It's a little known fact around these parts that during the winter months I spend very small amounts of time at our house in Poulsbo. (It's actually year-round - who am I kidding?). The reality is I have not spent a weekend 'home' since October 2009. Every Friday night the husband and the kids (& dogs) pile in the car, sit in line for and ride the Kingston/Edmonds ferry and drive 2 to 3 hours (depending on number of potty stops, errand running & traffic) to the recreation Mecca of Washington which is located near Plain, WA. (Plain is just a short 1/2 hour drive from the quaint Bavarian town of Leavenworth). It is in Plain where my husband and I have a small cabin we purchased in 2004 to maximize our snow recreation abilities.
As winter's go, this one is not one for the record books. With no significant snowfall since the first week in January, snow levels at the 1,500 feet elevation (and 2,000 & 3,000....) which is where the cabin sits are left to the dirty piles of cinder & sand mixed crud at the side of the roads. It has been a warm and foggy late January and February. Snowmobiling and snowshoeing opportunities are much less than optimal. Having snowboarded for 9 straight weeks, I was ready for a weekend at home. My oldest son was done with lessons for a week and the Chilly Hilly was on Sunday. That was good enough for me.
Until Friday morning. Snow report stated 4" overnight and another 5-9" throughout the day and night. That's all it took. I can ride Chilly Hilly any day. Powder Rules.
My husband had already committed to snowmobiling with a buddy, so it was my boys and I off to the mountain. A true BLUEBIRD day! I was beaming from ear to ear. I couldn't hear the whining and complaining going on the in the backseat. We were all going to have an awesome day. No matter what!
Well, hmmmm.... Powder rule: No Friends on a Powder Day was going to be a challenge. When your mountain friends are your offspring one's obligation is adjusted a bit. Oh, that's okay. I was out on the slopes on the BEST conditions of the season. We were going to have an awesome day. Heck, the pure energy from the hoards and hoards of people that were also out to get a piece of their own frozen happiness was enough to make anyone smile. (I have never seen so many people in a lift line at Mission. sshhhh!)
I was still optimistic at the end of the first run. The boys, not so much. The terrain park was closed (I don't blame them, the WHOLE mountain was a park at that point in time!) and it put a major hole in their sails. Sam kept getting stuck in the powder and I was making him get himself unstuck (WHAT WAS I THINKING???) and the time came where Max (who is the family cheerleader) finally felt a twinge of jealousy from the attention that the 3-year old snowboarder receives. What was I to do?
Quick! Plan B. Early lunch was in order. Put some carbs & protein into their bodies and reward them with sugar. I even stuffed my pockets with more candy to ensure the rest of the day went without further whining. While having a private moment it dawned on me ....
.... it was me. My expectation was too high. I wanted to have the best time I've had all season, yet, I was holding my kids to the same standards that I hold them too each mountain day. If I needed more out of the day, I needed to give the boys more. I needed to help Sam if he got stuck, I needed to give more to Max (he was asking to go to daycare... yes, he just wanted to play) and I needed to put into perspective what the point of 'family' skiing/riding is. It's to spend time with each other. This too shall pass and they will be invoking their own 'powder rules'.
So, I left my bad attitude in the bathroom and we went out and goofed around on the mountain the rest of the day. Max got his wish and played in daycare for an hour where he built a snow fort and had a snowball fight with one of the staff members, he was in his element! Sam & I had some one-on-one snowboarding fun for last time as a three year old.
Top it all off - ice cream in town (it was 60 degrees out) on our way home.
In a shameless effort for self-promotion (or kid promotion), feel free to check out this video of my riding partners in action! All footage was shot during the past week, including a few clips from this epic day.