A Well-Oiled Machine

Today was the third day of our annual February weeklong ski vacation, this one at Beaver Creek, and we have had BIG fun! We are staying in a condo a short drive from the slopes, and our routine today worked out like this…

The 3 older kids and I started skiing in the morning, Dave dropped us off just a few feet from the lift and returned to the condo to play with Eragon. We took the first lift from the drop-off point to a second lift which took us to the top of the mountain. The first lift goes up and down over ridges and roads and feels a bit like a roller coaster. On the first steep descent we were all yelling “aaaaaahhhhh!” in mock terror and when we stopped Aramis (who looks amusingly like young Anakin from Episode I) yelled, “Now THIS is pod racing!” That kid couldn’t be funnier if he tried!

We had a blast skiing for a couple of hours. Emma was in the lead because she knows the place better than any of us at this point. She took us on some fun and beautiful runs, and we had a great time doing small jumps, skiing through sparse trees, even tackling a couple of blues. We were headed down to the bottom to ride the roller-coaster lift once more before calling Dave to pick us up when Atticus had a big wipeout in which he bent one of his ski poles. By the time we got to the bottom he wanted to take a break, so we called Dave and he came and picked up Atticus and Aramis. Emma and I decided to stay and ski some more and agreed to meet Dave at 12:30. Once more Emma took the lead and we really had some fun, her skiing fast and doing lots of jumps and trees, and me trying my best to keep up with her. She did get me on one blue that was pretty steep, but in all we just cruised along. Beaver Creek has some neat wooden bridges that you ski over and under, a unique feature in my ski travels so far.

We met Dave at 12:30 and switched places–he took off to ski for a while on his own while I took the kids back to the condo for lunch. We agreed to meet again at 2 pm when Emma would rejoin him for the last runs of the day. When I dropped Emma off again, I told Dave that there would be freshly baked chocolate chip cookies served at the base of one of the lifts at 3 pm, and we agreed that we’d all meet up at around 4 pm for the kids to do some tubing which the resort sets up a couple of times a week. Dave and Emma explored some new areas of the mountain, took advantage of the complimentary cookies, and at the end of the day Dave declared that Emma is a real pro skier now.

The kids loved the tubing, each taking 3 runs, and then we set out to explore the village. We stopped at a Starbucks for the most exorbitantly priced warm drinks we’ve ever had, then Dave showed us a full-sized Lego car he had spotted on his first trip to BC. The village is gorgeous, all soaring stone and wood buildings, filled with trees covered in lights. It is magical. The kids spotted an ice skating rink and asked if we could try it out, so the big kids and I rented skates and started spinning around the rink. Well, not really. Emma has skated a handful of times in her life, mostly when we’ve been on ski trips, and she’s still pretty unsteady. Atticus took to it well, but he fell quite a bit. Aramis mostly pulled himself around the rink along the rail, and I skated around and around to each of them in turn, helping how I could. I’m not much of an ice skater, but I was pretty good on roller skates in Jr. High and I’ve rollerbladed quite a bit since college, so that makes me the most qualified instructor in our family. Despite their lack of proficiency, the kids really enjoyed it and didn’t want to leave, so I expect we’ll return again this week. I mentioned the possibility of taking ice skating lessons when we return home and they were all pretty excited about that idea.

It was a very full and fun day for all of us. Eragon has been spending his time at the condo working on walking, and he’s getting around very well. He has even resumed one of his favorite old games–when I fill up his sippy cup with milk he likes to grab the lid and run away with it and laugh and hide from me. He is doing this now in the condo, and he can get away from me pretty fast! He’s still a little stiff, but he’s doing great. And he’s insisting on walking all by himself as much as he can while we’re out. It’s wonderful to see him mobile again!

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