Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Skiing with the girls, take 2

I went absentee on my Five for February posts since we took a few days to head up to Northern Michigan and ski with the girls. Next year Isaac will join us--I asked him when we were all home again if he's really excited to go next year, and he responded, "Well...kind of. I really want to go skiing, but I love my time with Grandma and Grandpa too, so I will be sad to miss it!" My parents really are the best. Isaac, Luke, and Nathan enjoyed three days with them while Neil & I took the girls for three days of skiing.

The snow wasn't the best this year--it got pretty warm the second day we were there (go figure, it's Michigan, and it's 9 degrees one day and 40 the next), but we still had a blast. We drove up to my parents' on Wednesday, spent the night there, and then drove up to Nub's Nob on Thursday. We got there about 1 pm and skied until 8--it was my first time night skiing and it was 1) really fun and 2) SO DARN COLD. Thanks heavens for those big fires in the lodge--we hung out in there for about twenty minutes and ate some dinner and it got me through the next two bone-chilling hours!

I really enjoyed the night skiing--the snow was absolutely fabulous and was much better than it was the next couple of days, so I'm super glad we did it! It was also really fun to ski in the dark, even if I did practically give myself a heart attack the first time I went down a run solo (Neil and the girls had gone a different way) and I thought my snow spray on the first turn was somebody about to crash into my shoulder. Yikes!

This was also the first time I did a rope tow. Also very fun and super adrenaline-pumping!

We made it back to our hotel around 9 and the girls totally crashed while Neil and I sat on the bathroom floor drinking hot chocolate and reveling in the bliss of actually being warm again. Good times.

The girls worked so hard this whole trip on turning and the hockey stop. I was really proud of them! They seriously put in a ton of effort with less than ideal conditions, which made it more fatiguing, and didn't complain one bit. Jules was, as always, a total speed demon while Abigail preferred to be more cautious.


We had a really fun second day, but decided to skip night skiing and then felt the first drops of rain on our way to the car! Good call on our part, but it sure made us nervous about the snow the next day! We stopped at the grocery store and picked up some sushi, popcorn, and green smoothies to supplement our dinner supplies, and headed back to the hotel where the girls watched some shows on Amazon Prime and Neil & I worked (I graded 21 projects after skiing Friday & Saturday. I was so tired by the time we made it home!).

 On the third day, the girls were SUPER into tree skiing.  They had tried a little the day before, but this day they were totally loving it and the snow wasn't great on most of the intermediate or black diamond runs (we didn't even try the blacks on Saturday because they were getting pretty crummy by Friday afternoon), so we spent most of our time skiing in the trees on the green runs. It was really nice because they weren't very steep and so the kids could concentrate on just having fun zooming around the trees (and the snow was grippy and slushy enough that they couldn't get going too fast). I swear we went on one of those runs a full dozen times before Neil finally said ENOUGH WE HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. We also took about a gazillion videos here. Things I discovered: my kids are much braver/more foolhardy than I am. I'm really glad they were wearing helmets. Neither of them ever crashed or even came close (unlike me--I had one that was pretty spectacular!), but boy I was still grateful for those helmets. And the chance for them to practice tree skiing in a relatively safe environment, since I learned as an adult on double-black glades and it still scares the bejabbers out of me. But the girls improved dramatically over the two days of tree skiing and it made them much more confident in general--it was a great way for them to see how much difference their new turning and stopping abilities made.

They were also SUPER into the terrain parks and kept begging us to let them go on the big double-black one. Hah! They did spend a couple of hours on the intermediate one and seriously had a blast--they were getting pretty high by the end and really getting good at catching air and landing their jumps (another way in which they are braver than their parents!). I kept thinking over and over how grateful I am that they have this opportunity to learn while they are young, since it is SO much easier to pick up as a child than as an adult--both thanks to the physical aptitude and the fact that you aren't half as afraid. :-)

By the end of the third day, we all felt pretty much like this--this is Jules lying down at the bottom of one of the lifts waiting for Abigail to arrive ("but I'm not tired at all, Mom, I'm not ready to leave...having too much fun...just maybe need a tiny rest...").

It was a great weekend and so fun to get out of our normal routine doing something we love so much!  So darn proud of how hard the girls worked, both on getting ahead of homework so we could go and then working their little tails off learning new skills on the slopes. And super super super grateful to my parents for babysitting and making this trip possible!

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