To get a family of five to Lake Tahoe for a long weekend takes a crazy amount of planning, packing, and patience. I didn’t have any of these things for this trip, but it still was a success. I so wasn’t on my A game. I forgot so many crucial things, including my ski jacket, my toothbrush, baby wipes, and a kid swimsuit. The sad thing is, I lectured Van for not packing until the morning that we left, and I don’t think he forgot a thing. If he did, he was smart enough to keep quiet about it.
We left bright and early Friday morning, and made it to Soda Springs, a very small, very kid friendly snow park just outside Truckee in about four hours. That’s record time for us. Soda Springs is not made for adults. It’s all about the kids.
It’s also overpriced, but in the interest of getting the older girls their ski legs, it was worth it. Olivia and Erin once again got as comfortable as two kids can get in ski boots, and when skiing in mid-April, we at least didn’t have to hear whining about it being too cold. In fact, if there was any time for me to forget my ski jacket, this was the time. I think it hit 60 degrees every day we were up in the mountains. After about 2 hours at Soda Springs, we headed to the house we were renting with two other families for the weekend. It’s the perfect place for three families with 7 kids between them. The rental has three levels, so each family in essence had their own floor.
Saturday we hit Alpine Meadows, minus the little kids. The three kids under 3 stayed with a babysitter back at the house. This was one of the best decisions we made. It meant the munchkins got much-needed naps, and everyone else was able to enjoy some spring skiing. Well, almost everyone. I’ve always known skiing isn’t Van’s favorite sport, but I never realized how much he really dislikes it until this trip. There’s apparently few things he likes less than strapping on skis, stuffing his feet into uncomfortable boots, and then flying down a mountain trying to avoid hitting other people and trees. I don’t share his opinion. I love it. It is also worth noting that skiing is the only sport that I’m better at than Van. Did I also mention that he’s super competitive? Since our skiing skills are not equal, we don’t ski together. I spotted him a couple of times before lunch, and he was not happy. He was not having fun. Van wanted off the mountain and out of his skis. Bless his heart, he has tried to be a good sport for years, but the jig was up. Skiing is not his thing. It also doesn’t help that he’s scared of heights, and he has ended up on runs that were beyond his skill level on more than one occasion. Maybe that’s why we don’t ski together anymore. While skiing might not be Van’s forte, he’s the first one to make fun of himself. Later that night, he had all of the adults in tears laughing as he waxed on poetically about his hatred for skiing. At least we have a built-in babysitter for our next ski trip.
Olivia and Erin did a great job on this ski trip. We put them both in group lessons, which I also recommend for young kids. Olivia advanced from riding the magic carpet at the beginning of the day to skiing down a blue run at the end of the day. I happened to be on a chair lift with my friend Tonia when Olivia made this major skiing accomplishment. Thank goodness she had a camera phone so we could document it. No jacket for me meant no pockets, which meant no phone.
Erin also made big strides in this trip. She surpassed all of my expectations.
She not only made it all day in ski school which is no easy feat for a 5-year-old, but by the end of the day, Erin had mastered the pizza, (also known as snow plow) and could stop on her own.
This ski trip also made me realize just how old I’m getting. I remember back in the day I could ski for days without any pain. Now my legs are aching by lunchtime, and muscles I didn’t even know I had hurt. The sore body is a small price to pay to have the opportunity to zoom down a mountain, even if the snow is the consistency of an icee. The only thing better will be when I can do it with all three girls.