President's Day weekend was full of skiing, sleigh rides and a birthday. We didn't even have to head to the resort super early because lifts don't open until 10:30 am around here. Initially, I wondered why so late? But, when the sun doesn't rise very early, you don't either. The picture below is what you call an Alaskan traffic jam. The wildlife seem used to the routine and take their time crossing!
Alyeska is a world class ski resort, a little over an hour from Anchorage. This was the same place we hiked last fall, where Matt used Eva as bear repellent. No bears today, though. Whew. We have until April to enjoy that luxury!
The girls took lessons for a few hours,
and we got to ski kid-free.
The views of the Cook Inlet, from the top, were spectacular.
The girls caught on very quickly, and we all had a great day. Snow quality was pretty good and there was LOTS of it! In fact, it lightly snowed most of the day.
As a Utah native, I'm of course biased, but Utah skiing is still superior, as is the snow. There are also SEVEN world class ski resorts with in 30 minutes of downtown Salt Lake City, so they are very accessible, as well. Shhh, keep that a secret!
Family selfie on the lift. I was clinging to my phone for dear life, but got the shot!
Ella felt very grown up riding the lift by herself.
And here is my darling birthday girl, Eva Mae. She is my President's Day baby, and just turned nine.
The following day, we attended a sleigh ride event with our chapel community.
Meet Fred. Fred was very large! Matt is over 6 feet tall, and as you can see, Fred absolutely towered over him. But he was as peaceful and calm as can be.
S'mores? Yes, please!
I was fascinated watching the owner change Fred's shoes. He used a large file to file down his hooves,
and nailed the new shoes into place. Fred took it like a champ!
We enjoyed checking out the other horses while we waited for our ride.
And the horses seemed to check is out, too!
Of course, all I can think of is "Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh...."
Or, "Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh-ay...."
Yep, we had pretty much stepped right into a Christmas card.
I know you might be surprised hearing this from me, but there was such a tranquility being in the forest, with no sound, except the rhythmic clip-clop of the horses hooves. It was good for my soul.
Matt enjoyed talking to the driver about training the horses, and something he said really struck me. If you work the horses hard they'll live to be a very old age (about 30 years old). But, if you pamper them, they won't live very long, maybe half that age. I couldn't help but draw the parallel to the human body. God made us to move and work hard, and by so doing add life to our years. Just a small part of our original design.
Upon our arrival, Fred was shoed up and back in action. He was a magnificent creature!
After the ride, the girls enjoyed hanging out with the ponies.
I've said it before, I'll say it again, this girl belongs on a farm somewhere!
Then, sometimes you turn around, and the beauty of Alaska leaves you absolutely breathless.
We topped off a great weekend with a birthday cake for my nine year old. She chose a cookies 'n cream cake.
Happy President's Day!