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It took us another 4 hours from my Dad’s house to get up to Banner Elk, NC. Zach and I first discovered Banner Elk in 2004. It was our first winter together and we went on a ski trip with our school! It counted for college credit and I got to learn how to ski and we got to have a BLAST together. It was SO fun! It was also so long ago that I don’t even have any pictures uploaded anywhere from that trip. I don’t even know if I had a digital camera yet? Bahaha I’m old!
I am usually a planning QUEEN but I was pretty swamped this year. Whew. We were BUSY and I didn’t realize until 4 days prior to us leaving that my kids didn’t have ANY ski appropriate clothes. Thank you Lord for Amazon Prime, right? I got boots and bibs and gloves and goggles. Thankfully everything fit except some of the gloves I got for Kye so we had to buy them once we got there. We headed straight up the mountain when we arrived so we could register the kids for their class the next day.
The area had gotten snow in the days leading up to our trip, but sadly, it’s didn’t snow at all while we were there. Us South Ga people? We didn’t care one bit! We turned off the kids movies on the way up the mountain and we were all yelling out “snow!” or “icicles!” It was really, really fun. They were THRILLED to see the snow in the parking lot. First snow ever!
On the way back down we saw a family of 6 deer!
Zach and I stayed in an awesome condo a few years ago when we went to Banner Elk and I was able to book it for us again, but with two bedrooms this time. It was SO nice. We have really gotten spoiled with our expectations when we travel now!
View from our condo
Snow on the rooftops was enough for us to be excited 🙂
If you are from the Florida/Georgia area and want to experience snow and skiing then I can’t recommend Beech Mountain in Banner Elk, NC enough! It’s seriously a wonderful town and a great place to visit! This was an AWESOME trip for our little family.
We got to the resort right when it opened so we could rent skis and get everything rolling! We originally planned to have the kids in a ski school all day (9-3). Zach and I would ski together that morning (half day session) then he’d ski solo in the afternoon while I hung out in the lodge reading. Then we’d pick up the kids at 3 and all go ski together.
Wellll plans changed as soon as we got there. The kids ski class thing was not cheap. And I’d just dropped some mega dough on their gear. It was a Saturday so rates were all way higher and I just couldn’t justify spending the money on my lift ticket and ski gear just to ski for a couple hours. We also quickly realized that the kids would be MISERABLE trying to go up the mountain and ski down. So we changed the plans and I just hung out in the lodge all day reading and relaxing while Zach skied and then when we got the kids I played with them for a little bit while Zach finished skiing. I was okay with the plan. I do enjoy skiing but Zach LOVES it and now that I have three kids I didn’t mind just RESTING 🙂
When we go again we probably will skip the school thing for the kids. It was $100 per kid and was really just mostly them playing in the snow while supervised. I enjoyed my relaxation time…but not worth $200 haha. I would probably do a half day thing for them and then just all play in the snow together! I saw a LOT of other moms there with their kids just playing. I just hadn’t ever taken children with us before and didn’t know what to expect!
Ready for his day on the slopes!
The day program for the kids was actually a new program and our kids were the very first ones to ever do it! It also worked out that they were the ONLY kids there. I didn’t mind that they were getting so much one on one attention for sure 🙂 They had the best day and all the staff was awesome with them! I was pretty proud of myself for not being a helicopter mom 😉 Zach did end up asking if we could come watch them play in the snow since it was their first time ever getting to play in snow before and they were all fine with it!
Ready to test out the skis
It is AMAZING to me how quickly kids pick things up!
Britt’s favorite thing about the snow was FALLING into it.
We visited Beech two days and Kye spent 90% of his time working on a huge wall to protect himself from snowballs
Lunch just the two of us…it took us back 10 years to our first trip there together 🙂
Zach loves to ski and he was eager to help the kids both learn how to enjoy it too! We wanted to take them while they are young to expose them to it. If we could afford it we’d love to go skiing more often but goodness it’s so crazy expensive! I can’t even imagine if we tried to go to Colorado!
I took several videos of the kids skiing: Kye’s 1st time, Kye falling, Kye skiing again, and Britt skiing. Kye picked it up right away! He was very in control and truly loved it! He said after this trip that he would rather go skiing than go to Disney World! I guess we need to start saving up for more ski trips 😉 Britt was so stinking adorable. She looked like a little pink marshmallow and EVERYONE was watching her and commenting about her and I heard one girl say “when I have kids I better have a little girl like that one!” She was also super funny skiing b/c she just would go limp and showed no interest. She only wanted to ski because Kye was skiing!
Riding up the Magic Carpet!
Back to wall building 😉
We really had such a great day! I finally started reading the 2nd divergent book and just enjoyed not having any responsibilities 🙂 I could relax knowing that everyone was having fun! Zach had a great time on the slops and the kids LOVED the snow and loved their fun day together!
(Britt was upset that it was time to leave!)
I really, really love when our condos have a full kitchen. We brought a lot of food with us and had warm chili and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner! It was perfect after a cold day on the slopes!
The master had a TINY little shower then a MASSIVE tub that seriously was the biggest tub I have ever seen. I meant to get a picture of Zach in it b/c he could fit in it with PLENTY of room!
The condo was two stories with one bedroom on each floor. The master was upstairs and the experience made me SO THANKFUL that our master at home is on the first floor. The downstairs room had two twins and, of course, the kids were pumped about sharing a room. We learned several things on this trip. 1. We put the kids to bed sometime during the 6:00 hour. This was they had plenty of time to talk without it affecting their actual bedtime. 2. We had a clock where they could see it and just told them they could talk until the clock said a certain time. 3. They do better sharing a room if they skip naps. On the day they got a nap? They did not do well with the room sharing. They were up later and woke up earlier the next morning. I know we will be having them share rooms more on trips in the future and we will probably have to have them skip naps during those days. Britt skipped naps 3 days in a row which was the most she’s ever done and she did pretty well with it! Our last day she was whiney but the rest of the trip she was a pure joy!
I was missing my baby but Big Papa was enjoying the snuggles 🙂
We had a GREAT start to what ended up being a trip that we all will forever remember! I already am thinking out how we can go back once Tess is Britt’s age!