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James McKinnon

The Adventure

Powder Days


Yesterday Sam and I skied the back bowls of Vail. For those who don’t know, the back bowls are infamous with skiers all over the world. Predominantly made of black and double black runs, the bowls are always a challenge, even for the most advanced skier. The 10 back bowls are steep, tree lined, with glade runs and meadows. We also skied Blue Sky Basin which has a shallow vertical drop with more gladed runs and wildlife too!

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The Adventure

James’ Ski School

It’s always been a dream of mine to teach my kids to ski and this year I got to live it. Last week, I took Ted to the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola in Vail equipped with a harness and a couple of days of Vail Mountain Ski School under his belt. This is what happened…

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The Adventure

A Greek Birthday


It was probably no coincidence that we ended up in Greece for Sam’s birthday. Of the all the places we’ve visited this trip, it was by far the best for hosting a birthday extravaganza and I was determined not to miss the opportunity to do something that showed how much we all love her and appreciate everything she does for this family.

Planning started as soon as we locked in our accommodation, a couple of weeks before we arrived. I immediately started working with our host to find some fun, authentic greek activities to do. Sam’s one and only request was that we played Zorba at her birthday, and after procrastinating over a couple of local musicians that our host had suggested, I finally settled for a Zorba CD that the local newsagent recommended (trust me there were more than a few to choose from). Nevertheless, it was hit!

One thing I was adament of though was preparing a feast worthy of a queen and what better way to ensure that than to organise for a local chef to come cook for us in our villa. Having only dropped a few hints about the types of food we all like, our Chef arrived at about 4:30pm and by 6:30pm we were sitting around the table feasting on traditional greek dishes such as lamb kofta and baked potato with rosemary and garlic as well as an assortment of local seafood including lobster, “small” fish and octopus.


The highlight of the day though, was by far the boat trip from Agios Nikolaos to a secluded bay just off Elounda where the water was warm and deep, but crystal clear. Australian’s love to rave about our Beaches and Oceans, but this place gives even the Great Barrier Reef a run for its money. Even the kids had no qualms about jumping off the back of the boat and swimming around. You can see more of the boat trip in the video above.

All in all, even though it was Sam’s birthday we all felt very privileged to be sharing it with her in such a special way and I know for sure that it will remain one of the best days of my life.


Until next time