Showing posts with label snowbizz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snowbizz. Show all posts

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A day in the life on a family ski holiday

Ever since we first flew out to the French alps four years ago we have been hooked and we spend the year looking forward to our family ski holiday.  We find the perfect balance for us between family time, time as a couple and getting out in the snow and we take every day as it comes, deciding what to do with our afternoons depending on the weather and how we feel.  

This is an average day on a family ski holiday for us though . . . 

8am - We wake up.  The bedrooms are fitted with black out blinds which is brilliant as holidays should not mean early mornings! The children eat cereal and drink milk and then we start getting everyone dressed.  The snow means layers and the boys put on thermals and a fleece zip up and everyone wears outer layers.

9:30 - I take the little two to the creche, it takes about 5 minutes door to door and Finn wants to run the whole way as he is excited for the day.  The nannies greet them with huge smiles and ask what they want to play with.  I say goodbye and grab a couple of croissants from the bakery next door to the creche - I can't resist the smell!  At the same time, Ed is taking the big two boys down to the lounge which is on the ground floor of our apartment building.  The nannies help them get their ski boots on and they line up their skis outside.  They choose whether they want to play an indoor game or go outside where there is plenty of snow to play in and the perfect hill to slide down.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

9:45 - We have freshly baked breakfast, a view of the resort from the balcony and an hour until we have to start getting ready for our lesson.  Some days we head straight to the locker room to put on our boots and get an hour on the slopes before it starts but today we want to take it easy so I grab a book and sit in the sunshine enjoying the peace and quiet.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

10:45 - We head down to the locker room which is inside our building to get our boots on and skis ready

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

11:00 - We meet just outside the locker room and put our skis straight on ready to start our lesson.  Dylan and Archie are doing the same thing right next to us and we watch them ski off behind their instructors towards the first chair lift.  We all have a 2 hour lesson and we love spotting them as we ski.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

1:00 - Our lessons finish and we change back into our normal boots before heading down to the creche.  Finn and Cora are excited to see us and we dress them up with the help of the nannies.  Just outside the creche building are a selection of restaurants and we find a table outside the Brown Bear and order some lunch.  The children play in the snow next to the table whilst we wait.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

2:00 - We pop back into the creche to pick up some of the sledges and toys that are available all week, we borrow a stroller too as Cora is looking sleepy. There is a great sledging field just next to the nursery slope so we all walk over.  The children all love sledging and Cora giggles as she goes down on one of our laps.  When they want a change they can play in the little playground next door although with the amount of snow we had, the slide isn't much fun as the bottom of it is pretty buried! They love climbing and hiding and the views are spectacular!

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

4:00 - Everyone is getting a bit chilly and we know exactly what will warm us up so we cross back over and sit outside the Creperie with a hot chocolate.  No hot chocolate will ever taste as good as the one you drink after 2 hours of sledging in the snow.

5:00 - We cook some pasta for the tired children as it is the perfect energy food.  The kitchen in our apartment has everything we need and we all sit around the table to eat it.  We eat cakes that we bought from the bakery after we returned the sledges for pudding and the little two get into their pyjamas for some quiet time.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

6:00 - The big two are off to kids club and tonight is a treasure hunt.  They are all dressed up in their warm winter gear as they will be outside a lot but they are really excited for the pirate games and the hunt.  This is always their favourite night and it changes every year.  I head back to the locker after dropping them off to get my boots back on.  I meet a new friend whose children are also at the kids club and we ski down to the first lift together as it is night ski today and the slopes are flood lit so we can stay out even later.  

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

7:00 - I head back exhausted and put the little two to bed.  It is pretty easy to settle them as the busy days mean they are out like a light!

8:00 - I collect two little pirates complete with treasure from the lounge and bring them back upstairs and get them ready for bed.  They had the best evening and have so many stories to tell me but they can barely keep their eyes open!
Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

10:00 - At home we are always up super late but out here with all the fresh air and exersize we are ready for bed pretty early! We have games in our apartment as well as a TV and there is free wifi too but mostly we want to get a good night's sleep as we are planning on doing a bit of skiing in the afternoon tomorrow as well.

family ski holiday, skiing with kids,
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We received a discount on our holiday but all thoughts and opinions are my own
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Our Family Ski Holiday with Snowbizz

