The Rest of Our Vacation

Lest you think we didn’t salvage any of our vacation time in the mountains because of Chilly the Pirate Dog, rest assured that we managed to eek out some fun in between the multiple phone calls with sitters and veterinarians.

The main mission of the weekend was to give the kids a chance to try snowskiing. Denis doesn’t ski because of his knees (although he attempted it back in the day and was not a fan). I hate snowskiing as well thanks to a family trip to Lake Tahoe when I was a teenager.

But we thought we should give our kids the opportunity to try it. Friday morning we arrived at Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, NC. It was only a 10 minute drive from the apartment we rented for the weekend. It was just lovely driving up the mountain going from brown dirt and dead trees to a lovely winter wonderland.

Getting our equipment was confusing but we figured it out eventually. We opted for a two-day pass, figuring that the kids could try skiing on Friday and snowboarding on Saturday. We rented everything – skis, helmet, bibs, gloves. Now we know to bring our own helmet, bibs and gloves – it’s expensive getting their stuff!

We also signed up the kids for an introduction lesson and fortunately the lesson began just when we finished getting them in their gear. One hour later the instructor sent them on their way, and off they went!

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They tried the beginner slope (even smaller than a typical bunny slope) for the first 4-5 runs of the morning, and then braved the bunny slope. They both took to skiing almost immediately. Despite being a school holiday, the slopes were not that crowded so they were able to average 6-7 runs an hour on the bunny slope.

On Saturday I told them that my goal for them was to have their last run of the day be on the next size up from the bunny slope. CootieBoy didn’t even wait for his lastrun. He did one run on the bunny slope to get his bearings, and then immediately set off for the ski lift to go up to the higher hill. I wasn’t aware of this fact until I heard him yelling, "Mama! Mama! I just did the big hill and I didn’t fall a single time!" He was so proud of himself (I was proud of him too). CootieGirl was a bit less confident and stuck to the bunny slope. Unfortunately, it was so crowded on the mountain on Saturday that the wait time to get up the hills was very long, and after 3-4 runs CG decided she was done and turned in all her gear. CB did one more run on the bigger hill and then we packed it in and headed home to help Denis with Chilly the Ailing Pirate Dog.

CB definitely wants to go again, and so we may take them again before the season ends, but hit up a mountain like Sugar that also has tubing for CG’s entertainment. She liked skiing well enough, but she didn’t love it like CB did.

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All in all, I’m grateful that the kids kept at it despite all that was going on with Chilly. I know when CB first found out about what was going on he started crying and said he didn’t want to ski anymore because he was afraid for Chilly, but I told him that Chilly would be fine. After much coaxing, he got back out on the hill and did his thing for a few more hours before we stopped to go get some dinner. Had they dug in their heels and refused to ski at all, it’s quite possible they would permanently associate snow skiing with tragedy, which I didn’t want to have happen.

Nothing else to say about that!

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