Since we’re without a home base in the U.S. and the kids are scattered around the northern hemisphere, we thought it would be fun to choose a cool place to meet up and spend a week there over the holidays. Originally we thought we’d do a cruise but then when the boys asked if girlfriends could come too we thought, hmmmm, we better just rent a house somewhere. We settled on Taos because we thought it’d be interesting culturally and there’s a ski resort there.
We had such a wonderful time. With no more teenagers in the house (Kevin turned 20 last October) we now are a family of full-fledged adults, and boy can you tell a difference! Everyone is helpful, happy, jovial and just downright pleasant and fun to be around. I love this new phase of our life. We took a cue from my in-laws (who’ve taken us on many great trips – thank you!) and made sure that (a) everyone had their own space (well, except Kevin who got the fold-out couch…next time, we promise Kev!), and, (b) everyone had access to transportation so if one group wanted to go north and the other south, they could (we rented two cars). (Here’s a special shout out to Ryan’s wonderful girlfriend, Alicia, who repeatedly faced sinks full of dirty dishes, pots and pans when no one else wanted to. She’d put on the country music, roll up her sleeves, and dance while washing.)
The ski weather was my kind of weather – 30 degrees, clear and sunny. Most surprisingly, I remembered how to ski though it’s been ~7 years since I last skied. I think it surprised the boys that I could keep up with them; I know it surprised me. Kevin, Stephanie and I even triumphed over a double black diamond with knee-high moguls where the first 5 feet was a straight vertical 90 degree drop (I knew if I could slide the drop and make the first turn I could make it) – nary a fall for any of us!
Here is Kevin, Ryan, Alicia and Alex ready for lunch.
It was great skiing on a real mountain . To give you an idea of what the “slopes” of northern Michigan are like, here’s a good story. We first taught the kids to ski very young. After they started to get the hang of it on the bunny slope, I asked the chair lift operator where the intermediate run was. I felt they were ready for more of a challenge. The operator looked at me confused and said, “You’re on it.” That’s how pathetic Michigan “mountains” are — I mistook the intermediate hill for the bunny slope. Here’s the family on Crystal Mountain about 15 years ago (from left: Ryan, Kevin, myself, Alex, Thom). (It took Ryan a while to get the hang of skiing, hence the sour face, now he’s good!)
Here’s the gang all grown up! (From left Kevin, myself, Ryan, Alicia, Stephanie and Alex)
One day we went and toured the Taos Pueblo. I found the church, San Geronimo Chapel, especially interesting. It was a mix of Catholicism and Native American religion. There were lots of icons and Jesus was shunted off to the side. The central icon was Mother Mary holding an ear of corn.
A lot of art has been inspired by this chapel. Here’s the real chapel.
And here is some art inspired by it…