Birthday celebrations continued on Sunday, in the way all good birthdays should as we treated ourselves to a wonderful breakfast buffet at a local restaurant.  I’m fast coming to the realisation that two or three cheaper meals spread over a couple of days is preferably to one big, expensive meal.  It makes the birthday feel longer and more special.

We awoke Sunday morning to find our plans had been thwarted by seriously cold temperatures and cloudy skies, hence the leisurely breakfast out.  We had initially planned to be up early, have a quick bite at home and then head out for a bit of skiing before turning up at the restaurant for the brunch buffet breakfast/lunch thingie, but at  -11C, wind chill and no sun it would not have been pleasant.  It did promise to brighten up later, so we changed the day around a bit.

And it did brighten up too, the sun came out, the blue sky reappeared, the wind diminished and the temperature rose to a manageable -6C, so we put the newly waxed ski’s in the car and drove 2 miles down the road to our local State Park and hit the cross country trails.  Hard work I know, harder than downhill I think , although I do like the exhilaration, a lot.  The reason we do XCountry in the winter is really quite simple, we live in SE Michigan, a region noted for its winter snow, but not for its hills.  In fact, moving here made us realise just how hilly it was in Cambridgeshire, my husbands home county in the UK!  That’s how flat SE Michigan is.  There are places to ski downhill but they are all pretty much “Up North” , and Up North means travelling in potentially bad weather, paying for petrol, food and lodging somewhere, paying lots of money for ski rental and lift passes, and being stuck on the slopes with hundreds of other people of all ages and abilities, not to mention all levels of stupidity too, if you get my drift!!  It’s great once in a while without a shadow of a doubt, and I do love the freedom a pair of ski’s gives you in the winter.

We bought our cross country ski’s almost 15 years ago and have used them most winters ever since.  They’re cheaper to buy than downhills and because you don’t need a hill, it means we can ski virtually anywhere… from our snow covered sub division streets, to the park we walked in on Saturdays post, the park we kayak at locally and our new favourite, Mayberry State Park, which as I’ve mentioned is only two miles away.  There are just so many more opportunities local to us to get out of the house for a few hours with these type of skis than there ever are for downhill.

So it was up hill, down dale, across the meadows and through the woods we went…. twice!  The conditions were perfect and the sun was out, but believe me I paid for it this morning!  Think I’ll still be paying for it tomorrow morning too!