Monday, January 17, 2011

Ski Season Comes to Podunkville

One of the best things about living in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Northwest is the opportunity to live near a decent ski resort. DH and I both started skiing when we were in our early teens, and we only went about 4 or 5 days a year at most. So there is a huge gap between our level of ability (intermediate, don't enjoy moguls and ungroomed powder runs) and the ability level of people who are from this region and who started taking lessons at age 4 (a few of whom are more confident on skis than they are on their own feet). As DH says, "I am not out here trying to win Olympic gold, and I appreciate not breaking my ass."

Now that DS is 3 and is potty trained (wow- part of me can't believe I just typed that because it was such a long, non-linear journey to get there), he is ready for his first official 3-hour ski lessons, instead of just playing around with mom and dad on the rope tow. The local instructors are really good with the little ones, and they understand that at this age it is all about having fun and drinking hot chocolate afterwards.

We decided to do a season rental of real skis and boots for DS, which is super cheap here. He fits in the smallest ski boots and skis that they make. The boots are Salomon and have little rocket ship decals on them, which he loves because they remind him of Fuzz Lightbeer, naturally. And he has the cutest, shiny black ski helmet (which would fit most 5-year-olds, but he has a big head) that reminds us a little bit of Darth Vader or the Rick Moranis character from "Spaceballs."

DD has had a few tries on her plastic Happy Skis (the ones that strap over the snow boots.) She tolerates it for a little bit, but doesn't demand it like her brother did at the ages of 1 and 2. So she is most content to play in the day care at the base of the mountain while the rest of her family goes out to ski. In just a few more years, we will not be able to keep up with our kids, and they will want to run off to other parts of the mountain with their friends while we take it easy on the "boring" runs. So we'd better enjoy the brief days when we all can and want to ski together.

In other news, did anyone watch The Golden Globes? I did not sit through it, but I caught part of the red carpet chatter, and heard that some of my favorite shows "Mad Men" and "Boardwalk Empire" got accolades. I also saw an ad on TV telling me that another one of my favorites, "Justified" returns to FX on Wed, Feb 9th. I love me some gracefully-aging Timothy Olyphant. This should tide me over nicely until the return of "True Blood" to HBO hopefully this June. Did you hear about the homage to "True Blood" on "Sesame Street?" See it here, and be sure to watch for the Lafayette look-alike at the very beginning. There is also a "Sesame Street" that sends up "Mad Men" but it is not quite as entertaining, IMHO.


Parisienne Mais Presque said...

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was the only lamer I knew who didn't actually know how to ski. My husband dragged me cross-country skiing for the first time when I was 25, and I remember it was a humiliating experience at first, though once I started getting the hang of it, I enjoyed it.

Here in Europe, skiing is rather expensive (at least if you live as far away from mountains as I do) and I keep saying I'm not bourgeois enough to indulge. I suspect, however, that once the kids are old enough to beg us to go, I'll have a lot of fun taking beginner classes with le Petit and Mademoiselle. And they'll have a lot of fun laughing at me.

Man, I am so disconnected now from American mainstream culture than I have not seen a single one of the shows you mention. Not a single one. And I only vaguely know what most of them are about. Ha!

blue said...

Oh fun! We are in the northeast, similarly podunk, but near some good mountains. Our DD started skiing two years ago and now that she's six, she's really getting good enough to enjoy it.

I can't believe your daughter already tolerates skis at the age of one! It must be in the bloodlines. I cannot imaging putting my 2 year old on skis at this point.... maybe next year.

Have fun out there!

Cloud said...

You know, I've never skied. Not once. And neither has Hubby. We're not too far from some OK ski areas here- lots of people drive up to a place called Big Bear. Maybe we'll try it sometime. But I doubt it! We'll raise the next generation of non-skiers for your kids to laugh at....

mom2boy said...

We took a family ski trip when I was 10 and my brother was 6. Might be skiing is one of those sports best learned young? I hated every minute of it but my brother was flying down the mountain like a pro by the end of the week. Awesome you guys can share this activity as a family!

paola said...

Neither of us is a skier here either, and we are only an hour away from some great ski resorts ( 2 hours fomr Saint Moritz!). Noah is at the age (6) that he wants to try everything, including skiing, but what to do if we don't ski. There is also the expense factor. Skiing is still very expensive. Maybe one day whe Zoe is older, we can all try cross country skiing, which is more affordable and doesn't scare the sh.t out of me.

Zenmoo said...

My husband (who grew up in podunkville by the ski fields in NZ) learnt to ski when he was 4. I was 25. There is chasm between our levels of activity - and that's ok with me. Turns out we both LOVE to ski - alone. We do one run together, then he goes hunting for thrills on the black & off piste and I settle down on a couple of blues to 'perfect' my run. Then we meet for lunch.

Anyway - my super cunning plan is to make sure Moo learns to ski early, gets good quickly and then her & her daddy can go nuts together while I potter around by myself.

And yeah, skiing is expensive - but made substantially cheaper for us in that the ILs still live at the base of the mountain so we have no accommodation/food/childcare/car hire costs - unless we choose to go to a different mountain.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Yeah, I'm about where you are with skiing ability - or, at least, I was before I moved to the desert. I haven't been on skis in eight or ten years now, though. Not sure I'd even know how to put them on! Hope the skiing lessons go well. They sound like fun for a little kid.

NK said...

such a great post. we live near some OK slopes on the east coast. neither one of us has every stepped foot on a slope. I'm hoping by the time the little one is 3-4 we'll take her for her first lessons and she'll enjoy it. In the mean time, mom and dad will take a few lessons and enjoy their time on the slopes too.
Yes its not cheap, but sports rarely are. Also, it will get her (and the rest of the family) off the couch, out of a mall and away from the internet.
That is the ultimate goal.

hush said...

@nk - Welcome, and thanks for the comment! I love that skiing can get the whole family "off the couch, out of a mall, and away from the internet." Well put & Amen to that!