Finding A Winter Wonderland

Ice skating

We decided to make the trip into the mountains for a few days over the Christmas break, and maybe even find a little snow for Rylie to check out. With the decision made we packed the truck to the limits and headed West. Actually, for two years now I’ve wanted to skate on the lake and that was reason enough to me to head out to our cozy winter wonderland.

By the time we hit Banff the snow began to fall and the temperatures plummeted. The drive was nice. There is something quiet and calm about powder covered trees and the picturesque snow capped mountains. Windermere this time of year is more bustling than fall, but much quieter than in the summer, which makes it a great winter escape from the city.

A nice unwelcome surprised awaited once inside the house. The house was toasty though, as we’d set our “nest” to heat the house to a nice cozy temperature upon arrival. It just so happened, that we had some unwanted house guests take over the upstairs ensuite when we were gone; a black fly infestation! Sick. The first thing we did was thoroughly vaccuum before anything else. 100’s of flies were sucked and destroyed, but without knowing their source Josh had his work cut out for the next few days. Operation Fly Recon began immediately, a mix of attacking each new live bug with the vaccuum, and setting up a watch tower with the GoPro. Josh decided it was faster and more efficient to just watch with his own eyes since the flycam didn’t have good enough zoom or resolution to be sure where the egg laying hatch location could be. Though we destroyed the enemy for now, we’ll see if its truly over, or if its just a ceasefire until the spring.

Disappointed after finding no skates in the garage, Rylie and I decided to tackle the snow just for fun anyway. We were lucky enough to make it out before the nippy -19 weather settled into the valley on the second day. Once Rylie went through the steps of donning all her layers, she could barely move and looked somewhat unimpressed. We think she prefers the beach, because once outside she sat still in the snow with a “what now” look on her face, not to mention the mitts, boots and hat made moving even an inch a great challenge. Despite the chilliness and the mobility issues, they enjoyed their time together making snow angels, throwing fluffy snow, destroying piles made by “mom” and wondering along the lake taking photos of the neighbours skating, and panoramic views of the crisp, sun drenched snow. The whole thing lasted longer than it took to get dressed.

I’d like to say we spent our days skiing, skating, and sledding but the reality was it was cold. Real cold. And, just incase you didn’t already know this. We don’t like cold.

Our one attempt at a long walk ended about 500 m from the house.

“Are you cold?” asked Josh.

Followed by, “yes, I didn’t know it was this cold out.”

“Do you want to go home?”

“Yup, you?”

“Okay then, let’s go home”

From there we turned the stroller 180 degrees and quickly plodded our chilly cheeks back home. Definitely shorter than it took us to get dressed. Maybe one should check the weather before heading out, (albeit dogless) for a “nice” winter stroll for no reason other than for some fresh mountain air.

I should say, one of the main reasons we came out to the lake this week in particular was to meet up with a few of our good friends for morning coffee. Rylie also enjoyed playing with her friend (their 3 year old daughter), read stories, learned how to share her toys, and showed her how to ride the pink donkey. Lately, she has been closely studying older kids, and tries her best to emulate their actions.

Much to her parents Christmas wishes, and maybe from watching the bigger kids too, she’s also begun taking her first steps. She really wants to just go and take off running, but so far, I think her max is about five. I expect that having carpet at grandma’s house, and the greater distance she needs to travel (away from trailer living) has been a key in this latest development. I’m not sure you’d call it walking, but I would rather say “she CAN walk”, as she still prefers crawling as her main form of transport.

The remaining few days were spent mainly indoors, sipping hot cocoa, baking cookies and muffins, and creating endless toy messes. We actually watched a movie, got the house back in shape, and continued to chase off those pesky back flies and when it was all over, on New Years Day we headed back to the city. Enough taking it easy, there was stuff to be returned, errands to run, house browsing to do, and relatives to visit so we said so long to our little mountain town.

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