The past nine months of parenthood has already taught me many life lessons. One of the most important is to always have a plan B! Life with little ones doesn’t often go to plan and many unknown items can throw your ideas out of the window quicker than you can count 1-2-3.
We had booked already months ago a lovely sounding holiday in Chamonix Club Med for the three of us. The day before we were about to fly, our little baby started to show symptoms for chicken pox. Quick search on the Internet gave us the answer we had feared. Airlines don’t accept anyone with chicken pox on board as it causes too big risk for others not immune to the illness. Baby club and dinners out in restaurants would have been out of question, too.
I’ve never needed to cancel a holiday so this was a sad moment. Instead of being reunited with mountain views I was going to spend the next week keeping my baby in quarantine at home and hoping that the illness doesn’t get too bad. Fortunately, we had a travel insurance so we were comforted by knowing that the money we had spent would be returned.
Our Plan B came to realisation two weeks later. Instead of a full week we decided to go for a long weekend and leave our son with the grandparents. This was the first time our baby wasn’t with us over night. The prospect was both daunting and exciting as we couldn’t wait to spend some time between just the two of us and perhaps even have a few lie ins!!
Leaving your baby for a couple of days takes some planning. It’s useful to prepare all baby meals in advance and write down information for the carers including details of their routine and important contact details. Luckily, we were able to have peace of mind that our son was going to be probably in better hands than with us!!
Turns out that Chamonix was a perfect choice for a long weekend. We arrived on Wednesday evening and departed on Sunday morning leaving three perfect days on the slopes. As Chamonix is only 1-hour transfer away from Geneva, very little valuable time away from our baby was spent travelling.
Chamonix is known for its extreme skiing. Even though I had not skied in two years having had a break due to pregnancy I was still up for the challenge. These are the skiing areas we discovered:
Brevent – easily accessible skiing area from Chamonix centre with nice red and blue runs making it a good starting point to warm up the legs. The slopes were fairly short so we felt like we were sitting on a chair lift a lot. This wasn’t necessarily bad because the views to Mont Blanc were spectacular.
La Tournee – it took 20 minutes in a crowded skiing bus to reach this area but it was well worth the trouble. Views in the area were stunning, slopes were long and wide and, the best of all, there was some terrific off piste to venture into. We booked an off piste lesson through Chamonix Sport Aventure and had great time discovering parts of the mountain we would not have otherwise seen.
Grand Montets – the best known skiing area in Chamonix came with much longer queues than we had discovered during the other two days. We also made the mistake of joining the telecabine queue rather than the one for gondolas which in hindsight would have been much quicker way to go up (due to a queue). The wait was worth it though, particularly due to the rise to the Grand Montets itself where we took a black run ‘Point de Vue’ down to Lognan. How amazing it was to be skiing straight next to a glacier and enjoy the bumps of an ungroomed run.
Chamonix town was lovely and lively in the evenings. We enjoyed meals at Casa Valerio, Le Cap Horn, Atmosphere and Satsuki. All restaurants were quite pricy despite them being different levels of ‘fanciness’. Food was very good in all. Satsuki is a Japanese restaurant. Le Cap Horn had a modern French menu, whereas Atmosphere, where we had a cheese fondue, was the most traditional. Casa Valerio was good for pizzas and other Italian stables.
All the skiing and evenings out didn’t leave us much time to hang out in our hotel, Alpina Eclectic. We were very pleased with the hotel though. The rooms were clean and modern. Breakfast was served in their top floor restaurant with nice views across the valley. Little spa did its job with two hot tubs, sauna and hammam. Location was easy for ski transfers and town centre. For a 4-night, non-fuss stay it was just what we needed.
In the end our Plan B transpired to be better than the Plan A as for a quick skiing fix it was definitely less troublesome to travel just between the two of us. Four nights was my maximum stay away from our baby though as I absolutely couldn’t wait to have him in my arms again when we returned with aching muscles but happy, refreshed minds.
88 Rue du Lyret, 74400 Chamonix Mont-Blanc
Tel: 04 50 55 93 40
Le Cap Horn
78 Rue des Moulins, 74400 Chamonix Mont-Blanc
Tel: 04 50 21 80 80
288 Rue Joseph Vallot, 74400 Chamonix Mont-Blanc
Tel: 04 50 53 21 99
79 Avenue du Mont Blanc, 74400 Chamonix Mont-Blanc
Tel: 04 50 53 47 77
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