Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Hills Are Alive With The Sounds of Skiing

We went to Germany last week for a mini holiday, with our friends Nikki & Alex, and their friend Serge (aka our new friend Serge). We went to a tiny village called Bad Hindelang, which is about 5 km to the left of Austria. Okay, to the west of Austria. Whatever. It is a beautiful place, with cute little alpine villages in the valleys of the mountains.

We stayed at an amazing B & B, Pension Hirschbach -and yes, everything looked exactly like their youtube video - the mountains, the hills, even the kitchen sink. It is across the street from the bus stop that takes you right to the chair lift. Sooooo awesome. So in the mornings, we'd wake up, eat a massive German breakfast (meat, bread, cheese, more meat, more bread, more cheese, eggs, strong coffee, a little more bread & meat, some nutella and then these little chocolate-covered marshmallows?), and then get on the bus for 15 minutes and be at the mountain. Ideal. Add to that the temperature on the hill was about 15°C, and you got yourself a great ski trip.

The first day, Matthew put Elizabeth in the baby carrier on his back. We went on a few easy runs, and at the end of each run, she would squeal, "More!! More!!! More!!!". Then we went on a few intermediate runs, and whenever he'd get some speed up, Elizabeth would hold on tighter to his back. But still, at the end of every run, we'd hear this excited voice: "More!! More!!" Then all of a sudden, no more "More!" - oh, she had fallen asleep.On his back. While he was skiing. In the German Alps. Fantastic! 

When she woke up, we spent a while making snowmen and playing with her Little People in the snow, and our great friends played with her so Matthew & I could have a couple runs on our own. They are too good to us. It was great to ski again - I always forget how much I enjoy it. My only complaint about the whole skiing experience was that there was only one chairlift, and all the other lifts were T-Bars and tow ropes. T-Bars??? The whole way up the mountain?? Your legs never get a chance to rest! I missed Sunshine and their millions of chairlifts (read: millions of opportunities to just sit there for a while). Oh and, there aren't any Lifties to scan your pass for the lifts. Instead, you have this RFID card to keep in your pocket, and you ski up to a turnstile, swing your hip up to a sensor and the turnstile lets you through to the lift. I missed the hungover Lifties.

Elizabeth liked the skiing so much that on the second day, we rented her a tiny set of skis and boots. We had no real expectation of her, but Matthew didn't want to keep her in the backpack all morning again. We took her over to Schnee Kinderland to have some fun. (PS Schnee = snow.) And did we ever have fun!!! She was a rockstar! Matthew & I took turns putting her on our shoulders and skiing down the hill, and when we asked if she wanted her own skis, she was all over it.

When we took her to Nakiska in December, she couldn't stand up on the skis by herself, but she was unbelievable this time!! Our biggest challenge was the fact that she's almost two, and therefore must do everything by herself. She quickly learned to walk on skis, and could walk onto the magic carpet lift up the bunny hill - amazing! Less amazing and more scary is that she kept trying to walk off the lift onto the hill by herself too. We heard a lot of "No Daddy! Issabet do it!!!" Without further ado, here she is, our ElizaSkiBunny:

After a couple hours of skiing on her own, and on our shoulders our great friends came and found us, and offered to swap out again. Here is how we found them after our run:
Hahahah!!! Nap time for everyone! I love that they made a little sunshade for Elizabeth!! 
It's not really surprising she was so tired - it is exhausting for me to walk in ski boots, just imagine how heavy her little legs must have felt! As for me, most times when I ski, I'm sore in the thighs and bottom regions. But this time, my arms and chest were sooooo sore the next day - probably because I had to figure out how to ski while holding a baby wearing ski boots on my shoulders. And I don't believe Matthew when he said his arms weren't sore - he spent two mornings going up the baby hill with a tow-rope in his one hand and a toddler in his other arm. And then at the end of the day, he'd carry three sets of skis and poles and boots back to the locker. He's a Ski Dad now. 

We are so proud of our little ski-hase!!!

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