Monday morning I woke up a little later, like usual, and went to Robert’s work for breakfast. Then I got on the bus and made my way to my Czech lesson. It had been a little while since my last lesson since I had to miss one for my trip to Poprad and I had been sick for the one before that. It took a little while to get back into it, but it was a good lesson.

Then I made my way to school. We got out of school early which was actually good for me because I still needed to do my Christmas shopping before we left for our ski trip. First I walked around the Christmas markets for awhile trying to get some more ideas to add onto what I already had in mind. Then I went to a photo store and figured out how to print off some pictures for a photo album. When I was done with that part I went to meet Gigi. She also needed to do some shopping for her family so we went to the mall to get a few things for her sisters.

After some shopping we made our way to her house so that she could change and get ready for a Christmas Rotary meeting. When she was done getting ready we ended up running to catch the bus like always. I walked her to her meeting place with Rotary and said goodbye to her and Ana.

Then I took the bus home like usual so that I could begin packing for our ski trip that we would be leaving for the next day. We had to pack the car that night and I hadn’t begun packing until late in the evening.

Tuesday morning I woke up really excited for our ski trip, but really not wanting to go to school. The whole day in school I was too excited to care about anything else. I couldn’t wait to go snowboarding again.

After school I attended my usual Czech group lesson with the rest of the exchange students in Brno. After our lesson I had to rush to get to my dad’s office so that we could get on the road at a reasonable time. I hugged everyone goodbye and ran to the tram to Robert’s work.

When I got to his work I met up with Ruda and we went to Robert’s office to go to the bathroom before our last minute adjustments with everything in the car.

We drove four or five hours to Slovakia where we would be skiing for the next three days. On our drive to Slovakia we stopped at a restaurant to have some pizza. Robert and I both couldn’t decide between two of the same pizzas so we decided to get both and share them.

When we first arrived it was snowing and I was beyond happy. We were staying in a house with three other families who all had kids too. When we arrived, two of the families were there and the fourth one was coming the next day.

When we first got in the house, the girls from the other families showed me the room I would be staying in with them. There were five of us and we were all between the ages of 12 and 17. We all talked as I unpacked a little and then we went downstairs to snack and socialize.

We ended up staying up pretty late. Before we all went to bed we talked about the plan for the next morning and day. We agreed to have breakfast at 8:30 and then hit the slopes. I was completely exhausted from being up for quite awhile, so I fell asleep almost immediately.

Wednesday morning we woke up at 8 in the morning to go to breakfast. We walked down to the second part of where we were staying, where the food was being served. We had some bread with all sorts of things to put on it. When breakfast was over we headed back to the main house and had some time to get dressed and ready to go. I wasn’t used to such a late start on ski days, but I was happy to get the rest. Finally we left to the mountain around 10:30.

It was around a 20-30 minute drive to the ski mountain. When we got to the mountain I went in to the rental shop to get my snowboard and boots. While I finished adjusting, Robert went to buy our lift tickets. There was only one lift and one run but I still had a great time.

They have the scanning gate here which has become the normal thing everywhere. Then there was another gate that would let you go onto a moving track and drop you off in the right spot at the right time for the chair. As we sat on the chair up, they told me how every chair has to have to foot rest, and that this was one of the the chair lifts that had heated seats along with a big blue “bubble” that you could bull over the chair if the weather got bad. For once I made it off the chair on the first run without falling and I was so happy. Then I sat down and did up my bindings before setting off down the hill. They all ski fast so I was rushing to keep up, but to my surprise everything came back very quickly! I was cruising down the hill run after run without crashing. My host dad was hiking up the hill on skis and then skiing down instead to get a bit more of a workout.

Later in the afternoon we all met up at the bottom of the slope for a snack. I got to try “hot chocolate” for the first time here which is basically melted chocolate with whip cream on top. We had a little wafer to go with it before heading back out. We continued to ski until about 3:30 when it was starting to get colder as the sun began to set.

When we were done for the day I went back to the rental shop and asked them to save my gear for the next day. On our way back to the house we stopped at the store for some snacks and drinks for the evening.

When we got back to the house we quickly changed and went for some dinner in the dining building. After dinner we talked about going to a pool that was nearby to relax after our first day out. I was a bit hesitant because I was completely exhausted but I went anyways. So we walked back to the house and got our swim stuff. My parents weren’t going so I went with one of the other families with the younger girls. They had fun trying their best with their English all the way to the pool.

It was a lot bigger than I had been expecting. It was a naturally heated pool that went indoors and outdoors with fountains and bubbles everywhere. We only got an hour to swim but it was perfect. The warmer pool was heated with sulfur so it smelled kind of bad, but it was a nice way to end the evening.

After our swim we went to get changed and headed back to the house. Shortly after arriving home the fourth family arrived. Earlier in the evening one of the other dads had mentioned to me that one of the boys from the other family had gone on exchange to the US with Rotary last year. I wasn’t sure if I would know him, but I was excited to see. My host parents said that they didn’t know the other family and it would be funny if I ended up knowing the Rotex. When they showed up I immediately recognized Vítek who is one of the Czech Rotex! He and I actually go to school together and he had gone to Florida last year. His younger brother also happened to be one of Ruda’s classmates.

