After a brief pitstop back in the Bay Area, we rejoined the Chuangs once again, this time in Alaska! We flew from SFO to Anchorage, along with my cousin MJ and her daughter Maddison (aka Nui / Moch) and spent a fun-filled week at the Alyeska Resort. I don’t recall the last time I skied 5 days straight, so that must explain why I left Alaska with a very sore body! Still, no regrets since I had a fantastic time on the slopes everyday from morning till late afternoon, and then I got to hang out with our extended family in the evenings.
The temperature in Alaska was nowhere near as cold as I had anticipated, which made for a truly enjoyable time on the slopes. Alyeska is a ski in/ski out resort, which made it very convenient for us. There were ski lifts right outside the resort as well as a shuttle that circulated between the resort and the base of the mountains.
For the first two days, we hired 2 private instructors– 1 to teach Maddison and Brady snowboarding and the other to teach Brianne and Bridgette. The older girls had experience skiing already, but wanted to give snowboarding a try (since they were convinced that snowboarders look cooler than skiers, which is simply not true, lol!). As for the younger kiddos, it was their very first time on the slopes, so they definitely needed more hand holding and encouragement!
Once we settled the kids with their instructors, we (the parents) got to enjoy our time on the slopes ourselves. I often dread getting into my bulky ski gears, but once I’m flying down the slopes feeling as free as a bird, I’m always thankful I made the effort. I just love the feeling of skiing down an empty mountain as I take in the magnificent trees all around me!
Our week sped by! Every morning, we’d meet downstairs for breakfast, and then for those of us who wanted to spend the day on the slopes, we would gear up and then head out. We often met up for lunch at The Bake Shop for warm soup, and then spend more time on the slopes in the afternoon. The best part of staying at a ski in/ski out resort is that we can all pick and choose when we wanted to be on the slopes and when we preferred to rest, without having to arrange transportation logistics. Some days, some of us would choose to sleep in and chill at the resort all day while the others continue their adventures on the mountain. Other days, we’d hit the slopes at different times and then just meet up for meals. It all felt very casual and easy, which worked well for our group of varying level of skiers/boarders!
Mj and Maddison’s room became party central for us every day by about 5pm. We’d open a bottle of wine and indulge in our Happy Hour with some light snacks. Dinner rotated between ordering in to eat in their room, eating at one of the two restaurants inside the resort, or venturing out to the nearby town to try the restaurants there. All of us were really looking forward to having some Alaskan King Crab but it turned out to be much harder to find, and much more expensive, than we thought! We did manage to have it for one meal though!
Maddison and Brady did so well as newbies on the mountains. By the second day, they were already going on the lifts with us to go down the green slopes! Alan was the secondary instructor once their private lessons were finished, with Bridgette sometimes being an assistant instructor as well. It was quite cute to watch these kiddos cheer one another on!
Though exhausting, it was a super fun week, and we’re especially happy that Maddison and Mj got to join. The only sad part was that I lost my GoPro while skiing down the mountains, which not only had all our footage from this trip, but also the footage from our Amazon trip which I hadn’t uploaded to my computer yet. 🙁 Oh well, the memory lives on…..in our head and hearts!