Monday, January 23, 2012

Is This Where Santa Lives?

We're here! As it turns out, this is an unduly expensive, poorly timed trip that I booked back when I was working 80 hours a week and thought I was getting a bonus (and thought I'd be at the firm at least another year, and before I backed my car into JP's and wrought $2,000 worth of damage, and before I knew I was taking a pay cut and paying for a move and buying another house...), but I know it's going to be worth it. Or, I've decided it's going to be worth it and am ignoring any qualms to the contrary.

But I know it is. I treasure the memories of my childhood vacations over almost any others.

The flight from Austin to Denver is only 2.25 hours, so we brought our ancient, giant portable DVD player for Landon (he is obsessed with the movie Tangled and we are so glad he will finally watch something for more than 2 minutes) and a bunch of books for Claire, thinking she (who has always been obsessed with the TV) would just watch the screen next to him. Then we cleared 10,000 feet and tried to turn on the DVD player only to find that the battery was dead, despite charging it the night before. Apparently it must be plugged in to work at all now, much like my ancient laptop. So we were stuck with entertaining the children old-school style, with books and a pad of paper and a few pens. And goldfish. It actually went really well. Landon was perfect, Claire very nearly so, though JP and I were pretty tired by the time we landed. Luckily the kids continued to behave with near perfection.

(Side note: luggage-wise, we ended up with one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person, plus the two car seats. I was pretty proud of that result, and my willingness to bring a single pair of shoes and wear two sweaters twice each on the five-day trip. Such sacrifice. And each kid managed their own carry-on, which was very nice. Claire's backpack held 6 books, a few zoo animals, and a matchbox car- the essentials.)

We rode a train to get our bags, road a bus to get our car, drove our car to get to Winter Park -- it was a planes trains and automobiles kind of day. We bought groceries to make meals in our condo and wandered across the road to explore the Village.

As it turns out there's an ice castle with a slide right in front of our condo. Good times were had.

At least until Claire found out the snow was not room temperature.

We moved on to scope out restaurants, ski rentals, and additional play areas. There's red wagons all around the village to assist in the transportation of children and ski gear. Princess Claire declined to disembark at any of our other stops.

We picked up our rentals (Landon's skis are adorable) and an absolutely exhausted, nap-free Clairebear was unhappily surrounded by ski equipment as we made our way home.

Poor thing, she was so worn out, but she worked up a smile for the occasional passerby (JP worriedly noted that she smiles way more at men than women, but I just told him it's because she loves her daddy so much). We ate a quick dinner of pasta and jarred sauce, gave the kids a bath in a ridiculously large bathtub, and tucked them in bed. Now I'm drinking a glass of wine on the couch with my laptop while JP and I watch Batman Begins on TV. I think it's going to be a wonderful four days.


  1. That looks so fun! Don't stress about the timing/finances. In my quest to cure the crazy, I'm realizing that it always works out. Amazing, but true. Next year, after all the chaos, you'll be so glad you did this.

    Landon's buzz cut is adorable, BTW!

  2. Agree with the above comment. All will be fine. And I haven't said congratulations yet. You are a rock star.

  3. Enjoy your trip. It's good to do something like this with your little family right before you jump into the stress of a job change and move. Also, have you considered renting a house in Ft Worth until you've had time to look around more? We moved from CA to CO and then back to CA several years ago. I don't regret the moves at all, but I do regret our house decisions. We should never have sold our CA house. We should have waited longer to buy one in Denver too. We bought a house quickly and then realized we were not in the area we wanted to be in. It was impossible to sell our house and not lose tons of money in a short amount of time. If we would have waited 6 months after we got there, we would have been better off. Just a thought.
    Best of luck. Enjoy your trip. I'm jealous you're in CO, I love and miss it.

  4. Ohhh man! Depending on the day you arrived at DIA, I bet we crossed paths and didn't even know it. I was just there picking up my son from visiting his Grandma in San Antonio. Because I know exactly which terminal you were in (based of your pics and the blocked walkways), I know exactly where you were, I was at Gate 30C. I would have probably treated you like a super star had I seen you, almost star stuck at the thought we were in 10 miles of each other. Yes, I'm weird but not a stocker. Anyway, enjoy your much deserved trip! The snow isn't great (isn't up to my standards anyway) but maybe perfect to someone who permanently lives in Texas :)
    ~Lindsey (Denver CO)

  5. Congrats on your new job (getting updated today..haha), on your future move, and on vacation!!! Too funny you're in Winter Park. I used to live in Winter Park, FL and anytime I went to google something Winter Park, CO would come up. Have a great vacation!

  6. Have a wonderful time, and enjoy yourself before the stress of the move!