Rhys Darby

Comedian Rhys Darby on life in New Zealand

Rhys Darby: It's all downhill on a trip to picturesque Rockies

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Postcard-perfect Banff lies at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Postcard-perfect Banff lies at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

I took the family on a bit of a winter jaunt last week.

While the rest of America was celebrating Thanksgiving, the wife and I scooped up the kids and headed for the hills.

And when I say hills, I mean the Rocky Mountains of Canada.

I hadn't been to Canada before, except to Montreal, but most Canadians I've met don't call that the real Canada.

So I wanted to see the real Canada, the type of Canada that sticks its head out and says, "Look at me, I'm unmistakably Canada!"

As luck would have it, local comedy legend and dear friend Mr Glenn Wool had the week off too, so he agreed to meet us in the scenic town of Banff - tucked away in the frozen foothills of the wild Canadian Rockies.

There the five of us shacked up in a nice, cosy apartment.

Thick week-old snow covered the ground and my sons had only two things on their minds. Well, three, if you count Minecraft but I didn't let them count that.

Besides, we'd left the iPads at home.

As far as they were concerned there were only two other things they wanted to do - make a snowman and go sledding.

So I dressed them in their ridiculous winter gear, opened the ranchslider and pushed them out on to the snow-filled verandah.

The white stuff kept them busy for about five minutes.

But then my little one banged on the glass to be let in, complaining of the cold ...

"Too cold?"

"Yes, a little bit too cold," he said, "Is there any warmer snow?"

I was halfway through Googling "warm snow" when Glenn offered the suggestion of sledding.

"Why not?" I thought, it's far too warm and comfortable here.

We bought a couple of plastic sleds from a nearby store and took off to find a suitable hill.

Finn, my eldest boy, not known for his pursuit of the outdoors, was, I have to say, rather excited.

Soon enough we came across a local ski area, so we parked, piled out and trudged to the nearest slope.

"This'll do," said Glenn. Trusting his Canadian judgment I placed Finn on the sled and told him to hang on.

Then I slipped and fell over and he took off on his own, sledding like a mad thing down the hill.

"Arrrrgghh!" he screamed. Looking up from my fallen position I couldn't tell whether he was yelling in terror or joy. He was, however, going like a bat out of hell.

The sort of bat that's been given the opportunity to leave hell but lacks prior knowledge of proper evacuation procedures.

He was wobbling all over the place and showed no signs of stopping.

With a flash of "father fear", I grabbed the other sled and for some reason leapt on it like it was a skateboard to zoom after him.

Moments later I had fallen once again and this time I tumbled down the hill.

I rolled past Finn and caught a glimpse of him smiling as he walked back up the slope.

"What are you doing, Dad?"

"Eh? Oh ... I'm just warming up the snow ... you know, for ya brother."

- NZ Herald

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