So we all got up about 8:15am (a sleep-in), had breakkie, then dressed in our ski gear and trekked down the hill a short distance to Happy Valley and jumped on Lara's Gondola which took us up to The Village Centre. Mum, Dad, Karmen and all the kids jumped in one gondola. While Bob, Casey, Darren and myself waited for the next one to come around. The liftie warned us not to stand "there" because the big overhang of snow was ready to fall off the roof and he didn't want us to cop it all on our heads. He didn't listen to his own advise cause less than three seconds later he wore the lot all over himself.
Each gondola holds eight people so we also had a local snowboarder jump in with us. He has just resigned/been fired from his job in one of the cafe's and explained that Monday mornings are pretty quiet on the mountain cause everybody normally has a big Sunday night and with yesterday being "SuperBowl" here, everyone partied pretty hard the night before. But, we reckon he was still partying because he said he had just came down to the Happy Valley Day Lodge to stock up on beer (patting his pockets, happily). After another minute or two of small talk, where every second word was the F-bomb he took one of the beers (Miller) out of his pocket, cracked it open and proceeded to guzzle more than half in one mouth full. He was out for a good day.
When we got off the gondola we noticed it was very busy. Demo Day! What is Demo Day I hear all the non-skiers ask? Well, Demo Day is when ski manufacturers bring their latest offerings to the public to try before you buy and basically you leave them your skis and ski on their skis for a while. When you return the hard sell is on for you to buy a pair. Typically pushing salesmen. If just made the Village Centre look like a market place with lots of littel stalls lining the street.
When we got past all the market stalls, we emerged into a post card. It is such a beautiful village centre. The snow covered buildings looked like something out of a Hollywood movie. The tall pine trees don't even flinch at the weight of the snow that has accumulated on the branches. It was perfect.
At this point we waved goodbye to Bob as he headed off to buy a new pair of ski boots, a process I know from personal experience, is a time consuming and laborious one. But realistically the best place to do it is on the mountain because you can have them fitted, go for a run, come back, make a change to them, have another run, change, etc etc.
First stop for the rest of us was the ski hire. All very modern. Lots of computers ready for you to enter all your details (name, address, height, weight, ski ability, etc.). Hit enter and it printed out the form and then it was into boot fitting. All us adults brought our own ski boots from Australia with us, so it was only the kids who needed to be fitted for boots. The we moved around the corner to ski hire. One by one when went through and got our skis. Karmen and I paid a little bit extra to have Performance skis as opposed to the regular rental skis for hacks...... I wonder if they will make our performance any better. Only time will tell.
The next stop was straight to the Kids Centre where we organized the kids into the SnowRiders Program for Tayla, Riley & Jack and the Ski Cubs Program for Kody... it is an age thing. By this time is was almost noon, so we decided to book them in for half a day today and the next three full days as well. This would give them a chance to remember how to ski again and also us a chance to learn our way around the mountain without a bunch of kids in tow. They could go into the afternoon session from 12:30pm. Too easy!!!
With the kids gone the rest of us split into two groups. Dad, Karmen & Casey went off to ski while Mum, Darren and I had a coffee at Beanos, had a look at a few shops, located the supermarket for refills of milk and bread and just a general look around to get our bearings. By the time we did all of that it was 3:15pm and time to pick up the kids from the Kids Centre. Darren went and got Kody from Ski Cubs. He had a great afternoon skiing on the Magic Carpet in the beginners area. The older kids weren't back yet. So we waited. Dad called us to say they were only having one more run (cause the lifts close at 3:30pm here) and they would meet us at the Kids Centre. This proved to be fortuitous as they have a very strict hand-over policy and if you can't show "the barcode label" associated with you kid you can't collect them. So we waited for Karmen to arrive with the label.
Bob met up with us at this point. Karmen arrived. We could leave all the kids ski gear in the Kids Centre, so we took advantage of not having to lug it all down the mountain each night and back up the next morning. Change the kids into their walking boots and headed for the shuttle bus. We decided to catch the shuttle bus as we weren't really sure of exactly which way we had to go to ski home.
Bus arrives. We all pile in. Bob gets chatting with Kenny, the driver, and he obviously takes a liking to us, because instead of dropping us off at the bus stop at the end of the street (only about 150 metres away) he drove us all the way to the door of our apartment. God bless you Kenny!
Skis packed in ski locker and up to 402 for a dip in the hot tub which is on the balcony. Drinks and nibblies served to those in the tub. For me, according to the meal plan we had established back in Sydney, it was my turn to cook, so I headed for the kitchen to prepare the Spaghetti Bolognese. Now, I told you we did a big shop and I also told you how hard it was to do because nothing looked familiar to us. Well, I haven't told how somethings are just plain out weird.
Take Garlic and Zucchini as a perfect examples. A picture tells a thousand words so take a look at this.
This is an garlic bulb.
This is just one clove off the bulb.
This is a zucchini. Looks normal, right?
This is the same zuchinni with something to compare it too.
It was tiny.
Spag Bol eaten it was time to relax.
The end of our first full day in Big White. Kids exhausted. Adults stuffed. Everyone happy!!
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