You may be asking yourself "What the heck is "Ski Week?" Which was the same exact question I asked 2 years ago when my son was in kindergarten and we were told he'd be off for a week in February, as well as for the regular spring break in, well, spring.
I was then told that the district took a week off in February because so many parents were pulling their kids out of school during this month to take advantage of the snow up in Tahoe that they decided to just make it official. Hence, ski week.
Now, I don't ski. I tried. Many times. My mother would drag me (sometimes literally!) to the slopes in new Hampshire, stick a pair of wooden planks on my feet, and push me down a mountain. At least, that's what it felt like to me. In truth, we'd all go up to some nice, snowy resort, rent equipment, and she'd buy me a lesson. On the bunny hill. And then we'd "graduate" to the hill where you actually had to take the rope tow up, except I couldn't get the hang of it and ended up face planting in the snow. Even when I DID make it up the hill, I usually got less than halfway down before I face planted into the snow and fell the rest of the way down.
I liked cross-country skiing, though. No, actually, I LOVED cross-country! I always begged my mother to let me go cross-country while she and my brother hurled themselves over moguls, but she insisted that once I learned to ski downhill I would love it.
Now, you would think, after the whole tennis debacle, that she'd have known better. Earlier in our childhood, my brother and I were force-marched to tennis lessons, as well as a week of hell-er-tennis CAMP every summer. For YEARS. My bro is a natural athlete, full of grace and ability. I...am not. I sucked at tennis. I sucked at downhill skiing. I hated every minute of both. One year I foolishly went out for little league. Guess what? I sucked at that too, and ended up hating it!
Eventually my mother gave in to the fact that her younger offspring would never excel at sports, and she let me focus on drama and dance instead. So I had more time to ride my bike and my skateboard, and then, my ROLLER SKATES! Because the early 80's came along, "Xanadu" was released (I made my mother take my friends and I to see it 5 times-PAYBACK!) and everyone wanted to be Olivia Newton John. So I had my roller skates with pink wheels, and my friends and I spent hours threading ribbons through our hair clips. We spent most of our waking hours rolling instead of walking. Yeah, that's how we roll(ed)! Kinda like Roller Girl from "Boogie Nights." But shorter. And, y'know, without the sex.
But I digress.
Last year, when we changed from 2007 to 2008, we went to Tahoe with my in-laws. We hadn't been there in the winter for quite some time, and never with the kids.
I saw a distinct pattern emerging.
We took the kids out to go sledding. Our son took to it right away, and had the time of his life. Our daughter? Well, she cried at first. Then she walked around for a bit, observing all the crazy people shooting down the hill at breakneck speed on tiny plastic discs. Eventually she let Hubby sit her on his lap as he went down the hill. She did that a few times, and then she was done. Had had enough and was ready to back to the car. Or, better yet, back to the nice warm toasty hotel room.
And I was right there with her.
She normally loves being outside. And she liked going for walks while we were there. But anything involving snow, ice, etc.? Fuhgeddaboudit! She is her Mommy's daughter, and Mommy has had enough snow and cold to last a lifetime! See, the thing that ski vacationers don't understand is what it's like to LIVE in the snow! The shoveling. The cars that won't start. The ice. The slush. The months and months of cold, gray, wet that leave you depresed. Putting on six layers of clothes every time you go outside, only to take them back off when you go inside, and repeating the process 10 times a day.
So, we didn't go skiing for ski week, although I think our son would be a natural at it. Too expensive. Too crowded. TOO DAMN COLD!!!!!
So we hung out at home. Slept in a bit. Took the kids for walks in the city. Drove to Berkeley. Played outside when it wasn't raining. And had a great time!
If we ever DO decide to go skiing? Hubby can take our son on the hills, while I go cross-country with our daughter. Then she and I will go back to the hotel, sit in front of the fire, and drink hot cocoa.
Or maybe we'll just stay home!