Friday, 1 December 2017

Skiing 16/17

Welcome to the month of What I Did in 2017! Where better to start than how I rang in the new year?

Mum decided she wanted to take us on a semi-spontaneous family ski trip over Christmas this year. My parents and the kids have all been skiing before, but me and my older brother hadn't, so we had a real mixed bag of abilities going within the family, but it was something we could all get involved with and have a go at.

We left in the very early hours of December 27th, which meant most of Boxing Day was spent sleeping to prepare for being up most of the night, so Christmas ended up being a bit of a whirlwind. We were out there for a week which means we spent NYE on the slopes. You might be imagining a wild evening of Apres Ski but to be honest, we'd all gotten a bit of a cold and were all knackered from skiing all day, so it was a really tame evening in with a bottle of champagne that we'd left in our 'fridge' (the balcony so the outside air would cool it).

In the classic style of my family, nothing can ever be straight forward and normal. Therefore, when we went to the airport on our way to Geneva, we all decided that we had to dress up. The girls all went in Christmas onesies, and the boys dressed up as The Stig. Where this idea came from, I have no idea, but it was a bit of a giggle and actually, wearing a onesie to the airport at 4am is not the worst shout (see below for ridiculous photos). Plus, flying out of Gatwick meant we got a Nando's breakfast - would recommend!

We went to the La Plagne region (she says, typing this in her La Plagne hoodie), and stayed in the Neilson Hotel Turquoise. The area was really lovely with a good atmosphere, loads of families around, a good variety of slopes and the hotel was in a perfect location. The actual hotel itself was pretty standard, as all ski hotels seem to be. The team who worked there from Neilson were incredibly friendly (my family actually went on to book a sailing holiday that summer because of two of the guys we met there) and ran the whole hotel very well.

So, the actual skiing - on the first day, my brother and I went along to a beginners lesson and quickly realised that every other person in the group had been on a ski trip before so knew what to do, but just weren't very confident, whereas I'd never even put on a pair of skis before. I found it really discouraging to be so far behind people when we'd barely even started and ended up bailing out an hour and a half in because I just wasn't enjoying it at all. However my parents were really supportive and wanted me to make the most of my time there so I ended up having private one on one lessons and I loved it! By the end of the trip I was feeling quite confident in myself and was starting to go down actual runs, and I'd definitely consider getting back on the slopes again.

It wouldn't be a post from me if I didn't mention the food - in the actual hotel, it was quite good, and it felt like we never stopped eating. You ate breakfast, skied, had lunch, chilled for a bit, had afternoon tea, skied some more, had dinner and drinks in the evening. It was just bliss. On Christmas Day, my mum and I bumped into a lovely old man and his wife on a dog walk and when we mentioned skiing to them, he recommended that I must try some Tarteflette while I was there which I diligently did, but I'll be honest - I wasn't a massive fan, and this is coming from someone who likes cheese! However the trip wasn't entirely without traditional French food, as we may have stumbled by the crepe stand a few times on our way back from the slopes.

All in all, I really enjoyed our time away skiing. It was our first holiday as a whole family in quite a few years and was a really special experience for us. To be fair, any time spent with the family who each buys a tutu to wear for quiz night (again, see below...) is going to be a 'special' experience! If you've never been skiing before, I would highly recommend going, and hope we go again in the future.

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Maira Gall