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Taos/ Winter Vacation

Over the break, I went to Taos, New Mexico on a ski trip! I had some new experiences, some great, some not so much… What did you do over the break? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below!

At Taos, the skiing was amazing. One day I remember we got on the mountain especially early, and had fresh tracks on the powdery snow. It was so cool and just awesome to be gliding down a mountain of white cottony fluff!

However, some days it was also EXTREMELY cold. A couple of times, it was so frigid I went completely numb and couldn’t feel my fingers or toes! We used warmers in our gloves and boots, but sometimes they just didn’t help at all.

We did have a free day to explore the town of Taos! It’s an absolutely beautiful place, with high, majestic mountains as a background to this small, quiet area. We shopped around a bit and ate great food. One thing I noticed is that like many places in Texas, the Mexican culture greatly influenced houses, food, and decorations here.

My favorite place that we visited was basically a gigantic hole in the earth, called the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The bridge is 565 feet deep, making it the seventh highest bridge in the US! It’s almost sickening to look down off of it, into a huge, rocky pit. The crazy thing is, the land around is totally flat, and then suddenly you find an extremely steep cliff!

Along with skiing, we had two emergencies. (Nothing can ever go smoothly in my family, as you may have noticed.) The first one had to do with my three year old brother, Magnus. When we weren’t watching him, he managed to swallow a whole quarter. Luckily, it never got stuck in his throat, and he is okay. Hopefully he learned never to put foreign objects in his mouth!

The second occurrence had to do with my sister Annika. Because Taos is so high up, (almost 13,000 feet in some places) and Texas is so low sea level wise, she had trouble adjusting to the change. Rule #1 when you are that high up is to stay totally hydrated, or you could suffer from different levels of altitude sickness. Luckily, hers wasn’t fatal or anything, but fairly mild compared to some other cases of it.

It started when at four a.m. she walked into my parents’ room crying and puking. We thought she had just eaten something bad, but when she could finally talk, she was speaking total gibberish. We were worried that because we were so high up, maybe not enough oxygen was getting into her body. (She has a pretty bad case of asthma.) On our way to the ER, we asked her questions, such as “Who are your best friends in Massachusetts? Who are your best friends in Texas?” For both she answered the same people, even though they didn’t live in Austin. Another question was “Where are we?” She stuttered for a moment, then said, “T-t-Tennessee.” It turns out altitude sickness can make you kind of crazy, in the same way that being intoxicated might.

Overall, besides all the drama, my vacation was pretty great! Oh well, with my family, nothing will ever be calm. 😉

A Walk Down Memory Lane

In my life, I have moved twice. Once was in my old town, to just around the corner, and the other time was from Massachusetts to Texas. The first house I ever lived in was 51 Parks Drive. You might say it was in the middle of nowhere, in the center of a swamp. That’s what made it so great! Some of my best memories as a little kid are of me and my best friend, Kismet, and I having adventures in the lonely woods. We would run out and find something new, a huge fallen tree, chewed- on stumps from the family of beavers living there, or our favorite, a mucky, watery area with a log across it that we used as a balance beam. We had to be careful for the skunk cabbage, because if you stepped in it your shoes were ruined. That happened to her once, yikes!!

Weather in Massachusetts is much colder than Texas, so we had lots of snow. When we got at least 4 feet of it, my mom would let my sister and me jump off the monkey bars of our swing set and into the fluffy, white blanket below. We also liked to take “snow showers” where, if the snow was accumulating on the tree branches, we would yank them down so that a flurry of snow surrounded us. Sometimes the snow went tumbling down our backs, which was not a pleasant feeling. We still did it anyways.

There was an abundance of animals here too. You could find beavers, bunnies, deer, turtles, and all sorts of creatures roaming around that little area. I remember, when I found out I was moving, I was devastated even though it was only around the corner. I had become fascinated by the small family of rabbits that lived in the deep hole in our backyard. We finally had to put a miniature fence on top of that hole, because my dog happened to be a hunter. Loki loved to sniff out the rabbits, and sadly, he repeatedly tried to chew them up.

The trees on this property were perfect for climbing. They weren’t too high, but they were plenty strong. One in particular I loved the most, because I had found a way to climb almost to the top. I often came here to read a book, because I could wedge myself in between the branches in a way that I had both hands free to ruffle the pages. I love the feeling of being high up in the air where the wind can blow through my hair and I can breathe in the rich, deep smell of Earth!

Have you ever had to move? What do you miss from that area?

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