Skiing

Skiing the Sunny Slopes in Chamonix, France

Skiing the Sunny Slopes in Chamonix, France

Skiing in Chamonix, France has been something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Like Zermatt, it is consistently in the top 10 lists for ski resorts around the world. The town of Chamonix is a true mountain town, surrounded by the towering French Alps, and catering to winter sports enthusiasts. Lying in the shadow of Mont Blanc, the highest of the Alpine peaks, Chamonix is in the Rhone-Alpes region and is in a “corner” of Europe consisting of France, Italy, and Switzerland.

Strolling the Streets of Geneva

We flew into Geneva, which is about an hour away from Chamonix. We drove into the center and decided to explore this international city for a few hours. Almost half of Geneva is made up of people from 147 different countries linking together businesses from around the world. Walking down the streets felt like walking on Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue; Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and the like, dominated the streets, as well as the prevalence of very high-priced watch brands such as Rolex and Cartier.

We strolled along Lake Geneva, taking in the sight of the Jet d’Eau Fountain, Geneva’s most famous landmark. It is one of the biggest fountains in the world and the largest in Europe. The spray of the fountain reaches about 460 feet and pumps out 132 gallons of water per second!

Skiing in Chamonix

After Geneva, we drove the hour to Chamonix and checked into our lodge. We spent three glorious days of skiing in great conditions; it had just snowed the night before we arrived, and the sun was shining clearly in the sky for us to see. Miles of groomed trails and un-groomed fresh powder laid before us and we were presented with a variety of descents for us to choose from.

Each day we made our way to our favorite lunch spot in the middle of the mountain. We would laze in the outdoor loungers, sip our vin chaud and beer, and chow down on some local grub. One day while we ate, a local band played music which could be heard up and down the mountain.

Delicious Food!

We ate at some fantastic restaurants while in Chamonix. If I could eat foie gras at every meal I would, and I can’t resist ordering it. Combine that with an undying love for cheese fondue and we were all set! Each dinner was better than the next and we left each meal satisfied, but wanting more – it was so good!

Skiing in Chamonix, France was such a wonderful experience. The people are very friendly, the scenery is beautiful, and the food is sensational! Next time we could see ourselves renting a cabin with friends (any takers?), skiing some fantastic runs during the day, drinking delicious French wine, and dipping bread into a never ending pot of cheese fondue. Sounds perfect!

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Winter Fun in Park City, Utah

Park City views skiing in Park City

Skiing in Park City is one of our favorite activities that we regularly do with the kids each year. And what’s not to love? The open air, variety of terrain, convenience from the airport, walkable area, and the lovely town, make this a really desirable ski destination. Plus, it has a great ski school and daycare, and is part of Epic Resorts so you if you have an Epic pass you can use it here.

Getting there

We fly into Salt Lake City airport, which is about 35 minutes away from Park City. This means that we can potentially ski the same day we fly in, but we never do. We use the day to walk around town, grab lunch, and rest up for the week. When we’re with the kids we’ll stay in the Canyons. Here they have townhouses to rent which allows for more space. Without the kids we’ll stay in Park City proper either in an apartment or a bed and breakfast.

Skiing the Mountain

The great thing about Park City is that the variety of terrain is endless! Great for beginners through advanced skiers, the mountain has something for everyone. You don’t even have to ski the same run twice, although we definitely have our favorites. We especially love the mid-mountain dining options.

The ski school allows for the kids to get great time on the mountain with others at their level. It’s enjoyable for them and allows us to be able to ski alone and have some adult time. We do like to have some family days on the mountain though. The kids are in the ski school for 1-2 days and then we spend 1-2 days skiing as a family. We also take a day to do other activities to give everyone a break.

One negative about skiing here is that it can get very crowded. We always visit on non-holiday weeks and have only one weekend day (one of our weekend days is always a travel day). Christmas time and Presidents weeks are the worst so we always plan accordingly. We get there early, we’re in line for the lift when it opens, and we try to get away from the center of the mountain to avoid crowds (at the Canyons we try make our way to Dreamcatcher or Iron Mountain).

Walking Around Town

Park City’s historic Main Street has colorful art galleries, inventive restaurants, bars, small boutiques, and larger brand stores. It’s a very walkable town with a lift (Town Lift) right from the center. The free shuttle bus allows us to go between the Canyons and Park City if we desire. The Canyons doesn’t have as much to do or see in terms of a town, but there are stores, restaurants, and bars to head to (as well as an outdoor bar with fire pit right in the middle).

Other Activities

One activity that is fun for everyone is tubing! Woodward is just west of Park City and it has a large tubing hill. Since we don’t usually rent a car while in here, we take an Uber and head out. The kids have a blast tubing down the hill with their cousins!

Another activity that we like to do is ice skating! There is a small ice skating rink centered at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. There are lights, upbeat music, and it’s convenient to everything in town.

Skiing with kids in Park City can be fun and enjoyable for everyone! We love returning each year and making some great memories on the slopes.

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skiing in zermatt switzerland

Skiing Sunny Slopes in Zermatt, Switzerland

Skiing Sunny Slopes in Zermatt, Switzerland
Looks like a postcard!

After our unique time in an igloo, we set out to ski in Zermatt, Switzerland. Zermatt is a village at the foot of the Matterhorn, located in the southwestern part of Switzerland and near the Italian border. Snugly set in the middle of the Alps, it has endless character and charm! The air is clear, clean, and dry, and the town gets over 300 sunny days per year. Because cars are not allowed in Zermatt, the town is quiet and not congested. It’s exactly what we pictured when we thought of a ski town in Switzerland.

As we took in our surroundings, we could see houses and hotels with pointed wooden roofs, hills and streams flowing through the town, and shops displaying their homemade specialties for out-of-towners like us.

Getting to Zermatt

We flew into Milan, rented a car, and drove 2.5-3 hours to Tasch, where we needed to park the car.

We then took a seven minute train ride to Zermatt. The ride was beautiful, as we went around lakes and through the mountains into Switzerland. Amazing scenery unfolded before us: small houses perched atop mountains, small waterfalls streaming down the sides of rocks from melting snow, and gorgeous greenery welcoming spring’s arrival.

Our eyes were met with picture-perfect landscapes. Just beautiful.

We set out to Hotel Bella Vista to drop off our luggage. We were in a rush to hit the slopes!

Sun, Slopes, and Sustenance…

Spring-like weather welcomed us at the base of the mountain, and even though the snow conditions weren’t the greatest, we were thrilled to be skiing there.

As we skied, we had panoramic views of the Alps, and we looked around in amazement at the beauty. Over three days, we skied just about every part of the area. On our second day, we skied into Italy for the day and then back into Switzerland!

The food was amazing! Our family-run hotel served a delicious breakfast every morning, and we looked forward to it each time. Specialty cheeses from the area, homemade jams and jellies, a variety of meats, breads, and yogurts with healthy toppings… there was no end to what they could make! They also offered a free apertif in the evening by the fireplace.

But the eating didn’t end at the hotel! We had a multitude of cheese and chocolate fondue, specialty meats prepared in a variety of ways, and many Swiss wines.

What a great way to round out the season by getting to ski in Zermatt, Switzerland! We were sad to leave this charming town. The terrain, the environment, the skiing, the panoramic views, the friendly people, the homemade foods, and of course the company, made this trip very special for us.

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