It was our fourth year travelling to Puy St Vincent with Snowbizz and there is a reason we and so many others go back year after year.  A lot of people wouldn't even consider a family ski holiday, but once you have tried it, you may well find yourself hooked.  We battle through the early morning airport meltdowns and the hyperactive toddlers on the flight because when we arrive in the snow covered resort, everything is so easy, so relaxed and just so much fun.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The fresh mountain air is cold and takes a while to adjust to, the snow is unfamiliar to little hands but soft enough to sink into and the views . . . I don't think I could ever not be in awe of the snowy mountains that dominate the horizon in every direction.  The first day is always put aside for adapting, for preparing, for collecting our hired boots and skis, for take away pizza and early nights.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The next day however is a different story.  Dylan and Archie were skiing for the third year and Archie has in the yellow group at ski school with Jean-Paul whilst Dylan was in the orange class with Benjamin.  They were up and dressed in their thermals and salopettes and raring to go.  Dropping them at ski school was as easy as walking down one flight of stairs as we are directly above it (I didn't even put my shoes on some days), and they can sledge and play outside or chill out with games in the lounge before their lesson starts.   It is a little further to drop off Finn and Cora but I can probably do the walk with both of them on foot in two minutes still.  We leave our apartment block, cross in front of a shop and we are at the welcoming Snowbizz creche where the pink ladies greet them every morning with smiles and cuddles.  There are always toys laid out inviting them to play and a craft or painting set up on the tables.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

And then we can ski, or read a book, or go for a walk, or eat a fresh croissant bought from the bakery next to the creche.  The morning is ours and we love the freedom, the rest, the adult time.  

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Our week is always a mixture of family time, adult time, skiing and some one on one time with the little ones.  We follow their lead and take it day by day and it works so well for us.  We love sledging and the creche has plenty of sledges that you can borrow to take to the little sledging hill next to the playground.  The restaurants all have tables outside so we can play in the snow as we wait for our lunch, and hot chocolate will never taste quite as good as it does from the Creperie after an afternoon sledging. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

We had snow, so much snow and we had sunshine. It snowed for about 24 hours straight with around 60cm laying just over night.  The next morning the sun shone, the freshly pisted slopes could not have been more inviting and we couldn't resist stomping in the fresh powder snow, watching it rise up our legs, rolling around in it and throwing it up in the air.  We could not have asked for better weather and I will always remember Finn's face as the snow fell, the excitement and awe, the desperation to be out in it and the sheer joy as he ran through it with his tongue out to catch the falling flakes. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Dylan gained even more confidence skiing and on the last day we could barely keep up with him as he skiied down the blue slopes without fear.  For a child that has never been very physically confident, it is amazing to see how much he loves this sport, how well he is improving and the experiences it gives him.  Archie was the smallest in his class and needed extra help at the beginning of the week but we took him up on the lifts at the end of the week and were amazed at how well he could ski down, never falling over or struggling and smiling and laughing the whole way.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Ed and I tackled harder red slopes, improved our skills and took in the views from the very top of the mountain where we really did feel on top of the world.  We made friends as did the children and it felt like we had our own little community by the end of the week.  Being a smaller resort, the children really make great friendships as do the adults and we all found ourselves seated together on the plane on the way home too.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The boys loved the kids clubs in the evenings and award night at the end saw Finn awarded the 'Shining Star' for 'brightening up our day' whilst Cora got the 'Haribo' award for 'being a sweetie'. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

There are so many reasons that we love going on a family ski holiday and I have written in the past about 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

You can also check out our

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

We received a discount on our stay but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own 
and we are already looking into booking for next year!

family ski holiday, Snowbizz
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Saturday, 4 February 2017

A Video of our Ski Holiday with Snowbizz

Photos and words can tell you so much, but there is something special about video, so I decided to try and make one whilst we were away on our family ski holiday with Snowbizz.  Unfortunately my video camera decided to pack up on the first day so I had to make do with some clips I took on my rather knackered old phone.

Many of the special moments were not captured and my skiing skills do not extend to filming whilst I am moving, but here is a little look inside our holiday, a peek at Puy St Vincent, the stunning views, the snow, the sledging, the siblings, the special week we had.

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Me and Mine January

We are already a whole month into 2017 and what a crazy one it has been! In the wider world we have seen the devestation that Trump is causing and in my smaller world we have applied for a school place (Archie) , travelled to find snow, gained extra teeth (Cora) and watched far more TV than I would like.  

My photos from this month aren't the sharpest and typically we forgot to find anyone to take them until the last minute of our ski trip so there is a fading light and less than ideal background.  We managed three vaguely happy (not crying) children out of four so I am still calling it a win.  We had the most amazing family holiday and I hope I will look back and remember how we were too busy having fun to stop for photos.

In January Mama is loving seeing her sister in France, going up to London for the kids fashion trade shows, hot baths after a cold day and eating cheese fondue and raclette.

