Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Challenge is on!

My friend Carrie recently wrote an entire blog about doughnuts just because her husband challenged her to do so. He really didn't think it was possible, but she rose to the challenge and far exceeded all expectations.

I was thinking about this random challenged and emailed Carrie a challenge of my own. Twice a month, Carrie and I will give each other a word and within three days, we will have to post a blog based on that word. We hope this will remedy our habit of neglecting our blogs and improve our creative writing skills.

I think we were both a little easy on each other for this first round. You will have to read her blog to find out her challenge word. Mine is VACATION. So, here goes!

As I sit here, almost 27 weeks pregnant, I have to admit that vacation has actually been on my mind quite often. More specifically, the lack of vacation Nick and I will be having in the next few years. If I had to guess, our trips to all-inclusive resorts in Mexico will soon be traded in for more family-friendly vacations.

As most of you know, our circle of friends is experiencing a small baby boom. With us having kids around the same age, it should make for some great group family vacations. We have already discussed trips to Florida and Colorado. Both excite me, but Colorado holds a special place in my heart.

My family, along with three other families, traveled to Colorado every year from the time I was in second grade to about high school. I have so many memories of these trips. In an effort to not make this the longest blog entry ever, here is a list of my top six memories (in no particular order).

1. Ski School - As a shy child, I never liked ski school. As an adult, I'm glad my parents enrolled me each year until I was able to master my mad skiing skills. I was always the best girl on the slopes at our church ski trips. When Nick and I went skiing for our honeymoon, I was able to show him up on the slopes. Sorry, Sweetie but it's nice to be better than you in ONE sport! My most memorable ski school moment occurred when I was around eight years old. I was on the ski lift with another little girl and when she leaned over to do something, she fell right out of the lift! I was horrified! Afterward, a few people from the resort asked me questions about the incident. Being only eight, I thought I was being questioned. I was worried they thought I pushed her or something. Looking back, I know it was probably for their own liability reasons. Luckily for the little girl, we were on the bunny slope and I believe she only had a sprained arm.

2. French Toast - My parents' friend Larry made the most awesome french toast in the morning before we hit the slopes. Yum! I wish I had some right now!

3. Limousine - My parents' friend Rick owned a company that built and restored limousines. One year, we actually took one to Colorado. All of us (just the kids, not the adults) were so excited. We thought it was the coolest thing ever that we were riding in a limo to Colorado. It wasn't a fancy limo or anything because it was one that needed to be restored, but we didn't care! It was a LIMO ... with a TV! I think we even put "Colorado or Bust" on the outside with masking tape.

4. "We're Walking" - Most of our parents had their own ski equipment but the kids always had rentals. It didn't make much sense to buy boots and skis for kids that would outgrown them each year. The men in the group would always work to get the best deal at the rental shop. (needed background information: of the four dads in the group, two were used car dealers and all four were pretty tight with their money) One year, we had all been fitted for our skis, poles and boots but Larry didn't like the price we were given. He told the guys at the rental place if they didn't give us a better deal, we would walk. A few minutes later we heard, "That's it. We are walking. Come on, kids." All seven kids dropped their skis, poles and boots and we walked out the door.

5. Kudos - My dad always had a backpack filled with snacks when we were skiing. Kudos were always included in the mix. I can't look at a box of Kudos without thinking about our ski trips.

6. Hot drinks - Before the boom of Starbucks and speciality coffees came to Springfield, Missouri, my mom and I discovered two delicious drinks called Latte & Cafe Mocha. For a few years, the only place we could find them were at the base of the mountain in Keystone. It was a special treat each year!

Thanks, Mom and Dad for all the memories! I hope Nick and I will be able to provide many great vacation memories to Eastan, Sienna (and others).


Carrie said...

Nice!!! You rose to the challenge yourself girlie! I love remembering vacations from my childhood. I think that sometimes parents underestimate the importance of them. I always loved that my parents weren't afraid to take us out of school if needed because they realized that time with the family was just as, if not more important than anything we would have learned that week. (Although it always came with the lecture "If you DARE to let your grades help me!...."

I loved Colorado the one time that I got to go as well. It was for my cousins wedding in Breckinridge and was in the summer. Mick and I ate at a fun crepe stand in a gypsy cart called "Crepes A La Cart" Nutella and raspberries. Mmmm.....

Awesome job Ashley!!!

Angela Heather Hill said...

I LOVED this blog entry. You wrote it so well, I almost felt like I was there. It helps that I know a lot of the people in your story. :) I can just imagine. And I laughed at the "we're walking." It's awesome in a world where we all blindly accept the pricetag that they were bold enough to bargain their way into the price they wanted. Very Ramsey style.

Mimi said...

Good job, Ashley!!

Cheri said...

Great memories for me too! Make some with your kids! :)