Addie took to the slopes like a bee to honey. She seemed natural and truly enjoyed the runs. Stella, lit up with a toothless smile at the bottom of each hill, that seemed like sunshine. She was in her glory. This trip was really something of and about her. She’d wanted to try to ski from the moment she saw people skiing on TV in Guam. For Stella, speed seemed to equate to happiness, as she showed no fear of barreling down a hill. (This revelation was not surprising to us, but did elicit several sighs and reservations about what else Stella “Bee -Boo” will run into with such velocity.)
Matt was quite hesitant about the trip, as his last experience on skis was about 20 years ago. He fared well enough though. Matt's ego seemed to suffer most, as he mentioned about twenty gazillion times that there were 'tons of little ones on skis out there'. Moms pulling toddlers behind them and 4 year old kids racing down the mountain around him in the "tucked position", whizzing past as he concentrated just to balance, were, um, slightly off putting for Matt. Occasionally falling, he was elated to still be breathing after his first run down the mountain. Eventually mastering the easier slopes, and popping ibuprofen like candy, he decided that we should save up to make the trip again next year.
For me however, the journey down the mountain was a slightly more painful experience. I too, have been chewing on ibuprofen like they were jelly beans and perhaps would be walking a little easier if I'd chosen to take the lift down instead.
At least 20 years have passed since I stood on skis as well. Hopeful that it would come back 'like riding a bike', I am now aware that it doesn't. More so, if it wasn't for my desire to ski with my kids, I'd throw in the towel and stick to sledding instead. On the first day, I took several rough falls, spending more time on my butt than on the skis, making for some colorful souvenirs. I sprained my left ankle, which remains swollen and sore, rendering me with a pathetic limp. If my instructor hadn't been wearing goggles, I'm sure I'd have seen him rolling his eyes. He spent more time teaching me how to get up after a fall than anything else.
By the last day, I could hardly lift my arms and I was covered in bruises. I chuckled to myself as I left the ski lodge bathroom 'You know you're in trouble when you can't even wipe your butt anymore.' Feeling weak, and too depressed to be busted and broken, I grabbed the camera to take a few shots of the rest of the gang on the mountain, salvaging the experience.
So nice, at the end of the day, to be able to relax at the lodge in front of a big fireplace.
Well, at least for 2 minutes...until Arleigh jumped up and decided to torment guests, the ATM machine, the gift shop, and anyone nearby who looked like they might give him the time of day.
Sadly, it may be awhile before we feel that we don't need a vacation after the vacation.