Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place with or without snow, but in mid-January, I want snow, and lots of it. Unfortunately, this was my view from the top of one of the runs at Kirkwood Ski Resort.
Yes, there’s snow right in front of me, but it’s the man-made version which comes from huge snow making machines that run all night long. And even with the snow making machines working overtime, only about 30% of Kirkwood was open. That meant crappy skiing conditions for me, but the new, young, skiers didn’t seem to mind the less than stellar conditions.
We traveled to Tahoe with family friends, and we signed-up the four older kids for lessons with two pretty awesome teachers. Before this trip, Erin had only been on a chairlift once with me, and Olivia had a very remedial knowledge of how to ski. Three days later, they were rockin’ down the slopes!
That’s Erin making her way down the hill holding a hula hoop. It’s not some aerobic skiing fusion, but a way to introduce kids to poles. From what little I saw, it works. Olivia used it on her second day of lessons, and by day three she was using poles.
She also took a couple of runs with me and her dad.
I can’t tell you how immensely fulfilling it was to be able to ski with my oldest daughter. She surpassed all my expectations, and best of all, every day she was excited about skiing.
Even though I didn’t get a chance to ski with Erin, from what her teacher said, she grew by leaps and bounds. She was tired and exhausted every day, but kudos to her for stepping into the clunky uncomfortable ski boots and getting back on the hill for three straight days. We were going to let her off the hook on the final day, but she changed her mind on her own. That change of heart also meant she got to ski with her dad at the end of the day. I don’t know who was happier about it, Erin or Dad.
We did put Carrie in ski school the first day. At 3 3/4, the most I wanted her to get out of it, was getting used to wearing ski boots and all the rest of the gear.
Well, you can see she succeeded.
This was our third winter Tahoe trip with the kids, but our first time going to Kirkwood. It’s one of our friends’ favorite places, and now we know why. Although the weather conditions sucked, you can’t really beat how close everything is at Kirkwood. We stayed in a condo within walking distance to the lifts. With six young kids between the two families, that was huge. It’s also a little closer than South Lake Tahoe or North Lake Tahoe, and anytime you can shorten a road trip the better.
Unfortunately, this trip also included a visit to the ER. Even though there was no snow, there was a little patch of ice, and Olivia slipped and fell hard on her elbow. I didn’t see it, but I heard it. She screamed bloody murder, and it swelled up. Based on past experience with broken bones, we decided not to take any chances and I drove her to the ER 30 miles away. Luckily, we beat the rush, and an X-Ray showed no broken elbow. The doctor thought it was a bad bruise, and gave her the OK to ski if she felt up to it. The pictures show how quickly she recovers, and we hardly heard any complaints about said elbow after the initial accident.
This is not the first time we’ve had medical issues while in Tahoe. The first time, it involved Carrie. She was sick, miserable, and smelled. Yes, smelled. We couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from. A trip to a Tahoe urgent care didn’t solve the problem, and only when we got home did we figure out what was causing the god awful stench. Actually, our pediatrician figured it out in about two seconds.
Inside that specimen jar is a fuzzy ball. Carrie apparently stuck it up her nose BEFORE we left for Tahoe and after marinating for several days up there, it smelled like something died. No wonder she looked so happy in the after photo. I would have been miserable too with that stuck up my nose.
After our third skiing trip with three kids, we’ve realized a few things. It’s hard and no kid ever wants to carry his or her own ski gear. Ever. It’s expensive (Very expensive). It’s worth (almost) every penny and parental frustration.