Thursday, June 11, 2015

Scenery, Snow and Selfies

I'm pretty proud of that title. Especially because I have NOT been thinking about it for days.  It actually just came to me right in this very second as I started writing the post after loading pictures for the last 8 months straight.

With that picture count in mind, let's get into it!

On Friday morning I let the kids sleep in.  We had been up late at the inauguration the night before and we had another long day ahead of us.  Breakfast is served in the dining hall from 6:30 to 8:00 so we missed it.  Instead we went to IHOP.  It was surprisingly crowded for a Friday morning, but we got a table right away and got our food pretty quickly.  I had to send my iced coffee back twice before I finally just ordered water.  Seriously, can IHOP not handle just pouring black coffee over ice?  Each time it came out with 1/2 a pound of sweetener and a bunch of artificial creamer.  I even specifically asked for no sweetener and nothing creamy.  I said the words, "can you please just pour some black coffee over ice?"  But, whatever, I now know for the future that IHOP may be the master of pancakes, but they are not the master of anything coffee. 

After breakfast we headed up to Arizona Snowbowl in the San Francisco Peaks.  Don't let the name confuse you.  It's just north of Flagstaff, not in California.

Forty minutes later we were at the top of the mountain, bundled in our warmest winter clothes and ready to board the ski lift.

If you can't read the sign, we were at 9,500 feet.
It was about 62 degrees in Flagstaff when we left breakfast and about 50 degrees at the bottom of the ski lift.  There was a storm rolling in that day and I knew we had limited time to make it up and back before the rain/snow started.

Things started out nice.  You could see the storm up ahead of us, but nothing was too bad yet.
It takes a little more than 30 minutes to get to the top.  It took us longer because the lift kept stopping and we kept feeling anxious that we were going to be stuck on there and need to be rescued by mountain patrol.

Time for a selfie!
Oh, look.  We made it a little higher and there's some snow.  This particular snow is left over from a combination of winter snow and a very late in the season snow storm that occurred in mid-May.

Getting stormier

How about we take a selfie?

Or two?

More snow
And another selfie.

This would be a nice place to point out that I brought one of my old baby carriers and I had Elliott literally strapped to my body.  It made us both feel secure and had the added bonus of keeping us warmer.  See the stretchy blue fabric going around him?  It stretched all the way around my back.

It's getting snowier.

And definitely stormier.  This was about the point where we were actually up in the clouds.

Can you see the clouds in a selfie?  Not really.

I may or may not have questioned my sanity and my mothering skills around this point.

But I covered it well.  You know, with another selfie.

We got to the top and it was 29 degrees.  With very poor visibility.
The only people up there with us were the two ski lift operators and two park rangers who were married to each other and who, before becoming park rangers, were both educators in Spencer's school district.  WHAT?  What are the chances of that?  They actually know current teachers at Spencer's school.  And not just any teachers, second grade teachers that he could possibly have next month.  That's just not even possible.

The kids were very into playing in the snow, but it was really icy and not good for packing or throwing.  Plus, did I mention it was 29 degrees?

This is the highest point in Arizona.  There used to be a sign that said that, but somebody stole it.  Typical jerks.
After about 20 minutes, much to the disappointment of Spencer and Elliott, I made us take the ski lift back down.  Mostly because I didn't want them to be sitting on me and next to me whilst dripping with melted snow. 

It was beautiful with the storm behind us.

The selfies weren't bad either.

Once we made it down off the mountain, we headed back to Boys State.  All offices were operating, so we hung out for a bit in the Senate.

And watched grandpa advising the senators.

That got pretty boring pretty quickly, so we decided to walk around and check out the campus.  

This is McConnell Hall.  It has the weirdest floor plan of any dorm in the world.  Many an inebriated college student has slept in the hallway of this building because they couldn't find their own room.  This is where all the Boys Staters stay.  I stayed in this dorm every year that I helped in the office, but the rooms do not have their own bathrooms, so I was ever so grateful that my dad got us a room elsewhere this year.

This is a new dorm room in front of McConnell.  It seemingly just popped out of nowhere.

Our walking around didn't last long because right after we took these pictures the rain started and pretty much didn't stop until the next morning.  It was absolutely lovely.

Instead of our nature walk we went back to the room and I let the kids eat tortilla chips and watch DVDs.  Because sometimes, you just have to let your kids eat tortilla chips and watch DVDs.

After dinner we went to the Boys State Talent Show.  The talent show has always clocked in around 70 to 90 minutes.  Except for this year when we reached a record breaking 150 minutes.  Good lord. 

My dad and Jim always start the show with an embarrassing song they sing.  The boys love it.
A talented young man composed his own song on the piano and dedicated it to my dad.  He and Elliott listened together.

And then, towards the end of the show, Elliott really got his jam on.

He was GETTING DOWN!  See the guy in the background in the blue shirt?  That's my friend Anthony.  We met at Boys State in 1996.  We were both born in Tucson in 1979, about 15 hours apart.  I am September 5 and he is September 6.  I like to give him life advice because my advanced age gives me a lot of wisdom to share.  Anyway, he is recording Elliott here.  He's going to send me the video.

According to my dad, this is the very first congo line, spontaneous or planned, during a talent show, ever.

Elliott gave a lot of high-fives.

And then, on the verge of a triple meltdown (me, Spencer and Elliott), we headed back to the dorm for another too short night of sleep where Elliott woke up screaming at 2 because he lost his Peppa stuffed animal and got up in my face at 5 and wanted to sleep in my twin bed with me.  I just switched beds with him, unbeknownst to him.

Up next:  we drive home and are home for 30 minutes before I leave home and go to a party.


Jeannette said...

I still can't believe there is snow in Arizona (or really anywhere in the lower 48) in June. It just blows my mind.

I'm also still giggling thinking about pre-teen and teenage Natalie up there each year. ;)

Sherry said...

I am so glad you reiterated that the Snowbowl was in Arizona and not California for the geographically challenged. ;-) You really like doing things backwards out there, don't you? I mean, the majority of the country does winter stuff in the winter (shocker, right?), and here you have to be the deviant one and do snow stuff in summer. Haha! But I get need the break from your hell on earth summers. Did you have even the slightest anxiety on the ski lift? I think my fear of heights has just blown up in the last few years (especially with Brody because I just have nightmares about him all the time). Those sneaky fears of a kid slipping out of the lift chair just will not leave me alone. Sigh. Okay, just read where you used the baby carrier to strap E on so obviously you must share a little of my anxiety. ;-) Yikes, 29 degrees is pretty cold even for us so I know your Arizona blood was freezing! I love that shot of Elliott on your dad's shoulders. So cute!

And yes, I read most of your posts way earlier than this from my phone usually while sitting in the carpool line at Evan's school, but I just can't get out the comment I want to make from my phone since I like to write so much. Plus, you already know what a crazy (and short!) summer we've had. So lucky you, I usually end up reading your posts twice since I have to re-read it again when I can comment on it. :-)

Cat said...

So strange to see a picture of YOU with SNOW.