We visited Jay Peak, in Vermont about 2 hours south of Montreal. This was our third visit to Jay as a family and as ever we got our money's worth out of the hill, all of us skiing first lift to last each day. It feels almost medicinal, after the annual December insanity, to head out of town to the woods where we can spend all day outside and then eat dinner in front of the TV before collapsing into bed.
Our second day was a full battle with the elements. Bitter cold, with the kind of wind that sways a four man chair lift and can slow you down on a flat section of the hill. There was also persistent ice fog limiting visibility, subtly coating our goggles until you suddenly realized you couldn't really see anything clearly. At the top of the mountain you had to ski by kind of feeling your way down..
We were out for the whole day with only a one hour break in our condo for a hot lunch and a spin in the dryer for mitts, cowls and socks. As we trudged through the trees towards our unit in the failing light as the lifts stopped running I was drained, chilled and absolutely relaxed. (Even though a 40 minute walk up the now empty runs nearby with the dog still lay ahead). There had been no opportunity to think of anything all day other than staying warm and getting either up or down the hill. We had done it all together without a single text message having been sent or received or a cell phone call having been made either!
After weeks of thinking of gifts and decorating and deadlines and exams and seasonal social commitments it is just perfectly brain draining for everyone to spend that kind of intense time on the hill.
...all that wind and ice and snow leave such amazing features behind to greet you at the top of a gondola ride.
This is the spindles of a railing coated in horizontally blown snow and ice to point where the space between is completely filled in..
Hudson of course didn't get to ski but he amused from the moment we pulled out of the driveway on departure until we raced in New Year's Eve with a couple of hours to spare before our New Year's dinner guests arrived. He was still proving an engaging travel companion in the first wee hours of 2011 as he joined us driving about the city collecting the kids from their various New Year's activities.
I hope you had a great time whatever your holidays entailed!