Sunday, February 1, 2015

Winter Carnival and Anna's Birthday

Since we moved to Boise, many people have talked about the beauty of McCall, ID.  It is about two hours north of Boise, up it the mountains.  In the summer it offers cooler temps for camping and swimming and in the winter it offers lots of snow for skiing, tubing, and snowmobiling.   Caleb has been up in the region for a school retreat and for a cross-country meet, but until Saturday, Anna's birthday, we had not made the trek as a family.  

Every winter they have a Winter Carnival which is kind of like the Orange City's Tulip Festival (only it doesn't celebrate a particular heritage).  Instead of walking around to look at windmills and tulips, you walk around town to view the awesome snow sculptures.  In the parade you have logger men instead of Dutchmen, Miss Idaho instead of the Tulip Queen, Smokey Bear and Boise State mascots instead of Dutch street vendors, and snowmobiles instead of tractors.   Food vendors seem to be the same no matter where you go...just no poffertjes.

We left fairly early in the morning (a little before eight, which is quite early for a Saturday morning here!).  The drive was absolutely beautiful and it was fun to see all the snow outside the valley.  We arrived before most of the crowd descended on the town and just walked around to see the sculptures.  We didn't see or get pictures of all of them.  You can see some more here. (Scroll down past the video to scan the photos).

Thought the birthday girl should stand by the birthday cake sculpture:)

The kids thought the baby bears around the camper were so cute, the mama bear was on the other side.

 The picture above and below go together--Celebrating 50 years of Winter Carnival; a little boy making a simple snowman and then 50 years later (time warp) chiseling a much more elaborate snow sculpture.

When Seth saw all the people walking on the lake he insisted on trying that too.  

Birthday Girl!

For lunch we enjoyed awesome chicken tortilla soup at a small cafe that offered homemade soups and sandwiches.  After warming up a little and using the bathroom (important commodity in this small town) we walked down main street and picked up some cups of free hot chocolate before watching the parade.  

When we left for home shortly after the parade was over (1:00) the line of cars to get into McCall stretched for at LEAST 5 miles.  Glad we went early!  

We were home in plenty of time for the boys to get some homework done and for Russ and I to take the poor neglected Zoe for a walk.   For the rest of Anna's birthday we enjoyed one of her favorite pasta meals and homemade chocolate cake and ice cream.   We watched Skylark as a family (the second in the Sarah, Plain and Tall DVD series) to finish out her special day!

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