Thursday, February 28, 2013

Little Ski Bunnies

Along the upper village

Niseko was a gorgeous town to be in.

It was always an picturesque scene of glorious snow covered streets and ethereally blue skies.

Every morning when we wake up, it is like getting up to a perfect winter wonderland. The drive way to the apartment is always filled with inches of powder snow. It was fantastic.

We would always wake up and hastily cook some breakfast so that we can feed the tykes before they go off to ski school.

Fortunately, the ski store was still open when we arrived on Day 1 so we conveniently went in to do our fittings. Trying to get gear for three kids and two adults is no joke. I mean, even filling up the forms  took 15 minutes. Thankfully, the aussie peeps at Rhythm got it downpat. And they were absolutely great with kids. They made it so fun, that these kids wanted to hang in there after they got everything.

We booked them into ski school as soon as our trip was confirmed. Fortunately, we managed to get them enrolled in NISS, a school that is run by Aussies who are veterans in the Niseko slopes. The lessons were held at a different part of the mountain called Hanazono, a 15 minute bus ride away. All we had to do was to drop them off at the office near the Ace ski lift and they would be taken care of all the way.

They were very professional and made us feel secure leaving our kids with them. The children happily said their goodbyes every morning when we dropped them off so I guess it's a testimony to how safe they felt with the school. One morning, Kate was sick but she asked to continue her lessons. The lady at the counter was rather reluctant but the little one wouldn't have it any other way. So in the end, she took our numbers and told us that if all else fails, they would call for us over the PA system all around the mountain.

Who's ready for ski school??
Every morning, we made sure they were well rugged up before they left. We would walk them over and even though it was only 300m away, it seemed like it was a much longer walk when you are in ski boots. Fortunately they were in pretty good spirits. It helps that they were eager bunnies in wanting to attend their classes.

Going up the magic carpet
Kate and her friend Izzy. Two adorable little snow bunnies.
Little K was put into a class with another French boy called Izzy. Because they were so little, they pretty much had a private lesson. We had a glimpse of what she did and it was so so cute. By the end of Day 1, she was able to walk with her skis and was pretty confident going up the magic carpet and skiing down a small slope. The school has a creche inside the main building so they were brought in pretty often to keep warm.

Whilst the kids were learning to ski, D and I were hitting the slopes on our own too. Putting them in lessons meant that we didn't have to worry about their safety when we were skiing/snowboarding. And at the end of each day, we would pick them up from the school where they would regale us with stories from their day. It was always happy tales.

At the end of Day 4, we took them up the beginners slope to see what they have picked up and it's incredible how quickly they've each picked up skiing in just 3 lessons. Something that we adults took longer to learn. Definitely a good start to our winter adventures. We are definitely going back for another round this year. =)

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