As promised, this weekend was just as busy (or more busy) than the first weekend in December.
On Friday night we joined E's family at Zoo Lights, an event put on my Hogle Zoo, where they light up the entire zoo is Christmas lights and let you enjoy the grounds. This is our second year going to Zoo Lights and it is quite fun because in addition to the awesome moving 3D lights all over the entire zoo, lots of the animals that are asleep during the day are awake at night. Plus, there is hot chocolate and deep fried Smores for those who are cold. We walked around the entire zoo and even got quite a show from a few awake animals. After the lights we headed to a favorite resturant, Red Butte, for dinner. Here we ordered soup, hot sandwiches, coffee, and the most amazing dessert. On Saturday we had a special even planned. E's sister Chelsea celebrated her birthday a few weeks ago, and E and I gave her a "day in Snowbird" for her gift. Chelsea has never joined E and I at the Cliff Spa or the Aerie Lounge. At 2:00 Chelsea and her boyfriend Joe met us and we headed up the canyon. It was a beautiful day for the spa, but really really snowy. We arrived by three, and went right up to the Cliff Spa on the roof. There we relaxed, talked and watched snow falling and the clouds shift around the surrounding mountains. After time in both the hot tub and pool, we hit the solarium, steam room, and sauna. Then, of course, we went back upstairs to the hot tub to watch as the sky turned to dusk. Surrounding the pool and hot tub were big piles of snow, so in addition to throwing snowballs we placed the frigid handfuls on our backs, necks and heads while we sat in the steaming water.
Chelsea and Joe head upstairs to the roof top pool in their provided robes and slippers. Then, we headed downstairs, had a wonderful Mexican dinner and finished up the night at the Aerie Lounge where we all ordered hot drinks. I ordered a 50/50, which is half hot chocolate, half coffee with chocolate and coffee liquor. Yum.
And on Sunday the fun didn't stop. E and I hosted my family's' annual baking day that we have before Christmas. My aunt Laura, cousin Kendra, Mom, Chuck and Grandma all arrived with butter, eggs, flour and a favorite recipe. For two hours the kitchen was a well timed dance with trays going in and out of the oven and sugar and eggs being mixed. Once 5:00 rolled around we stared cocktail hour with appetizers and drinks, and finished off the night with a huge enchilada dinner. It is a wonder I can still walk today. We had a great time. (And of course, I'm munching on a cookie while I type this.)
In spirit, my Grandpa Joe was with us. He always loved baking day, and we used one of his hand written recipes to make the favorite cookie of all - ginger snaps. (The fact that there is a coffee stain on the recipe is so classic Grandpa). I work on a new sugar cookie recipe. Rollo and pretzel cookies are easy and very very tasty. Here is our group with some of the cookies we made (yes, there were more!). Laura, Grandma, Mom, Kendra, me, Ethan, and Chuck.