Because of my age, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs are becoming the new celebration du jour. So many of my friend’s children are becoming adults in the eyes of the Jewish religion these days!

When my very good friend Jessica (some of you may remember her as the officiant of my wedding and my mother’s funeral) sent out invites to her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in Telluride, Colorado, we immediately said yes.

I’ve had ‘learn to ski’ on my bucket list of parenting must dos for a long time now and the kids are at a perfect age for it.

The first day of skiing we enrolled the twins in ski school.

Aaron with Instructor Sam
Sam with Instructor Sam

Ben had a half day private lesson with Malin.

Ben with Instructor Malin

Jack, who already had a lesson when he went to Boulder (ironically for another Bat Mitzvah) went off and skied with Adam.

Jack on the trails with Adam

Everyone had an amazing day and when we went to pick up the twins, the instructor asked if we’d like to hire him for the next day. We said yes!

The next day, day two of skiing, Instructor Sam spent much of the morning with Ben, which Ben found exhausting.

Waiting for lunch…

After that session, Instructor Sam suggested we try to get another lesson for Ben with the Adaptive Sports program, which caters to people with physical and mental disabilities.

In the afternoon, Instructor Sam took the twins, Jack and Adam up the mountain. Ben and I stayed behind to rest, try to arrange an Adaptive lesson for him, and drink Starbucks while people watching. It’s crazy what people wear skiing! We saw a yellow Telytubby, a cow, a pineapple and an unidentified blue animal.

Hanging out at Mountain Village

That afternoon when we joined back up, I learned the twins were barreling down blue runs, skiing backwards and going off course, through the trees. It was their second day skiing! Instructor Sam proved to be a fun instructor and tour guide of the mountain.

The third day was the Bat Mitzvah. We attended a beautiful ceremony which included three generation of women. Both Jessica and her mother are Cantors so it was filled with divine, harmonious singing.

Three generations of women perform this Bat Mitzvah.
The Calisoff Family takes up a whole row.
My friend from high school and college roommate Holly and her husband Jose travelled from Denver to witness this special day.
My high school friend Heather (with husband Chris and daughter Malina) travelled from Salt Lake City to share in this coming-of-age moment. Heather also lived with Holly and I in college.

That afternoon we went back to our Airbnb and did make-up homework for hours.

In the evening, the Bat Mitzvah family hosted a dinner in the yurt at 221 South Oak.

The kids were super adventurous eaters. Aaron tried octopus and loved it. Ben tried Foie Gras and also loved it. We all shared meals and there wasn’t a single thing I tried that wasn’t perfectly cooked and delicious.

So happy to spend time with these girls, a friendship that is over 30 years strong.

The next day, our last day, it was time to hit the slopes again. Two days before, after Ben heard about the twins adventures with Instructor Sam he was pretty bummed at how quickly they were progressing compared to himself. It took a lot of convincing to get him to take the Adaptive lesson we managed to get for him.

While Ben was at his lesson, I went up the mountain to witness the twins progress for myself.

Getting ready to ski “Double Cabin”.

I watched them weave in and out of trees, take jumps, and speed down fearlessly while I pulled the widest turns I could, mostly with my feet in the pizza pie aka snowplow position.

We came back to find Ben exhilarated by the lesson. He was back into skiing and only wished we had more days to ski so he could have more Adaptive lessons.

In the afternoon, Adam, Jack and the twins split off from Ben and I so they could ski some more. Ben was exhausted and had enough for the day so we explored the town and went to the store to get a big snack ready for the skiers. I learned that after a long day of skiing the kids are starving when they get back.

Exploring Telluride

When the others got back I learned that had quite an afternoon! Aaron kept wanting to try harder and harder trails. Today, his third day, he was asking for double blues. Finally Adam acquiesced. They headed down the “Magnolia” run which was icy and full of moguls. Once they got to the bottom, the lift was closed and they had to find another way down the mountain which was rapidly closing. They ended up on the “See Forever” run which we were warned the day before by Marcus (Jessica’s husband) not to do! Both twins were pretty cranky by the end of it.

Top of Prospect Express, 11,815 feet.

Adam was good natured about it. As tired as he was himself, he could have easily been short with the kids. Instead he just told Aaron that when he is an adult, this will be a great story for him to tell. “Sam, remember the time Dad took us on those scary slopes in Telluride?”

What comes up, must go down….

When they got home Ben and I had ice cold Gatorade and snacks waiting for their exhausted, dehydrated bodies.

Prepared snack

After a rest I convinced a few of them to check out the hot tub at our Airbnb. We had been so zonked by the end of every day that we had not yet used it.

They thought it was hilarious to jump out, roll their bodies in the snow, then jump back in.

We flew back the next day and once again the kids spent hours making up the homework they missed.

It was a great vacation. I enjoyed so many things about it! Watching the kids learn and love the skill of skiing made me happy. Spending time with my good friends who live so far away made me happy. But I think the thing that made me most happy was having Adam there with us to enjoy the vacation. Sometimes we book these vacations and it ends up Adam has to work the entire time we are away. He works such long hours, I felt very happy he could get a few days off.

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