It all started where China failed. I was a little bit disappointed when nothing was going right for our trip to China. Everything just wasn't flowing, and my excitement was slowly fading. I decided to let it go and see how I felt about it in a few days. Then one morning I woke up and my decision was made. Even though I felt as though I had failed, I knew that some failures lead to better things. It was time to look at my bucket list and see where we could go next. I had always wanted to see snow and make a snowman, and it was right there staring at me on paper. I thought "what the hell, let's give this a go. No harm in trying right?"
First of all, I sent my friend Max who lives in Jindabyne a couple of questions. We chatted back and forth about everything, and he sold me on visiting Perisher. Next, I was telling another friend Darren about how I'm going to take Jimmy to the snow, and he mentioned and showed me a photo of a sit-ski for the disabled; Just another tick for this adventure. Let the planning begin!
Google became my best friend, and so did the Perisher website; from which I emailed a bit about us. They replied telling me about Disabled Winter Sports, and also provided more information on where would be best for us to stay. All the snow accommodation employees I spoke to or emailed were so helpful and wanted us to have the best time. Even if a place didn't suit us, they said if we wanted to stay they would do their best to help. In the end, I chose to stay at Perisher hotel. It's worth every penny; I never once felt like I was alone. One morning after breakfast the manager told me to go get a massage, which I had already planned on doing at some point of my trip, so I booked myself in. That afternoon I had the best massage and met Heather who was from the Sunny Coast. I just made a new friend, and at the end, she told me I did not have to pay (I did not see that coming). The manager had told her to let me know that. The employees were 10/10; one of the nights I chose not to go to the 4-course dinner (as it was mainly meat dishes) they told me that anyone who doesn't go to the dinner they will be offered a voucher to use at another restaurant In Perisher Valley, and when I went to collect it I was told I would get a call once it was ready. The night before the 4-course dinner I had asked the staff if I could take our dessert to eat in my room once it was ready, they said they would bring it to me instead and then said: "We know you're not coming tomorrow and we don't want you walking around at night to get something to eat, so we will do room service for you, and bring you anything you would like on tonight's menu." I still feel so unbelievably grateful that this happened; it made our experience so much more than I expected. One more thing. Best showers ever (well compared to at home). Jimmy would never have got out if I didn't make him.
I then found The Banjo Patterson Hotel (I only wanted to stay there because of the name). Great hotel, a hot spot of Jindabyne! I had to sign a form stating I wouldn't complain about the noise as they have a DJ and live music most nights. This didn't bother me, I was aware of this when I booked the hotel. Jimmy has never been bothered with loud music or parties, he loves a good vibe. The staff again were amazing, especially at the front desk. The female staff member was really nice. I was able to check in my room earlier instead of waiting around longer, and I was even allowed to stay in my room until I was ready to be picked up, instead of having to check at the normal time of 10am so we didn't have to wait in the cold, or in the bar. If you ever go to The Banjo Patterson Hotel, I recommend getting a Pizza; if you saw how happy Jimmy was eating it in my Instagram story, you would know just how good they are. If you didn't let's just say he was over the moon and so excited with his mouth wide open ready for more. Little shakes of his head and lots of giggles.
Disabled Winter Sports Australia -
I Emailed to find out as much information as possible, and talking on the phone a lot to Disabled Winter Sports Australia, as I was so unsure of how it all worked. You pay a membership fee $149, and then $49 a day to have a guide and use the adaptive equipment. NDIS only covers the $49 a day. Then you just pay lift ticket fees. Saying that these guys are ‘wonderful' and ‘amazing' just doesn't cover it. I was always calling and emailing, probably even verging on getting a little annoying, but every time I was always met with the kindest of souls, explaining everything and reassuring me that Jimmy will be ok without me. I was so nervous about letting Jimmy go off without me and being put on a chair lift, mainly because this is all new for me too. I was told to watch a video that showed me a little bit of how it all works. After watching it I felt so much better about everything. A week out from our booking I received a confirmation email and we were ready to go. Here is our video here or Youtube
By the end of the first day, Jimmy was leaning into the turns and he was having so much fun; giggling and lots of smiles. The guides went above and beyond what I ever expected.
They are always in need of donations. If it wasn't because of people who donate. Jimmy would never have got to do what he did.
So if you can spare a little change click on this https://www.disabledwintersport.com.au/donate/
Flights and Transport -
Every day I looked at flights, trying to determine when the best time to fly would be, and who would have the best deal. We ended up deciding to fly with Virgin, and I got about $200 off using my velocity rewards so that was a bonus. I would have to say flying with Virgin with Jimmy was one of the best experiences. They were so helpful and just made the flight so much easier for us. Jimmy loves flying; he giggles during take-off and landing and sleeps most of the way. Toileting is squishy but we manage. Here's a funny story; I had just finished putting Jimmy's pants and nappy back on and stood him up in front of me in the toilet so I could go, and then next minute the door opens up, and it was our Flight Attendant checking in to see if we were ok because we were taking so long, not realising I was peeing. We both laughed and he replied with "it's nothing I haven't seen before." I don't think he would have seen anything anyway because Jimmy was blocking everything. Those moments are the ones to remember, and have to tell your friends and have a good laugh about.
The hardest part of organising the travel side of things was trying to find the flights that would match up with transport to Jindabyne, then to perisher that was within my budget. Nothing was, and I would have to stay a night in Canberra (which I didn't want to do). I found a few private transfers, and one that stood out the most was Snow Connect. I sent an email and with the reply, I knew it was meant to be. I had just made myself another friend. Leanne was also from the Sunshine Coast and very understanding of my situation with Jimmy. With her guidance and knowledge of the area, it made everything so much easier. She even took the photo of us outside of Canberra, standing in the middle of the road. One of my favourite photos of all time. You can see this photo in the photos TAB at the top of the page.
I saved my ass off, stayed in and missed out on some social events. My budget was tighter than my jeans when I've eaten too much. I proved to myself I can save a lot of money if I stop worrying about missing out. I don't need to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner all the time. I don't need to put another outfit on Afterpay; I have plenty of clothes already. Staying home is nice, and every time I wanted to do any of those things I reminded myself of why I can't spend money, and it was all worth it. I am still now in this mindset, and for the first time in my life, I feel free of money worries.
2 weeks before we were ready to go, Jimmy, became sick with the flu/cold. I was kind of relieved thinking this is a good thing, he will be over it before we leave. But 2 days out it returned worse than ever. We were up all night, Panadol every few hours and showers because the steam was the only thing helping him breathe. I was so worried; I thought to myself I couldn't put Jimmy through flying with a blocked nose. I had told my neighbour Toni who brought over a helmet for Jimmy to borrow and she lent us her humidifier, and then I went to the chemist and got some nasal spray for frequent flyers and soothers for Jimmy to suck on (he thinks they're lollies). I also doubled his dose of the Hysone medication, which needs to happen when he is sick. Then that night he slept like a baby and I woke him at 4am to start the first leg of our trip. Jimmy was so excited when I was driving us to the airport he knew we were going on a holiday. I knew at that point everything would be ok.
The rest is history! My photos on my Instagram tell the story. What a wonderful holiday; I will return to Perisher next year and make that snowman (I never actually made) and then who knows, maybe Canada one day?