Better late than never, but be forewarned...this is a very long post... so this Christmas was a little different for the Kilgore family. We decided to take a trip instead of giving gifts. So Christmas day was spent with a great breakfast and the traditional afternoon movie, this year Sherlock Holmes.
On Sunday, December 27th, we left for a week vacation in Taos, New Mexico. It was a very long drive, but was only made longer by the fact that we were delayed for an hour just outside of Wichita Falls so that they could run the snowplows over the bridge there. It was still that icy from Christmas eve. So you can only imagine what a welcoming feeling it was to finally drive in to Taos.
We arrived at the house late on Sunday night, but these pictures show a little bit of what we arrived to. For more info on the house in Taos, see Casa Corazon. The house had a great layout and was so warm and welcoming to us after a long day of driving.
The view from the front door to the mountains.
The kitchen/dining area/living room were most of our time was spent when we were at the house. My mom had delicious meal for us every night especially homemade soup and beef tenderloin. Wonderful treats after long days of skiing.
Proof that we really did take the dogs with us. Derby had a blast and really did travel well for the 13 hour ride.
Miley did very well too... and amazingly enough they didn't attach each other all week. They were actually very civil.
So we got up on Monday morning and got out very early to get the mountain at Angelfire. We decided to ski Angelfire because it didn't seem as difficult as Taos Ski Valley and Zach was brand new at this skiing thing. (One day I'll make it to Taos Ski Valley.) We got to the Cottam's ski rental and got our skis/snowboard right away and made our way up to the mountain for the beginning of skiing 2009. We hadn't had the chance to reserve a spot for Zach to take lessons, so we were just hoping that they had a spot in the snowboarding class. He went into the school building and came back saying they were full. I thought, oh great, this is going to be interesting. I decided, that I would go back into the school building one more time and see what we could find out for him... and thank goodness I asked the right question... he got into a group lesson right away. So my sister, dad and I were off to make a warm up on the bunny slopes and Zach made his way to snowboarding class at 10am.
The one family pic that we took during the trip. The skiers and mom the one day that she came up to the mountain.
Lisa and I at the top of the bunny slope lift. Great view of the Angelfire valley below.
In the afternoon when he was done with class, we made our way up a the bunny slope together so that he could get practice on a bigger part of the mountain. Let's just say he looked like this a lot... being on your bum is not fun.
Preparing to get off the lift... especially nerve-wrecking for me as I am not accustomed to being on the lift with a snowboarder. It was actually one of the biggest reasons why I wanted Zach to have snowboarding lessons because I had no idea how to tell him how to get off the lift. We managed just fine though and had a system down pat by the end of day 3.
The best picture that we took together the whole trip, thanks Josh for letting us borrow your jacket... it worked out great for Zach.
So here were are on the first time down the big bunny slope in the afternoon on the first day. You see Zach has taken his boot out of the binding and he's walking his way up the mountain. I believe this is when Zach decided that it might be fun to venture off to the side of the path where you could see grass coming up out of the snow and a path to an ungroomed black was in his sight. Fortunately, he got back on the green path and we made it down the hill after several stops on the way. I always tried to stay behind him so that if he did fall, I could be there to help him up, but it was real hard because I just wanted to ski all the way down. A definite lesson in patience, but so much fun!
On the third day of skiing my sister turned in her skis, so it was down to me, Zach and my dad. The was the day that Zach finally made it to the top of the mountain. Here's a picture to prove it... We were real bundled up because it was snowing at the top of the mountain. It was so cold and unfortunately Zach dropped his goggles while we were on the lift to the top of the mountain. I was so proud of Zach for making it down the big hill, he had improved his boarding skills so much since the first day. I can only imagine how he would have been if he had had a few more days, but after that 3rd day we were all very sore and pooped from the activity.
So we headed home from the mountain the last day and came upon a few things on the journey back...
And lots of snow on the trees.
The last day in Taos, we decided to take advantage of the town. Taos is full of lots of artistic shops and boutiques. We ended up with two prints from local artists, a handmade ornament for the Christmas tree, and a fun winter hat for me. We ate lunch in the plaza at Ogelvie's so that we could get a little New Mexican flare while we were there and then again we were pooped from shopping and spent the rest of the night at the house in Taos. (I just really like saying that.) Our New Year's eve was spent being pretty lazy and I can say that we didn't make it to New Year's in New Mexico, I think that we made it to New Year's in Texas though (considering the time difference.)
So bright and early Friday morning, New Year's day, we started the long journey back home. I think that Zach was surprised by the fact that I really didn't sleep on him during the trip. The trip home seemed longer, but it was actually the same. We even stopped on the way home at the Cadillac Ranch to leave our mark.