Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Our Family Ski Holiday 2023

Every year we think about booking somewhere different for a family ski holiday and every year we end up going back with Snowbizz. Why? Well the formula just works so well for us.  The resort is small enough that we know it well and the children can have a little freedom.  The 'pink ladies' childcare team are so much fun that my children want to spend time with them, meaning we get a bit of time as a couple. The snow is great and there are plenty of runs suitable for all of us, and it is easy to get to with a coach transfer from Turin airport.

family ski holiday, snowbizz


This was our first year skiing as a family of seven but Rex was booked into the creche (run by English speaking, fully qualified nannies) so we knew we would be able to enjoy some time on the pistes.  The creche is open 9am -5pm and Rex did various hours between these times each day.  There is a babysitting service available in the evenings too but we didn't use it during our stay.

family ski holiday, snowbizz


The big four were all dropped at ski school in the morning where they had time to play either indoors or out in the snow with the pink ladies before their two hour ski lessons.  My children love making holiday friends and this is where the bonds were made.  The lessons were split on ability and they are happy to move children around if a different lesson would suit their skills better.  Each child moved up a level during their week and got the next badge which they were so excited to be presented with at the awards night.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz



Ed and I could head up the mountain each morning to do our favourite runs, stop at one of the mountain cafes for a refreshing drink and have some much needed child free time knowing the whole gang was happy.  In the afternoons we swapped between sledging, skiing with just the bigger two or taking all four out on the slopes whilst Rex played in the creche.  The resort has a sledging area and small kids playground and the creche has sledges you can borrow for free if you want to play.  

Each evening there was a different kids club, from treasure hunts, winter olympics and crepe and games night.  The big four wanted to do every single one of course, which meant making them dinner in our apartment before hand and then getting to go out for a quiet meal in the evening (with Rex still).  They loved catching up with their friends and the talent show was a big hit.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Learning to ski as a family is such a special experience and we leave every year desperate to book our next trip.  I can't recommend skiing as a family holiday enough.

I have written a lot about family skiing with Snowbizz so if you want to know more then here are a few of my previous posts:










family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz




Read more ⇨

Friday, 24 February 2023

Tomorrow You Are Eight

It is the eve of your eighth birthday, although it feels like you are already eight, we have been talking about this for so long.  This year it is all about football and Arsenal in particular and I think you are going to love your Saka shirt in the morning.  You have been looking forward to this birthday and counting down for months and I hope it is as special as you are.
 



It feels like you have really grown up a lot as a seven year old.  Whilst impulse control is never going to be your strong point, you have definitely matured in your emotions and communication and you are lucky to have such wonderful and supportive friends.  You have started junior school and absolutely love it. After a tricky end to Infants, I think the new challenges of a new school are exactly what you needed and I hope you continue to thrive there as an eight year old.

You seem to have moved away from the rainbows but definitely still like being bright, although anything with a gaming slogan or football gear is now what you pick from your wardrobe.  You still love a disco jacket though which makes me happy.

You are intelligent, capable, determined and so completely yourself.  You are vibrant, so incredibly loud and you are loving.  You frustrate me, push all my limits and bring me such intense pride and I can't imagine life without you.  


We have a climbing party with your friends tomorrow and then a family party which means lots of cake and lots of excitement and you can't wait!

Happy Birthday baby boy, Happy Birthday Finn.  You are loved more than I ever knew you could be
Read more ⇨

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Safe Skiing with Piste X Code

We first went skiing in 2014 and it has become one of our favourite things to do as a family ever since.  All four children now ski when we go away, with lessons in the morning and out with us in the afternoon and I love watching the pride they have in themselves as they progress.  It is still a couple of years until Rex can put on skis, but he has four mini teachers excited to help him out when he does.  Cora and Finn are still cautious and happiest on green runs (the easiest and flattest) whilst Dylan and Archie are more confident on the blues (next stage up) and love adding in little jumps and off piste sections. 




Learning the basics of a new sport is tricky and with skiing, it isn't just yourself you have to think of, it is everyone else on the slopes.  During a run we will inevitably come across people much faster than us, hurtling past and also people much slower who are still new to skiing and lessons taking place. Knowing how to navigate all that is so important and if the children are old enough to ski, then they are old enough to learn about safety.  This is where the Piste X Code comes in - a simple way to teach children (and remind adults) how to stay safe and respect others on the slopes.  In this video BBC Ski Sunday Presenter Ed Leigh introduces the code.


                 

Thankfully, we haven't yet had an accident on the piste but we do stick to the important rules and ski with respect for both the terrain and other people.  It won't be long until the children over take me with their skills and want to ski the runs beyond my ability so reinforcing the message regularly is so important.  I will be writing more about our family ski holiday this week so if you are considering booking a family ski trip then make sure you check back!




This post is for the Ski Safe Blogger Campaign by Alikats Mountain Holidays and Piste X Code. Find out more here
Read more ⇨

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Before You Turn Ten

Ten sounds so much bigger than nine, but then you are so much bigger.  You are growing up and it is only in looking back that I realise how far you have come.  In little ways you are becoming more independent and getting new freedoms and I feel immense pride watching you grow. 

