Going to ski in April is a bit strange, especially living in Georgia – where it is practically summer. Going on a spring break 6 weeks before the end of school is even weirder – but welcome to Atlanta where we like to lead in the most bizarre areas.
So Vail it was for skiing. Quite the expedition to get us packing when every piece of winter clothing is 2 sizes small, or the wrong boy/girl color which I bravely debated and won. As usual, kids loved the flight because it equals unlimited ipad time – and when does that happen, EVER? As we drive to Vail on I70 from Denver, Mia wonders if we already are in Colorado and if so, how are we going to ski through all those woods? Boys argue if they saw an eagle or a buffalo and wonder if skiing in the dark (as we arrive at 9 pm) is the best idea – they concluded it was. Hello a family vacation where parents wil need a lot of alcohol or vacation from vacation.
Just like 2 years ago, we outsourced the children to the skiing school, this time all 3! We may eat dry bread for the next month but we also got adult skiing in and very happy and confident children. Max particularly enjoyed the fact that everyone on the mountain knew him (yes, sweetie, it may have something to do with your huge name tag and the scanning machine that has your name all over the screen) but he felt special. Mia, the line leader in her Wolves class, where she mastered her wolf howl, pretty much announced that she is the best skier in her group and she got it handled. Lucas, ever so competitive constantly checking if he did more or better than his brother but thrilled he spent the days on the mountain with adults.
I was amazed by the friendliness and hard work of the instructors. At 9 am, there are about 50 of them waiting for the kids to separate them out by skill and age. We listened to one instructor who had 7 girls up in the mountain, about Mia’s age. Here is how it went:
- Girls: I am cold. I am too hot. I lost my glove. My goggles are foggy. My skis are too cold. I am thirsty, I have to pee.
- Instructor: Put your skis on, Olivia. Getup, Emma. Madison – you are not a good listener today, probably will not have any cocoa. Don’t eat the snow, Ava. Dont take the skis off, Emma, we are going down the hill. Pizza behind me everyone, who is a line leader, don’t go across the mountain, we are not going there. Look where you are going, watch your skis.
Amazing patience, sense of humor – in Spanish, Hebrew, Russian, you name it. Mia’s instructor, Steve, was excellent and she loved him as he dragged her skis on a sled, helped her take off her sweater, lifted her up with a special hook on a vest, fed her Skittles, bought her lunch – full service. They deserve every dollar we paid – and we paid a lot!
This is Mia in her class (she is not mad but looks it)
Our own skiing was just unbelievable. I was telling Brian the stories of my childhood skiing in Krkonose. Well, this was nothing like it. 131 slopes, 95 lifts, absolutely no lines, mostly chair lifts, empty slopes just for you.- Krkonose in the 80s: 2-3 slopes with 3 minutes down, 1 hour long line for lift. Metal anchor on a rope that you had to hook up to the lift, it usually either took your glove with it, pulled you unprepared so you fell over and got dragged – or the better scenario, you just fell of in front of the long line waiting behind you as you tried to hook it over and over – and desperately tried to keep it straight so it doesn’t fall off and you are going back to the line. On the top, it hit the metal sheet, fell off (hopefully not on you with concussion), you had to wrap yourself around it and ski down with a rope and metal anchor dangling all over you. Just a joyful skiing experience. No, this is what Colorado is not – or probably no other skiing place in the world? Because in Colorado – this is how you do it…
And this is what you pay for it and get….
Side notes on our trip:
- very burnt faces, even after 70 SPF on them!
- everything hurts – buuuuurns! Especially parents’ thighs…
- kids energy has no limits, they are up at 7 am, no matter what
- can’t breathe or climb stairs in 11,000 ft
- skiing technology and brands are not what they used to be in the 90s – I don’t even know half of the brands and I was the “Know it all” of Rossignol, Atomic, Volkl…..
Lowlight of the trip – saw Kardashians in Vail… walking with an entourage of 10 people and camera but thankfully most of Vail ignored them… but truly unbelievable as to why these people are famous or anyone wants to follow them…
The kiddos throughout