During our Winter Weekend Away, we spent a little time on the slopes getting our ski on.  Technically, two of us (Cole & Dave) went to the bar for beers; two strapped on snowboards (me & Chris) and the other two actually skied (Dane & Tess). Despite the heavy snowfall the day before, Sunday was beautiful, sunny, warm & optimal conditions. I wanted a perfect weekend for Christians, and I got it!

Oberstdorf, on the German,/Austrian border, is an adorable little town so close to home… and a well-kept secret.  Dave’s boss didn’t tell us about it till he PCS’d (Permanent Change of Station) late last summer. It’s got five little resorts in the surrounding mountains, and even on this perfect day, there were no crowds to be found.  We’d chosen Söllereck for it’s family-friendly reputation and it’s warm, enclosed, mini cable car ride up. It also meant our non-skiers could go up with us, watch us ski & board partway down and have lunch hot & ready at the table when we got hungry.

Dane has a reputation for barreling straight down a mountain.  Something that stressed Soren to no end last year, and Christian to no end this year:

I was just happy to have Christian along, because, Christian! But also to help me keep an eye on Dane.  Barreling straight down a mountain means he goes fast.  I do not go fast.  I go nice & slow, nice, wide turns.  Maybe I’ll take a break, whip out the camera, admire the scenery, BREATH.  The important things. Things I can’t do when I’m barreling straight down a mountain after my no-fear future olympic athlete.  Thank God for Christian.

It also allows me to keep an eye on Tess.  Where Dane is a no-holds barred kind of guy, Tess is extremely, perhaps overly, cautious. The thought of pointing her ski tips down a mountain, a mountain that to her looks like a vertical cliff, overwhelms her with fear.   That she keeps riding up, strapping on ski’s, and trying this impresses me beyond belief.  I am a snow bunny. I live for days in the mountains, surrounded by tall peaks, snow, fresh, crisp air and riding down a run.  I want my children to love this as much as I do.

Sadly Cole has decided this is not for him. Luckily he likes beer.  Up until last year, I thought this wasn’t for Christian either.  The very first time I took little Tisstian to ski was 20 years ago, when he was three.  I took him, Nicholas & Soren (both 5) to Bear Valley, CA. My “home” mountain. I strapped ski’s on all three boys, duck-walked them over to the carpet & showed them how to side step up a hill (if it was 20 ft, I’d be surprised).

Soren pointed his ski’s right down, pulled a Dane, and was ready for a lift.  To the top.  Nicholas flat out refused.  According to 5-year-old Nick, only a stupid person would do something that dumb.  And Tisstian?  He made the perfect little pizza, skied down beautiful, and was done for the day. He’d did-ded it.  No more.  Then, like now, Chris was as stubborn as a bull (he is a Taurus after all).

The one good thing about him joining the Marines is that they all snowboard.  When they went, he went. There was no way he was missing out on a weekend away with his brothers.  Turns out, snowboarding is fun. Snowboarding is really, really fun.  Of course it’s funner with a bunch of crazy Marines on R&R, but a day with mom in the Alps is okay too.


Cole & Dave; enjoying snow, sun & beer


Dane… aims down & GOES!


Tess, Chris & Dane… my snow crew


He was not impressed with the air he got off that “stupid jump”


Snow is a lot more to his liking than the desert


I miss his neon green ski suit. It’s easier to find him when he goes off piste.


No matter what we do. She will pose.