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Staying home and staying whole

Elizabeth Chicoine

Think about the new Honda commercial that compares people to the vehicle that they drive. (If you are fortunate enough to not watch T.V., allow me to paint you a picture. People evolve and begin to emulate their vehicles. Imaginewe were skiing singles when we met in the nineties, both driving Subaru Loyales. We skied, fell in love, and acquired a Toyota Forerunner. Next came baby boy, baby girl, and the pewter colored GM Suburban. It allowed SPACE for the dog, kids, and life in the Vail Valley before Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot. No more was the need for the Suburban in the year 2000 when THE DENVER TREK was necessary. Time for the big commitment to the other sidedare we admita minivan)The day of our minivan purchase I openly admit that I looked at my rear end nearly a hundred times. In my vain thirty-something world, a minivan symbolized a relinquishing of youth and the dream of which one was destined to become. It basically meant that I was a momwow!Reality now surfaced. My fun loving days of braving Vail pass with top-of-the-line studded snow tires and four-wheel drive were now lost in an abyss of a gently-used Oldsmobile Traction Active minivan complete with a VCR for kids. Old age had arrived. I looked one more time at my rear end. My sister who commutes daily in Los Angeles traffic and I have a private joke. A woman can measure the size of her behind by the amount of hours that she spends in a carpool commuting her children to and from events. This is the humor of the Honda advertisement: clever and accurate. I’d put a hundred dollars on the table that the ad was written by women.Life in the rearview mirror reflects how my “fun” car days have modified to the practical ways of a minivan. How do moms stay whole in spirit amidst the semi mundane to and fro bit of our day? The answer is personal, yet connective. Friends have helped me to find this answer. Connect. Reach out. Believe in yourself. Try new things. I couldn’t believe my ears when Tom Boyd phoned and said, “The Vail Trail believes that moms do have a lot to say.” Go Tom! Moms of the valley, join in! Email me; let me know what matters to you.Best said, a young friend when speaking about his mom in Vail’s local news radio contest said, ” My mom keeps the world spinning for our family.” This quote inspired me to apply as a columnist for The Vail Trail. It made me face the reality that a minivan is pretty cool. And let’s face it; people do listen to mom!Today’s thoughts offer “Forgotten and Favorite Play Spots in Vail!” These are the magic places where kids can go this summer and mom/ or dad can see the fruits of their laborhappy kids enjoying the Valley and all it has to offer.1. Go the Sylvan Lake for the day. Pack a picnic. Bring an inexpensive plastic minnow net from The Everything Store in Eagle. you’ll feel revived, like you just walked into The Andy Griffith Show. It is a day of paradise.2. Discover The Gypsum Ponds. Bring that familiar minnow net, sunscreen and a picnic.3. Rediscover Sandstone Park in Vail. It is never busy and the Rocket Slide rocks your kid’s world!4. The major “powder stash” of this article is the pocket park in Beaver Creek. It is located below the Vilar Center Parking Structure, along the creek. We park in the Vilar and carry our picnic along down to the park. After playing, the new General Store on the plaza has delicious and affordable soft serve ice cream. The day reminds us of how lucky we are to live in a world-class resort. It is fun to go up to the ski mountain in the summer for the cost of an ice cream cone!5. Go to the rest area in Eagle near the fairgrounds and enjoy throwing rocks in the river. The historic society has a nifty shop and the train is fun for the kids to climb on. There are wonderful displays of Eagle County heritage to view as well. My six and three year old LOVE spending a few hours at what they have dubbed “Eagle’s Train Place.”6. Just down the road from the rest area is a great hike for kids along the Eagle River. It is an ultimate Frisbee golf course, but you will see many walkers out enjoying the river’s edge. There are even picnic tables and benches along the way for a cool rest and rejuvenating snack.7. Have you seen a recurring theme? Acquire a picnic basket. No, not a cooler. Not a tote. Kids absolutely love the nostalgia of a real picnic basket.No matter what, I hope to inspire all moms to enjoy their children this summer and to keep a sense of humor about being with your kids. We picnic almost daily and try to choose activities with a minimal cost. My summer days with our two kids stick to our budget, but are priceless. Kids do grow up all too fast.Elizabeth H. Chicoine lives in the Valley and writes about issues important to the family for the Vail Trail. She can be reached for comment at ElizChicoine@cs.com.


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