Friday, January 04, 2008

Baby it was cold outside

Heading up to Tremblant for some family time, juxtaposed to the previous day of mourning, made the little getaway that much more poignant and important for us. We thought about Uncle D a fair bit while we were there; he was an avid skiier, and we saw evidence of that in pictures of him with his children. Great memories, great family vacation memories. We certainly made some of our own during the four days.

One main advantage of renting a condo is the freedom to make your own food, on your own schedule, without all the added co$t$ associated with eating out all the time. So first stop in St. Jovite after we picked up the condo instructions, was to hit the Supermarket. A very civilized province, Quebec; we could pick up our groceries AND beer and wine. Ontario, please wake up!! I left Ian to pay while I took L to the drug store to pick up some ibuprofen... funny how hubs was astounded at the amount of food I had rounded up and the final tally. It was about what I usually pick up for the equivalent time at home; granted, at resort prices it was a tad more expensive than what I usually pay. But he was wondering whether all the stuff on the conveyor was ours!

The condo was perfect; the HEATED FLOORS in the kitchen and washroom even more so! For our first afternoon/evening, we thought we would just stay in. I took out some veggies and dip, the shrimps and sauce, uncorked the wine and we had our own private cocktail party. For dinner we made hotdogs for the kids, and Spaghetti bolognese for the big kids.

The next day we headed to the village to check out the lessons (for me and the kids) and ski rentals. Ian is the only one fully equipped - he's skied since he was a kid, and we both would like the kids to embrace the sport. For one thing, it gets them outside, and for another, it's awfully fun! I never learned as a kid, but have been on skiis about half a dozen times, pre-kids (ie over a decade ago).

After we got everyone signed up, it took Ian another hour just to get L his equipment! Although the staff are all amazing pleasant, they really need to get some organizational improvements there. Bottlenecks galore... can you imagine being only able to measure one person at a time, by one associate, to get the boots; then another station for the skis (where they had 3 stations). To return equipment they've only got two people on staff at that end. This is their busiest time? Type A personality-me had to catch my tongue a few times, remind myself that I was on vacation. So I guess that's the thing about being a Dad on vacation en famille. I think Ian only got one run in the afternoon because of all these shenanigans. Not quite the "I can't count how many runs I did" vacation he did here in February.

Meanwhile, little miss G and I checked out the village for shopping opportunities. She made sure we hit every candy and toy shop imaginable. She even scored a balloon penguin. All this pre-meltdown. We're still in the nap/no nap zone with her so every afternoon is a crapshoot.

We headed back to the condo at about 4pm. For New Year's Eve dinner we had a scrumptious meal of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Cream of Mushroom soup. We watched Shrek 2 together as a family (loved it!) and then hit the sack by 11 PM. Didn't even touch the champagne... I guess Ian and I ARE getting embarrassingly old!!!

The next morning we hit the slopes by 9:30 AM. G was so sweet in her skiis; she cried through most of her morning in ski school (for 3 - 4 year olds) - but that was likely because her big brother was skiing down the same hill as her, so she kept calling him to ask about her mommy. And where was mommy? Why, I had my own lesson, and by the end of it I was ready to do the bigger slopes. I'd forgotten how much fun it was.

While the three of us were skiing, Ian checked out the kids club, not for himself but for our diva. So by the time I picked up the girlie, she was ready for a quick bite and was fairly jumping at the chance to play all afternoon with other kids. Big bonus on this holiday is that G seems to have got the potty thing down pat now. Pretty much 100%. So although she's still in pullups for her own security, she hasn't had a wet or dirty diaper in over a week! She was more than confident to be on her own, and even told the ladies when she had to go. She's my big girl now.

L had a private lesson, and then after a quick snack with me, the two of us happily skiied another couple of hours on the bunny hills before picking up his little sister. L was actually good enough to go on the other hills, but the lines were too long to get a pass for him in time for his private lesson. He was too cute with me. I just loved it, as we made it to the top of the hills and he'd say "Let's do it Mom!!". What a character. Ian got some major skiing in that afternoon as well. Dinner at La Forge was the best choice for us that evening - burgers and nuggets. With Labatt's Blue on draft, of course.

We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning on our last full day. Which meant it was frigidly cold. About -22 deg C. The boys had a half day ski, while little G and I shopped for hats, and then made her new Pink friend.

For dinner we went to the Coco Pazzo restaurant, where Ian highly recommended the risotto (amazing, as he doesn't usually like risotto) and he had the lamb. The kids had a great evening, and during appetizers, L recognized a voice behind us. It turned out to be a schoolmate and neighbours of ours, who live just around the corner from us!! Ian had been at this restaurant with the dad during the "all Dad ski weekend" earlier in the year, so it was quite funny that both families ended up at the same restaurant at the same time. They also had booked their trip last minute. Such a small world.

After dinner we went back to the condo, Ian and I finally polished off the champagne, we had a nice quiet evening with the kids. The next morning L wanted his own souvenir (care of Skater Boy 2 aka Husky), after all, fair's fair.

All in all, it was a great break, we really needed to get away after a crazy busy couple of months. The kids had a ball, they both made new fluffy stuffed friends that they were able to bring home, Ian got some great skiing in, I got through my lessons without wiping out once. A wonderful way to round out the year, and a fresh start for a new one.


melissa said...

What an eventful couple of days for you and your family!

It was probably very reassuring to Ian (and you) to really take some time to connect with your family after the funeral. My husband does the same thing. He just wants to get away with us and bond.

Py Korry said...

Sounds like a wonderful vacay! And thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting on the slide show. :-)

Cherry said...

Considering the events of the beginning of your impromptu trip, it sounds like the whole family had a great time.

How cool that you could ski with your boy and have him so excited! He's going to be challenging Ian in no time!

I used to come home from every vacation with a new stuffed friend. That was always my souvenir of choice.

Don Mills Diva said...

So glad you had a great time. We have owned a condo there for 12 years - right above the Roots store facing the main lift and were there right before Christmas. I LOVE it there!

J at said...

Wow, what a great vacation! Sounds just about perfect to me. I haven't been skiing in awhile, and lessons always make me feel SO MUCH better.

Kat said...

Fun!!! Love the pics. Glad you had a nice vacation.

Family Adventure said...

Karen, those pictures are amazing. We must go skiing when we get back from Norway! It'd be a hoot.

Too funny you bumping into Morag and Doug (I'm assuming that's who it was - because Jay and fam were there also, but earlier) at the same restaurant. What are the chances?!?!

Way to go Giselle - you really are a big girl now. Potty-trained and everything!

Heidi :)

Badness Jones said...

Mmmmm....sounds like a wonderful holiday....

We want to get the Princess on the slopes this year, and I can't wait until Bad is ready for a similar vacation. We're like you, Hubs has skiied regularly since he was a kid, I learned as an adult, and am crappy, but love it. Tremblant does have some lovely heated outdoor pools that are fab when you don't want to ski.....

C said...

I love Tremblant! When I lived in Montreal, Tremblant was a place we frequented. What a great place to spend time with your family!

Love the photos! Little G and Liam look like they had a blast! They will look back many years from now and remember the wonderful times they had in Tremblant. Perhaps they too, will make Tremblant a family vacation destination when they get older :)

gmcountrymama said...

That sounds like a wonderful family getaway. Sorry to read about Ian's uncle passing.

Jocelyn said...

You and your family are so lovely. I adore how detailed and positive this post is--you make me want to go rent a condo, even if it's just down the street.

I want that in-floor heating.


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