With all the snow that has blanketed the north east recently, we really could not have picked a better week to spend skiing in Vermont. My brothers and I grew up skiing. I don't even remember my first time on skis, because it was just a short time after I learned how to walk. Skiing is second nature for all of us. It is a part of our childhood, and years of memories. Both of my parents turned 60 this year, and to celebrate we rented a house at Sugarbush Mountain, VT where we spent many winters skiing and competing as children. It was a weekend spent together as a family, reminiscing years past -- snowy days and long drives --- as well as creating new memories... new traditions, with another generation. Vermont is a special place for the Breen family. My parents began skiing at Sugarbush before I was born, and made the move to Killington, another mountain nearby, when I was around 7 years old. My memories of Sugarbush are faint, but they are there. It is the mountain where I learned how to ski. When I was about 4 years old I spilled an entire cup of hot chocolate all over my pink snowsuit at Allyn's Lodge, which was a mid-mountain lodge... meaning I had to ski down in a wet snow suit (my mother reminded me of that one). I can only imagine the kind of feelings the place evokes for my parents. For them it is a place where they watched their children grow, succeed, and from time to time, fall. Although it is rare that we are all together in Vermont now that we are older and have welcomed new people into our family, when we do come together we are surrounded by lasting, heartwarming memories.
Me and my Dad on the slopes at Sugarbush in 1997. I was 5 years old, wearing that pink snowsuit from Hanna Andersson. It's funny how some things really never change - I buy Hanna Andersson for my son now too.
I left last Monday with my parents, racing ahead of the storm for Killington. We stayed at our condo for a few days, skiing the "Beast of the East" in some of the best conditions east coast skiing has to offer, and braving the cold to do a little snow shoeing! On Thursday we drove to Sugarbush to meet James and the others at the house we had rented. Jamesie was great in the car rides -- this kid never ceases to amaze me at how well natured he is.
The days were spent on the slopes, exhausting ourselves, and the nights were spent enjoying good food, even better company, and of course some really fabulous football. We had a celebratory dinner on Saturday night at the Pitcher Inn in Warren, VT, which was to delicious (expect for the allergic reaction I suffered from for the rest of the night). Sunday night we ordered some old-fashioned Vermont style flatbread pizza, and watched the Pats win the Super Bowl. The best part -- for the whole time that we were there, I don't think it stopped snowing once. It looked magical.
The house we rented in Sugarbush. A special spot with a view of the valley and the mountains beyond.
Jamesie and I at the Pitcher Inn during the celebratory dinner for my parents 60th. I figured it was occasion enough for Jamesie to wear his tux.
James, Jamesie and I during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. Although I am a faithful Giants fan, I was hoping for a Patriots victory for James. Jamesie doesn't really know what team he likes yet, but I'm thinking he will be a Giants fan ;)
I think of all the memories my parents must have from the years they spent watching their children transform from "bunny hill" skiers to double black diamond dare devils. On the slopes this past weekend I saw myself in the eyes of my father, as a young girl going way too fast down "Sleeper," my favorite run. Thinking of those years for my parents only makes me excited to have similar experiences with my own son.
I can see him now -- slipping down the slopes with an "edgy-wedgy" keeping the tips of his skis together, dancing around the ice with his father in itty bitty ice-skates, running after seagulls at the beach, taking his first steps... I'm excited for all of these things. Yet, I wait patiently, because I know that the time will pass all too quickly. Jamesie turned 6-months on Sunday and I already can't believe where the time has gone. It seems like just yesterday that he was a tiny newborn barely opening his eyes. Now he has 4 going on 6 teeth, he is nearly crawling and he's about to start eating solid food.
So while I am eagerly awaiting the memories to come, I am selfishly trying to hold on to the moments that exist right now. I'm taking everything in and trying to permanently engrain the detail into my memory forever. I'm sure you other mama's know the feeling.
For now I'm focusing on the present and this sweet little boy who needs me.
Getting cosy at the house in Sugarbush in his "Ski Ya Later!" onesie courtesy of Baby Gap.