Monday, February 20, 2017

Sleigh Ride

This is the story of a sleigh ride idea that became a sleigh ride reality—eventually!

***

My grandsons have birthdays so soon after Christmas that it has always been a challenge to give them birthday gifts. For a number of years, John and I talked about this conundrum and, in recent years, we began to wonder about purchasing an experience. Others in the family had been successful going that route...skiing lessons, karate lessons, baseball camp, etc. Anyway, I learned that a local farm gave sleigh rides and that the cost was within the budget and so we were ready to give them this birthday gift in 2016. I was not sure that it would be appreciated because, as boys, they prefer speed and they have a Papa who loves to take them for snowmobile rides...vroom, vroom. For that reason, my daughter suggested that it would not be a great idea. We shelved it.

***

This year, I found myself thinking about sleigh rides yet again. Perhaps it would be a thing that I could give that would also have John's touch on it since he had been involved with former discussions and had been quite sure that the boys would like it...anyway, he would have when he was a kid.

***

I talked it over with my daughter-in-law and she thought it sounded great. When my blogging buddy Michele sent me the lovely sleigh wicker basket, I thought I had a sign from Heaven itself. ☺ 

***

The birthday party arrived and I fairly skipped my way over there. Alas, there was no enthusiasm for the gift. Zero. There may have been some tears shed. Mine. Oh dear. One of the last things I heard about it was my daughter-in-law Michelle saying with steely determination, "They are going on that sleigh ride."

***


Well she was right!


*These beautiful horses are Canadians (name of breed)*

 ~grandsons with their cousin, parents, and aunt and uncle~


 ~the warming hut~


 ~the trail~


 ~heading back~




I have been told that Jakob leaned over to his mother and said, "This was a lot more fun than I thought it would be."

And this nonni said, "phew!"


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Postscript: Yes, I was invited on this sleigh ride, but I declined. I just wasn't sure that it would be that much fun. 

48 comments:

  1. A wonderful gift, connected to John, and one which will be remembered with happiness, I am sure. Well done, you!

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  2. One of the nicest things about putting this on your blog (apart from our enjoyment of it!) is that it has been documented for the boys. They will be able to look back and remember the fun they had and that you and your John together thought of this for them.

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  3. Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift making some wonderful memories for you all linked to John making it even more special.

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  4. I would dearly love to enjoy this sleigh ride! How beautiful the horses, the sleigh, the trail are. A beautiful gift from you and John to your grandsons.

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  5. This is a beautiful gift. I think a sleigh ride sounds wonderful. My sister and her family live near Bangor. I am going to have to tell her about this.

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    1. Yes, this farm was chosen by my daughter-in-law for its mid-way point between herself and her sister who lives up Bangor way. 🙂 The farm I was originally thinking of is closer to us in Harrison, Maine. Something to think about!

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  6. THIS is magical! I cannot even imagine how delightful that was! Bravo Vee! I love gifts of celebrations and creating memories rather than a material gift! You know they will remember this for a lifetime....more than they say!

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  7. Aw Vee - this was such a great idea you and John had! So glad pictures were taken to keep the memory alive and that you shared them here. Sorry you didn't get to go too ...

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  8. What a great gift! These slowed down versions of fun need to be experienced by the younger generation more often. I bet next year you even get on that sleigh!

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  9. I think they will look back on this and have wonderful memories!

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  10. I am so happy, Vee, that this long-thought-of sleigh ride has come to pass and that the boys had fun. I'm sure their cousin and the adults did also! It looked like a perfect day for this excursion. (That table in the warming hut is very unique, with its tree-branch legs. That is the sort of furniture my son-in-law enjoys making.)

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  11. Experience gifts are the way to go in this day and age of too much stuff, I think. I'll bet they look back on this sleigh ride with great fondness. The countryside does look pretty.

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  12. Yay, success! Who knows, they might expect it now each year for their birthdays - with enthusiasm!

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  13. Ha! That's too funny that you didn't go. Glad you followed through and that they enjoyed it despite themselves. The pictures are great and it really looks like an incredible ride. Now if there were warm donuts at the warming hut that would be perfect!

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    1. Just drinks...doughnuts sound fabulous! 🍩☕️

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  14. I love it Vee. What a wonderful gift! I would have loved this gift...The pictures are wonderful. And the weather is perfect for a sleigh ride! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  15. Thank you for taking us on this sleigh ride! Even via the Internet, it was great fun!

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  16. Oh what fun...it is to ride in a TWO HORSE open sleigh! I would absolutely love this gift too and I am so glad they liked it! The photos are stunning as well. What an absolute blessing for you knowing that they enjoyed this gift after all!

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  17. Sure hope you are feeling better today, I lived in Rhode Island some
    years age. Had never seen snow like this before, but being from the
    south loved it. I know it can be very confiding, great sleigh story
    and looked like fun.

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  18. The boys look very happy on the sleigh ride, Vee! I'm sure they will always remember it. V and I went on a sleigh ride a few years ago and loved it! It was fun to hear the bells jingling and feel the glide oer the snow while we looked up at the mountains--very peaceful.

    Weahve no snow for a month! Very spring like here--such unusual weather! I'm hoping spring moisture will coem soon as our fire risk is high. I miss the snow and hope we get some soon!

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  19. All is well that ends well.

    After all of this, I hope YOU take yourself a sleigh ride one day soon.

    Thanks for sharing this delightful experience - one to last a lifetime.

    Tell those youngsters that I am old and still have a real live horse/snow/sleigh ride is way up top on my Bucket List and I dream of doing it one day.

