Country Living...Island Dreaming

March 13, 2018

Ski Weekend Routines (and a Spontaneous Change of Plans)

Are you more of a spontaneous person or a planner?  I am definitely more of a planner yet I like to think of myself as being spontaneous.  It just sounds more adventurous!

As I get older, I am becoming more and more aware of the passing of time.  And having two boys who are rapidly growing before my eyes is a real jolt into the reality that time does fly!  I am now officially the shortest person in my house...

But when you are a "planner" you are always looking into the future and well...planning!  The problem is, you are not really living in the moment enough.  I remember even when I was younger, my friend and I would hang a calendar on the inside of our locker so we could cross off the days until Memorial Day Weekend (the first beach weekend). We started it on the first day of school so basically we were wishing the year away...

Well, needless to say, I am not wishing time away anymore.  I am making a conscious effort to enjoy every moment.

As you may know from reading my blog or following me on Instagram, that we spend many weekends in Vermont during the winter.  It's ironic that I would love that so much because I consider myself a summer/beach person.  I mean, the name 'Calypso in the Country' doesn't exactly scream "winter ski weekend!"

But there is just something magical about Vermont and if you have been there, you know what I mean!  I started traveling to Vermont with my family when I was in my early 20's.  My stepfather's sister had a house near Stratton so we would ski there on weekends.  Then when I started dating my husband, the two of us decided we would give Killington a try.  That became "our" place to go and we just loved our getaways up there.

And since both of us are big planners, we decided to buy a townhouse up there while I was pregnant with our first son.  Our plan was to rent the place out for a few years and then use it once the kids were old enough to ski.  Since both of us didn't start skiing until our 20's, we knew we wanted to give our kids the opportunity to start when they were younger - when it's much easier.  To this day, I still feel most comfortable just sticking to the easier green runs.  After having neck and back issues this past year, I am so afraid of falling and getting hurt.  I never wanted to quit though.  Even back in the early days I always envisioned a time when our family would be able to ski together.

We stuck to our plan and rented out the townhouse at first. We only went up a handful of times in those early years until the one weekend we decided to introduce the kids to skiing.  You can read all about that in my post, Vermont Vacation.

That was only 5 years ago when the kids were 9 and 7.  I know a lot of people start their kids even sooner but that's what ended up working for us.

Since then, both of my kids have become really good skiers.  In fact, my older son is obsessed.  He loves skiing probably more than any activity and he has become amazing at it.  None of us can keep up with him.  Luckily, one of my best friends and her family come up with us most weekends and my son goes off and skies with them.  They are the die-hard, 'ski to the last lift closes' type of skiers.  My husband, younger son and myself are the 'ski until lunch and relax for the afternoon' type of skiers.  A win-win for everyone!

Although I have always loved our Vermont trips, this year has been particularly good.  I think all of us are so aware of the special times we are having and the memories we are making.  Even the routine part of the trips have become special.  We pick up the kids from school and immediately start driving north.  As we settle in the car, we discuss the day, check the weather and ski conditions on our phones and pay attention to the traffic on the GPS.  About halfway to Albany, one of the kids will ask, "How long until Jolley?"  "Jolley" is a gas station/convenience store in Lake George where we make a bathroom/junk food stop.  Without fail, my husband always threatens to buy Beef Jerky because he knows how much it grosses me out...yes the routine is always the same.  From there, we continue driving, cheer when we cross the Vermont border and I inevitably make an observation about something in the town along the way.  And every time my son says, "You said that last time!"  (I guess my memory is going.)  We arrive at the townhouse, throw our stuff inside, take Rosie for a quick walk and head to dinner at The Garlic, our first night tradition.  Our friends usually arrive later in the night and the house becomes full of  activity and excitement.

This past weekend was no different in the basic routine except our family headed up Thursday afternoon (a snow day) and the kids played hooky from school on Friday.  Normally, school is top priority but since neither kids have missed many days this year and the entire northeast was blanketed with snow, we just had to do it!

