Monday, February 28, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

Three years ago, when Husband came home from work one cold, snowy winter day in DC and said, "How do you feel about moving to Los Angeles?" you might remember I was none too pleased. California?!!! Three thousand miles away from family and friends?! The west coast?! Surfers?! Movie stars?! Liposuction and botox?! The idea of my child saying, "I grew up in California!" left me breathing into a paper bag and cooking up all kinds of scenarios in which Husband worked in Hollywood and we still managed to somehow live in our little house, tucked right up against the Potomac, walking distance to Barnes and Noble and down the street from friends. Unfortunately most of those scenarios required either Husband or myself to be independently and wildly wealthy, which neither of us were (and if we were? that probably would have negated the need for Husband to take said job in the first place).

So, in June, long after the snow had melted and the decision had been made, we packed up and moved our family to the Left Coast. My one constant request was that every year we make a trip to the snow so that Ethan would not grow up without the experience of snowmen and sledding and snow angels and catching snowflakes on his tongue. I grew up in New England and while I was never a winter sporty type (my skiing ability is limited to rooting for Bode Miller really really loudly), one of my constant happy memories is the sound and light and feel of the first snow fall of the year, the hush of the white blanket when its new and the pin-prickly cold of the snow on my tongue or getting stuck in my coat collar when being taken by surprise by a snowball. The idea of Ethan never experiencing those things made my heart ache. And so Husband and I promised each other that every year, at least once, we'd find our way to the snow.

Well, Robert Frost had a thing or two to say about how way leads on to way, and how we never quite come back the way we'd expected, either literally or figuratively. Two winters passed, one in Los Angeles and one in the Bay Area, and we didn't make good on our promise to each other. Life got busy, money got tight, yadda, yadda, yadda. Each year, as the ground warmed and the trees popped their new buds, I'd sigh and say, "next year.....I guess."

Thankfully, though, 2011 is the winter of the snow. Not only did it come *this* close to snowing literally in our own backyard (does super sparkly frost on all surfaces count as snow? This California girl says "Yes. Yes, it does."), but a few weekends ago, we made the 5 hour drive to the Sierras and spent the weekend basking in the fabulousness of Tahoe.

I told Ethan we were going about a week before the trip, which means that every morning as I woke up, his groggy little face would lift up from his pillow & he'd croak, "is today the day we go to Tahoe?" He really had no idea what Tahoe was, nor did he have any actual memories of snow, but he's still at that age where he feeds off of my excitement and to say I was giddy to the point of stupidity is probably an understatement. So Ethan shared in my giddiness.

The last time Ethan saw snow, he looked like this....

...oh, excuse me, I was slobbering kisses on my computer screen trying to get to those chubby little cheeks. Ohdeargod, The Cute!

A couple weeks ago, my Tahoe boy....

I was afraid the snow would freak him out, since he really had no idea what to expect of it. He asked countless times during our 5-hour drive "when we get to the cabin, can I play in the snow?" The fact that by the time we got to the cabin we were staying at with friends it would be over an hour past his bedtime and pitch black out did not deter his excitement. And so when we got there, well after 8pm, the first thing Ethan did was run into a snow bank on the side of the driveway while we unloaded the car.

And he loved it. The snow was too hard packed and icy for good snow angels or snow balls that wouldn't sting to the point of just not being fun, but we went sledding and ate snow and spent the day at the ski resort and took skiing lessons and trudged around in the most painful torture devices ski boots known to man (I'm guessing that perhaps we rented the wrong size and that accounts for the agony we put our feet and lower legs through. Correctly-fitting ski boots coulnd't possibly inflict that much pain or no one would ever ski. Ever.) I'll tell you about my ski lesson another day because its really its own epic blog post o' FAIL. (I will tell you this: the instructor put me in a time out for being a really bad skiier. No, really. He did.) But Ethan loved his all-day lesson and when we returned from our skiing debacle on the mountain, we got to watch him ride up the magic carpet and glide down the bunny hill over & over again gleefully. Oh my heart, I was so happy.

sunrise from the cabin

yeah, I might have just laid right down in the snow. It was fabulous.

...and Ethan did, too.

There wasn't a ton of snow right down by the lake, but that changed the day after we left and the Tahoe area got pounded with seven FEET of snow....

On Sunday afternoon while the boys rested, I went to downtown Truckee and took pictures. These are a few of my favorites...
He NAPPED!! In the middle of the day! For the first time in at least a year! Please note that he's clinging to his goggles.

Best weekend ever. Totally worth the three winter wait, but I guarantee it won't be three more years before we're up there again.


L.A.C.E. said...

Too cute!!! Being in Winnipeg it's been nasty cold this year. Each winter I keep saying I can't wait to get out of here. But I know I would miss winter in the snow. However, I am still moving to the tropical island when I retire lol With a newborn I am stuck inside due to the insane cold this year. So I dislike winter with a vengeance right now. Your post and pics reminded me what I do like about winter. I cannot wait until next winter when I can go play outside in the snow with all my children :D

lonek8 said...

my MIL lives in Auburn which is such a quick drive to Tahoe - and my husband is a rabid skier (as is my FIL). What do you say next year we all go to Tahoe together? The kids can play and so can we (I'm a terrible skier too in case you were worried)

ps: if you are really looking for performance from your equipment, then yes, your ski boots should be painful. Not for the pain itself, but becuase they have to be so tight and stiff. One reason I'm not super into hard core skiing

gringa said...

What a wonderful weekend, especially for Ethan. Thank you for this beautiful post.