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Aime La Plagne, Paradiski December 2009

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello all,

Week 19th to 26th Dec. We stayed at Aime La Plagne, France. On the trip was me, my wife, son aged 4y8m, daughter aged 2y5m. There were two other families travelling out but travelling independently and staying in separate apartments. However, all 3 families were driving, crossing by Eurotunnel and staying in self catering apartments. We travelled Eurotunnel for the first time in a while because we had plenty of Tesco vouchers and at 4 times the value it's not a bad deal. I suspect many of you heard of the problems over the 18th-20th weekend. We were meant to be on the 22.50 departure on the Friday. After spending Friday night in a Hotel, we ended up on the 06.25 on Sunday. Worse still, we had to drive through snow for 90% of the journey. So we lost more than a day, a supermarket stop, and a were very frazzled. I must have been over 15 times by car now and this is first time I have had major problems. Another story for another day but a big thumbs down for Eurotunnel on this occasion. Fortunately one of the other families had set out earlier and made it through the tunnel before it was closed. They were able to get our apartment keys and helped us quickly move in on arrival. Aime is mostly one massive apartment block that resembles a ship. Check out the Diaporama here http://www.la-plagne.com/en/winter-holidays/introduction/the-grande-plagne/aime-la-plagne.html When I first saw Aime a good few years I thought it was a monsrocity but it does kind of grow on you. Anyway to cut a story short one of the families going out has a disabled skier in the party and it is a very good destination from that point of view. The building is also very self contained with one floor all commercial buildings, kind of like an indoor shopping centre which is great for kids and adults alike, especially when the weather closes in.

The 4yo had skied in March.... and so for him it was simply a case of getting him back to where he was quickly. On the March trip he had used a travelator and a cable car. Here he was introduced to drag and chair lifts. Incidentally for anyone going on a drag with a toddler we were introduced to the technique by the lift attendant. Basically you stick the toddlers ski's either side of one of your ski's. They effectively then sit/lean on the knee of that leg. You stick the poma between your legs and away you go. Bit tricky to manouvre the two of you into position but it works
really well. The 4yo did actually ride the drag by himself but when he got to the top declared that it was very boring on your own, and refused to do it by himself again! No matter he really loved the chair lifts and his favourite run was just on our doorstep. The chair it serviced was called Golf so that was the run became referred to. As my missus pointed out at that age they aren't so interested in the variety of runs on offer. And sure enough he would happily pile up and down Golf all day if we let him. However, partly to improve his skiing and partly for mum or dads sanity we did venture round the other slopes a bit. Conditions were tricky at times. There had been a dump of snow on a shallow base. And has ever the piste grading was little guide. So there were some fresh snow moguls and some skiddy patches were the fresh snow had been scrapped off. But he coped really well. The main thing we were trying to get him to do was to ski parallel when traversing. Me and the wife found ourselves doing a lot of "coaching". But it paid dividends as the week wore on.

With the 2yo being 18 months younger than when her brother started we weren't expecting too much. But did some stuff with her between our legs. And then we let her slide down the hill with us skiing backwards in front. She thought it was all great fun which was the main thing, and get the feel for having planks on her feet.

Me and the wife did a couple of solo sessions each. One afternoon I went out in poor conditions but had a great time. For any fairly new skier I would say get yourself togged up and get out there. You can learn a lot about your skiing in poor vis and snowy weather.

The apartment in the ship was great. It was only a studio (kitchen in entrance, seperate bathroom, good size lounge and sleeping area) but it wasn't pokey. It was well equipped. It was booked on-line directly via an agency.. http://www.alpagence.com who were easy going but typically French.

Christmas wise we took over a mini tree and lights and a small number of presents. We didn't bother making a special Christmas dinner. One of the other families did host a party on new years eve, which was really good. The resort put on a bit of a do also and on Christmas day a santa being pulled on a dog sleigh passed through. So there was enough christmassy stuff going on but equally we were "out of" the main hullaballo back home.

The journey home was amazingly one of the easiest I've had. Weather/roads clear as a bell. After leaving the resort at 16.00 and including a supermarket/restaurant shop, we were in the house at home at 08.30 the next morning!

Layne
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