Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sabino Canyon Adventure

We found this absolutely wonderful gem in the middle of the desert in Arizona! 
We need a little waterhole like this one in Flagstaff! I'd be there every single day in the summer. 
This is heaven! 

The hike to the water was quite hot and dry. I was starting to have some serious doubts about whether we would actually find some water anywhere but then suddenly this oasis appeared and I could hardly believe my eyes! 

The kids were having so much fun that I was able to get some pretty good pictures! 

Noah was having a hard time at first because I didn't bring his swim suit. Max just happened to be wearing his swim shorts but I honestly didn't think there would be this much water! He threw a big fit and wouldn't have any fun. So I threw a big fit back and eventually he got over it and then he had a blast! It's still pretty hard to get a decent picture of the kid though. He's quite camera shy.

It's so much easier though to take pictures of Max. He doesn't mind and he happens to be cutest 4-year-old I know! Again, I am really enjoying the kids these days. 4 and 7 are great ages and I love their independence and different personalities! 

When Karl got done with his awesome trail run, he joined our water fun. Turns out there are a whole bunch of waterfalls further up the trails. Looks like we will have to go back and go on a long early morning hike to check out those falls! 

I even had time to take some completely random pictures. 

This awesome little spot was just 30 minutes away from our campground on Mt. Lemmon. It was the perfect ending to our Spring Break adventure. Here's to many more great camping trips! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Break on Mt. Lemmon in Tucson

evening time at our camp site

We had a slow and rocky start to our spring break camping trip. I was already about to throw a fit in the car and we hadn't even left Flagstaff. Going to the bank and onto campus before leaving town will do that to me. Especially when we then need to turn around because Karl forgot 1 out of 2 things at his office. Good times! Finally on the freeway and after 2 miles the check engine light comes on. Really!?! Turn around again, head to the car shop, get the car inspected. They give us the green light to go ahead with out trip (huge sigh of relief) and off we go. Again. 

Noah couldn't have cared less. He was engrossed in his new book. It's so fun to have a little reader at our house! I loved reading books as a kid and Noah is getting there as well! So fun! 

Getting to Tucson wasn't too bad but getting through Tucson and over to Mt. Lemmon was a nightmare. I was about to jump out of the car and onto my bike except that the roads were horrible. I am not a huge fan of the city itself so far! The kids have turned into pretty good little travelers and are setting a good example for their Mom. 

 When we finally got to our campsite in the late afternoon, we were super happy to find out that there were still plenty of spots to choose from! Molino Basin Campground is awesome and I would highly recommend it! It's only 5 miles up the road, so this time of year the temperatures there are great. But it's also very basic and you even need to bring your own water... Unlike training camp in St. George where we actually stayed at a nice house, this time we slept in a tent. And our kids, who have never ever slept in our bed, are always thrilled to be sleeping right next to me and Karl. 

Time for some hiking! While I rode all the way up Mt. Lemmon (25 miles straight uphill - best ride ever!), Karl and the kids went on on adventure of their own. It involved a very long hike, getting lost, and hitching a ride back. You know, the usual. (Ask Karl for details. ) I am very grateful for an awesome husband who likes to go explore and have fun with the kids while I am doing my own thing. Of course, this goes both ways and I am happy to return the favor! 

This is the infamous cookie cabin at the top of Mt. Lemmon:

Famous for its humongous cookies. I told the kids about it and, of course, they made Karl drive them up there and get a cookie. I can't believe they each got their own! 

The best thing about camping is getting 10 hours of (semi-decent) sleep each night! I don't even care if I am awake for half of it because some kid pushed me off the pad or is hitting me in his sleep. Just lying down for that long is heaven! 

No electricity, no laptops, no phones. For 5 days. It was liberating! 

But I do need a shower here and there. So on the 3rd day we drove into Tucson. To swim, shower, shop for food, get ice and water. The kids had a blast at the Children's Museum while I as running laps around the block by the swimming pool. Then I got to jump in and swim some laps. And - this is the best part - I even laid in one of those lounger thingies for a while because the kids weren't back yet from the museum  the pool sucked for lap swimming and I couldn't handle it any longer. 

I love it when my kids just hang out on rocks and are happy. There was a little stream super close to our site and they would venture over there to play. Water, no matter how little, just makes everything better. We even met some other German kids who they enjoyed playing with. 

We took two pets home with us from Mt. Lemmon. Two stink bugs. Yep, you read that right. We do have one three entomologists in the family after all. But I was pretty close to throwing those stinky things out of the car on the way home because Max just couldn't keep his little fingers away from them. Now they are living in harmony with our blue death-feigning beetle on the kids' desk. Good times!

Apparently, we like to eat
This is proof that Karl feels rather comfortable strutting around in his spandex and that he actually did get to mountain bike. Some. He happened to have left his mountain biking shoes at home. Oops. Have I mentioned that of all athletes I think I like cyclists in their kits the best? So this campground was perfect because every few minutes riders would come by on their way up Mt. Lemmon and I could check them out from afar through the trees. There were even some Frenchmen! Sweetness. 

But of course these two boys are my favorite bikers! 
Although the trail was difficult, Noah had a blast mountain biking with Karl. So fun to have these kids grow up! I am loving it! 

Great memories! We will be back! 
Well, I will be back. There are plenty of other fantastic places to camp in Arizona but there aren't many 25 mile climbs on perfect roads. Training camp on Mt. Lemmon anyone? 
I just love that mountain

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Noah Takes on Snowboarding

Now that I have put away the winter coats, boots, and clothes (hopefully) for good this year, I remembered that I really wanted to share these pictures of Noah's first time on a snowboard with you!  

On the Friday before spring break I finally did what I have been meaning to do for the last two winters: I took Noah (and his friend Jake) up to Snowbowl for some snowboarding fun
The main reason I hand't taken him before was money but in the spring Snowbowl has some great Friday afternoon deals and I paid a total of $30 for rentals and lift passes. Awesome! 

I myself grew up skiing in Germany and did some skiing in college in Utah but haven't been in way too many years. Although skiing is one of my favorite things to do! Some day Karl will have a real job and we will all have gear and ski/snowboard all winter! I can't wait! 

I was really trying to get Noah and his friend to try skiing rather than snowboarding because I know zip about boarding. But they had made up their mind and so I just told them that they were on their own trying to figure this thing out! It basically took them one run to get the hang of it and I couldn't have been more astonished and proud! This was actually going to be fun for all of us! I was thrilled!


After going down the bunny hill a couple of times, we were ready to move on and I convinced them to ride the small chair lift with me. I rode with Noah and would find random people to partner Jake up with. Good thing the kid is not shy. He may or may not have fallen out of the lift at the very bottom at one point... 

Riding the lift with Noah was so fun
He's got some awesome hair in these pictures which we have cut in the meantime... 

Ready to take on the bigger hill

I loved seeing him having so much fun! 
It was one of the best afternoons with Noah ever! 

After a few more runs, the small chair lift closed, so we really had no option but to go to the bigger chair lift. To be honest, I was a little worried but the boys were total champs. They had the time of their lives. Especially ones they were confident enough to ride the lift by themselves. Just the two of them. It was a beautiful sight

I am seriously impressed with how fast they picked up this new sport and got quite good at it! On the last few runs they would tell me to just meet them at the bottom. That is music to my ears! I love seeing my kids becoming more and more independent. I was actually having fun myself while cruising down the mountain on skis and it reminded me just how much I have missed it! 

Unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to go back before the ski resort closed, but you bet we will be back next season! More than just once...