Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ice castle

Three days. Three DAYS! That's all they could keep the ice castle frozen for this year.  Every year in Midway they build this ice sculpture big enough to walk through. I don't know how they do it, probably takes layers of  freezing and adding more water, and freezing again. You may have seen the ice castle in this video by the Piano Guys? Their photography/videography is much better than mine. 

 We made a reservation weeks ago with our friends Brenda and Monte that included a sleigh ride, then the Monday after it opened, we got an email saying if we wanted to see it at all we needed to get up there that night. They were closing early.  Winter this year, in spite of my last post, has been almost non-existant. We had one big set of storms right in time for my out of town family's visit, then one other doinky one. That's it. We ate out on the patio for dinner the Sunday before Valentine's day. I'm running in T-shirts lately.  Anyway...

 The horses were beautiful. Same company that we took for our Haunted Halloween wagon ride took us this night. 

 It was pretty magical.

 Brilliant me, I didn't notice until halfway through the ride that this really really was a sleigh. There were no wheels, just runners. I felt like Laura Ingalls. 

 We walked into the Ice castle through this beautiful arch

 and into a kind of courtyard area where we met Elsa and Anna (of course --who do you think built the castle duh?).

 Then you could wend your way through hallways and into rooms lit up with lights that changed colors.

 Fountains, and even fire (it will show better in the video at the end).

It was crowded, but still really neat. Brenda and Monte are always a good time. They drove, and they even let us stop at Kneaders afterwards for Mexican Hot chocolate. We've got to do something again with them soon. Our weekends fill up with stupid chores, and then we are too exhausted to do fun stuff. Does that happen to anyone else?


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Accepting winter.

 I've decided that the key to surviving winter in a cold, dark winter place like Utah, is to find a way to play in the winter. The snow. I'm no skier, --never wanted to spend the money to learn, but last year? year before? Sometime, I started snowshoeing, snow hiking, and snow running in earnest around the canyons and mountains near our house. 
 There's beauty in the snow and darkness that I've gotten more and more emotionally attached to. 
 The blues.
 The crusty frost.

 Jeff and I and some friends went up to Sundance the other night to go owling. The only owls we ran into were in the yurt shown by volunteers, but the snowshoe hike in the dark was spectacular. The moon lit up groves of aspen all on one side, making their trunks glow white. The stars were very clear.

 I tried to take pictures...yeah. My phone isn't the best for that.

 A few days later, we had rain followed by snow. All of the tree branches get coated in powdered sugar when this happens. It's my favorite.


However, this weekend's trip to St. George and the sun didn't hurt my feelings at all.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Finally. Family.

 I may have named other things, but really, truly, honestly, the best part of Christmas is hanging out with family. It took a long time for them to come, and they didn't make it until Christmas was actually over, AND we were missing some key players (the worst --but what can you do? --besides miss them a ton), but we had a nice big crazy crowd for New Years and the week before.

 I was still a little sick (yeah -- I passed THAT gift on) so I snowshoed a little instead of sledding.

 Poor Jeff gets cold earlier than anyone else (no bodyfat), so here he's pathetically trying to get us back to the car.

The sledding at Diamond Fork was gorgeous. I highly recommend it.

 We hit up Thanksgiving Point --mostly so Meesha and I could look at the stuff in the stores. 

 ..and thaw out in the atrium.

 But we did take the kids to Farm Country where they MILKED THIS COW. Can you believe it? That was a pretty neat experience. The teenage boys were too embarrassed to try. I wonder why?

 But most of the week was spent in a loud, happy tangle of cousins, aunts, and uncles.

 Sigh. It was wonderful.