20150729

IN KILLINGTON . . .


A few months back we got invited up to Killington, Vermont, to stay a couple nights at the Killington Resort and try out the new Adventure Center! Ropes course, alpine slide, zipline ride . . . your basic nightmare for a girl like me ;). I kid! I kid! There is also a station for panning for gold, a heated saltwater pool, and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Obviously these things are right up my alley, and thankfully I got to bring my husband along too to help out with the rest of it, that lucky jerk. :) It was the PERFECT few days. We were all so sad to leave when it was over. I may have even discovered my inner athlete while there, but more on that in a minute . . . 

It's just a few short hours by car to Vermont from the city. We'd still never managed to make it up there, though I'd always wanted to check it out, so I was really excited to get a press invitation to scope things out, get some outdoors in, and do a lot of antiquing along the way.

Vermont:
1. Maple Syrup
2. Autumn Foliage
3. Buying Other People's Old Junk

Ask Brandon what our basket collection is numbering at these days if you want to see a really good eye roll. ;)

Killington! Ready?


HIKING / 


I'll lay this part out real quick: this was NOT supposed to be a hike. It was only supposed to be a five-minute walk from the finish of one gondola to the start of the next. But maps were made to be left in places and not consulted, thus is the Holbrook way. Luckily it was the perfect day for a beautiful, if not entirely unnecessary, afternoon hike ;). 


But wait did I say gondola??


I totally did, you were paying attention!!! This is us at the top. (We did finally make it.)


Wee! Holbrooks!!

ROPES COURSE /


One year at girl's camp we got to do a ropes course to find out what we were made of and exercise our muscles of faithfulness. You know, metaphor for life's trials and the reward of heaven and / or feeling like a total bad ass for finishing it. Except I was the only one not to finish. I was also the only one to stage an impressive emotional display while wearing a rope harness and dangling helplessly, which in my case meant I didn't make it to heaven. And that is all I'm going to say about that. 


I'd love to type out here that I made up for that pathetic show by finally being that bad ass this time around, except that mostly all I did was I the first level, only to show my mom I'm as tough as she is (not possible), and then I wussed on out and let Brandon take his turn. 

For Brandon's part, he and my mom took turns showing off how brave -slash- ridiculous they could be by crossing each obstacle like maniacs. At one point Brandon faked falling, hopped on one foot, then finished up by racing across the ropes like a monkey while making screeching noises, all on one obstacle. 


I was impressed, anyway. 

PANNING FOR GOLD /


After each sift Huck would peer into his tray, cross check his findings against his stone guide, then  exclaim in wonder while incorrectly pronouncing each of the stones he'd found. 

"Om-si-bbian!" 

"Ooh! Karts!!" 


There was also a fun maze for the kids. Check out these faces.


Hah!


PADDLE BOARDING /


It turns out there is an outdoor activity at which I am actually pretty decent? Good! I'd even say good!

I even steered myself over to this orange ball floating in the weeds + got to rescue the lake from some litter. WHO AM I ANYMORE.


SALTWATER POOL / 


Guys. 


Saltwater pools for lyfe.


Brandon does the classic dad maneuver where he tricks Huck into floating on his own, Huck displays the appropriate corresponding emotion:


Terror. 


I will probably never finish this book, it is far too thick. #savemejonsnow

S'MORES + SPARKLERS /


Yay, Killington!

  
The kind folks at Killington have offered to let me give away a Killington Grand Adventure Pass!  To enter for your chance to win a family 4-pack of 1-day tickets to use at Killington Resort's new Adventure Center, please tweet a link to this giveaway, tagging me, including the hashtag #KillingtonMtn! So something like . . . "Consider this my entry, #KillingtonMtn! @heynataliejean you are so pretty! [INSERT LINK]." Yeah? Yeah?? ;) (I make Huck say "please mom you are so pretty" whenever he wants something hideously indulgent, like a handful of mini marshmallows or whatever, and I DON'T CARE if that's a ridiculous misuse of parenting power! I don't! Muah-haha!)

The winning Adventure Pass tickets must be used before the season ends on 9/17/15, no transportation or lodging included. Our winner will be chosen Monday of next week and will be contacted privately. 

Good luck, happy tweeting, and thank you for having us, Killington!

(You don't seriously have to compliment me on Twitter. I mean, you can. But do tag me so I can track you, yeah?)

20150723

BACK TO SCHOOLA


Thank you, the title, I know. This post is already pretty rad.

The thing about a cross-country move is that it's a little like moving to Mars. I've always said this. 

I can say that I've always said this because I have--I seem to move across the country fairly consistently. It's like a thing with us. And in every big move I've noticed you get a similar type of new things to adjust to, regardless of where you're going -- a new climate, possibly a different lifestyle to adopt (in this case, especially. #cars), weird regional accents + languages to figure out (shopping cart vs. carriage, purse vs pocketbook, garage sale vs. tag sale?) . . . you get it. Sometimes a move throws more into whack than just where your mail gets delivered or whether your wifi is any good. 

For instance! This move here means I probably won't get to eat a really great bagel now anymore ever.

For instance part two: This move to Moscow also means I get to have a year of Huck's childhood back.


Huck was scheduled to start kindergarten this fall here in Brooklyn. He got into one of the best schools in the city, an art-heavy program with a really great faculty and, like, cool murals on the walls and stuff. The public school dream! It's been kind of the hardest part of leaving, actually. Nobody gets into their dream school the first try. (Hah, guys. This is kindergarten we're talking about.) We'd been counting our lucky stars, even though all along I've also felt it's a little too soon for him to be starting full-time school. Out here the age cut off for starting kindergarten is 5 by 12/31, so a late October birthday like Huck gets shuffled right on in. And you don't have the option in NYC of holding a kid back a year. 

In Idaho the cut off is the beginning of September. And thus my baby will stay a baby, and my chief partner-in-crime, for one more year. 

It's actually kind of wonderful.

So now we're thinking about everyday clothes that don't involve school but do involve mud for his "back to school" wardrobe. He no longer needs shoes built for sidewalk walking + playground climbing, he needs shoes made for racing, sprinting, jumping, and tumbling. And he needs layers. Real snow junk. The kind of winter gear a kid doesn't typically use that often + will grow out of well before the clothes show any wear. 


Anyway, this is me throwing my hat in the ring of buying used. Because! For every purchase made at Schoola, 40% of the sales goes to underfunded programs in schools like art, music, and PE. I hated PE but I loved music. You can contribute even further by sending in a bag of your own gently-loved duds, and when they find a cute new kid to love, that 40% will go directly to the school of your choosing.


Idaho-worthy pieces we nabbed from Schoola this round include a couple waffle knits, some coats, and this pinstripe vest, which Huck is clearly rocking the hell out of.


So anyway. Consider buying used this Back-to-School season. You'll minimize waste, save money, and give a little love to the school of your choice. (You can request a donation bag here). And go ahead and feel smug about it if you want to, because sometimes that's fun.

This post was written in partnership with Schoola because they're cool-a.