Elsa and Anna take to the skies

Let it go, let it go.

Let it go, let it go. (Pic courtesy of WestJet)

Thankfully my kids have grown out of their “Frozen” fetish and grown into “My Little Pony” and similarly inane adorable girly things.

Otherwise, they might have freaked out upon glimpsing the newest plane from WestJet.

According to a company blog post, the plane, a 737, is custom-painted with “Frozen” themes and scenes, inside and out. On the outside, Olaf is toward the nose and Elsa and Anna are on the tail. Inside, the entire cast appears on the outside of overhead bin doors, and “snow” is everywhere.

To be clear, the plane makes a bold statement. It’s a marketing play, plain and simple. It also serves as proof positive of what I’m sure is a healthy and productive relationship between the airline and Disney Parks. That said, especially for the Villano girls, “Frozen” is yesterday’s news, which means WestJet is about a year too late to guarantee this paint job is on trend.

Still, the effort raises some fascinating questions about kids’ preferences and family travel overall. Do kids really get MORE excited about flying in planes with their favorite characters? If so, how much more? I’ve scoured the Internet for data on the subject and can’t find any.  If you find some, let me know.

Meanwhile, here in our house, we’ll keep hooves peeled (get it?) for the day an airline unveils an MLP plane. When it happens, people, we’ll book like the wind.

How much extra would you pay for a seat on a themed plane?

All Elsa, all the time

Elsa, surveying the North Mountain (and snow-covered deck).

Elsa, surveying the North Mountain (and snow-covered deck).

A funny thing happens when you vacation with three girls between the ages of 3 and 6—you feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney movie. All. The. Damn. Time.

Such was life last week when we spent five days in Lake Tahoe with great family friends. The girls could see or touch snow every waking moment of every day. Which meant they convinced themselves they were living in the movie, Frozen.

This alternate reality manifest itself in a number of hilarious ways.

First, we grown-ups were subjected to the word, “Elsa” no less than 70 times every hour of every day. The girls screamed it. They sang it. They took turns being Elsa 1, Elsa 2, and Elsa 3. One morning, the three of them got into an animated conversation of what Elsa would do if she were annoyed at her sister for not including her in a game with friends. (Their answer: Elsa would freeze everyone. Of course.)

Second, every day comprised multiple costume changes. Immediately after awakening for the day (at 5 a.m.), each girl raced to the room we had designated as the play room to get first dibs on the dress of their choice. Choices included three Elsa dresses, one Anna dress and a few other non-Frozen options. Two of the three girls also had plastic, turquoise Frozen heels, which they wore at all times in the wood-floored house, thus preventing the 7-month-old baby sleeping downstairs from getting a decent nap.

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, those dress negotiations never EVER went smoothly.)

Finally—and this was perhaps my favorite—the kids took to citing lines from Frozen, and bending those lines to fit just about every situation in which we found ourselves over the course of the trip. Whenever wind gusts took the temperature from the teens into the single digits, at least one of the kids would state, “The cold never bothered me anyway.” When L got the brilliant idea to amass snow to build a man-like sculpture, she didn’t ask her sister or friend to help, but sang, “Do you want to build a snowman?”

It’s important to note here that I am in no way complaining about this phenomenon; on the contrary, I found it fascinating and instructive and endearing (most of the time). Multifamily travel in and of itself is one thing. Apparently, multifamily travel while playing princess pretend is entirely something else.

The wonder of family travel in winter

Sleds and snow-brick makers.

Sleds and snow-brick makers.

The four of us are gearing up for a post-Christmas vacation (with dear friends) in Lake Tahoe, which means Powerwoman and I have been prepping the girls for snow (and enduring all of the concomitant Elsa references) and stocking up on cold-weather supplies.

It also means L and R have learned a whole lot about winter travel in a relatively short period of time.

My favorite of the lessons came earlier this week during a family excursion to the local Target. After the groceries, after the Xmas lights, we made our way over to the sporting goods section, where I proceeded to pick up two snow-brick molds (IMHO a critical tool for snowy winters) and two saucer-shaped sleds.

“What’s that giant Frisbee, Dad?” asked the Big Girl.

“This?” I responded, pointing to the pink saucer. “This is a sled, honey.”

“What’s a sled, Daddy?” chimed R.

It was at that moment that I realized: Our girls have visited five countries and lived in London and hung out in Hawaii six times, but THEY NEVER HAVE PLAYED IN SNOW.

On one hand, this is inexcusable—we pride ourselves on taking them everywhere, it’s hard to believe they’ve never played in snow. (For the record, they did *see* snow last fall, in the Lake District of England.) On the other hand, the reality is perfectly understandable; we live in a place where temperatures rarely drop below freezing, and most of the places we visit are warm.

Either way, all of this means the girls are going to be STOKED when we get up there and they get up close and personal with fresh powder.

We’ve been to Tahoe as a family before, but only in the spring and summer.  For me, what’s going to make this trip so fun is that the winter wonderland will make an old favorite seem like new. The girls think they know what to expect from another family vacation in Tahoe. I can’t wait until they realize how mistaken they are.

What kind of family trips do you like to take in winter?

%d bloggers like this: