TravelingMom.comLast year, my parents and my aunt and uncle had a brilliant pre-crash idea: they bought a house in Litchfield County, CT to share: Winter and Fall for my parents, Spring and Summer for my aunt and uncle. This year, my own family and I took advantage of the free (for us) winter vacation spot, and spent the long Presidents weekend skiing Connecticut.Let me preface what you are about to read by saying that I am not a good skier.  My husband is an even worse skier, and my kids are just learning to ski.  I tell you that not out of some sort of modesty, but because I wouldn’t want you to think my opinion is based on some vast knowledge of snow, and lift-times, and terrain parks.  Rather, it is the knowledge of a Mom, who knows when her kids are having fun, when she is relaxed, and when whining is at a minimum. And that pretty much sums up our weekend.We arrived in Connecticut a little too late to ski on Saturday, so hit the tubing park instead.  The one nearest to our house (see how proprietary I am!) is the Woodbury Ski area.  Woodbury Ski area is a little, family run, throw-back to the fifties, kind of mountain.  No lodge, no cafeteria, (though there is a little snack bar), no fancy anything of any kind — just a place to rent your skis or tube, a couple of rope tows, one double chair lift, and NO CROWDS.Snow tubing – for those who don’t know – is sledding without schlepping. (And without sleds.  You 1350use a tube, hence the name.) A lift takes you and your tube up the mountain, you choose your “slope” – using a system similar to ski trail ratings, and down you go, at amazingly fast speeds.I especially liked tubing because it involved NO SKILL WHATSOEVER.  No lesson, no humiliating falling.  Just good, clean, super slippery fun. After an hour and a half, we were all exhausted and done.(And by exhausted, I mean tired enough that the kids went to bed early so hubby and I could watch the first season of This American Life on DVD. So good.)Next day: Skiing.Connecticut has several mountains.  Perhaps the best known is Butternut, a small, family mountain known for it’s ski school and family friendly vibe.  We’ll probably try it out next time, but this time we went to Mohawk Mountain, located a little less than two hours north of NYC.  Another, smaller, even less visited family mountain than Butternut.  And for us novices (and scaredy cats) it was perfect.The kids went right into their two-hour lesson. (with rentals, helmet, and a half-day ski pass: $85).  My husband and I watched them go down the bunny slopes from the spacious, and mostly empty sun-deck sipping cappucinos from the lodge. Perfect.  And here’s why:  when someone else is telling your kids what to do on the ski slopes they smile and listen.  When you tell them what to do they whine and tell you it’s too cold and they want a Hot Chocolate.By the way, at Butternut you can send your kids to ski school for the whole day: 9:30-3:30, including a snack and lunch.  But for us, a half-day of lessons and then another few hours of snacking and skiing was just right. Enough to make everyone happy, but not so much that we hit the whining wall.So there you have it.  Fun weekend, free place to stay, decent cappucinos.  This weekend, we’re going back.  The kids are already signed up for ski school, and so are my husband and I. Look for us at our group lesson on the Bunny Hill at Mohawk Mountain!