Ah, Winter Break. After the rush of Smunch's birthday and his big Jackie Robinson presentation, the break from school was most welcome. If you live around here, you've doubtlessly heard this week called "ski week". It starts with President's Day weekend and goes for the rest of the week.
Since I'm one of those inflexible kind of moms who don't believe in pulling my kids out of school for something like a ski trip, we go to the snow during ski week. I've figured out a way to make this work for us. We leave on President's Day and come back on Friday, missing the entirety of the weekend traffic. I'd booked our cabin back in October, I think, so we were set.
I love the little cabin we've found. It's old and shabby, but warm, incredibly well stocked and with enough bedrooms for the kids to each have their own. Oh, and it's cheap. Did I mention that?
So, we headed up on Monday. There was no traffic to speak of. We made it to the cabin before the cleaning crew was even finished. So, we sat outside for a minute or two and then moved right in. We went into Tahoe City and picked up all our ski rentals. The kids had reservations for a private lesson at Squaw on Tuesday and I was planning on a group lesson while Daddy cruised around the slopes freely. Although we were staying about half an hour away, we got there without incident, negotiated the rather huge resort and found all our lessons on time.The kids went off with Celeste, their very awesome instructor. I joined a Level 2 class and we took off up to High Camp where we had our skills assessed before learning anything. There were four women in my class. I enjoyed them all and Curtis, our instructor, seemed good, but the class wasn't really what I'd hoped for. Instead of learning anything new, we rehashed all the stuff I already knew how to do. It meant I got some instruction on how to refine the "skills" I arguably possess, but not much more.
And it was COLD up there at High Camp. I'd purchased nice ski pants and a new ski jacket before leaving. I was wearing four more layers of clothes under that, but I was freezing and traveling the lifts was particularly painful. Despite my nice new ski gloves, my fingernails felt like they just might pop right off. They hurt.
The kids arrived at High Camp shortly after I did. I saw them several times as I skiied down the beginner slopes.I didn't enjoy myself very much even though I was in good company, but I agreed to go back up with Daddy and the kids after lunch. It was windier and colder. I was with Mam and she'd been trying to tell me something about being bored, but truth be told, I'm scared to death of ski lifts and I was barely listening to her. I should have.
It turns out what she meant was that her lessons about making big S-turns were boring and she planned to take off like a shot from the top of the run. And she did. I sent Daddy after her, but she was already at the bottom.
I took a couple of runs and then left them all up there...while I went back down the mountain, grabbed my laptop and found myself a cushy chair and a $6 mocha at Starbucks.
Half an hour or so later, I got a call from Daddy. He'd overshot the Funitel that would have taken them down the mountain and ended up on an intermediate slope. The kids had done a good job negotiating it for a while, but finally gave out. Ski Patrol was coming to pick them up. They'd be late getting back. I laughed. I was so comfy at Starbucks that I didn't mind if they were late and obviously Daddy had it handled. He called me again when they were down.
I met him and a couple of hysterically sobbing kids on the way to the parking lot. They were totally fine, but Daddy had had to ski down the mountain while Ski Patrol whisked them away on a snowmobile for a lonely trip to the bottom on the Funitel. Daddy met them there, but their little hands were so cold that they really hurt. And the sobbing went on and on for at least 15 minutes. Given my general love for skiing (which, for the record is still non-existant) I tried really hard not to laugh as they sobbed.
Despite the slighly traumatic end to our day on Tuesday, the kids were rarin' to go again on Wednesday and I was game to take another stab at enjoying skiing. We headed to Homewood...which is smaller, shabbier and a whole lot cheaper. It also happens to have beautiful views and some nice, long beginner runs, all the way from the top of the mountain.As expected, Mam has become a fearless little skiier while her brother, so much more like his mom, is ever-so-cautious. But Daddy helped them along. And I followed them around the mountain. I think we hit every beginner run there was. The kids seemed to have fun. But I most certainly didn't. I'm clearly not cut out for this stuff. I don't like being cold, I don't like going fast, I hate ski lifts, I don't like people coming up behind me at 50mph. Oh, and I'm not a fan of wiping out.
My overdeveloped sense of self-preservation, I'm afraid, will forever keep me from enjoying skiing. I quit at lunchtime and spent a couple of hours reading in the car...because Homewood is too shabby to have decent indoor places for those who aren't skiing and certainly no Starbucks! The van was comfier. And after skiing for the morning, I was pretty convinced that this is going to be my last ski trip. Daddy can take the kids, but this is such a monumental waste of money for me...