About thirty years, my aunt had the wisdom and foresight to buy a house in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It is on the mountain, about a hundred yards from the ski slopes, and it's nestled into a wooded lot with trees and wildflowers in the summer (in the winter it is covered under about a gazillion feet of snow). A few years later, my dad bought into the house with her. So . . . here we are. For two whole weeks!
There is something about being in a new environment that is entertaining for children. I'm not just talking about the wonderful outdoors and rafting and hiking. I'm talking about being in a different house. We have not turned on the TV once, and the girls have discovered sledding down the carpeted stairs, the joys of a hot tub, and the thrill of performing plays. Here is their curtain call from their interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood (that is a wolf mask on Julia, if you're wondering).
Here's the other wonderful thing. My oldest daughter is ten. I love having little girls, but having older girls is a whole new world. Anne can do lots of really cool adult things with me that I like to do. Here we are hiking up to 9000 feet. It was wonderful and tough and there was no whining. From either of us.
Dad and little sisters spent the morning scoping out pawn shops for bikes that we can use while we're here. Oh, and we're wearing fleece at night and sitting by the fire. Just in case you were wondering.