Christmas 2011

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ski camp

christmas began for ava on december 9th, when she flew up to thunder bay with grandma to begin her three weeks of "ski camp". despite her short stay in the wintery north, due to grandma's every day training camp, ava passed all the way through "level 1" in jackrabbits. when she comes back in february, she'll start level 2, and start skiing with poles.

christmas traditions

christmas in thunder bay follows a pleasurable pattern. this year's theme for quinn's magical family christmas cake was "santa's workshop".

ava and john assembled multiple components of lego city. by the end, ava was able to nearly follow the directions for the speedboat all on her own. we all predict that daddy will be superfluous in next year's legoing.

lappe boxing day classic

ava stepped it up a (big) notch in this year's boxing day ski race. she graduated from the 200m race to the 1 KM race. the weather was mild (-2 C) and just before her race the sun came out for about five minutes. the result of the brief warming was that your skis got temporarily glued to the ground. this resulted in 80% of the kids in ava's division falling over trying to get out of the gate. ava was no exception, but she just got up and kept on trucking, finishing her 1km course in 10 minutes and 46 seconds.


the city of thunder bay outdid itself with a brand new outdoor skating rink at the thunder bay marina. the rink comes complete with a heated indoor changing area, from which you can stroll outside in her your skates right on to the ice. well done!

sleigh ride

we conveniently picked the only cold day of the entire christmas week for our annual sleigh ride. thankfully, everybody seemed to remember how you usually need to dress in thunder bay in december, and the frostiness didn't matter much.

due to low snow and high temps the little sledding hill at the sleigh ride place was an ice track. this turned out to be a good thing - bumpy but really fun and fast.

measuring by where her runs ended, ava's little green sled was the fasted sled on the hill. so fast that i would slide down on my stomach behind her for the first 10 feet, acting as a temporary brake. at the bottom, ava quickly perfected the emergency exit. see tree coming. roll out of sled.

the grown-ups had fun too.

the white stuff

snow was in uncharacteristically low supply this december, but things picked up just before john and i arrived, and there were several good snowfalls during our visit. ava enjoyed all snowy activities, but she seemed to get a particular kick out of sledding this year, so we graduated her to "the big hill" at centennial.

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