It’s early evening in the Swiss Alps and sunlight is streaming into our room and onto our bed. DH is curled up in the foetal position and tells me he’s asleep.
The children are spread out between an assortment of electronic equipment; at least they are not arguing.
Today has been Welcome Brief day in Saas Fee. After an enjoyable breakfast, the families staying here for this week gathered for information and a guded tour of the resort.
There is a wider variety here than we’ve seen before during our previous Esprit Family Summer Adventures. Usually the other families come from the South/South West of England and DD1 has often been the oldest. This week we have a family from Dubai with a Kiwi mother, and there are a couple of 11 year olds and even a 13 year old. The other two Esprit centres, Alpe d’Huez and Belle Plagne run activity programs especially for teenagers. At Saas Fee, older children tend to take part in activity days with their parents.
Many people have driven from the UK, like us and others have flown to surrounding towns and come up the mountain by bus or hire car. A few have come by train and bus, something DH and I have discussed doing if there is a next time. We feel that now everyone can carry or drag their own luggage, that this would be a viable option for our family.
After our walk around this little chocolate-box Swiss town, we had the chance to sign the children into childcare and go on an extended walk around the foothills. Our 3 youngest wanted to go to the playground with their friends. DD1 wanted to do the walk, so I sent her and DH around and stayed behind in case DS decided he wanted to come home.
When we all met up again an hour later, it was lunchtime. We sat outside and watched the clouds pour down into the valley and retreated inside when it started to spit. That’s the thing about being in the mountains, the weather is kind of unpredictable.
A lot of families were going on the ‘tree walk’ this afternoon, but our big two will do that in childcare on Friday. We went and bought some walking poles to replace the perfectly good ones I left behind, and then purchased lift passes for the week for all of us. With the lift passes , we got a number of free Rodelbobahn tickets. This is like a luge but on a rail, not a concrete track and up until now DD’s 1 and 2 had only ridden down this with their father.
Today was going to be the day they would both go it alone. DD2 was keen and didn’t seem in the least scared, but DD1 had tied herself into knots over the prospect. I really wanted her to do it, because I knew she could and would be disappointed in herself if she didn’t. Especially if her younger sister had taken the plunge.
We had some tears, and some stropping but once DD2 had cheekily sailed past where we were standing. I was pretty sure DD1 would give it a go.
And she did.
The kids are eating dinner now, tucking in to spaghetti and meatballs and we grown ups have pork belly and chocolate mousse to look forward to later on, but for me nothing will taste as good as my earlier dose of Mother’s Pride.
( The non- alcoholic version, of course.)