A Skication to Sunday River

While I am far from the biggest fan of skiing in the world, it’s a well-known fact that my family is. Denisa has taught each of our kids to ski from as soon as they could stand upright and it was snowy out. But in all this time of living in Maine, we’ve never done the whole “ski vacation” thing. We’ve gone for day trips to different resorts, and Denisa and I stayed over at Sugarloaf one time, but other than that, we’ve held off the multiday trips, just because they seemed so expensive.

And let’s be clear here. They seem so expensive, because they *are* so expensive. Finding a place to stay is pricey, the lift tickets add up, and then there’s all the equipment you have to get. (Thankfully, we’ve had all that for a long while now.) But we haven’t really done much in the way of travel, and so we decided if we were ever going to give a skication a chance, it would be this winter.

As usual, I committed to the vacation a long time in advance, and by the time the vacation was staring me in the face, I was wondering why in the world I’d committed to it. I’ve been (very) stressed lately, and when I get in that mode, it feels like *anything* more than what I’m doing is just too much. However, as is also usual, once I actually left and was on the vacation, I remembered vacations are a great way to unwind and recharge, and I came home feeling much more optimistic about everything than I had when we left.

We weren’t gone very long. Just a Friday and Saturday night. We went to Sunday River, mainly because it’s the fam’s favorite resort. It’s nice and spread out, so once you get past the main lifts, you don’t see that many people. And they make a ton of snow, so you’re pretty confident conditions are going to be decent whenever you go. This time through, it was in the 40s on Friday, and the skiing was lovely. Saturday started out rainy (boo!) but then switched over to blizzard-like conditions around noon. (Yay?)

We got an Airbnb right on the slopes, so we could ski into it and ski out of it. (Well, once you walked through the parking lot, though I do think we could have taken our skis around to the back and just skied out from there, had we chosen to do that. We kept them on the roof rack instead, for easier storage. It wasn’t cheap, as I said: the list price was $250/night, but once you counted taxes and fees, it came in a little over $400/night. We saved money on the lift tickets by buying them well in advance. (Someone came up next to me while I was picking up our passes. They bought a half day ticket for that day for $97. Yikes.) We also went during a weekend when Sunday River was doing twilight skiing, which extended the open time until 6:30pm.

The main goal was to go have fun, and to see if we could do this again sometime. I think we were successful on both counts, though we learned a thing or two. First, I think next time we do it, we’d just go on a Friday afternoon and check in, then ski on Saturday. Cutting the ski passes in half would save money, and everyone was pretty exhausted by the end of it all. Yes, it’s a skication, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to ski every second. Second, I would avoid getting restaurant food next time. We did that for our first meal (carry out), and it was quite pricey. For Saturday evening, we picked up some homemade, ready-to-cook lasagna from the Good Food Store. It was delicious, and it fed the whole family for $32. (Strangely, I couldn’t find pizza that delivered. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough?)

Other than that, though, I think we did pretty well for ourselves. We brought games, ate plenty of junk food, and enjoyed the time together. I think it’s likely that we’ll do it again next year, especially knowing we could easily manage it on a regular weekend. (Leave as soon as the kids get home from school, come back Sunday.) The only thing I’d really love is to figure out a better place to stay that still had easy access to the slopes. It was so nice to be able to have some people head in and rest while others kept skiing, without having to worry about juggling rides. I guess we could take two cars? I’ll have to think about that . . . )

Anyone else out there have any tips?


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