Daddy is loving skiing down the red runs, watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix, quiet weekends at home and watching how well Dylan could ski.

Dylan is loving going down the blue run with mummy and Daddy, making a holiday scrap book, birthday cake at Uncle Oli's birthday and learning about the Chinese New Year at school.

Archie is loving skiing down the snake, playing Dig Out on the tablet at the airport, finding the letter 'A' everywhere and playing with Cora in the mornings.

Finn is loving spending time with Aunty NatNat, pinching everyone else's food, turning the tv off if we put anything other than Blaze on and perfecting his pronunciation of the word 'biscuit'.

Cora is loving carbs (her favourite foods are toast, chips and potatoes), her doll from Nanny, bouncing on her feet and sleeping in the crook of my arm.

February may only be a short month, but two out of our six have birthdays to celebrate so the boys are all pretty excited for it!
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Thursday, 26 January 2017

My Top Tips for Taking Kids Skiing with Snowbizz

We have just returned from our third family ski trip to Puy St Vincent with Snowbizz and we are already planning to go back next year.  It is such a wonderful little resort and the perfect place for children to learn to ski.  I wrote about our first time skiing, how the boys got on skiing at 2 and 4 years old and how to enjoy a ski holiday even if you can't ski, but I wanted to share our top tips for taking kids, because even this year we are still learning how to make things as easy and relaxing for us all.

So here are my five top tips if you are planning on taking children on a Snowbizz ski holiday.

1)  Pack light

The bigger two boys got dressed into their thermals each morning in preperation for their ski lessons, and they very rarely got out of them.  In the afternoons we either went back out in the snow so they needed them on, or they ran around the creche or the apartment still in them because it was the easiest thing to do.  One or two pairs is fine for the week if you go for something like merino wool as they are self cleaning and they wick the moisture away.  For Dylan and Archie I packed thermals, a fleece and their ski wear and then just a couple of pairs of trousers and a couple of tops for the indoor kids clubs.  (I made a little video with what we packed for the youngest two here)

snowbizz, skiing with babies, family ski holiday

2) Enjoy the childcare

The nannies are fantastic and there is so much for the little ones to play with, so just enjoy it, make the most of a little time to sit and read, or enjoy a croissant, some extra time on the slopes or even a sneaky afternoon nap.  All four of mine loved the creche and the staff and even Cora who at 6 months had never been away from me for more than 30 minutes, who had only ever been left with her Daddy, settled straight in, smiling and laughing for the ladies and not crying once all week.  

family ski holiday, ski holiday with creche, snowbizz

3) Feed them often

Skiing is exhausting, learning a new skill is hungry work so fill your apartment with easy snacks.  There are two supermarkets and we took a few familiar snacks from home for the younger two as well like rice cakes and breadsticks.  If you have a child in junior ski school (aged 5 or over) then put something sweet in their coat pocket before their lesson as two hours is a long time and they have a little break where they can have something to eat in the middle to keep them going.  The food in the restaurants is all rich and filling and the kids portions are huge, but you really work up an appetite!

3 year old skiing, family ski holiday, Snowbizz

4) Borrow books / DVDs

In between the excitement of skiing, sledging, fresh snow and new friends, our boys needed some downtime where they could just switch off a bit and rest.  The creche has bundles of books as well as DVD players and films you can borrow.  We bought a few small toys with us in our luggage and then borrowed books and films whilst we were out there.  You can also rent sledges, buckets and spades free of charge too which we made the most of.

Snowbizz, family ski holiday, muddy puddles ski jackets

5) Take them to the top

Well not quite the top, but at half past the hour you can go up on the chair lift to 2100 metres on foot.  We took all four of them (with Cora in a sling) and there is a lovely little restaurant up there as well as lots of fresh snow to play in and stunning views.  The lovely staff will stop the lift completely for you to get on and off and help children down too.  If you have a family with mixed ages then the bigger children can ski down with one parent whilst the younger ones go in the chair lift with another parent.

bundle bean, family ski holiday, snowbizz, baby skiing

Snowbizz is a fantastic place to visit with small children and everything is set up to make life more relaxing for you and to give them the best possible experiences whilst they are out there.

We were guests of Snowbizz for the week but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Our Week away with Snowbizz

Have you ever been somewhere and realised that you left a little piece of yourself there when you left?  That is how we feel about Puy St Vincent.  This year was the third time we have taken a family ski holiday, the third time we have headed to the snowy French Alps with Snowbizz - The Family Ski Specialists, and we know that it won't be the last.

