Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Skiing in Lutsen

This past weekend, we made a break for spring skiing at Lutsen Mountain on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  There was decidedly less snow this year than last year, but still plenty of snow on the ski hills.  With one day of snow, one day of warm sun and one day of freezing temps, we got a little taste of everything.

Fortunately for our whole family, we were able to convince Nana, MoMo and Papa to come with us for the second year in a row.

As far as I am concerned, there are several keys to ensuring a successful ski weekend with four kids under eight.  First of all, enlist all possible grandparents.  Second of all, set low expectations.  The Bunny Hill may be too good for us.  Third, plan to never leave the Bunny Hill.  Fourth, pack an enticing picnic lunch with treats like mini gatorades and applesauce pouches.  Fifth, enlist all possible grandparents.

This was only our second adventure skiing at Lutsen.  One will notice from all the pictures that we all decided to go with helmets this year, since preserving gray matter is all the rage on the slopes these days.  I must say that helmets are a great way to take the edge off of watching your kids ski.   I found my helmet to be comfortable and cozy, but terribly orbital.

When we left Lutsen last year, G-Bear was just learning to turn and stop on the Bunny Hill.  E-Bear was upright but out of control on the Bunny Hill, and Buddy Bear was barely upright.  What a difference a year makes!

The skiing crew (with J-Bear)
This year, J-Bear sat out the skiing in favor of playing in the snow, snagging afternoon naps with Nana and going for gondola rides with Mom.  

G-Bear was in control of the Bunny Hill (turning, snowplowing and stopping) and ready for the ski lift by the end of our first day.  By the end of the trip, G-Bear was skiing blue runs all by herself!  Awesome!

E-Bear was in control of the Bunny Hill by the end of his second day, and after a brief ski school lesson with G-Bear, he was ready to try the Big Bunny green hill by himself.  E-Bear was truly persistent, and his efforts paid off.  He made it down the green Big Bunny without any help.

Buddy Bear was riding the Magic Capet lift to the top of the Bunny Hill by himself the first day, and by our last day we had him laced into a ski harness and he was skiing down the Big Bunny green hill with T holding onto the reigns.  Buddy Bear's progress was amazing, and he was so excited to be "skiing by himself" in the harness.  Next year, he'll be old enough for ski school, and we can't wait to see how much he improves.

MoMo and G-Bear on the lift.

Truly, we were ecstatic to make it off the Flapjack bunny hill.  By our second day, all the kids were riding the lifts with an adult, while Nana or I cheered at the bottom of the slopes with J-Bear.  One afternoon, T and I even got to take G-Bear for a ski by herself.  We skied nothing but blue hills that afternoon, and G-Bear declared them her favorite runs.  Papa warned us that next year several of our kids may leave T and me in their dust.

On Mystery Mountain with G-Bear
MoMo and Papa are super skiers in their own right, and it was a special moment for them to get to ski with their grandkids.  I am so grateful that they taught me to ski when I was little, doubly grateful that they are willing to help my own kids learn the same sport.  As T and I also took G-Bear down the blue runs, we also experienced the uncomfortable feeling of watching one of our kids do something for the first time that we couldn't protect them from.  I'll say it again, thank goodness for those helmets!

After a long day of skiing, there were still plenty of treats in store.  We would catch the shuttle back to our townhouse,

 soak for a while in the swimming pool or hot tub at the Lodge,

 and then head down to the beach to explore, 

hunt for treasures, 

and throw rocks into the lake.

We also had time for a few gorgeous early morning sunrises, s'mores by a starlight bonfire, a dinner out at the Lodge, family board games, a viewing of the Sound of Music (the kids LOVED it), and a Saturday Vigil Mass in Grand Marais.

Thanks, once again, to Nana, MoMo and Papa, for making the trip so special, and to our all-star skiers, who didn't quit when the going got tough.   Until next year, Lutsen!

Sunrise with T over Lake Superior.

 Happily Ever,
Queen B

1 comment:

A said...

Ok, JBear's smile is TOO CUTE! Can we get a pic of the little guy in the skiing harness? I can't imagine!