We arrived in Sahoro Hokkaido yesterday afternoon. If I am completely honest, it was rather a long and arduous journey, including a two and a half hour drive, two flights (7 hours and 6 hours) then another two and a hour drive. It felt longer than we had anticipated, but living in a rural WA town we should be used to it.
We were all exhausted and a bit grumpy when we arrived at Club Med Sahoro. However, the smiles on arrival, mulled wine, amazing food and a comfy bed did wonders towards curing the weary traveller’s woes.
This morning we awoke refreshed and excited. Well, at least the kids did. I on the other hand, was feeling rather apprehensive. The last time I went skiing was 20 years ago in New Zealand and I was rubbish!
I was the one you looked at and thought….. gee thank goodness I am not as bad as her ……. I was also the one with a horrible memory of falling off the chair lift which in turn, led to it being stopped and a rather lengthy delay while they ‘recovered’ me. So embarrassing!
Therefore, you might understand my apprehension. But, I enrolled in a ‘Club Beginner’ course, pretended I had never skied before and hoped for the best. This turned out to be a good move (starting from scratch I mean). In fact, the whole family enrolled in classes, each at different levels and none of us together.
At first I thought us being separated was kind of sad, as this is meant to be a family holiday. However, the advantage of this situation was that we were all at the correct level, could completely concentrate on ourselves and not worry about the others. Nor, would I be holding anyone back as I was anticipating being a slow learner!
Off went little miss 9 to Mini club, Master 12 to snow board beginner and husband to his snowboard lesson. We came together at lunchtime to exchange stories of our morning and discuss how we had got on.
I loved watching the kids and their animated faces as they described their day thus far. It was clear to me, this was actually going to turn out to be fun (I have been a little sceptical). Even my son who I was little worried about, seemed to be loving it. One of my son’s ‘funny’ stories however, involved me.
He had looked over to my class, wondering how I was getting on. He saw me on the magic carpet. Apparently, I was just staring at my feet. ‘What were you doing Mum? Why weren’t you looking around?’
The answer was simple, I was slipping on the carpet and I was trying to work out why. But, it did make me realise that I probably was being a little intense and I needed to have a bit more of a look around. After all, I want to remember more than just my ski boots!
This afternoon I had my chance. I progressed from the magic carpet to the first chair lift where I had a better view of the surrounds. Boy is this place stunning. The snow is thick and powdery as far as the eye can see, buildings with hats of snow and dripping icicles. The whole place truely looks like a winter wonderland. The trees look bare and stark against the sky, the contrast between the white of the snow and blue of the sky, breathtaking.
Above us there were huge birds of prey circling. Eagles with a wingspan wider than I am tall. Incidentally, dressing your child with a cute animal helmet or hat is not a good idea near these birds!
I took note of the beauty around me. I took note of the terrifying slopes above me (that I will most definitely not be going anywhere near). I took note of the smiles on my kid’s faces and thought to myself, this is a pretty cool birthday!!
I never dreamed I would spend a birthday skiing (and actually feel that I was enjoying myself)! But here I am….. killing it!
All four of us have progressed to the next level class for tomorrow, which we are all pretty impressed with. (Do not fear mum, I am not going to go crazy). There will be no racing or fancy tricks, I am just going to take my time and enjoying what us around me. Tomorrow, when I feel confident, I will try and take a few pictures (a camera was too much to cope with today!).
All in all, a great day topped off with the most entertaining show back in the hotel. What more could a girl want on her birthday? Laughter, happy kids, beer, mulled wine and yummy food!