Wow, everyone there really loves winter. It’s pretty amazing. We left on Friday night, and I was a little stressed out, actually. I’d originally said that we’d arrive around dinner time, but then M had an evening soccer game, so we ended up going afterwards. And then, since it was later, I’d said that I’d call when we were on the way, but the phones were out, so I ended up emailing. Between my low texting skill level, my somewhat lame phone, and my propensity to get car sick if I dare focus my eyes anywhere, this was more arduous than it sounds. I shouldn’t have worried–they were perfectly lovely and we got there just fine.
Basically everyone had more fun than they expected. We took a family skate skiing lesson, which Cute W and I thought was much more fun than classic skiing. The girls had never been on cross country skis before, but since they downhill ski and ice skate, they were pretty well prepared. And, in fact, they did very well. Halfway through the lesson the ski instructor watched M tearing up the hill and murmured, “You have a natural skater there.” J struggled a bit more, and she got a little frustrated by the end of the lesson, but once we started exploring on our own, she was happy again.
After doing some cross country skiing, the girls tubed for a little bit. They each had their own tube, but shortly after we got started, a 3-year-old and his mom appropriated one of ours, and no one had the heart to try to take it back. I think the girls had a much better time sharing one tube, anyway.
We were tubing in anticipation of the Scandinavian pole sledding activity. I was confused: I’d conflated the description and told a small crowd of parents that the activity would involve the resident reindeer. I was wrong about that. Basically, there’s an upright pole frozen into the snow, and then they attach another pole that sticks out to form a radius of a large circle with the sled on the end. A grown-up (someone on staff) pushes the pole in a small circle while the kid on the sled flies in a bigger circle.
They loved the pole sled, although I think M got a little motion-sick. After that we did a quick snowshoe walk, but the girls were eager to get back to skiing.
Honestly, I was faring the worst of all of us. Between being overdressed and exerting myself with my inefficient, first-time-skate-skiing strides, I was literally steaming. That’s right: literally steaming. The rest of the family found that pretty hilarious. By the end of the day I was hatless & coatless in the objectively super-freezing weather, and I was still a little too warm. Plus, I acquired a blister on each foot, which made each stride a little bit ouchy. Luckily, I’d just finished Unbroken, so when I felt like whining about my feet, I reminded myself that Louis had survived through extended time on a life raft and then in a Japanese POW camp, so maybe I should just suck it up. Things improved later, when I took advantage of the sauna. They have “men only” and “women only” times, so I was on my own, and when I arrived, I was relieved that I was, in fact, alone. I was just a little too sleepy to make awkward chitchat with a naked stranger. But it made me wish that I had a couple of girlfriends or sisters and a bottle of wine. Yeah, you’re probably not allowed to drink wine in the sauna. Well, whatever.
We exhausted ourselves. Cute W took pictures of us, at my request, in the restaurant in the evening. I wanted to capture the cute whine goblets and Christmas lights that had dressed the place up for the evening. Instead, all I could see in those photos were two girls who looked like they might, at any moment, drop their faces into their plates and start snoring.
We went for one last ski on Sunday morning before heading home in time to make football snacks before the Broncos (season-ending) game. It was definitely a bunch of fun. Details here.
ALSO: I’m going to be on WNYT Newchannel 13’s Live at Noon TODAY (Thursday) talking about active winter fun.