To start the evening off we played a complicated game that was actually in English so it was easy for me to understand. It was a long game that took about an hour to finish. After that we played a variety of card games while we snacked and chatted. After hours of playing games and hanging out we went to bed.

Thursday morning we woke up around 8 in the morning again for breakfast. We had bread and jam and other spreads again. After breakfast we went back to the house to get ready to go ski again. One hour was quite a bit of time for me, so I hung out and talked to some friends before getting dressed in the last 15 minutes.

When we got to the mountain Ruda decided he wanted to try snowboarding. So we went to the rental and I got my stuff and Ruda got a board and boots as well. Robert wanted us to start on the little hill before taking the big lift so we made our way over to the rope pull. I was quite worried for this since I had never been on one, and it looked pretty awkward for a snowboarder. We put our binding on anyways and skated up to the lift. I followed Ruda up, and about halfway up he got pulled to the side and fell over. It was quite a lot of work just to ride up the hill, so I wasn’t surprised. I continued to the top and came down to meet him. We slowly made our way down the practically flat hill and then repeated a few times. Ruda was getting frustrated. I knew it would be better if he could get moving, so we went on the big lift. At the top when we got off Ruda held onto my shoulders and we slowly slid off before both falling over in the perfect spot. We were off to a bit of a rough start but when one of the other girls in our group joined up with us, things started to get a lot better. It was a bit cold, and it was kind of slow moving, so she and I took turns taking a fast lap or two to warm up before meeting back up. By lunch Ruda was going down each part of the slope with a lot less falls and he was even making some turns.

When we went in for lunch they were out of hot chocolate so I got some tea, and we both got some fries as a little snack. Robert got some fruit dumplings that we all of course had to take some bites of.

After lunch I got Ruda to get up and keep going with me, so we were the first to head back out. We only made a couple more runs before calling it a day and going back to the cafeteria at the bottom. We were both sore from falling since it was his first day and I was trying to snowboard in the opposite direction than I normally go. At the end of the day when we went to return our rentals Ruda said that he had had fun and maybe he would go again the next day if he wasn’t too sore.

We made our way back to the house, stopping at the store again for more snacks and drinks. When we got back we changed quickly again and went to dinner. We agreed to go back to the pool again, and this time my parents would come too.

This time at the pool we braved the walk through the snow to a third pool. After another hour long swim we went to get changed and headed back to the house. When we left the pool and were walking to the car, we saw a deer in the parking lot with all of the cars! It wasn’t like the deer we see in Oregon, instead it was a lot bigger, and I wasn’t the only one who was surprised to see it there.

When we got back to the house we played some more games and talked while eating all sorts of snacks and sweets. I played one game with Vítek and we spoke some English together while he also laughed at my Czech. After another long day, we finally went to bed around one in the morning.

Friday morning was our last ski day! We woke up at 8 and had our usual morning routine. I had agreed with Robert to ski one of the days and believe me, I was beyond worried. So when we went to the rental I got some ski boots (my favorite part….) and then went back to the car for skis. That was when I found out I would be using the short little skis with Robert. Ruda was far too sore to try another day of snowboarding, so he stuck with the skis for the last day. After getting our tickets, I slowly made my way to the ski lift. I had completely forgotten how to move so it was slow going.

When we got to the top of the lift Robert explained to me, the difference with these skis as opposed to the regular skis. Then he set off down the hill and I slowly followed, trying not to pay attention to the pain in my feet. I was doing fine and wasn’t falling at all. But by the time we were halfway down the hill I was shaking because my feet hurt so bad. I could feel the tears coming that I had so not wanted. We finished the run, but Robert knew that it wasn’t going to work. I slowly made my way back to the very bottom. When I got to the rental store doors I practically fell over. We went inside and Robert let me get a snowboard rental.

I don’t mind trying new things, or even trying things again that I thought I didn’t like, but some things just aren’t for me. I was happy that I had tried skiing again, but I was even happier to be back on my snowboard.

During the day we took quite a few breaks. A couple of them at the top to get tea and warm up, and one at the bottom to get some food. Ruda and I skipped out on some of the breaks because we just wanted to keep going. We were having fun trying to be faster and faster. The chair ride was seven minutes long and we were able to make it down the hill in five, including the time for me to put on my bindings.

By the end of the day my legs felt like noodles. I was so tired that Ruda and I both decided to stay in the car while Robert and Zora went into the store. When we got back we had some dinner before changing into some warmer clothes.

In the evening instead of going to the pool again we went on a walk around the city that we were in. We walked to a church, and a river before the girls and I walked back to the house. I was in desperate need of a shower so while we waited for all of the adults to come home I finally took one.

I played a couple of card games with everyone before heading up to our room to FaceTime my family who was all in Utah for the annual Snowbird trip. I talked to everyone for a little while before heading back downstairs to be social. We played games again until 1 in the morning.

Saturday morning we woke up at 8 again to pack all of our things before a later breakfast. After breakfast we had some more time to pack, but I was already done so I watched some Netflix. After about an hour we started taking our things out to the car and said goodbye to everybody.

Ruda and I slept pretty much the whole entire way back to the city. When we got to Robert’s work we moved everything from the box we had on top of the car to Zora’s car. Then Ruda and Zora made their way home. I stayed with Robert and we ran a few errands before going home for a late lunch. After lunch we unpacked the car, and all of our things. For the rest of the day we all hung out and did our own things, before all going to bed early.

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