Forced vacation

I am sitting in a rustic cabin at the top of a mountain, nestled in amongst other chalets and cottages at the base of a ski hill. It is raining outside.

We are here on a family vacation. It is a three-day ski trip where the weather and our moods are the things that influence what we do.


I don’t feel like skiing and the kids are content to slide down the cliff in front of our cabin. The wi-fi promised on the rental website is spotty and unreliable. There is not much to do here but sit by the fire and eat.

We are staying with three other families, all very accommodating (someone fed my kids breakfast before I even got out of bed) and easy-going people. This includes three teenage girls as well.


The view outside


The view inside

The cabin arrangement is the rustic part of the vacation. There are four bedrooms, some with mattresses on floors or pony walls (half walls open to the ceiling). There are two bathrooms, but only one shower. One bathroom is accessible by two doors but both doors lead from bedrooms.

We decided to drive into the nearest town today – to get our skis tuned-up (and grab a stick of Juicy Fruit) and have lunch. We sat in Starbucks and drank decadent hot beverages. We found a few restaurant options and walked to the restaurant we wanted. It was closed.

We stopped at the local health food store and loaded up on snacks: chips, different types of chocolate, gourmet salt (?), gummy bears, hot chocolate mixes. You buy weird things when you are on holiday. Impulse and comfort food buying rates soar. In a weird way, I think we had more fun eating and shopping for food than we did enjoying the scenery and being in the quiet of the mountains.

But then the kids grew restless. They wanted to be back in the snow. It was starting to feel like the routines at home and they wanted the difference that a vacation allows.


The kids went back to sliding in the rain. They enjoyed hot chocolate when they came in. They played Pictionary and learned what a “flasher” was. Sometimes a vacation is getting away from it all, but also about the memories and the strange things you learn along the way.


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