Our time in Golden was refreshing for body and soul. Our last day there was December 23rd. Stan came by on the skidoo to take Sarah and Amy for a ride. I took the time to take one more ski trip around the property.
We packed up our things very tightly in the Suburu and were on the road. We were excited to see the things we missed with the darkness heading north. One of the things we noticed this far north was how late it got light and how early it got dark. The first morning when Amy woke me up I was convinced it was still night :-)
We stopped at Radium Junction to enjoy the view but were not able to drive up the hill because we did not want to pay the national park fee. We still enjoyed seeing the Rockies and savoring our drive south through Canada.
We stopped for a break at the source of the Columbia River, completely frozen! Since we don't live too far from the end of the river where it meets the Pacific Ocean, it was fun to see where it started. We continued to be surprised at the large, frozen bodies of water everywhere.
We spent the night in Idaho with our friends Gar and Vicky. Their hospitality was wonderful. Amy was playing with the toys they have for their granddaughters and found toy lipstick and a toy hairdryer. She had to bring these up to show Sarah since Sarah has taught her that lipstick is the 11th essential of hiking and she became obsessed with Sarah's hairdryer on the trip. I am trying hard not to raise a girly girl but Sarah is determined to make her well rounded!
We headed home from Idaho on Christmas eve morning. When we got back toward home, we chose a Christmas tree and enjoyed putting this up and decorating it.
We lit the candles and told the Christmas story together using Amy's nativity finger puppets. Gil was the sheep who narrated the story and Amy passed out other characters as she saw fit.
On Christmas morning we opened some gifts and headed to Salem to visit my mom. Amy took stockings literally and decided they were for wearing on her feet. We enjoyed carols at the Methodist church with my mom and headed home to host some of Riversway for an evening gathering after a nice lunch and time with family. It was sad to say goodbye to Sarah after having her around for over a week. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family.
Our Kenyan student, Rich, moved in late Christmas night. Gil also went to pick up our friend Doug from Tacoma to spend the week after Christmas with us. The Christmas season continued past the day and our time in Golden really helped center us for the new adventures to come.