Thursday, December 27, 2007 ;
12:32 PM
Dec 24

Supposed to set off early in the morning to go Gorgoza Park for sledding and tubing with the kids. But dh was not feeling well, probably indigestion or something he ate on Sun, so we left only after he felt better, around evening time. Hence we reached Park City at night, just nice for checking in to the hotel. It was snowing heavily as we drove to Park City, and dark too, since it was at night.

Dec 25

Woke up bright and early. Saw some tourists making snowmen in the courtyard already, and having a snowball fight. haha.

Breakfast at the hotel was good. Then we dropped ds1 off first, at his ski school at the Park City Mountain Resort. This PCMR was one of the Winter Olympics 2002 venues. And it had an interesting history. Park City was dying off and almost wiped out as a city in the past, when PCMR started as a winter recreational area. After that, more people started visiting and moving to the area.

His ski class has only 3 kids to an instructor, yet was not as expensive as Deer Valley. Deer Valley is the famous one, voted as top ski resort for don't know how many years running, in Ski Magazine or something. His program lasted from 9am to 3pm.

Then we ferried ds2 to The Canyons resort. They ran a daycare that let the kids play with snow, ride the gondola up the mountains and do sledding too. Since ds2 wasn't old enough for skiing yet. His was to be from 8.30am to 4.30pm but since we had never put ds2 in childcare before, and never left him with any stranger to babysit (always familiar people), we thought we'd just be relaxed and leave him there just for the duration of our snowboarding.

I was quite nervous about the drop off. Was worried that ds2 will cry non stop then I won't have the mood to go snowboarding myself. Surprisingly, the friendly staff said hi to him, brought him into the playarea, and he started playing with an electronic keyboard. So I signed the forms, handed them to the staff and say my goodbye. He seemed fine. I wouldn't know if he cried later or not...

But the forms had a lot of stuff I had to fill in, including how often he drank water/ huice, what he eats, and how often I want his diaper changed. They had a Q asking how long would I let him cry before I wanted them to call me. I put 30min. :-) Deliberated really long before I answered that Q.

Above: where the Canyons is. That's the gondolas from base to top of mountain. And the icicles hanging from the roof edge are so pretty.

We headed back to PCMR for our snowboarding. Initially we wanted to sign up for lessons but later on felt that we should just do our own free and easy. Just in case ds2 cried too much and we have to leave.

We got fitted with our rental gear and then headed out. We observed snowboarders before, in the past when we went skiing.... And so tried to "look and learn". People say snowboarding is easier. But I think it must be my age. I first tried skiing 10 years ago. It was fun and easy to pick up. I wasn't that afraid to fall.

Now, what a different story. My progress was slow, I was too scared to fall badly, and then it was so tiring each time I fell, to pick myself up. :-) Sigh, must be terribly unfit. (The next day my body ached too.)

PCMR parking lots and entrance to the village.

Left: ds1's ski school drop off area. Right: a skiing moose

Above: it was a very sunny day. looks dark here only cos I was taking the pic directly facing the sun. PCMR ski lifts.

We will also meet ds1 once in a while cos they were learning in the same beginner's area too.

Above left: ds1 threw off his beanie and was trudging along to pick it up, with so many instructors looking on. :-)

Above right: the silly fella (laughing away somemore!) kept insisting on skiing without mittens and beanie. See his instructor holding his beanie for him, behind? arrrrggh. scolded him after that, and he learnt his lesson when he caught a cold after we reached home on the 27th.

Above: earlier on when he was still behaving well, wearing his goggles, beanie, mittens and all. The kids were riding the magic carpet, that will transport them up the slope.

Ski and snowboard valet.

Above left: ds1 from far, skiing down the slope.

Above right: dh snowboarding down the slope. He's in dark blue and black, to the left of the purple clad skier. He did wayyy better than me, cos he was not afraid to fall, just chiong down.

Above left: close up of Dh snowboarding.

Above right: saw a disabled person skiing with her friends too. Must say the disabled people here have a lot more recreation, sports and activities to do than back in Spore!

Above left: fell, then too tired to get up. rest first.
Above right: the pole was my security blanket. Noooo! I am not going to let go of it for you to take pic! Must look cool, ok?

We decided to stop after I was too tired to continue and Dh was going to freeze. He forgot to pack his waterproof pants, and was skiing in normal pants, so with the falling down and all, his bum and legs were freezing already. :-)

It was around 12.30pm then, and still no call from the Canyons Daycare, so we went ahead and had a nice warm lunch all by ourselves. Then we picked ds2 up.

I was very curious as to what ds2 was doing, so I crept into the daycare. It was about 1.30pm then. The staff thought I just came to check on him. They pointed to where he was. He was lying down on a mat, with all the other kids. Only he and another girl were not asleep yet. So he had this guy lying beside him, patting him and talking softly to him, or maybe singing, not sure. And I could hear ds2 talking to him.

The other girl also had someone beside her. Another staff just came in with a double stroller and 2 kids (very young, maybe 1+ only, and another a few months old) fast asleep. [She wheeled them out for a walk to make them sleep easily] They told me it was nap time. And that ds2 did very well (I assume that meant not much crying?).

Since they made no move to bring ds2 to me, I said I was there to pick him up. They said, "Oh!". They were very surprised, so I think most other babies and kids stay all day. She said, she hasn't filled up everything in the report card yet, so I said that's fine.

They went to ds2 quietly and said "Mummy's here, you can go home now!" That boy! Didn't even look happy to see me! Grrrr... He has never been away from me that long before, and never been with so many total strangers, yet he didn't miss me. Hummph, so much for all our checking of our cell phones every once in a while the whole morning.

So they brought all the stuff to me, the snacks and stuff I packed for him. And he came over. Fortunately, he asked me to carry him, and when I asked him if he would like to stay, he said no. haha.

But I was really impressed with the staff. They were very helpful, friendly and good with the kids. It was Xmas day, but they were working to let us have a good time. The ratio of staff to kids was very high too.

The report card was such a nice touch. It was very detailed, telling me what his moods were, what they ate for snack and lunch (he'll miss the 2nd snack so it was blank), how much he ate or drank... Even what time he pooed and then they changed him. Also wrote in what he did: sledding, gondola ride, playing with snow etc.

What a relief. And we enjoyed ourselves so much too. So in the end, the whole family had a really great day doing our own thing. Maybe vacations should be like that. The rest of the days could be spent together, but a day should be set aside for each member of the family to do something he or she wanted to do that was specially-tailored to him/ her and that was different from the rest of the family.

We drove back to PCMR, and in the parking lot, I saw this Saab, with hail-inflicted damage. Aiyoh...

ds2 napped right away in the car, so we took a walk around PCMR while waiting for ds1 to finish up.

At 3pm, we picked him up and he had a detailed report card too. His was more about the lessons, what he can do now, and so on. That he rode the ski lift, and could do slight turns and was able to put on the skis by himself and so on.

He said he enjoyed the whole day very much too, and he liked his instructor a lot. He was even singing Xmas songs with the guy towards the end of the lesson!

Everyone was very tired. So we went back to the hotel for a nap, then set off again in the evening to soak in all the Xmas lights. We drove around Park City, went to the Deer Valley resort area. All the lights, mountains, snow and quaint buildings put together made a postcard perfect scene. Really magical, and romantic.

We then drove along historic Park City's main street and stopped at this place for dinner. It's called The Eating Establishment, and the menu looked good. Only thing, the wait was soooo long. I think we waited an hour. There was a fireplace in the restaurant and everything was cosy and country-like.

That's ds2 above, giving a high-and-mighty "tao" look while we were waiting to be seated, at the restaurant.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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