You are an introvert, hard to get to know (a battle I think we will have with each new teacher) but wonderful when you do.  With those that know you, you are playful and loving, loyal and kind.  You come alive when you are skiing, you are bold and confident and so full of joy that I want to move to the mountains with you. When you are passionate about something it radiates from you and is impossible to ignore.


You don't want to cuddle as much now you are growing up.  You are comfortable setting boundaries and you are confident in your own beliefs.  You are still happiest snuggled up in a blanket with a gaming device in your hand.  You feel injustice strongly and are certain that you will make good decisions as you hit the teenage years - let's see if that happens! 

In some ways you are still the easiest child - not old enough to be asserting too much independence and not young enough to need too much help but I don't want you to ever feel lost in the middle.  Being part of a bigger family has its pros and cons and I hope you always feel special and unique.  You still absolutely adore your baby brother (even if you could take or leave the rest of the gang) and you love teaching him new skills and celebrating his milestones.  You are so protective of him - something I should have expected as you have always been kind and loyal.  




I like to re read all your birthday posts on the night before and see how much you have changed but also how much you have stayed the same, completely true to who you are. You are an amazing person and I am so lucky to be your Mum.

Before you turn ten, as I kiss you for the last time as a nine year old, I want you to know how truly loved you are.



Read more ⇨

Monday, 23 January 2023

A Winter Getaway to Vilnius, Lithuania

I wanted to get away for a Christmas market trip over December and after looking at a few options, it was Vilnius in Lithuania that I was drawn to.  As well as a Christmas market for shopping, there was a new country to explore and the flights were very reasonable for the dates we wanted.  I had initially planned to go with just Rex but I ended going with four friends as well.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break



We found flights for £45 return, leaving Friday and coming back on the Monday and we booked a beautiful apartment right by the old town which worked out £60 each for the three nights.  Vilnius airport is very small and it cost us seven Euros for a large taxi from the airport to our apartment (slightly less for a standard sized car).

In December Lithuania is slightly colder than the UK and temperatures ranged between-5 and -15 during our trip.  There was a brief flurry of snow one evening and if you got away from the town centre there was snow on the ground and trees still. We came prepared with warm layers, thick socks and thermals and the cold didn't feel nearly as biting as the UK in my opinion.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break



There were two Christmas markets on whilst we were there, the first one was just for a weekend and was an international market in the town hall which was mostly tables run by different embassies.  The second one was in the Cathedral square and centered around the huge Christmas tree.  Every year there is a different theme to the tree and 2022 looked like a three tiered cake.  It was spectacular day and night, however the market was quite limited.  We did get mulled wine and some Lithuanian candy but bought more from other stalls around the old town rather than the market here.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break



Whilst the market was disappointing, the mini break certainly wasn't and I adored Vilnius.  The architecture is incredible and the old town with its cobbled streets, beautiful coffee shops and Christmas lights was pretty special.  There were so many buildings which had gone big with their Christmas decorations and made the whole town feel so warm. 

Here are some of the places we visited during our stay

1) Uzupis is a self declared republic within Vilnius and a short walk from the old town.  You can find their constitution in 23 languages written on the wall which contains statements such as 'everyone has the right to cry'.  The area is full of fun street art, interesting boutiques and a tourist office where you can stamp your passport.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break, Uzupis

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break, Uzupis

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break, Uzupis



2)Lukiškės Prison is situated in the centre of Vilnius and was closed as a working prison in 2019.  Over the winter there was an ice skating rink in the central courtyard and you can go for tours around this prison (where scenes in Stranger Things season 4 were shot). It was really interesting to walk around and we found a fun bar inside the prison where you could get drinks and snacks.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break, Lukiskes prison

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break, Lukiskes prison



3) There is a Christmas train that drives around the old town at night, all lit up with fairy lights.  It is 2 euros per ticket and a fun activity to get out of the cold for a little while and see the beautiful city.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break



4) Food was an important part of our trip.  We had a delicious brunch at Backstage cafe who also did great coffee. Rosehip Vegan was incredible - make sure you book a table as they do get busy. Etno Dvaras is a chain doing reasonably priced traditional food.  Hales Market is fun for a wander and you can grab smoothies, pastries and the traditional Lithuanian cakes there.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break, vegan lithuania



5) Other members of the group visited Vilnius' MO Museum of Modern Art and really enjoyed it.  (Rex was not in the mood).  If you are interested in art then they recommend it.

6) Sky Bar is located on the 22nd floor of the Radisson and we booked a table on the day we wanted to visit.  With views out over Vilnius it is a great spot to drink a cocktail and there were hundreds on the menu as well as staff happy to make something up based on our likes. Children are allowed in the bar until 10pm, although we didn't see any other than Rex. Cocktails were around 9-10 Euros each.  

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break



Rex was 12 months old when we visited and was so easy. He was happy in the stroller or sling as we explored and I made time to find empty coffee shops for him to explore or took him back to the apartment for a crawl around when he needed it. The bars we visited (sky bar and the prison bar) were both happy to have a baby in and the city was stroller friendly.  Vilnius is a beautiful city to visit, small enough that you can see a lot in a couple of days and it felt very festive in early December.

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break

Vilnius at Christmas, Lithuania mini break


Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...