Melissa Rieke Photography
Family Ski Trip | What We Wore
and how we packed it
Kansas City Photographer
After a crazy year of cancer I learned a few things…one being that I wanted to have and enjoy more experiences with my kids and family NOW…not later. Later is never promised people! So in 2015 my “I beat Ass Cancer” gift was taking my family on a ski trip! (I’ll be honest…I was really thinking that gift would be new boobs…but I opted for the family fun instead…and so glad I did). Ok…moving on from my crazy! The kids had so much fun in 2015 it is all they talked about all year and all they asked for for Christmas! So here I am sharing our Family Ski Trip | What We Wore | Winter Park! I am going to blog a few different posts so you don’t get tired reading it all! I know many of you are headed out to beautiful Colorado for Spring Break so I thought some of this info would be helpful. Today I thought I would share a little about What We Wore…and How I packed all of that gear for a family of 5 and a road trip!
Yes…we looked this happy…I didn’t have to threaten any of them to smile for me! ehh…
Let’s just notice though…the back window! You can see out of it! If you can’t tell I am pretty impressed with my packing skills for a winter trip with 5 of us plus food! And no…I am terrible and forgot to actually take a picture of the back of the car for proof.
A little side note…my favorite part of the drive is the Windmills! I LOVE WINDMILLS…I really want one at our house…or 10 really! Windmill Photo Shoots for all! he he he!
Alright…lets get down to business. What is my secret to packing?
First…starting with these…JELLY BELLY’s! Ok…so maybe I just always have 4 to 6 POUNDS on hand…but its especially important to make for smooth travel!
Winter clothes are so bulky and mostly full of air…so compressing everything made a huge difference! That and not over packing because we knew our lodging had a washer and dryer we could double wear many things. The variety pack is nice because you can use smaller bags for different things. For example this is how I packed us up.
- JUMBO Bag : All of our ski gear: hats, gloves, snow pants, extra snow pants, some socks, glove liners, etc.
- Medium Bags: I used the medium bags to divide the kids “under clothes” in. What they were wearing under their ski pants and coats. So…Long Underwear, Socks, Tanks for the girls, etc. I packed 2 sets of under clothes for each kid in these, the girls had one bag…and Gus had another because he wore regular wind pants and sweat shirts over his long underwear as well. I think I also packed their underwear in these.
- Large Bags : Ernie and I both used a large bag for our under clothes. Ernie skis in Jeans and button down flannels (I know…doesn’t seem very comfortable)…so he takes up some room..hence the large bag. And me..well I over pack! 🙂
- Extras…we did family pictures while we were out there so we had a space bag with Pictures stuff!
- Basically I space bagged anything that would shrink up!
All of our clothes ended up all fitting in one larger storage box and then the jumbo bag with our ski clothes just slid right behind the box where the seats are slightly tiled and there is wasted space. I am so mad I didn’t take a picture. SPACE bags are the way to go! I was worried because I got both travel and non travel bags and the lodge said there was no vacuum. But the bags still work without on…not as well…but still much better than not having them at all. AND our lodge ended up having a vacuum to save the day!
In other news…you know how they say chip bags and such will explode when you go up in the moutains…YES I said a little prayer on our way up that the bags didn’t all fill up with air and explode. I totally pictured us all plastered against the windows of the car with our clothes smashing us for dear life!
Ok…on to the good stuff…what we wore! 🙂
It was COLD this year. Like ZERO and -6 cold! But we held up pretty well!
Two things to start…We try to start off with matching gear! Gloves (blue ones that match one little lady’s whole brand new outfit) get lost, Pants (green ones that match and are so cute) don’t quite fit and make us throw fits, and so on…life happens and we end up with this! The other thing…YES that coat my husband is a 15 year old Peterbilt giveaway that was actually my dad’s and we borrowed it for our ski trip 12 years prior! Let’s just say Ernie is not a Diva…he wears whatever!
Pretty much since we started getting snow gear for the kids we have gotten it from Lands’ End. We have LOVED their snow gear. It holds up so well and I know at least one set has made it thru both of my girls and another child and still looks almost brand new. The great thing about Lands’ End is many of their styles include the “Grow-a-Long” feature that allows the arms and legs of the items to be let out easily! If you have kids like mine they never stop getting LONGER!
