Friday, December 13, 2013

10 Tips for a Successful Family Ski Trip

After marrying a skier and spending seven years as a ski parent, I've developed quite a nice list of tips for a successful family ski trip. Ski trips are so much fun, but they can be terrifying to an unfamiliar parent whose wondering how old is old enough, what do I really need to do or pack, and is it worth the money? I've learned through my experiences as well as tips from my in-laws, who just happen to be the parents of three-time Olympic alpine skier Erik Schlopy (my husband) and NCAA champion Keri Schlopy Crockett (my sis-in-law). Skiing is so much different than my native swimming. The biggest difference is the equipment. Equipment is bigger, heavier, and way more important in skiing. Just thinking about the task can be daunting, but hopefully with my tips, it'll be just a little easier for you to not only survive but thrive on the hill.

  1. Choose the mountain that fits your family. Size doesn’t always matter. Some of the best ski racers were raised on the smallest ski hills so don’t worry about finding the biggest resort. Oftentimes, smaller resorts are more family friendly & make a smaller dent in your wallet. Our family goes to Deer Valley. It’s 13 minutes from our house and has the best kids trails, like Bucky’s Backyard. There are great options for families all around the country, just do a little research. And if your family is just starting out, these are less expensive and much more manageable. Forbes list 12 Ski Resort Vacations for Every Budget
  2. Weather is by far the most important factor with small children! I realize that you can’t control the weather and that you’ve already paid for your vacation, but be aware of the temperatures and the wind. If it’s bitter cold or dumping snow, make run decisions accordingly so that your kids continue to love the sport of skiing. Ski for shorter periods of time, take the shorter runs, and enjoy lots of hot cocoa breaks. In the end, only getting a quarter or half day on the mountain and loving it will be worth more than trying to cram a full day in and being miserable later.
Read Tips 3-10 HERE on my Semi-Chlorinated Life.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Semi-Chlorinated Life: Unattainable Christmas List

My daughter is asking Santa for a puppy, and many other unattainable Christmas presents.

Here’s the whole story. We lost our family dog, Smalls, three years ago. Smalls was my pet. I’d had him for 14.5 years, and he was a loving, ever-hungry beagle (of course, I only remember his good side). The kids appear to get so sad when we talk about him, although sadly, they didn’t really know him. But I don’t say that to them; I just smile and brace myself for what I know they are going to say next. “Can we please get a dog?!”

They ask this at least five times a day, and have for quite some time. I have explained on multiple occasions that we do want another dog and that we will get one, but we have to slow down our travel first. I try to help them understand that dogs don’t like it when their owners are gone, that they like routine. And finally, after hearing me explain our reasons for waiting for the umpteenth time, that’s when my daughter said, “Fine. I am gonna ask Santa for a puppy!”

Hold the phone! Can she do that? I was looking for a referee to throw a flag! No ref. No flag. Just me, my daughter … and Santa.

In response, I told her that Santa couldn't deliver live animals. . . Read the rest and find out why I'm the "best hooker ever" on my Semi-Chlorinated Life babble voices blog.