When I was a little girl, we did not take regular family trips. Our vacation each year was when my dad pulled our camper trailer out to Midge Lake for a week. We joined other families-the dads drove in to Bemidji to work each day, the moms would gather for coffee every morning, and the kids ran free. I loved that break from chores and everyday life.
The only 'trip' we took was when I was 14, and the five of us drove in our 2 door Monte Carlo out to Idaho. It was summer, the car did not have air conditioning, and my sister was still in diapers. Let your mind wander....
When I would read books or hear about families who took ski vacations, I imagined that they were very wealthy, and that it was something I would never do.
Fast forward to 2012, and both my husband and son are avid skiers, and a ski vacation does not have to be crazy expensive! I did my research, and figured out how to do a week long ski vacation on a budget.
First off, the train is a pretty good deal. If you don't need to be somewhere in a matter of hours, it is a very viable option. And they don't charge you for your bags! I found a deal on-line to Whitefish, since I started shopping early. When it came time to find a place to stay, the options in Whitefish were endless. And believe it or not, March is actually their 'value season', as that area's prime time is summer, when everyone wants to check out Glacier park. Rather than picking a condo at the ski hill, we went with a suite at the Lodge on Whitefish Lake. Since I wasn't going to be skiing, I needed to have a place to spread out my jewelry, enjoy a coffee shop, or be able to walk into town.
When we walked into our room late on Sunday night, I was blown away. You can look at photos on-line, but nothing had prepared us for our fabulous room. It had a full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, gorgeous dishes and glassware, and really great pots and pans. It even had a separate wine fridge! Right up my alley....and the view? This was our view every morning:
I think our room may have had more square footage than our house.
It had a full dining room, two separate balconies, a big living room with a stone fireplace, and the loft upstairs was our bedroom with a down comforter and fabulous bathroom. The downstairs bathroom had a soaking tub, which I enjoyed several times with my wine and a book. Charlie loved using it after a long day skiing. It also had a washer and dryer, which was useful when the guys came back with wet ski clothes.
I made a big dinner one night, complete with pasta, salad, wine, bread, and fresh berries for dessert. It is fun cooking in a different kitchen! I made breakfast a couple of times, and packed a ski lunch too. So having a kitchen was definitely a plus, and a way to save some cash. On top of that, I love shopping in grocery stores in new places!
Mike and Charlie were out the door by 8 am every morning, they wanted to make sure they were able to ski every minute of the day that was available to them. I have a show coming up Mother's Day weekend, and so I spent several days working on jewelry and things for the show. I visited the Lodge's coffee shop in the mornings, with a gorgeous view of the lake and mountains, and read the local newspaper. I rarely had a wifi connection, so no time was wasted surfing the net.
I read books, and took naps, did some knitting, and watched Season 3 of Northern Exposure. I walked into town and visited their unique stores (no chains here), finding an adorable yarn shop, cute bookstore/chocolate shop (isn't that the perfect combo?), antiques, and fun clothing. Someone from the Lodge came to get me when I was done, talk about service!
When the guys returned each night, they were spent and exhilerated at the same time. They took lots of movies and pictures each day on the hill, they loaded them into my laptop each night and spent a big part of the night watching what they did all day. I guess you can never really get enough of skiing.
Each day was so full of moments and memories, I know this is a trip Charlie will never forget. A wonderful addition to our collection of vacation fun.