I LOVE the snow! One caveat, however, is that I don't particularly want to live where it snows. So I suppose it's appropos that God placed me in the Central Valley of California. It takes a little more than an hour to reach the snow and a little more than 2 hours to reach the coast. I don't think I would mind living on the coast, but I've not actually lived there, so I don't really know. But since this post is about snow, I digress about the coast.
So... I LOVE the snow! If you read my last post, you'll know that I have a tendency to set my kids up for failure when it comes to staying dry. Therefore, this most recent New Years day (and the following day) we went up to Yosemite to play in the snow. Now you might wonder, why we would travel to one of this country's national treasures to simply play in the snow, and rightly so. The long and short of it is, that 4 miles into the park there is this great snow play area across the street from the historic Wawona Hotel. There is ample parking and lots of room for everyone to spread out. Additionally, if one is willing to shell out the $20 for a 7 day pass, you can drive right past the over-crowded, free snow play areas on Highway 41 on your drive up and KNOW that there is a quaint, serene, uncrowded slope just waiting for you. Not only that, you don't have to avoid near death trying to get parking on the side of the highway and keep your kids from getting run over while you're loading and unloading.
Anyways, in addition to loving the snow, we LOVE the MacIntosh Family! They are the kind of people that you hope to grow old and gray with and you pray that your collective children will remain friends until such time as they too are old and gray. So the fact that we now have an actual tradition (we've done it 2x's now) that involves going to the snow with the MacIntosh Family is simply wonderful!
We stay in Oakhurst and drive the 20 minutes into the park, hike into our secret and private area and hang out for a few hours. There's always hot cocoa, except this year we forgot cups, lot's of snacks, a place to rest, and a buddy to share your sled with. We made our snow man and this year it was even better than last year. Last year, it was later in the year so the snow was very hard. Good for a fast slope, bad for a snow man. Our man last year was very short and had crazy hair! This year, he was about as big as a kid, and he was asian (don't ask)!
The 2008 Snow Man
The 2009 Snow Man
We ate dinner at our FAVORITE barbeque place, Todd's, and ate until we could only waddle out to the car. Since we stayed at the Best Western this year, we topped off the night with a nice swim and dip in the hot tub at the indoor pool area. It was a bit tricky getting the kids back to the rooms, since we had to go outside to do it. But, it's awesome to play in the snow and swim on the same day! I always think, that our families will hang out in the rooms in the evening, but by the time we get back we are all so tired, we just crash out. I guess that means we had fun!
My favorite memory of our trip was the trip itself! I love the drive up and back. Rob and I get an hour to chat and remember last year and look forward to our day ahead. There're always those fun caravan stops, where one car has to find a facility and the other an ATM. The old "you'll do this, we'll do that and we'll meet back here, one, two, three, BREAK!" moments are always fun! Eating out with friends, especially at a place that has peanuts in the shell on the table and doesn't mind sweeping up after your kids that have already gone through one basket and dinner's not even here yet. I love sitting at one table and looking over at our kids, who have their own table, and watch them as THEY chat and goof off with THEIR friends. They may be small, but they're people too, apparently. I love laying down after a full day, knowing that my kids have made a memory that they won't soon forget. That these memories will be discussed with their friends in High School, their girlfriends in College and their own kids when they are parents. That this very tradition, might inspire them to make their own traditions with their families and that my grandchildren will, in turn, do the same. I love letting my kids play in the snow when it is raining, because there were no plans to stay dry. I love driving in the snow, because we stayed a little too long and pushed the clock back a bit because there was still fun to be had. I love driving through Fishcamp (yes, it's a town) and seeing three or four feet of snow on all of the rooftops (another reason I like to visit and not live in the snow, pretty to look at, pain to live in). I especially love the drive home. Kids are quietly watching a movie, or sleeping as the case may be. Everyone, even the adults, are tired and content. The drive is slow but steady, because you're not in a hurry to get home.
I LOVE the snow! It engenders in us a whimsical childishness! It creates a wonderland of beguiling beauty, where we can doff the garbs of parenthood, employment and spouse-dom once we cross the street and step foot onto the snow. We can cut the cords of hand holding and let the kids just run and become kids ourselves.
I LOVE the snow!