Last year the whole family got a lot of days of skiing in, including Grace who started lessons at the same time as Lucas. I might have been overly aggressive when I bought passes for the whole family over the summer. Between the drought and being busy at home this winter, we hadn’t used our passes at all. Last week was “ski week” at Olivia’s school, so she had the week off (along with many schools in the Bay Area).
Grace has been “working” a lot on weekend and I anticipated that last weekend would be similar. So, rather than try to keep busy at home, I decided about mid-week to take the kids to Tahoe myself. I was a little apprehensive about being outnumbered, but we had to get these guys back on the snow.
I started out in a weak negotiating position with Lucas, who has been reiterating that he doesn’t like ski school. Somehow, he bargained me down to half a day, but they don’t really have half-day programs. I really didn’t think they were ready to ski together with me (or was it that I wasn’t ready to ski with both of them?).
The first day, I hired one instructor to take Lucas in the morning and Olivia in the afternoon, while I skied with the other. It worked out okay, but I realized that both of them just needed to be in ski school all day. Mustering every negotiating tactic I had (but no bribery), I convinced Lucas to do ski lessons until 2:30pm (instead of 3:20pm) on Saturday. Addy and Charles brought Cameron and Delaney up on Saturday morning, so Olivia did a half-day of lessons with Cameron, which she enjoyed. I skied with her the rest of the day. We went to pick up Lucas, but he wasn’t there. Apparently his instructor wasn’t feeling well and didn’t pass along the early pickup to his replacement. We skied a little more and then were held up getting down the mountain (helicopter medi-vac shut down the Gondola and the only trail down – yikes). I was quite concerned that Lucas was going to be upset with me, but he turned out to be a very good sport about it (despite being the last one).
Brian and Katie were also at Northstar all week, so we skied together that morning and then met up again for aprés ski in the village. It seemed that half of Olivia’s school was there, too, so we ran into many friends on the mountain and in the village. Lucas and Olivia capitalized on dessert before dinner, which we enjoyed with the Sugars and Kowals.
We were supposed to leave that evening, but Olivia really wanted to stay and was motivated to keep learning (she wanted to go to ski school). I had my work cut out for me to convince Lucas, but somehow I Jedi mind-tricked him into another 2:30pm pickup and he agreed to ski school. We had already checked out and packed that morning, so I had to find a new place to stay that evening.
I won’t go into all the gory details of the logistics involved in getting them to and from the mountain with all their gear. I’ll just say that if sherpas were available, I would have hired one or two for the weekend. I learned my lesson Saturday morning that you can’t get up and ready too early, so Sunday was a very early start in order to get to ski school by 8:00am. The kids were both great and I ended up picking them both up at 2:30pm so we could try skiing together.
Olivia kept telling me that she could ride the lift herself. I thought she meant get on herself, which was great because Lucas needed a hand. We all go to get on and Olivia just stays behind. She was determined to go it alone. Later I had to explain that I wanted us to ride together, which resulted in the failed selfie.
We all skied down to the bottom together (foregoing the gondola). Olivia really wanted to ice skate, so she did that while I gathered our things. After a couple of bags of Cheetos, we were on our way. I was expecting the worst to be driving back on the Sunday of ski week, but it seemed everyone had already left and we didn’t have much traffic. I broke up the drive with dinner in Sacramento and we were home by 10:00pm.
We all had a really great time together and the kids were awesome traveling buddies. Aside from the skiing and experience, I also managed to get several buddy shots with Olivia and Lucas that I hope they will appreciate for a long time. I know I will.