The items we have are no longer available. We were lucky enough this year to only have to buy one new set…as Lucy’s passed down to Finley…(she has matching green pants but they were still a little too big). Gus’s set still fit from the year before. But I am going to share what I will do in the future that I missed when I purchased Lucy’s new set this year.
POCKETS! You need so many pockets. You need a secure preferable chest pocket for your lift pass. It’s nice to have this pocket at the chest so the kids won’t get in and out of it and loss the lift pass. You also need pockets for chapstick, hand warmers, spare gloves maybe, granola bar, etc. etc. For this reason and the heavier weight and warmth I recommend the Squall Parka this jacket has plenty of pockets and the “Grow a Long” feature. For the same reasons, pockets and “Grow a long” I recommend the Squall Bibs. My kids all like the bibs better than the pants. If they are falling or bending a lot the bibs stay up…and don’t let the snow in. My best tip with Lands End is to buy early in the season. If you want the full matching set it will sell out or one piece will be missing always. They have some great 20% off and 30% off sales in November and this is a great time to grab it up. They have great sales after the holiday’s too, but typically pieces and sizes are limited!
We all also wore these Ergodyne N-Ferno 6821 Fleece Balaclava, Black to keep our heads warm and our necks under our helmets. They were a great buy…inexpensive and served the purpose well! The girls also wore these “Fingerless Arm Warmers” under their gloves and coats…they really helped keep their wrists from getting any snow in and getting cold.
Ok…so we aren’t going to talk about What Ernie wore…because he really just has hand me downs…and they work and he likes it! Perfect! Me on the other hand…I spend weeks and days and nights searching and searching for a new coat! Last year when we went out I found a pair of pants at a SKI thrift store that I knew would get me thru again this year, but I didn’t have a ski coat. It was a hard decision for me and I had many picked out. I wanted lots of pockets, long sleeves to cover my arms, a 3 way (hey if I am going to pay $200 for a coat I want it to really be 3 coats), warm, etc. etc. After looking online for many many hours…I spent a day shopping in Kansas City. I finally settled on a Silver/Gray Columbia Coat. I can’t say I LOVE it…but I liked it most. (besides the one North Face coat I loved that was out of the budget I had put on myself…no worries…I am waiting for it to go on sale!)
That is me on the right…and my fellow ski bunnies Leslie and Becky…I didn’t get the pink message…but I am hoping for some pink pants next year…ha!
I choose this Columbia Alpine Alliance 3-in-1 Insulated Parka. It was super warm…only a few times did it get a bit drafty…but if I zipped up the inner coat…and used the powder skirt that helped a lot. I really liked that the hood went over my helmet. I couldn’t seem to keep the draft from going down my neck, and once I figured out I could use my hood it made all the difference. After wearing it I realized it was a little short on my arms. The thumb holes in the sleeves, which I typically love to keep my sleeves down, were just a bit short and really pulled on my skin. So I didn’t wear those. Also with the hood up the back of the jacket became a little short as well…I felt like I had to slunch over to keep it on. Overall I give this coat a really great rating! Those are just picky things.
I was also dead set on finding great gloves! Again…I am not sure I nailed it. I prefer to ski with mittens…and I found and tried on these fabulous North Face Montana Mitt gloves and fell in love. They are like gloves with fingers on the inside but mittens on the outside. Also they are long up the arm so that was great. My favorite feature was the band that went around our wrist…(wrist leash)! Not only could you put a hand warmer in the little pocket…but I didn’t loose my gloves over the 100 times I took them off to take pictures! I typically like to wear a pair of under gloves ($1 fleece gloves)…under my gloves but I couldn’t fit them with these gloves. It wasn’t that big of a deal though. My hands did get cold several times…but I think the reason was more me not leaving my gloves on…not the gloves themselves. Like I said earlier…it was VERY cold that week! I mean…I couldn’t miss beauty like this.
Yes…I am pretty sure we had the whole mountain to ourselves!
Thank you to a fabulous stay with
Winter Park Lodging Company is offering my readers a 20% discount any for 3+ night stays with Winter Park Lodging Company this ski season (some properties excluded)! For the discount please call their reservation team at 877-329-1383 and quote PICTUREPERFECT to claim your discount. Please note, discount cannot be combined with other offers, if we have a better promotion going on at the time, we will always apply the best deal to the booking.
We had a fun exciting memorable week at
also thank you to
for the great Rentals!