Vacations in the Snow | 31 Days of Growing Up

My dad went to work conferences at least once a year, and the perk for us kids was usually he took the whole family with him for a vacation. One of our favorite conference-vacations was during the cold of winter at a ski resort several hours' north of our West Michigan hometown. The resort was a pretty extensive complex with accommodations for groups of all sizes, and we often stayed in a suite with a loft, which was cozy yet spacious enough to spread out more than we could in a typical hotel room. Mom and dad packed easy meals, like Kraft mac and cheese, and splurged on sugary cereal for breakfast, and we stuffed ourselves around the small round dining table for meals and to play card games. We slept on the bed and the floor of the loft and watched cartoons in the early mornings when we woke up. And then we went swimming. The pool was quite warm (maybe it would be considered a hot tub, technically) and was part-indoor, part-outdoor.

My brothers used to jump out of the pool outside, roll in the snow, and then, shivering, jump back into the steaming hot water. We spent many hours swimming, and then we walked back to our room for more games, reading, food, and probably more television than I remember. One year we decided to try ski lessons, and the remainder of that vacation and the next few years we went, we were out on the slopes for hours. What we didn't realize at the time was that skiing would become a weekly activity for our family when we moved up north several years later.

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