Rockies Ski Trip Brings Family Together

Rockies Ski Trip Brings Family Together

BY JON SALM

 

While Polk County’s mild, soothing winters appeal to the snowbirds that call Polk their winter home, a number of local residents choose to venture out west in search of adventure. For a week this January, Alexa Russo and her family traveled to the Rocky Mountains in Breckenridge, Colorado to go skiing.

Russo, the marketing coordinator at Southern Homes in Lakeland, was just five months old when she went on her first family ski trip. She has returned to Breckenridge every few years for her entire life. Russo credits her mother, Julie Jennings, and her aunt, Lori Johnson, for planning this year’s trip.

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“This was a huge family trip,” Russo said. “There were 30 of us total and five were children, three and under. Twenty-two of us stayed in one house, so it was a lot of fun to spend time with the family and enjoy each other for the week.”

The family’s rental house, which Russo called “gorgeous” and “absolutely breathtaking,” included seven bedrooms, a pool table, and plenty of space for the entire family to hang out and relax after a long day skiing.

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“Everyone skied 3 to 5 days and a few people ventured out and snowboarded. We were on the chair lifts when they opened and skied until they closed in the afternoon.”

Breckenridge Ski Resort boasts 2,358 acres of skiable terrain across four peaks. Ski Magazine voted Breckenridge the 14th best ski resort for the 2012-2013 season and the ninth most family-friendly area. The mountain includes 30 lifts, one gondola, and over 150 trails.

After the ski season ends in the spring, construction will begin on two additional lifts that will provide access to 543 acres of new terrain, representing a 23% increase in the resort’s skiable area. The new area is expected to open in time for the start of the 2013-2014 ski season.

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This year’s ski trip was the first for Russo’s husband, Brian. Even though he had never skied before, Russo reported that he quickly picked it up. “Seeing Brian ski was a blast,” Russo said. “He had no fear.”

When not skiing, Russo and her family took the kids tubing, went dog sledding, and enjoyed downtown Breckenridge’s vibrant dining and shopping scene.

A week in the Rockies was not just a welcome vacation away from life in Lakeland – it also allowed Russo and her family (yes, all 30 of them!) to bond and grow closer together. Even though Russo has been going to Breckenridge with family her entire life, this year’s trip “completely exceeded” her already high expectations.

Russo skiing 1“The best part of the trip was for everyone to take a week off of their busy lives; just relax, and not think about anything else but family. We are already a super close family, but being able to spend the entire week together was awesome.”

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