Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oh, The Places You'll Go.

Last week I asked my kids what brings them joy (because it's the end of the month and I was scraping the bottom of my inspiration bucket).

"Going new places," said Child #1. "You could even write a blog post called Oh, The Places You'll Go!"

Absolute genius! We are a very joyful family when we venture out to new places. All the picky eating, bedtime silliness, sibling warfare and general crankiness gets set aside in favor of our love of adventure.

I've put my kids on a nineteen hour flight to Thailand ("Mom can we watch? [insert inappropriate movie of your choice here]) Me in midsty of blurry jetlag, "Uh-huh, sure, whatever." But once we touched down, our jetlag faded and we reveled in things like tuktuks and ruins.

I weaned my daughter onto formula in the Cotswalds. There's something in that British formula that made her a very happy baby who gained three pounds in two weeks.

And I've driven with my family cross-country to see some of our nation's great treasures. Yellowstone last summer and Yosemite in a few weeks.

What I discovered this winter is, although it's fun, I don't always need to drag my kids across international date lines in order to discover the joy of new places. Sometimes that joy can be discovered right in my own backyard. Take Oregon for example, it's ski country. Something I've managed to ignore for the last six years.

Skiing had a bad rap with me. Until recently it conjured up images of cold hands, frozen toes and boyfriends convincing me I'd be just fine on the black diamond mogul runs. Then this winter, after weeks of rain in the valley and snow on the mountains, I decided we should give it a shot. If for no other reason then to get out of the rain.

We drove up to the mountain, emerging through the clouds and there was sun and a chorus of angels singing. Okay, maybe I imagined the angels but after weeks of rain you start imagining all kinds of things. The ski equipment was warmer than I remembered it being, the air was fresh and the best part of the whole day was when my kids finished their lesson.

"Mom, I want to go on the ski lift with you," my daughter told me. And so we did. Every time the lift swept us up into the air she squealed with excitement.

The first two times she fell down when we left the chair lift. The third time she got it and that, combined with hot cocoa afterwards, was pure joy found in an unexpected place.  

71 comments:

Joshua said...

I won't be going skiing. I'm too klutzy and accident prone.

Emily R. King said...

Fun memories! I'm a road trip kinda gal. Junk food, loud music, a numb-butt. I have a blast.
I'm training my children to like road trips, too. My two-year-old is adjusting. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There are some amazing places to see and go here in the USA. We just have to get out and find them.
I like being there but confess the driving part is no fun. Now, if I had ray guns on my car, that would be entertaining.

KatieO said...

We love to take the kids places too, and they love to go! Last year's big trip was Cancun, and our favorite day was at a national park kind of place. So different than New England!

Skiing is so much better today than when we were kids. The new equipment makes it easier too. We didn't make it up to Vermont in the last 2 winters - something about HS basketball season screws up my plans - but the last time we visited my sisters up there we also went dog sledding! Totally recommend it for next snow season!

Joanne said...

You sound like my daughter and son-in-law. I am so impressed with his involvement and the adventures they all go on. Rock climbing. Back packing. Eight and ten year olds. And, thanks for stoping by my place.

Glynis said...

What a delight of a post! My you are an adventurous family. Lovely. It brought back memories of days out with our children.

Johanna Garth said...

Josh, that's how I felt too but then...I proved myself wrong.

Emily, I love a good road trip. Good luck with the 2 year old!

Katie, now dog sledding would be a fun adventure!

Joanne, my pleasure!

Glynis, thank you. We love to venture out in any way we can.

Stephen Tremp said...

Skiing and hot cocoa! What a winning combination regardless of the age. Add in a bowl of awesome soup or chili and I'm ready to get back on the slopes!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Now i really want to go skiing even though winter just ended

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm enjoying thinking about snow and cocoa. It's 90+ here, the sun is shining, and one of the A/Cs is on the fritz.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I'm glad you were converted to the joys of skiing! The ski lift is one of my most favorite places.

Chuck said...

Never been a skier or really interested in it even though I grew up in Ohio and everybody there skied.

Gabrielle Meyer said...

I love traveling with our family. My favorite was a ten day trek across New England. Now that we have two year old twin boys our jaunts are much closer to home. We're planning a drive to Duluth, MN (about 3 1/2 hours northeast of our home) and spend the day at Lake Superior and take the kids to the train museum. Everyone is excited!

Barbara Watson said...

There's so much to do and see--everywhere! Sometimes for a kick we even visit new places in our own city and pretend we're tourists.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Your stories are so wonderful. I'm so glad that you are sharing them with us. You sound like you have a really great family.
Heather

Rachel Morgan said...

Family holidays are some of the best memories I have :-)
Your adventuring sounds like so much fun!

Talli Roland said...

What a wonderful post! My parents did a lot of travelling with me growing up, and it definitely influenced me - I love to travel and I've lived in four different countries as an adult.

Morgan said...

All sounds like such an adventure! And I love the vibe I get from your family. All so close-knit. Too awesome. :D

Sabrina A. Fish said...

I have never been, but am looking forward to the day when my son and I can learn together. I love going on adventures, though we check out our local adventures. I recently visited Turner Falls in Oklahoma. I've lived here my whole life and this was my first time to see them. So beautiful.

Great post as always, lady. I am awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award. You can go here for details and to claim your award badge: http://sabrinaafish.blogspot.com/

jenny milchman said...

That picture is fantastic, Johanna! Is that Mt. Hood? I'm so glad you guys got to experience skiing that way. All your adventures, near and far, sound fabulous. Soon we are headed out to your neck of the woods for some of our own.

Hope you and I can get sandwiches again :)

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