So the four of us (Bill, kids, me) went up to NH for a part of this past week (school vacation week) so Bill could give his new skiis a good workout. The kids were booked for all day lessons on two days, which freed us up a bit.
We stayed right in Laconia, near Gunstock Mountain, where the skiing took place.
And what did I do?
Not a whole heck of a lot, really. I mostly hung out in the Lodge while Bill and the kids were outside. I read, I sent IM messages back and forth with my sister, and I met Bill for lunch mid-day both days. I've never skiied, and I should. I would like to take a lesson, but this past week I had trouble just finding a shoe I could put my right foot in comfortably, so ski boots weren't on my agenda.
The kids had a great time, and by the afternoon of the first day, Alex was actually riding up the lifts and skiing a couple of small beginner trails with his class. He continued doing that the second day as well. Bill skiied with him or behind him a couple of times, too. Alex said later he could ski all day. So he's definitely hooked!
Julia went down a green trail once, with her class. She was thrilled (this was on the second day) because Alex had gone the day before and she was feeling a little left out, I guess. But she got to ride up on the lift, just like big people, and snowplow down the shallow incline with the rest of her little group. She's getting the hang of it. I watched her in the little beginner practice area and she maneuvered through the little turns very well. And then, when she was supposed to slow and turn and get back in line to ride the "Wonder Carpet" back to the top, she just…kept going. Right past me (she didn't notice I was there) and for another oh, twenty feet, until she fell over.
And just stayed there. She wasn't hurt, or upset, or anything like that. She was just…hanging out. So I watched her. She rolled up into a sitting position…then leaned over and ate some snow. (That's how the little kids stay nourished through the day, I noticed. They eat snow. Must be dusted overnight with vitamins and minerals.) Then she sat up…then she flopped down and looked at the sky. She didn't even try to get up; she just moved her little body to various positions, patiently waiting for one of the instructors to come get her.
And then she noticed me.
"Mama!………Could you help me get up?"
So I went over and picked her up, and while I was doing that, one of her instructors arrived, laughing, and reminded Julia about the whole slow-down-and-and-stop thing they'd been working on.
Julia waved bye-bye to me and headed back to class. I watched her a bit more and the next time she did just great, slowing and turning gently and taking her place in line. And then she fell over. No problem. She just waited as one of the instructors came over to help.
After the kids' all-day classes were over Bill and I would meet outside nearby and go pick the kids up together. The instructors gave us an overview of what they'd done that day and how well the kids had made out. The first day I almost laughed out loud when Julia's teacher said how well-behaved and sweet Julia had been. But I guess it's good that Julia saves all her less-desirable behavior for her parents and spares her teachers.
After getting the kids, we'd troop back to the truck and ride home, listening to the high points of the day (Alex saw a porcupine in a tree while riding up the lift!). Then, back at the hotel, we'd change into bathing suits and go hang out in the pool for a half hour or so. The pool room also housed a hot tub, which the kids grew to love. Julia took to it right away, but it took Alex a bit longer to trust that the water wasn't going to burn off any important parts of his anatomy.
Then, after pool and hot tub time, we went out to eat. All three nights we ate at the same place – Patrick's Pub & Eatery. Wonderful place – great food – especially their chicken and the Friday night Rotisserie Lamb special. The employees were all friendly, the beer and wine were good, and the atmosphere was warm and comfortable. It was close by – right across the street from where we were staying – but that wasn't the only reason we ate there. We just liked it. It became "our" place. If you're in Gilford, NH and need a place to dine, I highly recommend it.
OH – and speaking of food.
The #1 reason we stayed at B. Mae's? The waffle breakfast. Alex LOOOOVVVVVED the waffles there when he and Bill went last year, and in the days leading up to this year's trip, he kept telling us we'd love those waffles. In fact, he was looking forward more to breakfast than to skiing. So we were all pumped up for waffles.
The first morning we got up around 7, got dressed and trooped down the hall to the other end of the building where the continental breakfast was set up. The waffles were make-your-own. Two waffle irons going – and a LINE. Everyone (or mostly everyone) was there to ski, so pretty much everyone was up at the same time, trying to get their waffles before heading to the mountain. So I made the kids' waffles while Bill got us seats at one of the long, crowded tables and poured juice for the kids and coffee for us. Then Bill made his waffle and I didn't bother because the line was too long and we needed to get TO THE MOUNTAIN. I finally had a waffle on our last morning. It was…well, it was a waffle. But Alex is insanely enamored of waffles and pancakes, so I can see why it would be a way bigger thrill for him than for me.
And I think that's about it, really. Now for some pictures.
Oh, and for whatever reason, I didn't take ANY pictures until Thursday. (We arrived on a Tuesday and left on Friday.) I think I spent Wednesday alternately being mad at myself for not being able to ski and feeling wistful because even if I wanted to take a lesson, my foot wasn't going to go into a boot. Wah, wah, wah, poor me. Annoying. I got over it.
Snow began to fall – heavily – on Wednesday afternoon and continued overnight and into late the next morning. It was beautiful to watch – not so great to ski in, according to Bill. He'd been hoping for a nice, light, fluffy powder, but it was a little too warm and the snow was wetter and heavier than he liked.
Here's the view from the upper level of the Lodge:
(those are reflections of the lights inside the Lodge – not cool shots of alien spacecraft.)
I believe a total of 9 inches fell during that afternoon-to-morning time period.
The moisture layer is so heavy that you can't even see the higher peaks.
Ah – must be around 10:00 now – here come the kids in their ski classes. Julia's in that picture above. Here's a better view….
Sorry for the sloppy drawing. Anyway, Julia's the girl in the foreground – pink jacket, lavender snow pants, and a dark helmet.
That's better. They all get dropped off in that building to the left – Base Camp – and then in groups they head out to the Wonder Carpet area to practice their snowplows (pizza wedges) and turns and so forth.
And here's Alex going by…heading back to the lift. That's him with the red (rented) boots and his arms kind of reaching in each direction.
Here he is – a little later – after going down Misfire (one of the few gentle beginner slopes).
Alex absolutely LOVED skiing. Loved it. He didn't want to go home.
Oh, and while I'm standing here shooting pictures of Alex, I was also waiting for Julia to appear. I'd been way up in the lodge when I saw her little group actually head over to the lift. She was going to ski on an actual trail!! I grabbed my stuff and raced outside and then stood for oh, it seemed like an hour, waiting for her to appear SOMEWHERE. I met up with two other moms whose daughters were in the same group, and we're all there squinting up the hill looking for our own pink-clad snow bunnies.
No Julia yet, but there goes Alex, back to the lift…
Annnnnnd…here's Alex, just coming down Peepsight – one of the steeper beginner trails. Still no Julia.
Yep, there they go, back to the lift again. He's having a blast.
THERE SHE IS! She made it down Misfire. Yay! My big girl!
The teachers and kids assemble at the foot of that slope and then head back to the Wonder Carpet area. So Julia only went down one trail one time, but still, she DID it. Good for her!
Actually, yay both of them. They had a great time, they learned a lot, and Bill's already talking Olympic trials. Okay, not really about the Olympics. Still, it's hard to leave those days or even these pictures and not think (as a non-skier) – My kids are awesome!
Anyway, that was our trip – the highlights, anyway. I probably should have taken more pictures, but oh well, I didn't.
There's always next year.