Warning: lots of vomit ahead
We haven't lived near any good ski hills--or near any ski hills, really--for almost 15 years. Eric is a native of southern Alberta and lived an hour away from the majestic Canadian Rockies. He grew up skiing in the mountains near Waterton and Banff National Parks. My own ski history is less exotic; I learned how to ski on 300-foot tall bluffs overlooking the Mississippi river in Minnesota. I joke that I can ski on anything because I learned how to ski in the dark, in subzero temperatures, and on sheer ice. My parents always took us night skiing because it was less expensive. I don't think I ever skied during the day until I was around 16 and went to Alta in Utah.
Anyway, we've been gearing up for ski season here in France. We found secondhand equipment for Eric, Zari, and Dio. I'm going to wait until Inga and Ivy are a bit older before I try to go. We ended up buying a used car two days ago (very long story...more on this later) so we all drove up to Isola 2000 this morning.
The road to Isola is narrow and winding. An hour into the drive, Inga said she felt sick. I tossed her one of Ivy's diapers and told her to puke into it. Nothing happened. A few minutes later, Zari said abruptly, "I need a diaper--I'm going to puke!" By time I tossed her the other spare diaper, ALL FOUR KIDS had vomited all over our new car. All over.
We pulled over as soon as there was a shoulder to stop on and assessed the damage. I had no more diapers. I had no wipes, no paper towels, nothing. The kids were covered in puke, as were their seats, the sides of the car, and the floor.
So we kept on driving. Well, first I yelled at all of the kids. Then we kept on driving, all four kids crying, because what else could we do but drive? We didn't even pass a single gas station the rest of the way, although Eric found a tiny grocery store and bought a diapers and baby wipes. A few minutes before we arrived at the ski resort, we pulled over and cleaned everything up as best as possible with one package of baby wipes.
The puke-o-rama set us back enough that we bought half-day passes and ate lunch before skiing. It was gorgeously warm. Being in the sun felt like sunbathing. What a novelty! I pulled Ivy and Inga around in a sled, and we cheered Zari and Dio on as they both learned how to ski. Within a few minutes, Zari had figured out how to turn and stop with no coaching at all. Dio took a bit longer but could ski all on his own by the end of the afternoon. Ivy and Inga ate loads of snow.
After about two hours on the slopes, I brought Ivy and Inga inside to dry off their feet and warm up their hands. Isola doesn't have a big ski lodge like I'm used to in the US and Canada. There's just a little ticket booth with restrooms. And of course, tons of condominiums with little shops on the bottom. We wandered around in the hallways between the shops and eventually sat down on the floor--there weren't benches or chairs anywhere!
I put on an Astérix movie on my laptop for Inga, and Ivy fell asleep nursing. I set her down on the floor for her nap. The sun was behind the mountains by time Ivy woke up, and it was getting chilly. (Okay, it was still 4 degrees Celsius when we left, so maybe I'm just getting wimpy!) Dio joined me at the end of the afternoon and scarfed down baguettes, goat cheese, and smoked ham. He wanted to go out skiing again, but Eric and Zari had gone to a different hill, so we didn't see them until the lifts were closing. We had a fun time at the end sliding down some little hills on our feet and on the sled. Dio would have stayed out all night.
We left Isola at 5:30 pm. I scavenged three cardboard food containers from the garbage to serve as makeshift puke buckets. We played "I spy" and rolled the windows down when anyone felt queasy. I gripped my door handle as Eric navigated the tortuous roads in the dark. Ivy threw up twice--in the container! after saying "puke"! hooray!--but everyone else made it home by 7:30 pm with their food still in their stomachs.
Dinner was hot chocolate, baguettes dipped in raclette (melted cheese, white wine, & cream), and broccoli. I put a big load of laundry on and bathed Ivy and Inga.
(Then, of course, there were home renovations to take care of after the kids were in bed. I sanded down the first layer of varnish on the mezzanine floor and applied the second coat. But that's another topic.)
That, my friends, is how the Freeze family goes skiing.
Next task: de-toxing our car.