(Do you want to build a snowman?)
Despite the growing consternation about the water desperation in California, we decided to bundle up the boys and head for the hills – Tahoe. (If the drought got too bad, we’d just hit the state line and cross right over. Nevada’s got plenty of water, right?)
For our first foray into the snow, we brought along reinforcements. (This also served to provide an advantage for the man-to-man defense strategy planned for the frozen tundra).
Six people, one car, and all our stuff. It was a bit of a squeeze. In addition to the additional manpower, we were fully prepared for any potential disaster – chains, ice-scraper, shovel, blankets, water, and most importantly, Teddy Grahams to prevent a potential hypo-glycemic muppet meltdown. (This was mission critical because I was the lucky soul sandwiched between the car-seat restrained tiny twins.)
But we persevered and headed north on the MomMobile’s brand new snow tires. (Tires are expensive. If I’m going to spend that much money, we’re all going to admire them dammit!) Seven hours later (including some quality time inching our way upward to prove that we were well equipped with 4-wheel drive in addition to those extravagant snow tires), we arrived at the lakeside(ish) cabin. Midnight, unfamiliar surroundings…how could this go wrong?
Search and Destroy hopped out of the car, “Are we going to see the snow?!” Not just yet, little ones. They were out cold in Big Boy beds in 10 minutes.
But they were up again by 7, raring to go. Excitement was abuzz. By 9, we’d managed to shoehorn the children into snowsuits, jackets, boots and beanies – all to enjoy the 1/8 inch of snow that had fallen overnight (and would be completely melted by 9:07 a.m.)
After the rest of us shoehorned ourselves into an obscene amount of clothes (we’re California people, insulated outfits confuse us), we headed out in search of snow. It was far more difficult than I’d anticipated.
Finally we found a kids sled park at Soda Springs. The boys bounced out of the car and we raced toward the inclines to nab a tube. At which point Search decided he wanted nothing to do with any sport involving shoving himself down a snowy hill. (He did greatly enjoy repeatedly riding the “magic carpet” people move to the top of the slope before tentatively marching right back down on foot.) Destroy, however, was in his element. “Faster!”
Tempting fate even further, we decided to push out bedtime and head out for some after hours ice-skating and s’mores. The outdoor rink was rock solid with a light coating of fresh powder. There would be no Zamboni viewing; this was as low-maintenance as you can get in a California resort with no ponds that *actually* freeze over. We rented skates, hockey skates that were likely last sharpened on premises at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. Basically the excursion was a frozen slip-n-slide.
Search refused to have anything to do with the rink when it was discovered there were no balance buckets, but Destroy made it a good five laps.
After a cold day full of adventure at high altitude, what is the only reasonable thing to do far past bedtime? Find the messiest sugar bomb that requires an open flame. S’mores! I won’t lie – I think we somehow ended up with genetically modified mallows. No matter how hard I tried, I could not light my gooey Stay Puff on fire. (Priorities.)
But it was Sunday morning that was to be the piece de resistance of our excursion. We all bundled up once more and headed higher. And at around 9,000 feet above sea-level, we found a sledding hill. Perfect powder, grey skies dusting us with snowflakes, and just a hint of sun beyond the tree line miles away.
We hiked up the hill with the cheapest plastic “sleds” we could find. (FYI – my tiny twins are in no way shape or form, tiny. Destroy weighs a bloody ton when you’re attempting to heft him up a mountain.) And once the effort was complete, we boarded our slippery piece of plastic and hurled ourselves down the slope toward the busy interstate highway below. (Fear not, a direct line was near impossible. At least not without a few flips.)
Destroy’s face lit up, frozen in a wind-burned, rosy cheeked grin. “Faster!” We shot, slid and tumbled down the hill over and over, until our toes went numb and we lost feeling in our fingers. (Taking off my gloves for the photo ops may have been a poor life choice.)
Alas Search, in true homage to his namesake G.G. the original sun worshipper, made it clear that he wanted absolutely no part of this icy hell. His boots sank deep into the powder, filling his shoes with snow. The wind burned his cheeks. The sub-zero temperature froze his runny nose. He was much happier snuggling under the fuzzy blanket next to the fire when we got back to the cabin.
I can’t wait until the boys are a bit bigger to go snowboarding with them. I have no doubt Destroy will leap upon the chair lift, giggling as he rides to the summit – where he will boldly proclaim that strapping his feet unto a board and hurling himself down an icy mountain is a BRILLIANT IDEA. Search will be waiting in the lodge with hot cocoa.
I think it’s only fair to take a tropical vacation now – for a true study on what climate suits the boys best.
Sorry Polar Vortex peeps – I’m sticking with my California weather. 70 degrees with the snow only a few hours away for sport.
(It doesn’t have to be a snowman…)