Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Big Bear or Bust!

What a great weekend we had!
The 3 older boys had been BEGGING to learn to ski. The younger 2 really had no interest, so Mike stayed with them and after borrowing ski clothes/helmets from friends, the 4 of us headed up to Big Bear last Friday. The drive up the mountain is not an easy one. Very windy, narrow and one that I would NOT want to do at night. Ever! There was no traffic and we made it up without a hitch! We checked into to a glorified motel(not my fav) - although the view was nice, 

and got situated. I was advised to head to the resort after 6pm to rent the skis rather than waiting until Sat. morning to avoid the rush(which was a good thing because Sat. morning, when we arrived, the line for rentals was out the door and around the corner!)
We ventured into the “Village”, walked around, 
visited the local stores and had dinner at a little Mexican restaurant in the town. Of course, no night would be complete without eating ice cream in the 22 degree weather!
The next morning, we drove about 5 minutes to Snow Summit and parked for $20 in the VIP section, which was one of the best tips I rec’d! It is SO close to the mountain, and as I had to go back and forth to the car several times during the day, it was a MUCH better walk, then having to trek back thru the reg. parking lot. It was COLD!
After lathering the boys with sunscreen, group classes started at 9:45am and went until 11:45am.



There were was 8 kids in the group and for the boys 1st time, it was ok for them to get acclimated this way. They did great! We left the ski resort to have lunch and with in and out privileges in the VIP lot, it was easy to go and come back without a hassle. The next round of lessons started at 1:45 and lasted until 3:45pm. The afternoon lesson only had 5 kids(3 of which were mine), however the boys did complain that they had to do a lot of waiting around for the others, that may have fallen or needed extra assistance.

I decided that since I had already spent a small fortune on lessons($350 total for day 1!), a little more for a private would go a lot father! The ski school was very accommodating and helped me switch the lessons for the following day, from a 4 hour group, to a 2 hour private($400 total).
I am not sure the boys knew how totally exhausted the  would be from skiing. After the afternoon lesson ended, they skied for a little longer and then we headed back to the lodge. The boys had every intention of heading back into the “Village”, but after showers, decided ordering a pizza would be better. ALL 3 were asleep BY 6:30pm!

One mistake I made was leaving the boys gloves in the car overnight. Oops! They were wet from the day before and never dried, and even froze a bit in the car, making it was hard to put on the next morning. Lesson learned. Don’t leave the gloves in the car after skiing! 
The next day, the private lessons were from 8am-10am with a WONDERFUL girl named Crystal Johnston, that came highly recommended to me and after seeing how amazing she was with the boys, I would too highly recommend her for private lessons, if anyone was looking for an instructor! Seeing how much the boys had improved from day 1 to day 2 made me realize that my choice in privates the next day was truly the right one! Proof here:
The kids took a break, we had some lunch(which by the way, was VERY expensive - $60...I know - not the healthiest!)
 and then headed back onto the mountain, just the 3 of them, on the bunny runs, while I watched from down below. 
They had strict instructions to stay together and all supported one another on the slopes!

The weather was gorgeous. It was just like spring skiing – but in January! Some were even in t-shirts! The instructors made all the kids take off their beanies and jackets before the lessons even started. Most of the day it was about 56-58 degrees and sunny! While it had not snowed in town, the mountain made snow and it was perfect, especially or what the kids needed it for!

The kids were in heaven. All they talked about after their 2nd day of skiing is when they can go again! It definitely is not a cheap sport. That is for sure! But if we can do it a few times a year, it will be great! Next time, I think we are ALL going to try to go, including the little ones – should be interesting!

So glad that I had this time to bond with the 3 older boys. Memories made that will last a lifetime. 

3 comments:

Shemaine Smith said...

What a fun adventure Jen! The photos are great and I am sure this will be a treasured memory for all of them.

therapy90212 said...

sounds absolutely wonderful!

Roger said...

I love that you took your boys skiing!! I can't recommend the ski school in Jackson Hole (Jackson Hole Mountain Resort) high enough! If y'all are ever looking for a GREAT family vacation, come to our little town! I'd love to show you around!! <3
Jennifer Levanduski