were determined to actually "get away" for this one.

We would have loved a destination that included sunshine, temperatures above 40 degrees, and a beach. Maybe next year.

Instead, we decided to go skiing.

Yes, skiing here in Iowa. We lived in Utah and never once took our children skiing. In fact, it has been nearly 8 years since Hubster and I went skiing. But move to Iowa? We're all over it. Do not think the humor and irony of this is lost on us.

I've heard people talk about skiing here in Iowa, and I've scoffed. In fact, I think I've probably hurt several Iowans' feelings with my incredulousness. Is it a ramp off some buildings? I just couldn't picture. Iowa isn't flat like Kansas, but it sure doesn't have mountains. We were going to have to see this for ourselves.

We drove up to northeastern Iowa (with by the way, is beautiful, and we just can't wait to explore it in the summer!).

There, we found a small ski resort that was perfect for family skiing.

We stuck to the bunny hill, teaching our boys to ski. Neither of our boys had ever had skis strapped to their feet.

There was plenty of trepidation and even some whining about how heavy ski boots are. But none of that stopped us from gently coaxing them onto the incredibly gentle beginner slope.

And wouldn't you know it? After lunch, Bug, my normally incredibly timid child, who will not even try a new Wii game because he might be bad at it, said he would like to try going down the slope by himself. Which he did! We cheered for him the entire way down.

First solo run!

And then, not to be outdone, Monkey insisted he needed to ski down by his self. Which he also did, even though he did half the hill backwards. He hasn't stopped talking about that particular feat.

Want to see the cutest thing ever? I present to you the tiniest skier of the day!

Oh, he'll make his grandpa so proud!

After a long day of skiing, we took our tired legs to our hotel and spent the evening relaxing in the swimming pool and hot tub.

Although, when your three-year-old stands at the edge of the pool and shouts, "Watch, Mom! I'm going to do something that scares you!" while you grab at them before they jump in, it's not exactly relaxing.

On Saturday, we went to the National Mississippi River Museum.

Steamboat paddle wheel

Full of aquariums of animals found in the Mississippi River, and some excellent exhibits about steamboats, it was both completely fun and educational. As all museums should be. We saw river otters, enormous catfish, sturgeons, and even an alligator.

We then took a trolley ride to the Mississippi River. Where we spent exactly three minutes and decided that this too was something we should do in the summer.

After leaving the museum, we decided to drive around and explore a little. So we went here.

And then, just for fun, we went here.

And then Monkey said he needed to go potty. So we turned around. The whole exploration was 10 minutes. And everything looks the same in the mist.

It was such a great weekend.

Even if I did spend all day today doing laundry, which, as anyone knows, is how the day after vacation is always spent.


  1. What a fun vacation! I need to take Ayden out on the slopes some time, we could both benefit from being on a bunny hill. But the last one I was on did NOT feel like a bunny hill. Also, I love your hat!

  2. Yeah. Gotta love the hat. My grandma got it for me when she was in Peru.