Meribel


We’re home from our trip. I would love to say I had a fantastic time but I can’t. I had some meltdowns. Squidge had some meltdowns and well Wal just looked at us and tried to do the best he could. The flight was LOOOONG. Not in distance but in lack of ease and enjoyment. First Choice does NOT make it easy for you to travel with them. I had never traveled with a package holiday company and don’t know if I ever will again. Check in was chaos- at one point Wal actually placed his hands on my shoulders and physically restrained me from getting into it with another passenger. They spent almost 2 hours trying to figure out if the correct number of passengers were on the flight- this meant that we were stuck on the plane while they did a sort of Laurel and Hardy routine counting passengers and checking boarding passes. I sat separate from Wal and tried to contain Squidge in my little seat and not elbow the woman sitting beside me. Can you say good times? OOoh yah. I actually started crying at one point I was soo miserable. Oh and did I mention all the stupid men on the flight that had smuggled cans of larger/cider onto the plane so that they could start their holiday early? And did I mention it was TEN O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING? I got sooo many dirty looks from those ba$tards I wanted to scream. We finally landed in Geneva and it was even more chaotic than check-in. I really didn’t think this was possible but I was wrong. We waited over an hour for our bags and then continued to wait for the pushchair. You know the one I had given them at the gate so I could get it back first. The pushchair that a now desperately tired Squidge really needed so she could sleep. We waited and waited and waited. We finally decided to try to find someone to help us locate it. We didn’t find anyone and just started looking ourselves. We finally found the pushchair (ours and another passengers) hidden (not an exaggeration) in a corner under a huge box. I don’t know how I saw it because it was pretty well hidden. Then it was onto a bus and onto France. Mercifully Squidge fell asleep for about 2 1/2 hours of the 3 hour trip.

We were all pretty exhausted by the time we arrived at our chalet. We met our chalet girl and settled into our room. Then dinner where we met all the other chalet guests. I had NEVER done anything like this and it was lots of fun. It was very homey- kind of like meeting your dorm mates in college for the first time.

On Sunday we sorted nursery and lessons. We decided that I would get more out of one-on-one lessons, I booked 2 lessons. My first one was on Monday and my parting words to Wal were something like ‘ I effing hate you and I effing hate this’. Hmm can you sense my excitement at the thought of actually having to put my skis on? Tomás (my French skiing instructor) was trés cute and I had images of my humiliating myself for his enjoyment and pleasure. Sadly I didn’t disappoint on this. My first lesson went well. Didja know I have really good balance? Not bad for a woman of my mature age who has ZERO experience with anything sporty. During the second part of my lesson Tomás wanted to take me up to a practice area on the mountain. I tried to explain to him my fear of heights but he pretended he didn’t understand me and took me up anyway. I was scared shit-less but didn’t do too badly. On the first lesson I only fell twice- pretty darn good as far as I’m concerned. In case you were wondering Squidge was at a really cute French nursery while I was out torturing humiliating enduring enjoying my lesson. I took a break the next day and Squidge and I played in the snow while Wal Skied.

Wednesday I had my final lesson. This time he took me up the mountain and wanted me to ski down a piste. I didn’t want to go but I remembered that we had paid a whole lotta money for the lessons his French charms worked on me and I agreed to ski down. I think ski might be over stating what I actually did. I snowplowed very very very (did I mention very?) slowly down the mountain then took a chair lift up again and skied down to where I started then took the gondola down. I would have skied down all the way but it changes from a green (very easy) to a blue (more difficult) run and I just couldn’t do that to myself. There were tears, lots of cursing (with Tomás telling me I was using bad words and me telling him to get used to it as I was planning on using many many more that afternoon) and a couple of tumbles. My second fall I hurt my knee. What do you do when you hurt your knee while on the side of a mountain? You keep skiing because you don’t want to be ‘rescued’ too embarrassing.
Then we met up again and played in the snow again.

We had a bit to eat.

I rested my knee on Thursday which is why I was on my way to the hot tub. On Friday afternoon Wal and I dropped Squidge off at nursery and I slowly, grudgingly trudged to the gondola whining that my knee hurt and that I was scared and I didn’t want to go.. whine..whine..whine. There were tears and lots of huffing and puffing while I psyched myself up to get going. It ended up being fun (in a weird way) and I’m looking forward to our next ski trip. And THAT my friends is a statement I never thought I would say. Next time we’ll use a more ‘family friendly’ holiday company. Once we got to the chalet First Choice was great and we really enjoyed ourselves. It was just that we were the only ones with a kid that added a bit of stress.

We went skiing with these folks.

Sam is an old friend of Wal’s and Kate is his new girlfriend. They’re still very much in love (yuck!)

and I vaguely remember feeling that way about Wal. I’m joking around of course, they were great and we’re hoping to see them again soon.

All in all it was a good time. It was hard work. Going on holiday with a toddler is sooo much more difficult than going on your own but you know that going in. Once the holiday is over you kind of forget the bad bits.

Edited to add:
Just to clarify, I DID in fact have a good time. It was just NOT a relaxing holiday- it’s not in the nature of a skiing holiday to be relaxing. Am I looking forward to doing it again? YES! It’s the type of thing that scares me half to death but also makes me want to improve and see what this skiing thing is really all about. So bring it on Tomás. I’ll see you next year and maybe just maybe I’ll do a black blue run!

7 Comments

  1. Tia Liliana
    March 17, 2008 /

    I dont know what to say did you or dind you have a good time glad you are back

  2. maryann
    March 17, 2008 /

    We are all glad that you made it back alive. Squidge looks adorable in her snow gear… and I have to give Wal a woo-hoo for the Boston Red Sox hat! I stopped by your moms to pick up the stuff you sent, but she wasn’t home and your dad couldn’t find it. I am going to try again tomorrow once I get out of work.
    XXOXOOX

  3. maria
    March 17, 2008 /

    glad you had the experience either way.. love the pics but the one of squige eating is classic!! (not sure if she appreciates the papparazi) and yes, I love her snow gear..glad you are back!

  4. March 17, 2008 /

    sounds like a vacation to me….the good, the bad, and the adorable cheeks. 🙂 welcome back.

  5. March 17, 2008 /

    sounds like a nightmare getting there, but it sounds like the trip was lots of fun!

  6. Suburban Mum
    March 18, 2008 /

    Skiing has absolutely never appealed to me ever. The scenery does, however. It looks fabulous! And Squidge looks gorgeous in her skisuit. I love her hat.

  7. March 19, 2008 /

    Ok, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.. what crazy vacation! It does sound like to got so much better as the week went on, and after the nutso travelling! I’m glad that over all you had fun.

    And Squide is adorable in her little snowsuit! (love the new header too!)