Wow, what a great time we had on our trip! I said in yesterday’s post that after we arrived in Bend on Thursday, we got to bed early in preparation of our big day. Friday morning we woke up early and ate some breakfast at Chow before heading over to Mt. Bachelor. Chow is a farm-to-table restaurant with delicious food and I smiled when I saw the garden they had in their yard (all covered in snow this time of year.) I don’t think we could have picked a better place for breakfast, it was some really good food.
When my dad first mentioned the idea of going on a ski trip, he also mentioned that he had heard about a dog sled ride at the place he had in mind. Bracken heard me talking about it on the phone and got pretty darn excited about the idea, as you might imagine. When my dad inquired about it, he discovered that it cost more than we’d expected, but bless his heart- he booked us a spot on a dog sled ride! What a fun and amazing experience that was. Truly. We all loved it. We arrived early on Friday morning so we got to watch the set up and pet the dogs, then we were off, gliding across the snow. (Bracken drew a picture of it later that melts my heart, with the three of us sitting in the dog sled with big smiles on our faces.)
After our dog sled ride, we were ready to ski. I should add that I had only skied once before in my life. The way I remember it is that I had a lesson, but started going down a giant mountain before I was ready and didn’t know how to stop so was terrified as I flew straight down and then wiped out pretty badly (and was lucky I hadn’t injured anyone else in the process.) In reality, it probably wasn’t a giant mountain and maybe wasn’t even that steep, but it was still scary and I stuck to the bunny hills for the rest of the trip. That was in New Mexico.
When my dad mentioned skiing, I was willing to give it a go again. I wasn’t sure if Bracken would be a fan of skiing or not, but as soon as the skis were on his feet, he was full of “Whee!!” and “This is fun!” He had a hard time staying upright and would get his skis tangled up, but he still enjoyed himself. We started out with my dad holding his hand on one side and me holding his hand on the other, while we all tried to ski together. But the thing was that I didn’t have enough experience skiing and ended up wiping out quite a few times, so it was hard for me to focus on helping Bracken. It was better when my dad and Bracken skied together and I just practiced alongside them and tried to keep myself upright.
We practiced on the bunny hill and Bracken really enjoyed it. (The only part he didn’t like was the chair lift because he was afraid he would fall off.) I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that he liked it so much, but happily surprised. When I had a hard time slowing down, skiing was a bit scary, but when I felt like I had more control of my speed, then I was really enjoying myself and skiing was fun. I could see how with more practice, skiing could be something I really enjoy. My dad loves skiing and is glad to have more family members to enjoy it with.
I bundled Bracken up so much that day that he ended up getting hot. I, on the other hand, needed some more layers, even though I thought I had plenty on. I figured maybe I was just more sensitive to the cold than I used to be, since I’ve lived in such a moderate climate for so long now (unlike the cold Iowa winters I grew up with.) Luckily, my dad brought an extra pair of mittens with him since I had forgotten mine at home. Before our trip I found some snow pants and a coat at the thrift store for an incredible deal, which I was really happy about. And some friends let Bracken and I borrow snow goggles, which I so appreciated.
We only got one group picture during our trip, a lady walking by took it right before we headed up the mountain to ski. My dad planned our ski adventure to be on a Friday, so we could avoid the busy weekend. I’m so glad he did that because it seemed really busy to me as it was and I think a weekend day would have been much too busy for us. Did I mention that we had the perfect weather? It was snowing the day before and snowing the day after, but that day the skies were blue and the sun was shining. It seemed every person we passed on the slopes said something about how wonderful the weather was. We felt very lucky.
Of course the skiing and the dog sled ride were the highlights of the trip, but we also enjoyed some incredible food during our time in Bend. We ate at Jackson’s Corner after skiing (more delicious food) and then visited a few shops downtown before they closed. Saturday morning, before we headed home, we ate at Salud, with a very unique raw foods menu. Everything we had there, we loved. And then where was the perfect place to meet Jeff in Eugene? That’s right, Vanilla Jill’s for some ice cream. It was like the icing on the cake after such a great trip. (My dad and I were still raving about all the good food we enjoyed during our trip, days later. Thanks for everything, dad! You spoiled us big time.)
Better than any of that, though, was the quality time we got to spend together. It was such special father-daughter and grandpa-grandson time, with good conversations and memories that will always make me smile. It was the perfect time for a getaway, we really needed it actually. (And Jeff was happy to have some work time all to himself at home, he’s not a fan of skiing.) It felt good to break up the routine, do something new, and to do something out of my comfort zone. Skiing was out of my comfort zone and I like doing things out of my comfort zone. We decided to plan a fun adventure for next January and Bracken has already been asking me how long until it’s another year.