Back to a Family Vacation Spot 22 Years Later

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vacationSnow sports are particularly enticing when you live on the Georgia side of the Florida border where it’s almost always sunny and warm. That’s why my husband and I took our boys when they were 10 and 14 years old to North Carolina’s High Country for some ski lessons at Sugar Mountain. I think the year was 1990.

We went back without them to welcome 2012, see how the memories felt and find out what’s new.

Saw many more families than solo couples like us, and lots of evidence that outdoor fun at Sugar and three other mountain resorts works well, even with toddlers.

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Watching the others snow tube and zip line is perfectly good family time on the big deck at Hawksnest.


I kept an eye on the bunny slope and children’s ski lessons. We play a lot of I Spy with the many generations in and out of our house, and I was trying to spot a kid like my 10-year old Andrew those many years ago.

Clever kid then and now. Andrew conquered the kid stuff, got on the lift and skied down long hills several times before we returned to claim the boys after their lesson.

That’s how he took to scuba lessons too but that’s another travel story for another day and destination–  Cozumel, Mexico.

Andrew’s four-year-old daughter needs to go to this North Carolina High Country with me.

She already cuddles with a stuffed black bear that sits on a shelf in my North Georgia mountain cabin.

It came from mile-high Grandfather Mountain and I’d like to take her birding and bear viewing there.

I also want to take her to the Land of Oz. Auntie Em’s house, red slippers, enchanted forest, yellow brick road.

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There really is a Land of Oz with a yellow brick road on top of Beech Mountain.

That’s on top of Beech Mountain with an early October festival each year. Elevation at Beech is 5,506. Snowy and blustery my January day on the top at Oz, never more than 74 degrees on a hot summer day.

So what’s my blended family lesson? You can go back, fine without the fun of those little boys, happy as adults alone, and dreaming about which generation to invite next time.

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 Blended Family Mom Christine Tibbetts snow tubing without her children.

Top PhotoSki lessons at Sugar Mountain seem like a vital beginning.

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About The Author

Christine Tibbetts believes family travel is shared discovery — almost like having a secret among generations who travel together. She’s Destinations Editor and writing coach for TravelingMom. The matriarch of a big blended clan with many adventuresome traveling members, she is a classically-trained journalist. Christine handled PR and marketing accounts for four decades, specializing in tourism, the arts, education, politics and community development. She builds travel features with depth interviews and abundant musing to uncover the soul of each place.

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