Happy New Year!
There were many wonderful aspects to 2011 --our trip to Turks and Caicos, getting our porch redone, and putting in the koi pond-- but losing Ben's mom and my mother, both after months of illness, made the year a very tough one. We were happy to see the New Year roll in.
To celebrate, we spent a long weekend in Lake Placid, New York, at the Mirror Lake Inn, a luxury lakefront inn. It was a magical setting to sink into.
The Inn has three restaurants, including The View, where on New Year's Eve Ben and I enjoyed a six-course dinner. Paul and his friend, Robbie, joined us for about an hour for a much faster-paced two-course dinner, after which they watched TV in the room while we finished at our leisure. Although both Robbie and Ben fell asleep about 11:00, Paul and I stayed awake to join other hotel guests in the lobby at midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square, make noise with our noise makers, and catch balloons from the balloon drop, while a pianist played Auld Lang Syne and staff offered the guests glasses of champagne and sparkling cider.
There wasn't much snow on the ground, which was a disappointment. The first and last mornings we were there, however, there were "snow showers," which were pretty and exciting.
This is Paul trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue.
The snow falling on the lake was especially lovely.
We seized the moment and headed out to Whiteface Mountain to try our hand at skiing. We are all rank beginners, but we hired an instructor for half a day and had a fun and scary experience on this "real" mountain. Of course we stayed at the beginner's area, but most of us did try the steeper option during our last hour, which was thrilling.
But most of the activities which involved snow were canceled for lack of it -- the sleigh ride (oh, I had been so looking forward to that!), cross country skiing, and snow tubing. Well, never mind, we had lots of fun anyway. Being at the Inn was relaxing and luxurious, and just spending time with each other was wonderful. Paul's friend, Robbie, who now lives in Pennsylvania, was a joy to have along. We've known him since he was a baby, and it was a special treat to have him join us.
It was Robbie's first plane ride!
As boys do, they found fun in the simplest of activities, like a game of bowling on the ice...
...or making Paul's shirt blow up in the swimming pool.
Watching them reminded me of how the little moments in life are so special and memorable.