We've had a lovely day in the mountains today - in clear sunny weather, in amongst the last of winter's snow - on the first day of Spring to boot.
We made the trip in two stages, overnighting at the lovely old Ellstanmor Country Guest House in Cooma so we could get a really early start this morning and ensure our space in the Smiggins Holes ski village car park.
By the time we got there the car park was filled with cars and visitors layering themselves up with the enormous amount of gear that seems to be needed for a day at the snow.
Just like the gorgeous pair of girls pictured above Smiggins looked picture postcard perfect today. We all know the snow was affected by this early Spring warmth - but in every other respect the conditions were PERFECT!
The other P family was already on the ski fields by the time we arrived. Ollie was just completing his third or fourth high speed run before we'd even finished getting kitted up in the carpark. This is easy stuff for Ollie who is an experienced skier already.
Ella and Angus were keen to get started on the toboggan run.
Even on this gentle slope tobogganing was pretty dangerous today - lots of people, pools of water at the base, icy slippery snow - way too fast for a beginner like Ella. Jeremy saved the day by starting a snow fight that ended up becoming quite a family epic, with nobody but Abi safe.
But even Abi had her first lesson in "snowballs 101".
A couple of hours passed very quickly. But we were due for lunch at the Wildbrumby Cafe in the Crackenback Valley, a half hour drive from Smiggins via the Alpine Way. Not only was it the first day of Spring AND Father's Day in Australia but it was also about time our family got to officially celebrate the boys' August birthdays together.
Ollie is not only a speed skier and Go-Karter but he's also developing his speed reading skills this birthday!
And Angus seemed really happy with his WW2 book and LA Lakers shirt.
And the offerings on the Wildbrumby menu pleased EVERYBODY.
The Farmer's Pfandl - German sausage, kassler, kipfler potatoes & sauerkraut, was a popular dish with the (big) boys.
And the vanilla and almond cupcakes were very popular with others........
... and performed well as an impromptu birthday cake.
Ella and Angus were as thick as thieves today.
Claire and Jeremy and all the Ps organised and hosted this most wonderful day - lucky us! We'd love to do it again one day and already have our eyes on Alpine Habitats - the eco-lodges, just near Wildbrumby on Wollondibby Road, as our base for a more extended stay.