    You are such a good Nonni. Hugs. ♥

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  20. Sounds like fun to me. I'm glad they enjoyed it!

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  21. Well thank goodness! I was waiting to see if they liked it or not. We took our grands on a sleigh ride (neighboring farmer with draft horses and sleigh) one Christmas vacation and NO ONE liked it, because it was 'too cold.' WAH WAH WAH. What a bunch of sissies! I should say that no one liked it but me. :-) Glad yours got a better reception. xo

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  22. What a great gift Nonni! I'm so happy they enjoyed it! Looks like so much fun!

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  23. I bet you are so glad you went for it the next year and they will always remember the experience. That's quite a trail across the landscape--it must have been a lot of fun all being together (except for you.)

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  24. I think that was a great idea for a gift and I'd love to have gone on it too. : )

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  25. I think that is a fantastic gift to have given Vee - experiences are remembered for a long time and I'll bet there will be stories about the event too.
    Our youngest daughter is surprising her girl who will be 13 next month with a half day of dog sledding!

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  26. What a great gift idea, an experience over a gift. I'm going to remember this. Enjoyable post!

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  27. Hooray! I'm so glad the gift was appreciated after all! I would've loved to have gone on that sleigh ride. I'll bet you wish you would've gone now Vee?

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  28. The boys will always remember this and I think it was a splendid idea that you and John had for a birthday gift! Loved seeing the photos. The one of the sun shining on the snow is awesome! That is something we haven't seen much of this year...snow, that is. We're in the 70's this week. Weird temps for February for us, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

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  29. That looks like so much fun!! Never having done this before, the boys probably just couldn't imagine how great it would be. But you and John were right, huh? :)

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  30. Who doesn't enjoy a sleigh ride! I'm a horse lover and would probably rather be on one than behind one, but the beautiful landscape and the sound of harness jingling would warm the coldest heart. Yes, you did well. This is a memory building experience. I give you a 10!

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  31. Ahhh... Glad it all turned out into a beautiful experience and a lot more fun than young ones anticipated. And, haha, I saw your PS.

    Happy Day, Vee!
    Brenda

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  32. It was very thoughtful of you to give them a beautiful sleigh ride. I would personally love to take one myself and I'm glad that they enjoyed it after all! I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  33. That looks like so much fun! That would be a dream come true for me!
    Smiles,
    Carol

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  34. I'm so glad they enjoyed it and what wonderful pictures you have of the day!

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  35. Hi Vee~

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my post - you always know just what to say... ;0)

    I love that you gave a sleigh ride to your grands! I can tell by the smiles on their faces that it was fun! It may be the only sleigh ride that they ever go on. Or, it might be just the beginning of a wonderful tradition . . . I love it! Your photos are just gorgeous - I can actually feel the chill in the air!

    For Christmas and for birthdays, I give my granddaughter gift certificates for riding lessons. She loves horses, but lives in the city. It works out perfect for all of us!

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  36. So glad that they enjoyed it! And they'll remember it when they're older with fondness I'm sure. So nice to give a gift with John's touch on it, too.

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  37. I finally got here to visit Vee. What beautiful photos of the sleigh ride. I'm so glad the boys enjoyed it and I think they'd probably want to do it again. A success for you! I've not seen that type of sleigh before. The ones here are on a long wagon with runners and the guests sit on benches facing each other. We had a tradition of taking our church's youth group for a sleigh ride every winter at the park. The trail goes through the woods where it's sheltered and not so cold as out in the open fields. There are the usual 'nuts' that like to grab a snow-laden fir branch overhead and dump the snow on the girls, and the boys had to toss their buddies overboard into the deep snow - a dangerous thing to do and frowned upon by the adults. A lot of fun! About 10 years ago a group of our friends - it's good to fill a sleigh with about 16 people - would have a sleigh ride then return to our house for pot luck supper. We did that for a few years then it just died out due to lack of snow or couples gone south for holiday, so it's been a while. Actually I think it's been 5 years as the last one was to celebrate Murray's 60th birthday. Wow! I'm glad your grandsons enjoyed this adventure and made some new memories.

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    1. Oh! They sit as if on a hay wagon along the sides looking at each other...that makes sense, but you can't see the view as well.

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  38. What a delightful day you had. SO glad it turned out well and the grandsons did enjoy it. Often kids of their age pooh-pooh these activities, and then when they give it a try find out it actually IS fun, just as they were told! haha Great to get out in the fresh air! It's been a while since I've been on a sleigh ride...

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    1. You and Pam should get together!

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  39. I'm so glad they ended up enjoying it! I would love to go on a sleigh ride after reading about yours and then reading Susan Branch's post.

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  40. So hard to find things to please this generation, for sure! But I'm glad their mother persevered and that the boys actually enjoyed themselves! It is a great experience, I think, perhaps not as fun as snowmobiling, but still, fun! We always looked forward to hot chocolate at the end, after the cold ride :)

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  41. Those pictures are wonderful and I'm pretty sure I saw smiles on those faces. I'm quite interested in what birthday gifts next year will be.

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  42. Wow! What a beautiful scene!! And have you seen Susan Branch's most recent post? (Do you know about Susan Branch?? artist, author, and resident of Martha's Vineyard.) Anyway, her post bears some striking similarities to yours here. It has been a snowy Wednesday in blogland for this southern girl. Brrr... but beautiful! No snow for me this year... yet.

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    1. Who doesn't know about Susan Branch? ☺

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  43. Wow! You hit on a perfect gift! Too bad you weren't along for the ride!

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