One of the best things about being a homeschooling family is that you can take advantage of any educational opportunity you want to. So, this January, my daughters will be skiing every Friday!
I grew up in Salt Lake City, home of world-class skiing, host of the 2002 Winter Olympics and where license plates used to read “Greatest Snow on Earth.” I was not even aware that we had skiing in Virginia until a local homeschool group arranged for season passes to a resort called Massanutten.
Since my daughters are first-time skiiers, I figured that even if the skiing was terrible, they could still have a great time and learn at least something. So we packed up the car and headed out.
There are two essential ingredients for skiing: mountains and snow. After driving through some beautiful, yet flat, farmland, we finally had the first ingredient. The Blue Ridge rose on the horizon.
Then, cresting a ridge, my daughters called out from the backseat, “SNOW!!!”
So, not much snow and certainly not enough to ski on but yes, there was some snow on the ground in Virginia! A promising sign.
Finally, we saw the sign for the resort.
We drove through the resort complex which includes vacation homes and condominiums, a tubing area, skating rink, kayak center, restaurant and all sorts of year-round amenities. Winding toward the back corner of the resort, we finally found the ski area.
Amazingly, it actually did look like a ski area! There was snow (man-made) and chair lifts and people headed down the mountain on skis and snowboards.
We met up with our homeschool group and it turned out most of the other parents were also from major ski areas like Colorado and Vermont and were just as curious as I was about how skiing in Virginia was going to work.
My eldest daughter got suited up with some tiny boots and tiny skis. My youngest daughter scowled and cried, upset that she was not old enough to join the others in the class.
After my eldest began her class, we signed my youngest daughter up for a private lesson and found her some even tinier boots and tinier skis. She was thrilled!
The beginning ski area has some great conveyor belts that easily move the kids to the top of the bunny slope.
Once you graduate from the learning area, it’s on to the ski lift!
My job during the lessons was to watch all the stuff as well as my son. He enjoyed the snow!
Both of my daughters loved their classes, made good progress and wanted to ski on their own at the end of the lesson.
One of my favorite shots of the day was this one. My daughters’ preparation for their ski classes consisted primarily of choosing the right ski hat. My preschooler saw this pink one and called out “Foofa!” (if you watch Yo! Gabba Gabba! you understand). So, her ski name is “Foofa” of course. I liked this shot because you can’t see my daughter’s face and it really does look like “Foofa” is skiing.
By the end of the day, my son was exhausted by proxy!
Overall, it was a great day! The snow was not abundant but suitable for learning. The resort staff were very friendly and my daughters said their day was “awesome!” They can’t wait to go back next week. I still can’t quite believe that we are skiing in Virginia!
*I have no affiliation with Massanutten Resort.