Thursday, 11 January 2018

As The Week Went On {Mark Warner Mum}.

{Read our FIRSTSECOND and THIRD posts first}

Our time in Tignes was perfect. Holidaying with Mark Warner was perfect. We had made friends and regulary talked to members of the team. They were all too happy to help with anything and were keen to share stories of how they came to work for MW and what life was doing for them. It was great. Almost like a youth hostel vibe where you can just enjoy chatting to new people. Of course not much else had any kind of youth hostel vibe. This was a luxury holiday for us, the first we had ever experienced and we were fully embracing it. 

Having found a pizzeria at the bottom of the road, we had many a delicious meal there. In fact we also ate there twice with some "new friends" which was really nice. They were seasoned skiers and it was great hearing their opinion on it all. They were impressed. They said Tignes was easily a place they would keep coming back to and, like us, were using the childcare facilities and were so happy and comfortable with them. What I wanted to find out from so many people was their opinion on their own holidays. Were we holidaying with rose tinted glasses on? After all, our accommodation, childcare and flights were paid for as part of the Mark Warner Mum experience so we were not appreciating what people were classing as value for money? It is a point that I wanted to talk about quite seriously. As "free" as this holiday was, there is a lot of work that has gone into the exchange. Also, a lot of our own money into the additional experiences that we wanted while out there and even I myself had to answer the question: " But would I really pay that amount?". 
I knew that paying into certain things was good for the experience. I didn't know just how good and how life changing these experiences were going to be. 

Ski Lessons for the children made sense. We booked with Evolution2 and now think this was the best money we could have spent on this holiday. I had no idea that the result of the daily 3 hour long lessons would result in propelling little Raphael into a sport the way it did. From being a child who hadn't had an opportunity to even walk on snow to travelling across mountains and skiing in Val D'Sere on various blue runs was incredible. I had no idea that his progress would be so great in such a short space of time. Seeing him then independently ski with Rob on our final afternoon was then the icing on the cake. Rob had that real fatherly moment of discovering a joint love for a sport with his son. Well that happened before, but to be able to perform together at such a level was what was really quite incredible. I was so proud. Honestly, THE BEST MONEY EVER SPENT. 

Raph was lucky, he adapted to the conditions and responded really well to his teacher which resulted in a fantastic week's tutorial. Etta, was just as impressive, but being two years younger than Raph clearly just struggled with the physical ability. She looked so small with the vast mountain backdrop and as part of the EVO 2 schooling structure was actually in a specific school area for most of the week. Still fantastic though. Our little Etta holding on to the pull lifts and sliding down to the arms of her instructors. It was super cute and everything you would want for a four year old. By the Thursday I was told that Friday and Saturday she would be on the green run, the very same I had been doing. And there she was, I caught a glimpse of her snaking down in her line of classmates, fully happy and super proud to be skiing independently. It was fab. Both children also were going so far up they were on chairlifts. Yes, within the week they were taking chairlifts up the mountain and working their way back down. Thank You EVO 2 for this incredible teaching.

Through EVO 2 we also booked another life changing experience. In fact, the most magical thing we have ever done with the kids and something I never ever hope they forget. We went on a husky ride! 

Again, money well spent. Totally worth every penny and I would do it again and again. The Evo 2 team were great here. Two sledges; Rob and Etta in one and Raph and I in the other. We set out at the same time and spent half an hour being pulled around a route. It was a 5-10 bus ride away from the main ring and then travelled across the frozen lake and around the play area where we waved to our Mark Warner friends. It was incredible. If you ever have the opportunity to do this I urge you, YOU MUST. Both rob and I got off the sledges and I knew looking at his face that they'd had as good a time as us. The sun shone down on us and the blue skies, mountain backdrop and metres and metres of deep snow made for an absolutely memorable experience while we were out in Tignes.

There is also the most beautiful public swimming pool and fitness suite in Tignes. A 2 minute walk from the hotel, which actually does have its own sauna, steam room, 'cold pool' and beautician, but with our kids who were looking for a bit more, The Lagon was perfect. In fact, there offered the most beautiful views of the Mountains as they had a vast wall of glass that just looked out onto them. Another great thing to do with the kids and another great Tourism trick; if you have mountain passes you can get in for free and under 5s were also free meaning we only had to pay for Raph.

With fantastic food in house we didn't need to look very far for anything else. We just had to please ourselves at lunch time and on Thursday, which was a night off for all the staff. Like I said, we found a French-Italian which we really enjoyed, but ate all other meals at the hotel. The food was great, we really enjoyed it. The usual English breakfast as well as continental variants. And then dinner was always a high standard three course meal. You also got high tea at 5 in the afternoon. This was when the kids had their dinner and light food and coffee and cake was put out for adults as a pick me up after a day of skiing. It was a great opportunity for us to pick up the kids and get them fed before we headed off to chill in our rooms. 

The week took its time. It didn't fly and for that I was so thankful, because I didn't ski for the whole day. I think that helped. It gave me chance to have a break and having the kids entertained really meant that I honestly did get a break. It was all so exhausting anyway so being able to have a slower afternoon was perfect for me. 

As the week went on the same question kept hounding me, would I pay full price for this experience? Is this too much of a luxury for people to enjoy? Only time would tell.

*This post is written as part of our role as Mark Warner Ambassadors.


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