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Postcards From Quebec - Feb. 11

The boys spent some quality time with their families

by Rui Encarnacao /

The players spent Saturday morning bonding with their billet families before heading to Villages Vacances Valcartier for an afternoon full of fun in the snow.

While most of the Jr. Avs were still sleeping, defenseman Ty Twinam and his billet family had an early morning with even more hockey.

"This morning we went to my billet brother's hockey practice," Twinam said. "He is the same age as us, and his team is pretty good. After practice, we played a little bit of ping pong back at the house."

A few hours later, Twinam and his teammates were back on the bus heading to Valcartier, also known as the largest tubing site in North America and home of the renowned ice hotel, Hotel de Glace.

Close to halfway through the trip, most of the player's families have arrived in Quebec City and joined the team for today's activities. The Jr. Avalanche group began with a guided tour of Hotel de Glace; a one-of-a-kind inn reconstructed every winter with a different theme. This year, the hotel illustrates the North Pole and all of its surrounding countries' traditions.

"I thought it was really cool how they could make all of that out of ice, but I would never want to stay there," said Twinam. "It's too cold."

The tour concluded in the hotel's ice bar, where the group enjoyed refreshments poured into handcrafted cups made from blocks of frozen water.

Similar to what the boys are used to at ski resorts back in the Rockies, they took a lift up the hills to find multiple runs ranked from green circles to double-black diamonds. The trip eliminated everyone's least favorite part of sledding: trekking to the top.

Twinam was thrilled with his first ever sledding experience.

"My favorite run was called Everest," he said. "Rumor has it that we were going 30 mph down the hill."

Everest was one of two double-black diamonds at the resort and definitely a fan-favorite among the Jr. Avalanche.

After a few hours of tubing, the players and their families capped off the day with a traditional Canadian fondue dinner.

"My favorite part was that we got to cook the meat in the fondue pot at the table," Twinam said. "Then dip it into the different sauces."

The boys have the day off Sunday to spend quality time with their billet families.

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