Snow. I have seen snow three times in my life, all in New Orleans. The first time was in 1989 when I was little, again the year before Katrina and most recently on December 11, 2008. So my snow experience, while limited, was pretty full for me. I am a born and raised NOLA girl. So that means that 65 degrees is winter and any vacations that I have taken between Thanksgiving and Mardi Gras have typically been to Mexico. I fly south for the winter.
For Christmas my in-laws decided that we would all take a family ski vacation to Beaver Creek, Colorado. From the second that I heard it, I was already cold! After assembling what seemed like way too many layers for one person to wear in one day, we were off.
When the mountains made Monkey Hill look like a speed bump, I knew I wasn’t in NOLA anymore. From the second we landed in Colorado, it was beautiful. Nothing like I could imagine. To see the roof tops covered in snow and the trees glistening in white, it looked like almost every Christmas movie I have seen.
I admit that I was totally hesitant of taking a ski trip with a three-year-old. Since I had no experience with snow or skiing, I thought all we would do is hide under the covers for days. But, to my surprise there is so much to do! A toddler on skis is the cutest thing EVER! Kids have no fear and are such a low force of gravity that she was by far better than all of us. Same for ice skating. She put on the skates and she went. Adults on the other hand are not nearly as graceful.
The most shocking moment is when we put her in a tube and sent her down the mountain, solo. I thought she would be terrified but she laughed, stood up and asked to go again.
Sleigh rides to dinner and swimming in an indoor pool with snow falling all around you can complete a day. Plus snow is the endless toy. It snows pretty much every day, giving you more ammunition for snow balls and material for snow men. Since we are currently obsessed with the movie Frozen, we built Olafs regularly.
Beaver Creek, Colorado itself is built for families. With easy access from the hotel to the slopes (including escalators), free gondola rides for kids, an ice skating rink just outside the hotel doors, to the largest kids’ menus I have ever seen. Plus each restaurant is equipped with full on games, such as Etch A Sketches, for them to play with.
The only downside is that I have so much respect for the moms that have to get up and put all of those layers on their children every day. It is such a project, and by the time everything is on not only are you hot, but your toddler announces she has to go to the potty. Lovely.
So while you are planning your 2014 vacation, maybe think about taking a trip above the Mason Dixon line this year.
Things I learned from the ski trip:
- Don’t eat the yellow snow
- Scotch Guard is the difference between wet pants and dry pants
- Hand and foot warmers are as necessary as underwear
- Snow on a toddler is much easier to clean off than sand
- You can put a NOLA girl in the snow and she doesn’t turn into an ice sculpture
My husband has been wanting to go skiing and like you, I hate the cold. We just returned from Key West! But this makes me want to try out the cold weather and snow for our next trip.