You see, for Christmas we decided to get the family snowshoes. We were so happy bicycling with the family last year that Owen and I wanted to keep going. But in Minnesota it snows - a lot! - and I really didn't want to ride in the winter and don't think the kids would be willing to either. But we wanted to stay active, to enjoy the winter wonderland around us, to keep doing things together as a family.
Cross-country skis, we thought, were an option but kind of a costly one once we all got skis, poles, boots and gear. Downhill skiing was another possibility, though more expensive than cross country with lift tickets and all. Add to that having to drive a half hour or more to the nearest ski hill.
So we decided to get snowshoes for Christmas. They are relatively inexpensive and we can snowshoe right in our backyard and surrounding fields. The kids had expressed interest in snowshoeing before. I've done it some and enjoyed it. We wouldn't need much by way of special equipment or clothes - just snowshoes. So Owen and I set out to get snowshoes for everyone for Christmas. And, to kick off our snowshoe ownership with style, we decided to the kids on a mini snowshoeing vacation up north.
So a few days after Christmas we loaded up our van and headed up to McGregor, Minnesota, about three hours north of our house, and settled in at our neighbor's cottage for some time away from work, from school, from home.
We played games. We ate yummy food. We hung out with the neighbors and their friends. We stayed up late and slept in.
And we snowshoed.
We snowshoed on Lake Minnewawa and in Savanah Portage State Park under a canopy of snow covered trees. The scenery was beautiful. And even though it was cold, we had fun.
Rose, Myrna & Ryan snowshoeing in Savanah Portage State Park
And on New Year's Eve, though the kids were getting kind of goofy with tiredness, we all stayed up until midnight to ring in the New Year - the first time we've all welcomed the new year together.
Snowshoeing. Family time. Games. Reading. Relaxing. A Happy New Year. A Happy Family.
Life is good.
And 2011 is off to a good start.