Friday, December 30, 2011

It's Like Blue Hills... Only in France

Yes, we've come all the way to France (ok, maybe not allll the way since it's only a 2 hour drive) and we are skiing at a "mountain" that I would associate to be close to Blue Hills at home.  Actually, Blue Hills might be better because this place only has 2 runs - the bunny hill/green circle and a second run that might be between a green circle and a blue square.

However, that being said, it is barely 1 mile from our chalet and when we mentioned to the owners of the chalet that it was the boys first time skiing, they immediately suggested it.  So off to La Quillane we go.  We actually went there yesterday to check it out and see about getting the boys signed up for lessons.  It was a nice enough place, very clean and full of tons of kids which was perfect for us.  It didn't feel overwhelming or overcrowded.

First thing this morning we hit the road running.  Now I'm not much of a skiier and I could tell that I was anxious about going, even on the easy slopes... I could tell this about my argumentative mood this morning.  And of course, all went well so I'm not sure why I was so stressed. 

Entrance to the ski area

Liam checking things out yesterday

As much as Aidan had been looking forward to skiing, I was totally prepared for a battle. That probably explained a bit of my mood too. I know his personality like it's my own (we are two peas in a pod) and I expected a lot of whining about the weight of the boots and falling and not being able to get up, etc etc. But off he went with the instructor, Jean, along with Liam.

Liam on his skis trying to get around

Heading off with Jean, their instructor

Josh and I skied while the kids were in their lessons. I insisted we do the bunny hill to start.  Yes, I know, I'm a total loser.  But in my defense, I have not been on skis since before I was pregnant with Aidan so that's what over 8 years??  After a few runs I was getting the hang of it again though Josh, as always, was significantly better... significantly doesn't even do him justice, he is worlds better than I am!
The "terrifying" view from the top of the bunny hill

Come on, already!!!

I'm in awe of both of my children right now. They did AMAZING!!! I'm so proud of them both, but especially Aidan. I had limited expectations with Liam since he's only 4 and he just doesn't really have the fine motor skills yet...though he way exceeded my expectations! But Aidan, my god, Aidan was amazing. He has this unbelievable ability with sports, they just come so naturally.   At the end of the lesson, Jean had each of the kids taking a turn going down the beginner hill - I didn't expect him to have Liam do it but he did awesome!!  I had tears in my eyes I was so excited for this new adventure for the both of them!  The kids had 2 hours of lessons today and then Liam was toasty.  However, after lunch Aidan and Josh went right back up the hill to start over. 

By the end of the day Aidan was giving (albeit not so successfully) the big slope a try...but when he came down crying because he fell off the chair pully (it wasn't a lift but one of those ones you hold on to all the way up) he told me that he wanted to do it again even though it was really hard.  I have to give him so much credit for giving the big hill a try on his first day out.  Given it was the end of the day we told him maybe we should just keep at the slope he'd been working on and tomorrow he and Josh can do the big one.

Aidan trying the pully for the first time

And Liam is down...

But getting back up and here comes Aidan!

Liam gets a little help

Then goes on his own

Aidan is determined to do this himself!

I love to ski... for now (ask me again in 15 mins)

Aidan top center with his instructor (Aidan is in the dark blue jacket)

Liam in the center with his instructor

Liam again - I'm so proud of him!!!

Just a pretty view :)

Liam making "friends" in the snow while Aidan and Josh ski... his friend "Icy" was going to come back to Barcelona with us but I convinced him that we'd have to rename him "water-y" if he did.  The next morning he went back to the same spot and was thrilled that "Icy" was still there!

Aidan with Josh

Aidan going down the "big" hill... I say "big" somewhat sarcastically but at the same time you couldn't pay me to go down it :)
And off he goes!! 

I took some video of Aidan with Josh - it's kind of far out so you just have to look for him but I did a decent job of keeping the camera centered on him.  As he gets closer you can see it's him better.  But it starts with him and Josh at the very top and then coming down the center of the slope:

And then this one is of him going down that big jump of a hill in the center of the beginner slope.  Go Aidan!!
I fully expect at the end of the 4 days of lessons (total of 6 hours each) that Aidan will be skiing better than I do... ok, he's already skiing better than I do.  And Liam will be going down that green circle like it's a piece of cake.  I have no doubt!  And after the 4 days, perhaps we'll move over to another ski area with some challenging slopes for poor Josh who has to be with us beginners the whole time.  He's being a real sport about it and I know he absolutely loved doing run after run after run with Aidan today.  I think it made his year :)

Til tomorrow!

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