Skiing and New Year’s in the Austrian Alps

I still owe you a little recap of my wonderful week in Austria over New Year’s with my family. We had an amazing time!


Are you jealous?

I would be.

For someone, who learned skiing at the age of 4 (and snowboarding at the age of 16) and who practically spent every winter vacationing in the Alps, it had been a tough 5 years without getting on the skis/snowboard. The last time I went skiing was in 2006, when I accompanied my Dad on a skiing trip with a bunch of middle school students. A blast, let me tell you.
Then I got married, permanently moved to California and didn’t ski for 5 years. It’s sad, really.
Lake Tahoe with its wintery slopes is only 2 hours away, you want to scream at me and shake me in disbelief. And you’re right. Technically there would have been opportunities to go, but here are two reasons why it didn’t happen: a) most of my equipment was left behind at my parents’ house (which made going skiing on a whim a little impractical) and b) J, who grew up in a beach town, isn’t particularly fond of snow (even though I did put him on skis once), so the odds for me to go skiing were pretty slim (to pretty much non-existent).

Then, last year around Christmas, my sister started dreaming up a family skiing vacation for the following Christmas.

A family vacation with my parents and my sister and her family? Teaching my little niece how to ski? Hell to the YES! I was all over it. “Of course! That would be the best thing ever! Let’s do it!”

But deep down inside I sadly thought “we’ll never be able to make this happen”.

It just seemed like a ludicrous idea. Not only did it mean that my brother in law would need to get time off over the holidays and that they would have to be able to afford a vacation for a family of four, but it also meant that we would have to be able to afford flights to Europe (which, as you remember, have gotten insanely expensive in the last couple of years) and also a vacation while being on vacation. It just didn’t seem doable. But my sister didn’t give up on the idea and she and my parents kept looking for vacation homes to rent for a week after Christmas.

And then the unthinkable happened: the universe had a good day and all the stars lined up and this really unbelievable good deal for an amazing vacation apartment (accommodating up to 7 adults and 2 kids) magically fell into my sister’s lap. It was meant to be!

My parents were really generous and offered to pay for the accommodation as my Christmas gift (awesome!) and that basically cut down my costs for the vacation down to the lift ticket and food & fun money. Totally doable!

So, on December 26th, I found myself in my parents car on the Autobahn driving down south to Austria for a skiing vacation (as we had done many, many times before).

It was almost a bit surreal.

I had a really hard time picking out pictures for you guys! I took so many and they were all awesome. So this small selection will have to do!
The weather was awesome. It snowed a couple of weeks before Christmas and we had three days of sunshine and 4 days of snowfall. Perfect conditions!


Valley fog

That’s a “river of fog” down in the valley. It looked amazing!



Nina and Dirk

At 3, Greta is already a natural on skis. She had no fear at all and couldn’t get enough. We sometimes had to mandate breaks, because she was getting so tired, but still didn’t want to stop!

Greta and Dad

Here she is on our last day skiing down a more difficult slope while holding my hand.

Tom was still a little too small to get on skis, but he definitely thought that the sleigh that we brought for him was boring – only any good for taking a nap. (Ha! He’s really asleep in this picture!)

Tom asleep

Dirk and Tom



Mom and Dad

Greta and San


San and Tom

Greta and San

Greta also already enjoys the “Apres Ski” experience!

We had a blast of a week! I still can’t believe that we were able to make this happen! My sister and I have always cherished our family vacations and now with the two little ones it’s so much extra fun! Every time I talk with Greta on Skype now, she tells me that she wants to go skiing with me again. Cue the heart melt!

I really, really can’t wait to do this again!

  1. omg ! i loooooove the last video :-). so adorable.

  2. Oh, your niece is just too cute! How perfect this must have been to be with your family and also get to go skiing. This whole post just made me so happy. :)

  3. That first picture of the mountains is STUNNING! And your niece is SO cute– love those rosy-red cheeks! Looked like you had tons of fun. I’ve only been skiing once a few years ago and it was pretty awful. It probably would have been much easier to learn as a child! I loved seeing all the little kids on the slopes, even if they made me feel like a dork for falling down so much.

  4. How fun – she is super cute on her skies! I love that she started at such a young age (just like you), I wish I could ski! xxx

  5. Much like your MAN, I am timid to get on skis. Eek. But if you told me it would be in the alps, I would get brave real quick.

  6. Oh, this is so wonderful! And I cannot believe how well Greta is doing! She is so young! This is so good to start her though, because she will become a terrific skier. What a great holiday!

  7. Wow, it looks so beautiful! I used to snowboard quite a bit when I was younger but I haven’t done it in … almost 5 years now, I think! Love the picture of Tom sleeping in the sled – Topher would probbaly do that :D

  8. Hi! I found your blog from Life as Twiggy. I am excited to be a new follower! I blog over at Blessed to be a Blessing about crafting, cooking, life and anything else that happens to come up. Excited to read more of your blog.
    Alesha <3

  9. This looks absolutely fabulous! I am so glad that you were able to get away with your family for some fun on the slopes. Your niece and nephew are adorable.

  10. Oh my gosh, I can’t handle the cuteness! Those videos are all awesome – she sure picked it up fast! I wish I had learned to ski as a child. I learned when I worked in Colorado over 2 winter breaks in college, but I think you need to learn when you are younger and are fearless… I would like to try skiing again now that I am more in shape as back then I was a lazy college student w/ weak legs!

    I am glad you were able to make that happen. What a wonderful vacation!!!

  11. incredible pictures which really show how special this trip was to you!

  12. I LOVE these photos!!! The vacation looks amazign!

  13. Oh I’m so glad that you & your family were able to do this!!! :) These photos are so great! That river of fog?! AMAZING! It seemed like you all had such a great time & you’ll be remembering it for years! :)

  14. Oh my god, I guess I was at the same ski area after christmas. We should have met! Snow was awesome!

  15. This just looks like the best time ever!! I can’t wait to try it for the first time in a couple week. I’m visiting Conn for it though, I hope it is as great as your experience.

  16. What an amazing adventure you had! I’m so glad you got to do this, especially with the kids. And I am totally jealous. Your pictures are amazing!

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