Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. ~Dave Berry

Day 1 – Driving – St. Louis through KC to drop Grandma off (after visit to St. Louis for VIP Day at Max’s school) to Limon, Colorado. Long day of driving. Can never decide where or when to stop. Before kids fall asleep? No, let’s wait until they are asleep and drive a bit (I agree to this, though Dan is really thinking we should keep going until 4 or 5 am). Max takes an hour to fall asleep. After that Grace starts, and takes an hour to fall asleep. By that time I’m so cranky we just need to stop, but they are finally asleep, says Dan, we could make it all the way to Breckenridge. He finally acknowledges that he forgets about the third child, me. We stop in Limon at the Comfort Inn.

Day 2 – A little more driving, aaaand, the fun begins – Limon, Colorado to Frisco, Colorado for lunch at the Butterhorn Cafe. Two snickerdoodles left, thank goodness. On to Breckenridge. Checked into condo. Picked up skis. Swam in pool and hot tub. Everyone a little fried still from the long drive.

Day 3 – Skiing – Kids in full day ski lessons. Dan and I skied together all day until our legs were rubbery; chilled for an hour in the sun at the bottom of the moutain, having a drink, while waiting for the kids to get out of ski school. Nice day. Shopped around town (everyone went into CRABBYland), picked up pizza, swam and hot tubbed, watched iCarly, watched Season 1 Disk 1 Castle.

Day 4 – Family skiing –  Max skied in between our legs, hardest workout you could ever try. Skiing alone is slightly frightening, skiing with a four year old in between your legs is treacherous. Dan and I both took turns doing learners green runs with Grace. Grace showed us her jumps at the end of the day. Skiing with Grace was one of the most carefree, lighthearted times I’ve shared with her.  We laughed and skied – she’ll be a better skier than I am in one more ski trip.  Back down for swim and hot tub. Left over pizza for dinner, shopping (everyone CHEERY), dessert at Clint’s.

Biggest scare of our lives – Dan didn’t make it onto the elevator before the doors shut, so the kids and I hid in the hallway upstairs to scare him coming off the elevator.  He never showed up so we went back downstairs looking for him and then finally went back to our condo.  We opened door to a pitch black home, the three of us walked in and looked around trying to find the lights – a monster came to life out of the bed. We screamed so loud I hope someone called the cops to help.  Our pants were scared off.  Even after all of this, it is decided that we will definitely stay an extra day.

Day 5 – More ski school and another ski date – The kids were in lessons all day; Dan and I skied all over Peak 8 and a couple of runs down Peak 9. It was a fantastic day. We had snacks at the bottom of the hill together at the end of the day, came back to the Condo for dinner, swam, read books with the kids and watched more Castle. This was the day that it all came together – the rhythm of the ski gear schlep, the rhythm of the slopes, the rhythm of what to expect from the kids, the rhythm of being out of our normal routine and in heaven.  And this is the day I tried to knock down the tree with my face.

Day 6 – Grace and Dan skied in morning, Max and I tooled around; we also went to look at the snowplow train. We met Dan and Grace for lunch on the moutain and then the kids and I rested the rest of the afternoon.  We shopped, met Dan for dinner and had a wind down evening. They all swam in pool while it snowed and was 17 degrees out.  I finished a book by the fire.  Heaven.

Day 7 – Checking out – We checked out of the condo and tooled around Breckenridge for doughnuts and walking.  We drove up to a beautiful view and took a semi-great hike. We searched for animal tracks and I am perfectly positive we saw bear tracks.  It was a beautiful blue sky, crisp mountain air day.  We had lunch at Butterhorn on the way out; there were no snickerdoodles left.  No big deal since we had no room left in our stuffed guts.  Drove from Frisco, CO to Abilene, KS. People went crazy at the end of the car ride (people named Jen and Max).

Day 8 – Aaaaand, the drive home – Drove from Abilene, KS to St. Louis, MO. Stopped in KC for lunch with Dad and Amy. Got back to St. Louis in time for snow.  oh oh.

In all, a supercalifragilistic trip. I feel like we accomplished something big. We drove all the way to Breckenridge for the second time in one year! We had a great place to stay!! We got our ski equipment rented!!! We got the kids signed up for lessons!!!! We picked our equipment up, hauled it all around town and only Grace had ski boots six sizes too small!!!! We exchanged Grace’s boots after she put them on the second day and said that she felt like the hole in her foot was back!!!!!! The kids took two days of lessons and stayed all day (mostly because I’m THAT mom that didn’t hear the phone ring or listen to the message from the ski school saying that Max was beside himself and that I should come get him. Didn’t hear it long enough that he gave up and went back out and skied the rest of the afternoon. Yep, still THAT mom)!!!!! None of us had to ride back down the mountain in a snow mobile!!!!! We enjoyed our time together on our first vacation that was just the four of us, especially after the first couple of days of adjusting to being together for 24 hours straight!!!!!!! We swam in an 85 degree pool while it snowed!!!!!!! And we all want to go back next year. We did it. We took our first ski trip. Dan and I have been waiting for this day since the ski trip we took during the year we were engaged.  I thought constantly of what an incredible blessing it was to be able to take our kids skiing.  It was a true dream come true.