Most school holidays we go on an adventure in our little caravan. Sometimes its to the bush, sometimes to the river, and more often than not, to the beach. This holidays, however, we went somewhere vastly different.
For the last few years we have been planning a trip to the snow. It’s been something we’ve talked about often, but excuses were always made. It’s too far to drive! Daniel would get too cold! It’s too expensive! It was put in the basket of things that would happen…one day.
At the beginning of this year we decided we’d had enough of the excuses, and the kids were just so keen to see the snow. We made the decision that we’d make it happen. We knew that we’d be doing it on a pretty tight budget, but we’re used to staying in a tiny caravan without amenities, so we weren’t too daunted. My stipulation was that we needed a car, and we needed a place to stay that was warm, had it’s own toilet and shower (no trudging to toilet blocks at night in sub zero temperatures, thank you), and that there was some room to move and hang jackets etc.
With these thoughts in mind, we decided caravan park cabins would be the way to go. In order to save even more money, we didn’t stay in the snow itself. We stayed in a small town called Jindabyne as it was only a half hour drive up to the snow each day. In the end it turned out perfect because instead of being stuck at just one snow resort, we had our choice of four different snow fields, all of which were within a half hour drive.
We also decided to drive down instead of flying and then renting a car once we got there. This saved a massive amount of money. When we discussed this with the children we explained that this was a deal breaker. If they wouldn’t sit in the car for the 2 day drive each way, then we couldn’t go. Everyone agreed that it was worth it.
Some of the cabins we stayed in on the way down and way back were pretty shady, but the cabin we stayed in at Jindabyne was beautiful. I think it must have been almost brand new and it was huge as far as cabins go. We kept the heater on the whole time we stayed, so it was a nice and cosy place to return to each day.
We drove in to Jindabyne at about lunch time on the third day. The children had been so good in the car, but were so impatient to see the snow. We already had some snow gear which we had purchased at the Aldi snow sale, but we weren’t due to pick up our rented snow gear until the next day. So what, we thought, let’s go up and have a short play to tide us over until the next day.
So there we were, playing in the snow at Thredbo in our snow jackets paired with tracky pants and running shoes. We looked a bit silly, but we didn’t care because we had finally made it. The snow! That place that had seemed almost mythical just a few days earlier, a place just to be seen in pictures. Even as I stood there, taking pictures on my iPhone of the kids with their huge smiles plastered on their faces, I still almost couldn’t believe we were really there. It seemed unreal somehow.
Once we’d had a taste for it, we couldn’t wait to go back the next day. This time we visited Perisher and the kids had their first go on the snow toboggans. We started off on the slow slope but soon worked up the courage to try the faster one. Let me just tell you, tobogganing is addictive.
By the end of that day, Darling Hubby and my Isabella were snow boarding the toboggans down the slope. Isabella looked like such a natural that we decided that the two of them needed to go and have a lesson on proper snow boards. They both had a blast, but it was so hard to get a decent photo with the speed that they were going and with the number of other people around the place.
On our second last day, something magical happened. I had hoped that it would, but I didn’t believe that we would ever be so lucky.
Darling Hubby and Isabella were off returning their snowboarding gear and the temperature felt like it was dropping by the second. As the boys and I were sitting down drinking hot chocolate and watching our breaths come out in long streams of steam, it began to snow. Just a little bit, but snow it did. At first we weren’t sure it was actually snow, but then it came down a little bit harder and little bits started to build up on our beanies and sleeves. By this time Isabella and Darling Hubby had joined us again and were watching in amazement. We were all so happy, and I think it made the whole holiday complete.
By the last day in Jindabyne the children were getting rather homesick. There was a real mixed feeling of being both sad to leave, but excited to get home…or rather, get back to unlimited internet!
Myself, I would have stayed a lot longer which is rather odd for me. I’m normally the one that can’t wait to get home. I’m a real homebody in general. This time I found it really hard to leave. I’m not sure if it was the beauty of the place, or the temperatures. I love the cold!
So that was our trip to the snow. We did it on a budget, but I don’t feel we missed out on anything. It also meant we could splurge on yummy food….and lots of lovely hot chocolates!
PS. Just to prove I was there…here’s an awful photo of me with my gorgeous daughter.