For us parents, skiing vacations with children most definitely earn the name “sports vacation.” If there’s one thing that defines a vacation in the mountains for us, it is this: Sweating.
By the time we manage to gather our hyper children in our vacation rental and wrap them up in 27 layers – including thermal underwear, ski pants, woolly socks, ski jacket, scarf, a hat and “oh yes, you will put your gloves on right now!” – I’m soaked through and Any Working Dad is at the end of his tether. This means one thing: We’re ready for the mountain.
While the warm streams run down my back, this sweat meets a wall of ice-cold air as I step outside, ensuring I can catch the obligatory cold that will torture me for the rest of our vacation. Oh well, who cares. The most important thing is that the kids stay healthy (those would be the kids, by the way, who tore off their hats and gloves again the moment they glimpsed the snow, and are now stuffing slush down each other’s collars).
I squint at the wonderful mountain sun and have to sneeze (fun fact: the photic sneeze reflex). That’s when I realize I forget sunscreen and sunglasses and sprint back to the apartment. When I return, my son realizes that he needs to pee RIGHT NOW. Father and Child 2 build an impressive snowman and even have plenty of time to give him a snowdog, which we admire at length after our dash to the restroom. My thighs are now in agony from climbing the stairs and I’m panting like Lindsay Vonn after four hours of intensive training.
Coffee on the slopes
A good two hours later, after four rounds on the ‘magic carpet’ ski lift and one tantrum, our family is in the restaurant, cozy and devouring schnitzel with fries and Rivella, while we admire the mountain panorama (or, in the case of the kids, who have grabbed the iPhone, admiring the selection of apps on offer). We round off the day with a tasty Schümli-Pflümli – coffee laced with schnapps – before peeling the layers off our onion-like children back at home, and using every trick in the book to lure them into the bathtub.
We’ll leave the relaxation for the summer, okay?