Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To Ski or Not To Ski....

Ah yes, it is that time of year again.  The time when the mercury drops to unspeakably cold levels and the snow piles up like so many mountains of fluffy cotton balls.  Children, rosy-cheeked from the cold and excitement of a snow day, burrow into snow caves, dare each other to lick frozen flag poles, or roll snow men into existence, giggling and breathing out clouds of freezing happiness.  In other parts of the country.


Here, we get a thin crust of frost on the car windows & have to go four rounds with the kids about why they NEED to wear a jacket out because ITS WINTER, and that's just what you do--from December until March, you were a parka! Something down-filled and quilted! With a hood! And a zipped-up zipper! Even if it's 50 degrees out, because Mama's from New England, damn it!!!

And that's winter in Northern California.  Unless you get in the car and drive 4 hours east.  Then? WEEEEEE!!!!!

It's a mountain! With SNOW on it! Yay!

When Husband & I moved to the west coast, it was with the understanding that I was going to need to spend a weekend or two each winter in the snow.  Therefore, in the past 4 years, I have spent approximately 6 days in snow.  And that's just about right--just long enough to gasp with glee when I notice that we've driven up to the snowy elevations and that suddenly there's snow blanketing the trees on the side of the road.  Just long enough to love the feeling of the icy cold air in my lungs and to romanticize the brisk, clean sparkly winter wonderlandiness of it all.

The first year we went up to Tahoe, Husband and I, under some joint delusion of athletic prowess (or perhaps overconfidence in our basic gross motor skills), took ski lessons.  This was a misguided attempt  on my part to recapture my own non-skiing youth and turn it around. I"m from NH! I'm supposed to ski! How could I not ski?!!!  Every one in NH skis! I have friends who went to high school with Bode Miller, damn it!--just by association, I should at least be able to take a black diamond blind-folded with one hand tied behind my back!

Oh people.  I cannot ski. Not only can I not ski,  I can't even walk in ski boots.  I can, however, fall on my butt with astonishing flair and whine incessantly about the boots cutting off circulation (and shredding the skin from my shins).  And it turns out, Husband, who was born and raised way closer to the equator than me, couldn't really care less about ever learning to ski.  A match made in heaven!!! Yay!

So the next year, Husband and I dropped Ethan off at ski school (he LOVES skiing; apparently gravity is far less intimidating when you're only 40-something inches from the ground), and spent the morning and early afternoon lollygagging about at the resort, shuttling ourselves from Starbucks to one of the outside fire pits, to the bar, to the fire pit, to this shop or that, to the fire pit...and even though I love a fire pit as much as the next person, it got boring after a bit, and we found ourselves wandering over to the kid's lessons for the sheer entertainment value of watching tiny people on skis.

This year, we finally got it right.  You know what you do at ski resorts when you don't ski?  (besides drink?)  You get a massage.  BAM!

No pretending we're going to become mid-life skiers;  no playing the "we're too cool for ski school" card and lazing at fire places all day.   Just drop the kiddo off with a bunch of people we're assuming are trained to care for kids while teaching them how to ski down the side of a mountain, get ourselves some coffee & head towards the plunky-plunky new age music of the day spa.

I booked a couples' massage for myself and Husband--and I have to say the whole idea of lying naked on a table next to your partner, who is also lying naked on a table, while strangers rub you?  Its just weird.  Its not like you can hold hands, and you certainly don't want to chit-chat.  So what's the point?  I don't know.  But I do know this:  a ski resort is THE place to get a massage.  These massage therapists are used to people coming in after a hard day of swishing down mountains on skis and snowboards, muscles tight and aching.  They are used to working out the kinks in the athletically fit and ambitious.  So our gelatinous, squishy muscles were no match for their powers.

After being kneaded like so much dough, Husband and I headed to meet up with our friends (actual skiers) for lunch.  You know how a massage therapist will say that after a massage you should stay hydrated and drink lots of water to help flush out the toxins released by the massage?  Yeah.  Turns out, vodka, although a clear and tasteless liquid like water, is NOT really a good substitute for water in this scenario.  Um. Oops.  Lunch may have consisted of a couple adult beverages, which combined with the aforementioned massage-released toxins and threw what I assume is my "chi" into some sort of crisis and I felt pretty sick for the rest of the day.  Let's call that "altitude sickness" and not "stupid Sarah sickness," shall we?

Ethan trudging towards ski school--I think he might be wearing that parka until he's 10. 

Pre-massage beverage. Grande skim, extra hot, no water chai.  Oops.  Again with the no water. 

Look at the pretty mountain I didn't even pretend I was going to engage with in any way, shape or form except to take a couple pictures and say, "pretty." 

I love that he loves the snow. 

 I'm hoping we get up to the snow at least once more this winter.  More skiing for the kid, more massages for me.  Everybody wins!


Becca said...

Well when you put it that way, winter sports don't sound quite so bad. I also miss sledding, snow, etc. but then when it's cold here I HATE it. Better to be able to drive to it once in a while!

Sarah said...

Massages are THE BEST-- but you really do have to drink water. I would hate a couples' massage, I think. I always wear earphones and pretend to be totally alone (a phantom masseuse?) Sounds like a fun trip!