On Friday evening, we packed all our stuff up and headed to Ashland. I had made plans for us. Bailey was going to get to ski for the first time and Jake was going to spend some quality time with his grandparents getting completely spoiled.
We got up on Saturday morning, had some breakfast and headed to Winterplace in Beckley, West Virginia. Bailey was so excited when we told her what we were doing.
Upon arriving, she was eager to get in the snow. Her biggest interest - making a snow angel or throwing some snowballs. :) She really didn't understand what we were going to do until we got out on the mountain. The employees at Winterplace laughed when we picked out her skis and boots. They kept commenting on how little she was and how small the skis were. We were both nervous about how she'd do. Their comments only made me wonder if we were making a mistake.
Twenty minutes later I was convinced that we should have waited another year. I was only reminded again how some things are genetic. Just so you can understand what I'm saying...
About 8 years ago, Brad and I went skiing to Snowshoe Mountain. It was the first time I had gone. Brad had been skiing before, so he was already good (go figure... I think he'd only gone once before). About a quarter of the way down the first mountain, I had fallen about ten times. This was after I had a lesson. I was tired, frustrated, and I sat and cried. I kept telling Brad that I just wanted to go back to the room and take a break. I never even made it down the mountain at Snowshoe that trip. I went a few times on a couple of the small slopes beside of the room... I think I might have even made it on a couple of the easy slopes the next day. But, I really didn't ski much at all. And I am sure that Brad notes that trip as one of the worst. The next winter, Brad and Kathy pretty much bullied me into going to Winterplace, telling me that if I would go and try, they were certain I would be better. So, I took their advice, despite my pouting and nervous stomach the entire trip to the mountain. I LOVED it. I learned so much and only fell a couple of times. That's about the time we got hooked. And I was so mad at myself for not "getting back up on the horse" when I kept falling at Snowshoe.
So, back to our trip this weekend. We put Bailey's skis on her, took her to the closest little hill and started to show her how to ski. It was only a few minutes in when Bailey started showing signs of frustration. She couldn't keep her skis straight, she kept leaning backward, and she wouldn't bend her knees. Brad and I kept holding onto her and barking commands. About 10 minutes in... she was on the ground crying that she was hungry and needed a break. We had just eaten, so I knew what this was. And, I have to say, I was not the understanding, sympathetic person you would expect. I was frustrated with her unwillingness to get back up and try. But, Brad, having been here before, was patient and talked to Bailey. She and I decided to go in and get something to drink and take a break. We told Brad to go ski and meet us back a little while later. After a cookie, some coke, and a long talk about how Bailey was doing so much better than I did on my first trip, Bailey was ready to try again.
Brad suggested that we go to the "Ski School" area where it was a little flatter and they had moving sidewalk-type lifts. Oh... that was another thing... Bailey was also upset because we wouldn't take her on the ski lift until she had more practice (for obvious reasons). Anyway, we showed Bailey the "skiing position" and she was off. After a couple of times down the training area hill, she was ready to go. Brad and I took her on the "roller coaster" (translation - ski lift) and took her to the top of the mountain. Brad skiied with her in front of him the entire way down the mountain and she loved it. We had to practically bribe her to get her to leave about 5 hours later. Needless to say, she was exhausted... and most importantly, we have ourselves a little ski bunny. We are so excited about the possibilities for future winter vacations at Snowshoe... dreams of trips to Colorado, Vermont, or Canada. But, Bailey has made sure that Brad understands that those trips cannot replace our summer trips to the beach. Apparently, we must take two vacations in the future. :)
Here are some photos from the day. I'm going to see about getting a little video of Bailey on skis on here tomorrow.
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