When you decide to be a ski bum sleeping in your car with your family instead of buying or renting out a house or staying in a hotel, it does have an impact on your ability to socialize as easily with friends. You can’t exactly invite people over for dinner at your place, to reciprocate when they invite you over, so it’s easy to feel guilty about that. Here is how we tried to handle it pre-Covid, although working full time and wrangling kids onto ski-teams every two weeks often made things too stressful to effectively follow through on these plans. As always, we’d love more ideas on how to make this work!
Pre-covid, we would arrive at the ski resort early, maybe 7:30 or 8 AM, and get a table inside and have breakfast. We had a group of other families that would also get there early that we could talk to (if we didn’t end up spending all our time getting the kids into ski gear and sunscreen and fed).
After skiing, we would also hang out at the resort but this time it would be a bit more relaxed. Any of us who were done skiing for the day early would wait in the lodge and chat with other families or play games. We would try to have some extra beers in the cooler in case an adult friend wanted one. The best night was when our friend brought an electric fondue pot and we all shared fondue together.
In the evenings we would go to dinner at one of the restaurants in the hotel near the resort, which also happened to be near where our friends lived. Many times we’d see friends there and hang out with them, especially since one of the restaurants had seating in the lounge area of the hotel. We did get to know another family that had a truck camper and we started seeing them more often in the restaurants, which was nice. As a bonus, the hotel had wifi so we could download books to read or movies to watch in the van.
Our friends would often invite us over to their places for dinner or après-ski. We would try to bring a bottle of wine or something over to share but we didn’t always remember to have something with us, especially when the invitations were last minute, or if we were worried about liquids freezing in the van.
In a perfect world, this is what we would recommend doing:
During covid, we are going to need to focus on making time to hang out with friends outside when the weather is good and before it gets too cold at night. No more invitations to friend’s houses, but we will consider bringing snacks and drinks to share if people are comfortable with it. Unfortunately, we are probably going to need to refocus on how to eat in our van more and socialize within our family, such as more van-movie nights and playing games. But as long as we get lots of good days out there skiing it will be worth it!
Our van, in our favorite parking spot close to good dinner options and friends.
Two Silicon Valley engineers who have had a love of the outdoors since childhood. Parents of two small kids, spending our free time exploring the outdoors with them.