Friday was beyond amazing.  We had the whole mountain practically to ourselves and the conditions were perfect.  Our little family of four skied together all day, had lunch at the peak lodge and even skied well into the afternoon.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and it was wonderful!

(Well, not THAT far out of my comfort zone!)

Saturday was more crowded but the conditions were incredible.  By far, this was the best weekend of the season.  Each night we got more snow and each day the temperatures hovered around the 30's.  We enjoyed wonderful dinners out with our group, made s'mores at the house and had lots of laughs.  It was truly a memorable weekend with our dear friends and family.

According to plan, our friends were going to ski Sunday morning but we were going to drive home.  My husband is always concerned about getting stuck in traffic on the way home. (yes, we are getting old!).  Luckily, we wouldn't have to deal with snowy roads on the way home this time.  There have been times where we were actually snowed in on a Sunday and had to wait until Monday to drive home.  I don't think that would have gone over well this time since the kids missed school on Friday!

But when we woke up to see another 4 inches of snow on the ground, I spontaneously, threw a wrench into our plan!  Somehow, I convinced my husband to stay a few more hours.  After deciding who was going where, my husband ended up dropping my older son and I off at the mountain while he and my younger son went out to breakfast. 

We discovered that Sunday mornings in Killington are perfection!  We arrived at the mountain early and once again, practically had the place to ourselves.

I asked my 14 year old  to plan where we would go since he knows the mountain so well.  I just followed his lead and felt like it was the first time we actually switched roles.  I just listened to what he said and put my trust in him.  He even carried my skis when we had to take them off to get on the gondola.

He led me along the trails and didn't even complain when I stopped to take pictures at the beautiful scenery.  (I don't usually go to the top of the mountain since I normally get nervous on more challenging trails.)  He was so proud to show me his world and I was so proud of him for taking great care of me!  As we skied along, I kept thinking to myself, "these are the days to remember".  I tried to soak in every moment I could and was even surprised at how calm I felt skiing. It truly felt peaceful and I will never forget that day.  Deciding to ski that morning was one of the best spontaneous decisions I ever made!

Somehow we timed it perfectly to meet our friends for lunch at the Skyship Base Lodge.  Afterwards, we texted my husband to pick us up.  I said to my son, "I guarantee, when we get in the car, Daddy is going to say we have 10 minutes to pack up our stuff before we drive home."  Sure enough, that is EXACTLY what he said!  My son and I laughed hysterically and then my husband replied with, "Okay, now you only have 8 minutes!"  That guy...always with the silly comments.. (I think 'someone' needs to be a little more spontaneous!)

Anyway, I was relieved we didn't hit any traffic on our drive.  I had a feeling we wouldn't with the positive vibes we were giving off.  Everything seemed to fall into place that day.  I guess the universe was being very kind to us.  As we rode along I glanced around at my sweet family and couldn't help but smile.

What was the last spontaneous thing you did?

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Live for the moments you can't put into words - ski weekends



  1. You only go around once...have to do it while you can, what a wonderful trip your family had!!!!

    1. Thank you! I am trying to live in the moment as much as possible!

  2. The scenery is just to die for! I am sure the snowfall this year has just be breathtaking up there. Sounds like a fabulous weekend.

  3. Shelley, I enjoyed every word of this post. You are making memories for a lifetime. We live in NE AL, so no skiing anywhere nearby. We started going skiing in Colorado with our son who was six or seven at the time. He learned really fast and was skiing Black diamonds. I never progressed from the greens, but loved being with my hubby and son, and always friends went with us. My son is. now 32, I wouldn’t take anything for those years.

  4. What a great weekend, those are the memories that really count. I spent a vacation in Vermont for leaf season, it was magic. Lucky you to have a place there!!

  5. Beautiful pics, Shelley!! How wonderful that you have a sport that you can all enjoy together as a family. Nothing can replace beautiful memories. Have a great week, Shelley!!

  6. It looks like so much fun, Shelley. We have skied as a family for years and were happy to introduce Will to the sport last year. We've never been to Killington, but it looks amazing! Enjoy!

  7. What a fun weekend! You are definitely making great memories with your kids.


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