Before our children, Jonathan and Rachel, were born, my wife, Lisa, and I loved to go snow skiing. One of the many joys of living in New England for a dozen years was easy access to the slopes of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. While Lisa was pregnant with our first child, we decided to skip a season of skiing, and before we knew it, fifteen years had passed since we hit the slopes.While traveling around the world, we have tried to introduce new things to our children while also experiencing them ourselves. While in Japan, our family agreed that snow skiing should be added to our list of adventures. We traveled to the area around Nagano, the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. We settled in Hakuba, which hosted the women’s and men’s downhill skiing championships during the Olympics. (This was more an interesting fact than anything affecting our lives because we never ventured near the Olympic ski trails!)
We rented a ski-in, ski-out apartment (a first for us, which was surprisingly affordable) at Hakuba Goryu Ski Area. We rented our equipment (which you don’t easily pack while travelling around the world), signed up for a family ski lesson on our first day, and began a wonderful time.
The conditions were incredible! Several feet of snow blanketed the ground when we arrived, about a foot of new snow fell during our first night, and powder was plentiful. We told our children not to expect such great skiing conditions every time they ski in the future.
Workers were wonderful with our children, public announcements were made in both Japanese and English, we had fun shopping in a Japanese market, and our time on the slopes went even better than we could have imagined. Both of our children learned something new, and they are now very good skiers. Rachel enjoyed an obstacle course on skis, and Jonathan ventured to the top of the mountain and skied all the way down! Lisa and I became reacquainted with skiing, and we realized that we still can do it — and we still love it.And, most importantly, our family created memories that will last a lifetime.
Now, we are talking about plans for our next skiing adventure.