Some of the absolute BEST memories that I have from my childhood are from skiing with our family.
And by family, I mean the roughly 40 people comprised of Grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. It was one giant skiing family.
Grandma would make a huge pot of chili for everyone to eat at lunch and everyone would take turns fighting over who got to ride the lift up with Grandpa. My parents would always have an extra large stash of Lifesavers in their pocket which they generously passed out whenever anyone started looking tired.
Competition was king between the kids as there was always a cousin to race with and showing off our sweet tricks off any little jump was always expected.
As a kid, this was about as close to perfect as things got. We lived far away from family, but for a couple weeks each winter, we would stay with my Grandparents and ski, ski ski!
Naturally, this was something I wanted to pass onto our own kids.
Not just a love of skiing, but a love of being with family.
(Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for our video of the day!)
Well now that we’re living back in the US, that dream finally became a reality this winter. We headed up to Solitude Resort and I don’t think I could have planned a more perfect day.
The snow was falling, the mountain was beautiful and my brother and his family showed up with 2 dozen HOT DONUTS – honestly, I don’t think we could have asked for a better start to the day!
Instantly I was transported back to my childhood as our kids started begging Grandpa and Grandma to ride the chairlift with them, while the younger cousins were mostly interested in the treats that were stashed in my pockets (and obviously, being the favorite aunt, I was quite generous with sharing!).
After skiing at Solitude most of the winter, our kids knew their favorite terrain like the back of their hand, and were instantly showing everyone the most exciting ways down the mountain. As a mom, that made my day so much less stressful, because even though I knew that the kids would be goofing off (and showing off) all day, they were SUPER COMFORTABLE with where we were and knew where to go (which with a group of 15 people is HUGE…no need to worry about losing them!). Add in the fact that Solitude has some of the best steep terrain for the grown-ups to play on and an easy lodge to hang out in and drink endless amounts of cocoa with the little ones, and it didn’t take much to convince everyone that this was the perfect place for our family!
I’m pretty sure that it seemed like we were taking over the mountain. We’re a big and VERY LOUD group…but man it was GREAT! We skied all over from the moguls and steeps to the little jump trails through the trees.
I even got some great time in on the bunny hill with my niece and nephew on their FIRST DAY on skis! It was seriously the cutest thing ever – I promise (watch the video below to see proof).
But my favorite part of the day? Heading out with my brothers and my oldest two kids and just flying down the mountain together, just like when we were kids. There was cheering, shouting, and lots and lots of laughter.
As we were heading to the car, I asked my big kids what their favorite part of the day was “Skiing with our Uncles” pretty much shot out of both of their mouths.
And right there, the kids realized for the first time that they were part of something bigger.
That skiing wasn’t just their Mom and Dad dragging them up to the hill every week, but it was part of who they are and part of who our family is.