Snowshoeing in Stowe, Vermont

Welcoming Winter

By Kara Richardson

As soon as the first snowflakes were in the forecast, my husband, our three kids and I headed to Sun & Ski Inn and Suites so we could properly welcome winter. There is a certain magic of a winter getaway, especially this year after the kids were through so much during these crazy times. It felt like this school year rushed from 0 to 60. (Or more like 120.) We all needed a break — a time to play — so we packed up the minivan from our home in New Jersey and made the journey up to Stowe. I figured escaping from the confines of our home for a weekend packed with trying new things full of winter wonder and joy would do us all good.

The Sun & Ski Inn and Suites’ grab and go breakfasts were perfect for a quick start to the morning, as we were donning gear. We were totally out of practice at pulling up snow pants, matching gloves and all that getting ready for winter adventures entails but we managed. On Saturday, the kids had their-ever first ski lessons at Stowe Mountain Resort. They loved every second of it, and halfway through, the snow started to fall softly and beautifully as we returned home. I took a moment to exhale watching the skaters.

We made it back to our suite and adjoining room where we cleaned up under the glow of a fireplace, and the snow continued falling. Before we got too cozy, we headed downstairs to The Stowe Bowl for a game and some delicious food (the Loaded Tots were a favorite). (When my little guy realized that there was a bowling alley inside the hotel, he exclaimed, “This is the best hotel ever.” And that’s even before he discovered the indoor pool and hot tub).

The next day, we headed to the Outdoor Center at the Trapp Family Lodge to try out our new snowshoes. While the kids were already sold on skiing (they begged for more lessons) they gave it a try. It took some doing but we were able to fasten them all on and away we went into the woods and headed to the sugar shack.

After we peeled off our winter layers and banged the snow off our gear, we piled back into the minivan and headed home rosy-cheeked and warm hearted.

I don’t know that the rest of the year will entail but I do know that this winter weekend just for us was a much-needed gift and we are looking forward to even more snow and adventures this season.

Kara Richardson Whitely is the author of Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds, which is being made into a movie starring This Is Us actress Chrissy Metz. As a plus-size adventurer, she is a speaker, influencer and brand advisor t0 help connect with the 67 percent of women who are size 12 and above. Follow her on Instagram @kararichardsonwhitely or connect with her on LinkedIn