Dec 22, 2016

Winter Travels

Last year we took a trip for Christmas, but this year the kids insisted that we be home for the 25th.  We decided to squeeze in our winter travel before Christmas, and we left December 16th for Park City, Utah.  Poor Corinne contracted pneumonia just before our trip, and the doctor thought it would be safer for her to stay home with Mawmaw, so it was just the 5 of us plus Pawpaw on the trip to Park City.  We had a pretty bumpy flight into Salt Lake City, but we were able to make it to the room and rest enough to be up and grabbing our rentals before ski school the next morning.  This little guy was super excited about playing in the snow...
Stella is a seasoned veteran after her visit to Park City last year.  She was also super easy to find in her orange ski pants, borrowed from our awesome neighbors...
Cille attended one day of ski school and was ready to rock as soon as it was over...
But all that rocking eventually rocked her to sleep.  This is pretty much what happened every afternoon immediately after she left the slopes...
Did I mention that it was FREEZING in Park City?  They had a freakishly cold snap (even for them), so temps were hovering around zero with a windchill in the negatives.  Those of you who know me well know that this is not a very hospitable environment for me.  I was pretty much a walking block of ice for the first two days, and felt so grateful when it "warmed up" to the 20's by day three.  These two didn't have any problems with the extreme cold, but they also didn't mind lots of snuggling by the fire in the room...
Skiing also wore my Watts out.  He attended two days of ski school, and was ready to head up the lift by the end of day two, although he got low marks from his instructor for "getting up after a fall."  Basically because he refused to.  Every time he fell, he would just stay down with NO EFFORT to get up.  It was funny, but also annoying to the people who had to keep hefting up a 40 pound kid wearing 10 pound ski boots off of the snow... (and by "the people" I mostly mean me.)
Every night these crazy kids had a hot tub party.  I was a spectator only for this endeavor.  I don't care how hot that tub is, eventually you have to get out and go OUTSIDE to get back to your room...
I don't know where they get these poses.  Did we get a swimsuit catalog in the mail or something?
Swimsuits and snow boots...
After he graduated from ski school, Watts got a harness to wear that allowed him to ride the big lift with us and ski down in front of Damon with a more minimal risk of just skiing off the side of the mountain.  Watts LOVED his harness, and wanted to wear it 24/7.  He even asked to wear it to the airport.  I did not allow that; I have never wanted to be the one with a kid on a leash, even if I have at times needed to be...
We flew from Salt Lake to Houston...
There was plenty of room on the flight so we got to spread out...
When we landed in Houston Damon hopped another plane to New Orleans so he could get Corinne and reunite her with the rest of us in Houston.  The kids and I had a little fun in the airport before we met our driver...
Once before I had a driver waiting for me with a sign with my name on it, and in the rush of arrival, I didn't even get to see the sign.  This time I made sure I snapped a pic of the sign before it was gone...
Grandma Tonie came down to meet us, and Damon and Corinne made it to Houston also.  Once we were all reunited, our first activity was Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo.  Jessica and Savanah joined us and we all had a great time...
The next morning we had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, played in a nearby park, and then the big girls, Grandma Tonie, Madison, Mike, and I headed to the VIP experience at the Nutcracker...

The ballet was breathtaking, as always, and afterward we got to do an on-stage meet and greet with Clara...
This weird French frog...
And the Nutcracker Prince and Sugar Plum Fairy!  I really enjoyed seeing the set pieces up close...
Daddy, Watts, and Corinne joined back up with us for dinner at Spindletop, where Corinne was obsessed with seeing the light up ferris wheel at the Downtown Aquarium...
That night we took the kids out to Memorial City Mall to visit another one of our favorite spots in Houston, Frolic's Castle.  This brave knight and his maiden fair had a great time exploring the castle...
We had a wonderful winter adventure and made it back home in time for Christmas!

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