Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Curse of the Family Tradition

I would be remiss if I didn't blog about our 3rd Annual Tunheim Family New Year's Day Hike (and for those of you who are dying to hear about years 1 and 2, click here).  See, we figure it's a nice way to start the year with some good old-fashioned family togetherness, getting out and enjoying this beautiful state we have the privilege of living in.  And I also figure our years are numbered before the kids find us waaaayyyyy too lame to bother spending time with, especially out in public.

For the last two years, the weather has been awesome.  Who can beat sunny skies, even if there's some snow on the ground?  This year, as New Year's Day approached, the unseasonably warm temperatures that we'd been enjoying also decided to take a hike.

Since we knew the conditions would be a little snowier than our previous years, we decided to embrace the snow and go cross-country skiing.  The boys had never been, and we'd only been once (Sam fell...a lot).  There were snowy landscapes galore, but my eyes were fixated more on this little number that appeared in the temperature gauge of our trusty minivan: 

Um......ok, that's not usually a temperature I see when I'm planning on doing an outdoor activity.  Mr. Weather, you must have forgotten that I grew up in MIAMI.  Where that zero usually has at least a 9 marching merrily (albeit sweatily) along in front of it.  Now, I'm not saying that I prefer the weather in Miami at all; I spend much of my time talking about how the weather in Colorado is the best the country has to offer.  But

Then I saw this:
Nope, dear reader, sorry to dash your desperate hopes of the weather getting warmer.  There's a little minus sign in front of that 4.  At this point I'm cursing myself for ever starting a dumb family tradition of hiking on New Year's Day.  That's just crazy talk.  Why couldn't I have started a family tradition of staying in our pajamas, watching cartoons, and drinking hot cocoa??

And from there, things went from bad to worse...or more accurately, from frigid to arctic.  As we made our way over Berthoud Pass, I saw this:

hahahahahahaha.  Well, you can either laugh or cry, right?  I may have done both.  We rolled into Snow Mountain Ranch, a 5,000 acre YMCA property out near Granby, and attempted to not turn into popsicles as we checked in.

The weather was so $*!#@(^# cold that the guy who was assigned to giving the free cross-country lessons was NOT happy that my two older boys were brave enough (or that their parents were cruel enough) to spend time outdoors.  I have never been in weather like that, where it was utterly unbearable simply going from the car into a building.  But gosh darnit, they were free lessons and we were going to take advantage of them!  The boys were amazing troopers--I watched from a 5-foot proximity of the fireplace as they skied up and down on on the practice trail, falling often but popping right back up and skiing some more.  We spent the rest of the afternoon in the rec center building, roller skating and playing hockey.
Thanks to the many hours spent playing hockey in our driveway,
the boys had no problem keeping up with much older kids
Kenyon also knows his way around a hockey stick
Roller Skating Kenyon

Now, I'd like to think that I'm not terribly snobby, but I very much prefer to stay in hotels that don't have the YHB (Yucky Hotel Blanket).  I wasn't expecting the Four Seasons--for $149 a night, we had a room, free breakfast, and access to all the property has to offer--snowshoeing, cross-country skiing (including free lessons for the kids!), archery, hockey, roller skating, basketball, ice skating, craft studio, rock climbing wall).  But we did have the yucky hotel blanket (which I immediately folded down to the edge of the bed and instructed the kids to stay away from), and when we pulled out the foldout couch for Jackson, it was apparent that the sheets had not been changed--it may have been the dirty sock in the rumpled sheets that clued me in.  They came and changed the sheets, but I was fairly obsessed with the possibility of contracting bed bugs the whole night.
Kenyon enjoying the not-so-luxurious accomodations
The next morning, the weather was mercifully warmer--not above zero, mind you...but warmer.  Blue skies go a long way for giving the appearance of warmth as well, and it really was a gorgeous day.  Kenyon, our stoutest and heartiest child, won the lottery by being too young to get out on skis and instead was bundled up in blankets and rode in a pulk (a sled, for those of you not hip to ski lingo) pulled by Sam.
Kenyon preparing to travel in style
It was a beautiful day...and despite all the agonizing about the weather, I really did have fun.  And so did everyone else--we are all looking forward to another cross-country ski experience soon.  The boys are so capable and willing to tackle new challenges, and it makes me excited to go on more adventures, experiencing all life has to offer, together as a family.

sigh...maybe this was a good tradition to start after all...


  1. Annie, Luis and I loved your blog. What a great time you must have had with the boys! You brave souls! The pictures were wonderful! Love it. Please say Hi! to your Mom for me. Love, Lourdes

  2. Fun to read as always, sweetie. My grandsons are real troopers!


  3. Great pictures, wonderful adventures and one fabulously interesting and happy family. WHat could be better?
    Love you,

  4. Too fun!!! You guys do great stuff together as a family.