From the helpful staff in the office to the friendly greeting at Gatwick airport to the Pink ladies welcoming us to Turin, we felt looked after at every stage of our journey and in resort I felt confident leaving my children with the qualified nannies and knew that the boys' ski lessons were all overseen by Michel, who makes it his business to ensure every child (and adult) is getting the most from their time in Puy.  

This year was our first time with four children, and I was a little worried about how it would all go.  They are all still so young and with two under two, we were flying with one on our lap each and another child next to us each.  Somehow everything seemed to come together on the day and it just fell into place.  The drive up to the resort from the airport is full of anticipation and snoring as the early start means we all struggled to stay awake.  When you open your eyes to the stunning view of endless mountains, crisp white snow and tall trees it is just so magical and we were in Puy before we knew it.

babywearing, snow babywearing, madame googoo

Our week was exhausting but relaxing and we each got so much from it.  The bloke and I progressed in our skiing thanks to our wonderful instructor Hugo.  He pushed me to try some of the red runs, he took us off piste after the fresh snow had fallen and he helped me every step of the way when I struggled with my confidence.  

Dylan was in the Junior ski school this year which meant a two hour lesson each morning.  To say he loved it would be an understatement, he was dressed and ready to go each morning an hour before the doors even opened! There were four of them in his group and he spent the week on the green and blue slopes.  On the last day after much asking, I went out skiing with him.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to help him much, that I wasn't good enough myself but he amazed me with his independence and skills.  His instructor had taught them how to get their skis on themselves, how to get up when they fall and how to ski well.  We skied down alongside him amazed at how far he had come in only a week!

snowbizz, family skiing, family ski specialist

Archie loved his lessons too with instructor Matthieu.  The 'Totons' are skiers aged 3 and 4 and each group has one of the qualified nannies out on the snow with them.  Archie had two other little boys with him which meant an amazing ratio and so much attention.  He was keen to keep trying all lesson and didn't want them to end after the hour!

3 year old skiing, family ski holiday, snowbizz,

Cora and Finn were in the creche - Finn charmed everyone as he always does and Cora surprised me in the best way.  For a baby that is attached to me almost 24/7 at home, I wasn't sure how she would cope in a new surrounding.  At 6 months she is still breastfed on demand and she is used to being worn in a sling a lot. She settled into the creche immediately and didn't cry all week.  She was content and smiley for the wonderful ladies and they were very respectful of my parenting, happy to hold her and cuddle her as much as she wanted.  I popped in just before my lesson and straight after it to feed her and she fell into an easy routine whilst we were away.

family ski holiday, taking a baby skiing

The wonderful thing about a ski holiday is that there is something for everyone.  Our week was a mix of adult time and family time and we could all go off in the day and have our lessons but we all came together again afterwards, refreshed after a little time apart and with the wonderful backdrop of a snowy mountain to relax us.  Skiing is physically quite exhausting so our evenings were snuggly and our bedtimes early.

Snowbizz offers so much but the things that really make it perfect for young families like ours are the exceptional childcare and the closeness of everything.  We would leave our apartment and have our skis on within 30 seconds walk, ready to go.  At the end of my lesson, I could pop my skis against the wall with Ed and be back with the children in less than a minute.  The resort is small but has everything we needed with a selection of restaurants, ski shops and two supermarkets.

family ski holiday, snowbizz, family ski specialist

The childcare is by far the best we have come across in any country.  The nannies all seem so genuinely happy to be there and their energy and enthusiasm is catching.  I would pop in to feed Cora at sometimes quite random times but I always found them totally engrossed in play with the children - painting faces, making up songs, pushing them around in cars or following the children's games.  I felt happy leaving Cora there each day despite the fact that until last week I had never left her with anyone other than Ed and never for more than 30 minutes.

This little resort buried 1600 metres up the slope is the place we spend all year looking forward to visiting and we are not alone.   The personal service of a family run company means there are families that come back year after year and many new families are captivated on the first visit.  For children learning to ski, this is the perfect resort with small classes and the nursery slopes on their doorstep.

toddler in snow, family ski holiday, snowbizz with a toddler

Skiing may not be the first thing you think of when looking for somewhere to take young children, but it is an amazing holiday for every age and we have definitely got the ski bug!

sledging, family ski holiday, snowbizz

muddy puddles, family ski trip, snowbizz,

snowbizz, family ski specialists, sledging with a three year old

snowbizz, family ski holiday

snowbizz, crete ski slope, family ski holiday

bundlebean, family ski resort, skiing with a baby, snowbizz

learning to ski, snowbizz, family ski holiday

learning to ski, family ski holiday, snowbizz, puy st vincent

Thank you to Snowbizz for hosting us last week - we may turn out to be your most loyal customers!

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