We went back to the Gorfion Family Hotel in Malbun, Lichtenstein (about 90 mins drive away). We last stayed there in October 2012 - photos here! I remembered that the kids ski area was just by the hotel, so decided this was an easy way to do our first ski holiday. We arrived last Weds and stayed til Saturday. We booked private lessons for the kids and for me :-)
I had thought that our daredevil stunt man Patrick (now 3.5 years) would have taken to the slopes and not looked back. But in the first half hour, the ski instructor gently told us that he didn't think joint lessons were going to work. Patrick managed to get the skis on and do one gentle slope before "falling on my BOTTTOM *giggle* ". After that he was very happy to go sledging with Alan. Markus was the dark horse of the family. In total, he had 8 hours of lessons. After 1 hour, he could stop and start to turn. He spent 2 hours learning to plough turn on the nursery slope and (mostly) learnt how to use the button lift. He learnt how to get on, but would just fall off at the top and wait to be rescued, rather than dismount correctly :-)
Day 2 we (ski instructor Florian and me) take him on the chairlift on the mountain. He went up and down the mountain three times. Day 3 he manages 4 runs down the mountain. He adored Florian and would just follow him down the blue slopes. He negotiated bumps, curves, tunnels and at times braked his way down very steep blue slopes. His little legs juddered but he just kept going on. He had a few falls and one which made him stop and cry for a few minutes, but then Florian picked him up, dusted him off and Markus just followed him again! At the end of the 4 days, he cried because he didn't want to leave. "Proud" was not the word :-)
I had 4 hours of lessons and discovered to my surprise, that I could still ski after more than *cough* 25 years. Last time I ski-ed it was 1989, I had a florescent ski suit (with matching lip gloss) and I had a massive crush on the Austrian ski instructor!!
This time I was just grateful that I could remember how to do parallel turns. I went down blue and red runs and felt no fear, although a few times I did wonder how I was going to get to the bottom! BUT IT WAS FUN :-) and I was so proud of myself. I had tried snowboarding in 2005-2007 but had always felt fairly anxious about it all, even if my blogs told a different story. I am now sticking to ski-ing!
We had time as family to eat together, go swimming, play and generally it felt a lot longer than 4 days. The weather was gorgeous and the hotel was brilliant. Now I feel that I know how it all works. Next winter we will go for a week and will book the boys onto courses. Wonder how long it will take before they are better than me? :-)