Hidden Gems-- Part 1

Friday, February 8, 2013
I'm interrupting Molly's "February Films" to share some family experiences with you. So here we go:

You know how you think about taking a trip to some far off exotic place?  Warm and sunny, adventure, food, beauty?  We all do it right?  Well last weekend we took a short trip and were reminded that there is so much worth seeing close to home.  Its easy to ignore your surroundings, get caught up in daily life, and forget to explore your own backyard.

***** Midway is about 25 min from our house and that is where we escaped to last Friday afternoon.  Midway was settled by Swiss immigrants and the entire town is fashioned after Swiss architecture. You feel like you are in a village in the Alps. Really. We checked in at the Homestead-- a resort that's been around for 125 years.  Russ & Nancy (Molly's parents) actually stayed at the Homestead for their honeymoon. Molly said she felt like it was the "mountain version" of the resort in the movie "Dirty Dancing". Oh, it was fun! I wish we could spend a few weeks there in the summertime.

We pulled into the resort, drove past several quaint cottages, and parked just in time to see a family of deer meander their way through the complex.  Peter was thrilled.  We got checked in and unloaded into our little cottage with a pull out bed in the living area so we could sleep far enough away from the kiddos so as not to be awakened by their stirring.  Of course when Zoë started crying part way through the night because she is teething we did wake up but thats the way of it when you travel with your babies.

We dined at Simon's-- the resort restaurant-- and had a wonderful meal.  They bake their bread in flower pots-- its delicious and Peter was delighted.  The prime rib was perfect, the surf and turf [shrimp and a baseball stake] tasty and Peter's burger was a slice of Americana.  We sat in the dining room and just enjoyed being together.

During the course of our meal we heard the table next to us mention Russia several times and surreptitiously started to eavesdrop. With Molly's parents living there and an upcoming trip empending (WHAT??) we were extra curious.  I know, bad form but sometimes...  Well, we couldn't take the suspense of the story they were discussing any longer and finally confessed and introduced ourselves.

The Lasanko family it turns out are old friends of the Brown family in our ward. Small world.  They were kind enough to fill us in on what we missed.  It is a story worth knowing.  Oma and Opa came from Russia after World War II [and yes thats German for Grandpa and Grandma].    They left everything behind and got to Austria when they found out the Russian army was closing in.  Oma was able to make it across the river with 8 year old Grieg but the soldiers on the other side wouldn't let Opa and the rest of the family across.  For a time it looked like they might be permanently separated.  They did a lot of praying before Opa and the rest found a ford 12 miles down river.  It wasn't until the next day that they were blessed to be reunited.

 Eventually, they made it to America [My apologies to Oma and Opa and the rest of the Lasanko's for condensing what is truly an amazing story].  The Lasanko's talked about the sacrifices of their Oma and Opa just so that they could be alive, and even more to live in America.  It made us think about the people that came before us - who lived, and loved, sorrowed, grieved, worked and experienced life and without whom we would not be here.  It made us think about how precious life is.  I think it helped us enjoy our weekend a little more. They even gave us a copy of the story and are planning to go to Russia this summer to visit all the places where Oma and Opa lived and escaped Nazi-invaded Russia. Who knows, maybe we'll run into them there!

After dinner we went back to our room for a little movie time, some giggle time and some sleep.  It was so great to be together in a beautiful place.  We regret we didnt get a chance to access the Crater [a natural hot spring - you have to schedule] but we did make it swimming Saturday after our Cheese adventure [that's Hidden Gem Part 2].

We really did not realize how beautiful Midway is until this little trip.  How much more around us are we missing because we haven't made the time to explore or really even pay attention? You need to do yourself a favor and #GETAWAYTOMIDWAY!!  Go stay at the Zermatt Resort or Homestead.



  1. Midway really looks awesome. I love little places rich with a history that you cannot deny... I visited such a place in Mt. Angel, Oregon. Founded in the 1800's by German settlers. Mt. Angel Abby was built on a bluff above the town by Swiss Benedictine Monks... from there you can see Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams as well as all of the lush green farmland below.

    Thanks for sharing Vic!


  2. Great post Vic! We used to go to Midway every summer and stay at the Homestead. I love that place! I had kind of forgotten about it until I read your post. What a true little local gem. So glad you guys went up there and got to have some fun. I really love little local weekend vacations. Sometimes they are way better than the big long expensive far away trips. We regret not doing more of them when we lived in Boston. You think you'll always have time to do those kinds of things later because you live there. Then, all of a sudden, you don't! We are doing a better job of it here in ABQ.

  3. WHat an awesome getaway! Looks like you all had a blast--family trips are so important to build those unique & fun memories!


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