A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

racing in the snow

We spent this last weekend up north with friends. Their family own a condo near Lake Bellaire which is a small lake just to the East of Lake Michigan. It is a beautiful part of the world and popular in the summer as well as a snow destination. The property is in a ski resort called Shanty Creek and is about 3.5 hours from our house.

The resort had a cardboard derby event on the Saturday morning so we had spent most of Thursday night constructing a fire engine out of a cardboard packing box (following some sound advice!) and a couple of rolls of duck tape

After taking forever to pack, we finally got on the road on Friday evening and made our way up the 131 highway, stopping at a drive-thru McDonalds for dinner (bribery will get you everywhere, including 2 quiet kids!).

It's the kind of place that makes you feel instantly relaxed the minute you arrive and we got a warm welcome from our friends.

Saturday morning and we were up and about early to get registered for the race. We made our way to the bottom of the ski hill, proudly dragging our cardboard sleds behind us. We arrived to see a huge beer bottle, an even bigger pirate ship, a snow mobile, a huge gun (?!) and a box of popcorn, all made out of cardboard, tape and paint! I began to think maybe we should have spent longer on ours but made our way to the judging area and waited to see what they thought of our bright red and silver fire truck. Unfortunately we didn't win any awards but our friends did for their fabulous green racing car sporting the ski resort's logo.

And so on to the races. Our kids were racing as a team so we watched the other kids in the individual race... And they came 1st and 4th! Woohoo! So that was 2 medals so far, one for each of them.
There were so many boxes in the team category that they had to do 2 races with the top 3 finishers entering a finale to determine the overall winners. After the first heat it was our turn. Jeremy got our kids to the top of the course and into their sled. I eagerly waited at the bottom, camera in hand, ready to capture their first time in a cardboard derby race. We told them it was just for fun to manage expectations but they only went and won the first heat! They were the youngest team and most of the crowd were shouting team fire! Probably because, having won, they just sat their waiting for Jeremy and I to get to them! Bess them!

It was a quick scramble back up the hill to go again. They were the youngest team and most of the crowd were shouting team fire! Probably because, having won, they just sat their waiting for Jeremy and I to get to them! Bess them!

As they came down the hill for a second time, I was busy cheering and taking photos as their sled quickly edged into the lead, unaware of what was about to happen. But Jeremy was watching from the top and could see that they were heading towards the wall of snow on the side of the course. They were going at a pretty fast pace and were just a few feet from the finish line, well ahead of the rest, they went up the snow bank and completely flipped over! Disaster! I was willing them to get up, brush off and finish but soon realised there was tears and blood! Fortunately they had helmets on and the blood was just from surface scratches on Toby's lip and face. Toby was fine after a quick cuddle and clean up but Charlotte was pretty shocked (even though she had a soft landing on top of Toby!). It was such a sad end to a fantastic race but they soon recovered and after lunch, we had fun watching Daddy and our friends skiing down the hill.

We are certainly bringing up our kids to be adventurous and try news things! I wonder what the next few years will have in store for them!

Above: trying their sled out before the race and looking good in the first race

Below: winning the first race, but disaster in the finale... so close yet so far! 

"When can I go skiing Mummy?!"

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