Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Muses | Our Weekend | Valdez Snowfest

This weekend was my favorite of 2014 so far! We made a decision about a week ago to make the trip to Valdez for Snowfest 2014. Our decision was based on 2 things, the first being that Nikoli could race in the 120 events on Saturday & the second being that we really needed to get away for a weekend as a family & just enjoy some final Alaskan winter moments. 
I'm so happy that we made the trip down to Valdez for Snowfest. We are already planning for our trip next year, until then we have some pictures & memories to hold us over. 

We started our trip on Friday & on trend with our usual travel routine we left later than planned. This time it was due to the 120 having an issue with a snap ring. Luckily Justin was able to get it fixed & we were finally on our way around 3PM, only 4 hours later than we had initially planned.

I snapped this picture of the kids about 2.5 seconds before we loaded up & pulled out of the driveway. All of their outfits are from FabKids(Link) & I just love them! Lilliana's cardigan is from Target & Nikoli's vest is a thrift store find & it's a Ralph Lauren Polo down vest. The girls sunglasses are from Fred Meyer & Nikoli's are an old pair of Justin's safety glasses that he just loves & has to wear everyday. The girls boots are from Payless & I got Nikoli's sneakers from Hautelook. Whoo! Outfit-of-the-day breakdown! 

For those of you who are curious this was the route we took from our house in Wasilla to Valdez. Google maps says the trip should take 5.5 hours but it took us about 4.5 including a couple bathroom/fuel stops along the way. It was a gorgeous drive & I wish we had planned time to stop & take some pictures of the views along the way. But with the late start & a sign-up party to attend at the Boardroom once we got to Valdez we just didn't have extra time for photos. Next time we will, promise!

Now I didn't take any pictures of our hotel room or Valdez in general. I was just focused on Snowfest & making sure the kids were having the best time Saturday. Some of the random detail photos sort of slipped let's just jump together from Friday evening to Saturday morning around 10:30AM when we made our way to the Snowfest site.
For those of you who might be planning to visit Valdez sometime in the future, we stayed at the Mountain Sky View hotel & it was perfectly nice for our weekend. Nothing snazzy, just a basic hotel without all the bells & whistles which was just what we needed.

These 3 are my heart you guys. Seriously how adorable do they all look geared up for Snowfest?! I have to say...the girls winter gear is adorable this year but it really is crap. They were soaked through by 2PM & I'm already on the hunt for some kids winter gear that will hold up all day without getting soaking wet from snow.
Their boots & mittens were amazing but their snow pants & coats will need to be replaced by next season if we want them to stay dry all day. :)

This is what the girls were up to on Saturday. Hanging out on the Nytro, watching their brother & friends race, eating snow (it was Snowfest after all!) & of course posing for lots of pictures throughout the day. They loved having so many other kids to run around & play with & they were totally fascinated by all of the freestyle riders. Every time someone did a trick they recognized from one of the many, many snow machine videos in our collection they jumped up & down & cheered. I'm pretty thrilled we got our kids hooked on everything snow machining when they were little because it makes taking them to these events so much more amazing!

Nikoli spent the day racing & riding around on the 120. The kid was glued to that thing from when we unloaded it until 7PM Saturday evening when we finally loaded it back on the trailer for the night.  I'm so extremely proud of this little guy. We threw him on a 120 in the middle of this years racing season & I honestly had no idea what to expect. Jump forward about 10 weeks & a dozen races later & he has become a much smarter & skilled rider. Not only does he love competing in the races, he is ADDICTED to riding snow machines. Justin & I are planning to put a track in on our property this summer so that all the kids have a place to ride as often as they want (and the snow permits) next winter.
Watching Nikoli race on Saturday I was almost in tears. He had his 2 best heats of the entire season finishing in 1st & 2nd place. It was his first time ever competing on a sno-x track & he did so freakin well! During the main heat he chose a couple of bad routes & ended up finishing in 5th, right in the middle of the pack. Still he was so thrilled with his racing that day & spent the next 2 days asking us when his next sno-x event was. Unfortunately the racing season is winding down & we are going to have to watch hours of riding videos to hold him over until next season.

Aside from watching all of the kids race & hanging out with our little family, the freestyle competition/shows were my favorite part of the day. Watching the kids reactions was so much fun & now all 3 of our kids want to be freestyle riders when they grow up. Totally fine with Justin & I! Haha!

Wings Over Valdez performed during a break in-between the 120 race heats & it was a really fun & fantastic element to the day. Wings Over Valdez is a group of local Speedrider, paraglider, & wing suit pilots. Lilliana kept asking me if we could go skydiving during their performance. I told her yes...although I'm pretty sure we have to wait until she's 18.

Here are some more pictures from our weekend at Valdez Snowfest...

 Mountain house meals for the win!

The girls tried all day to tackle Justin & they threw so many snowballs at him I lost count. These kids just love their daddy so much it has a tendency to turn me into a sappy-mommy who is gushing over the amazing man she chose to spend her life with & the great kids that have stolen my heart again & again.

We had a blast at Valdez Snowfest! The event had such an amazing vibe & we can't wait to go back next year. If you missed it this year be sure to like the Alaska-State Sno-X Lions Club on Facebook for info for next years event as well as upcoming events for this year. (Link)
I just have to thank the Alaska-State Snow-X Lions Club for putting Valdez Snowfest together & MadHatter(Link) for their totally awesome bags the 120 racers were given. Spy Goggles (available from MadHatter) also donated a brand new pair of goggles to each 120 rider before the event. Nikoli picked the Zombie goggles & he wore them all day & even asked me if he could wear them to school this morning. :)

If you are looking to get your kid involved with riding please reach out to the Alaska-State Sno-x Lions Club or leave me a comment below. I would love to share our experiences with anyone & it really is an amazing sport to be involved in. I have so much love, appreciation & more love for all of the people who made all of the 120 events possible this year. Our family has had so much fun & grown closer because of them. We are seriously planning our trip/race schedule for next year already! I know winter is just coming to an end, but I'm ready for it to be snowing again!

To wrap up this post here are a couple of videos I posted to my instagram over the weekend. You can find me on instagram @alaskalove12. :)

Our Sunday AM Bedhead Crew. They had extra rosy cheeks that morning due to me forgetting sunblock..DUH! Aren't they so adorable 30 seconds after they wake up...much cuter than I am that's for sure! 

alaska love,