Miyun Snow Trip

Trip Start Feb 27, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Beijing,
Saturday, December 7, 2013

After class on Friday, my lovely friends Sammy and Faye with their son An An picked Vesliana and I up to visit the snow.
There is a little man-made ski village called Miyun about a two hour drive from my school.  It is a pretty little slope with two runs for intermediate and above skiers, and two runs for beginners, all covered in man-made snow.  We were there not only with Sammy and Faye, but also Rebecca and another friend Vivian. I haven't skied since last July, so I was very excited to strap some skis on my feet once again. 
As Beijing doesn't really have many mountains, this is one of the only places to ski. Therefore, you see some very interesting characters of people who have never skied before.  Exhibit A- wearing appropriate clothes. I saw a few people skiing in jeans.  I can only imagine how uncomfortable the car ride home would be if they slipped and fell, and having to sit in wet jeans for a few hours on the way back.
While the others had not much experience skiing, I was happy to ride the two runs by myself for most of the afternoon.  I had forgotten how much I love skiing--- it was such a rush to be sliding down the runs again.  With no chairlift queues, I was free to go up and down as much as I could until I was exhausted. I caught up with the rest of the group every few runs.  Vesliana, being from the ever-warm Indonesia, had never skied before and she did really well on her first try.  The true superstar of the day, though, had to be 3-year-old An An who was fearlessly skiing from the first minute with his instructor's help.  I love the innocence of children that allows them to be so courageous. I remember how terrifying my first day skiing was; I was definitely not a confident skier for a long time. 
Perfect weather made for the perfect afternoon skiing. It did feel weird to ski without a helmet and goggles, but it was a warm day so I didn't need the extra warmth, and I luckily didn't fall over, so I didn't need the protection.  One definite good thing about the snow being entirely man-made, is that it is perfect coverage everywhere.  There are no icy bits, no grassy patches and no sections of waist-high powder snow. 
I also loved seeing the sunset over the snowy mountains.  I don't know what it is about snow, but it makes everything look infinitely more beautiful. It covers all the imperfections with a sparkly white mask.  This was particularly obvious when you could see the neighbouring village looking so bland and brown compared to the mountains here.
After skiing, we went to a restaurant for dinner before heading to our hotel.  The hotel was huge; one of the biggest exhibition places in China.  They had hot springs there, which was perfect for all of our aching legs after a good skiing day. The hot springs weren't exactly what I was expecting.  The entrance into the changing rooms had mermaids painted on the walls, and the floors were made to look like water.  The hot springs themselves were shallow indoor pools.  The walls were all made to fit in with the mermaid theme.  For so late at night, they were still so busy. It was so pleasant relaxing in the warm water, chatting and lazing around in the pool.
The next morning, we had a welcome sleep in before some lunch at the hotel. We then went to the entertainment complex at the hotel where we experimented with archery.  My arrows were shot everywhere but the target, or even the device holding the target. Quite a few of mine did, though, hit the back wall behind the targets, which I think just shows that I'm just too strong for archery.
There was a kind of carnival set up too, in what looked like a warehouse in this entertainment complex.  It was a little creepy, because we were the only ones there, so it looked like an abandoned carnival.  We even had to find the guy who could work the machines so we could use them. Vesliana and I had a ball riding the carousel. I hadn't been on one of those in years. With nobody else around, there wasn't even any competition for the good horses. I got a unicorn. We also played some of those carnival games where you have to hit the flashing light or try to catch fish. They had a pirate ship, too, which we were able to ride on. Again, there was not a queue, we only had to wait when we had to go find the guy again to turn it on. I think that ride was my favourite, as I love that feeling of your stomach dropping when you get really high on it.
Sammy and Faye dropped us back at school after this action-packed two days.  I was exhausted by the end, but I had such a fun time. I really am so lucky to have 'family' here who invite me to join them when they are doing something interesting, so I can experience it too.
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sammy on

forgot to take the photot for all of us...
hope we could go to ski again next time

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