I told my kids I was writing our Big White blog post tonight and was there anything I need to make sure I let everyone know about.
Riese said "It was the best place on earth."
Peyton repeated "Awesome, just awesome."
And then the 4 of us are at the kitchen table 20mins into reminiscing and way past bedtime.
And I still have a blog post to write.
But THIS is the thing.
At the end of last year when I asked my kids what their highlight of the year was, I was expecting to hear about their epic lego sets that they received and play with all. the. time. Or the (major eye roll from mom) video game level they concurred. But it wasn't.
To my surprise is was a family camping vacation we took. Adventuring, being outside.
I'm not gonna lie sometimes getting to the start of a vacation is a bit brutal, unless it's an all inclusive resort. Word is those are dull, and boring anyway. Often all I think about as a mom is the laundry and groceries to be bought, the packing list, and my least favorite - unpacking, even though my kids now "help" with these tasks, my husband and I are the closers. And this stretch in particular heaped several stressful things on our plate leading up to our trip, on top of simply prepping for Outside and Adventuring. There was a point when none of us felt the zeal to go anymore. But the reality was all of these tasks are part of our daily life anyway, except buying feet warmers. And man did we need to have some quality family time stat.
Again THOSE THINGS.
My friend Jenn, being the good friend she is, convinced us into going to Big White for our mid-winter break. My boys had been asking to try skiing for months now so it should have been a no-brainer, but sometimes we just need a good nudge. I was so excited for my family to experience true winter. The kind when your boogers freeze when you breathe in. And real snow. The kind that you easily sink knee deep into and it magically sprinkles itself onto every part of you yet you never get wet. And those awe inspiring mountains.
And it was only a car ride away.
I knew my kids would love skiing, what I did not know was how epic our trip to Big White would be, the connections we would make as a family and the incredible fun we would have together.
For Nick and I we were able to ski together in nature's breathtaking majesty, something we hadn't done in 15years. Bonus to do it with good friends too while our children are happily in ski school, like "bye mom, please go, YES I have the hand warmers, how cool is this tracking device, you will be able to see everything I do on their app. BYE MOM."
And it really was like riding a bike, although you wouldn't know it when I first put those ski boots on, I totally forgot how awkwardly hard walking in ski boots is. Seriously. But one run in and call it the kind of snow that makes everyone feel like an Olympic athlete, I was swooshing in no time. We made it up to see snow ghosts, one of my favorite memories as a child, and took a T bar, after a few attempts got the hang of it, had an afternoon coffee date, and couldn't wait to hear what the boys thought.
As a mom I got to experience the snow with my kids, and let them be energetic excited boys. Every where we went was a legendary snow hill. And a fun kid activity. Big White made us Rockstar Parents. As far as my kids are concerned, Canada is winter Disneyland. Gondola rides to hot cocoa and popcorn. Evening Ice skating. A (what's a word besides epic or magical) evening of tubing followed by pizza. Since the entire village is ski in ski out, you park your car and walk - sometimes really awkwardly if in ski boots, ski, or gondola wherever you want to go. I love that part.
And I loved the coffee. For sure a creature comfort top on my list, Clocktower Coffee deserves a shout out. It was just a coat, hat, & snow boots skip up a hill from our condo. Seattle girl satisfied.
But what I absolutely loved the most, MY THING, was skiing with my youngest son on the last day. I picked him up from a half day at ski school, his face gator shifted, covering half his face in true P style. Gosh I love that kid. And he is beaming, or at least the right half of his face that I can see, beaming. We spent the rest of the afternoon skiing together. Part of the time I was just the "ski lift chaperone token adult" and I got to listen in on gleeful conversations with his two buddies. He was so excited. Joyful. He was confident in himself and proud of his accomplishment, something, I realized, that had been missing lately in my little guy. Ok I cried. Just me, a few times. And also laughed, together, with P. Honestly totally worth the frozen fingers and toes, I would have gone on all night for that feeling and connection with him. I didn't want it to end. Neither did he. We skied up to the last second.
Ok and tied with that was seeing my oldest son learning to snowboard. In my opinion conquering it. He fell a lot and got back up every single time. I was so inspired. I came to realize it was really hard for me to see him fall, obviously for safety, but it was something else - protecting him from disappointment in himself I think. But he never got discouraged, only more determined. In true male fashion, Nick and Riese spent the afternoon on the mountain just doing their thing. Only when was the last time they did that? THEIR THING. The last run of the day Riese didn't fall.
And there was no bickering, for like hours. And then we ended in tubing, and a bonfire. And a gondola ride to pizza. Oh and then sledding down the hill to our condo door. for real.
(this is what frozen hair looks like, I sort of look like that creature from the Lorax)
(tubing photos courtesy of Big White)
And then champagne chilled in the snow, because it is Okanagan Champagne Powder. It was so fitting I couldn't help it! And so perfectly chilled.
We were already planning our next trip before we had even driven off the mountain. You can find everything you need to plan your trip here, you can even fly to Big White and ski free the same day you arrive.
Want to see more of our adventure, including lots of videos because I have no idea how to post them here. *sigh* Please check out my "Big White" highlight on my Instagram profile
This post was done in partnership with Big White. I am so grateful to have had this experience with my family, thank you Big White.