Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Ski Trip

I'll try to provide a summary of our ski trip. We left Friday night and drove about half way. We arrived at a military base (where we have connections *wink*) 10 minutes before the commissary closed. I ran into the grocery store and in true supermarket sweep fashion, I am running down each aisle pulling items off the shelf. I was waiting on line 12 minutes later with boxes of Bisquick, cake mixes, hot sauce, children's tylenol, cheerios, sunmaid raisins, Goldfish, yoohoo chocolate drink, Pam, brown sugar, molasses and a few other items. I've never shopped so fast, so efficiently in my life. It was a beautiful 10 minutes and everything is now happily on my Parisian shelves.

Arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon and we rented our skis. Then the whole family headed to the pool. About that time I'm starting to feel really sick. I eat dinner with my birthday girl daughter and am in bed by 8pm shivering. The kids head out to ski school on Sunday and I stay in bed the whole day. Monday I get myself out of bed to head to the town doctor. He prescribes some medicine. I walk back to my hotel room and spend the rest of the day in bed with a high fever.

That night, Monday night, my son and husband at the spur of the moment (and brought on by only a little! pleading by my son) go tobogganning -- although I believe it is a luge, rather than a toboggan. This is one of those activities that would never be allowed in the US because it is way too dangerous. Well maybe that is an exaggeration. At 8:30pm in total darkness, you take two ski lifts up a mountain (around 700 meters up). There is a grooved area in the snow, kind of like a long half pipe, for you to toboggan down the side of a mountain. There is very little ability to control the tobaggan -- you can't turn it and unless you jump off it, you can't stop the sled -- at least at the speed you are flying down the mountain. It's basically an accident waiting to happen. It didn't happen the first time. The first time, by some luck and the thought that it really can't be as dangerous as it seems, the two boys went careening down the mountain without a care. My son jumps up at the end and says it's the best thing he's ever done in his life (probably a similiar reaction to those who parachute jump out of an airplane and survive -- you know you've come close to death). The second time, the sled flipped over and they both got bruised, but my husband twisted his already bad knee. They were soaking wet and still had to get down to the bottom of the mountain. They didn't take a third trip.

My husband limped around the rest of the week and didn't ski at all since he was waiting for me to recuperate. I woke up the next morning feeling like the plague had been lifted from my body. I went out skiing by myself and it felt great. My husband sat at the top of the mountain and read a book and I joined him for lunch. It was nice, but not how we expected to spend our vacation. We aren't big skiiers, my husband even less so because of his bad knees, but we do enjoy a day or two of skiing together. My husband will have to head to the orthopedist this week.

My friend and I (in blue) at the top of one of the mountains.

The kids had a great time skiing. They both stayed in ski school for the week and learned a lot. My son likes his group lessons, but he likes skiing straight down the mountain best. In his mind, learning to turn only slows you down. We're going to have to watch him. But he did come in third in place during the ski school ski races and got to stand on the podium. My daughter really did well this time. By the end of the week she was skiing down hills that I never would have thought possible last week. I'm so proud of them.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
5:04 PM



Your pictures are breath taking...just beautiful!
You know, I know exactly what you mean about it being too dangerous and would never happen in the US. There was an indoor play thing in Germany, and it would NEVER have been allowed in the US for all the fear of law suits. The kids loved it there, and there were some things that were questionably too dangerous...but we let them play, and no one got killed.
The adventure down the mountain, in the dark! Wow. As a mother you must have been shaking in your shorts until they were all safely back down.
I am glad you 1.) had a vacation and 2.) weren't sick the WHOLE time !

# posted by Carrie : 6:32 PM  

Thanks Carrie. I don't think they would have gone on the toboggan if we'd known just what it was about. I didn't even learn about the whole adventure until the next morning since I wasn't feeling well that night.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 7:11 PM  

I've come down with something on vacation too. It's not just being sick, it's knowing the people you're with are going on having fun without you anyway! Glad you got some skiing in, and yes, the pictures are wonderful! :)

# posted by ViVi : 7:56 PM  

Vivi, Thanks. I'm glad I got to ski for a few days. It is a wonderful sport.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 8:03 PM  

I, too, am glad you were not sick the whole time and that you got to go skiing. The pictures of the slopes look amazing and now I want to go.

Sorry to hear about Uncle M's knee. That is no fun.

# posted by Jason : 11:26 AM  

I'm glad to hear you're feeling better. Thanks for posting the beautiful photos. We used to live in British Columbia and seeing the mountains made me realize how much I miss them.

# posted by Oz : 12:55 PM  

Glad you guys all came back in one piece. Sorry about the hubby's knee. The last time I skiied was 10 years ago. I had a bad accident and wore a brace for 6 weeks. That was the end of my skiing "career." I miss the breathtaking beauty at the top of the mountains though. Bravo to your two kids for doing so well. I hope little Mme had a great b-day. I was thinking of her on her b-day on Friday. We have had three snow days in a row here. Not quite the Austrian experience though! Missed your blogs and glad you are feeling better.


# posted by Anonymous : 7:12 PM  

Ah the joy of a supermarket sweep. When I retun home to the UK for a visit I fill my bags with stuff I can't get here in the US. English Tea bags, HP sauce, kiddie medicines etc. Its funny what you miss isn't it? I have often wonderered what I would miss from the US if I ever returned home permanently to the UK and already I guess the list is quite long - but I think I would especially miss the Girl Scout Cookies - the mint thins. Yep - Its that time of year again here. Yum.

# posted by Anonymous : 7:56 PM  

I should have signed of that last post as Carol. I hate to be thought of as anonymous!

# posted by Anonymous : 8:02 PM  

Hi there. Glad you got up to the mountains and you all enjoyed yourselves. You son sounds like he's got the right attitude ;) And what's all this about buying a goldfish and keeping it in your cupboard?

# posted by Daniel : 8:09 PM  

Jason, Thanks. The skiing was wonderful and probably will be for a few weeks. You should go!
Oz, I've never really been to the mountains of British Columbia, but would love to take that trip one day. I understand they are breathtaking.
CMAC, Thanks for the birthday wishes. She's getting so big!
Carol, Girl Scout cookies are a good thing to miss. Personally, my favorite are the samoas... they are delicious.
Daniel, Very funny! My son would probably love to take some lessons from you on snowboarding. Like I don't worry enough!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 8:39 PM  

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