On Serene Lake, Soda Springs, California, March 2012
This was one of those trips where the planning falls apart in several different ways, enough to make superstitious types wonder whether you should go at all, or if you should just stay home and remain in your PJs as much of the weekend as possible.
Back in the days when I was completely terrified of flying, these kind of omens would have done me in for a trip that involved an airplane. But luckily, we were driving, and besides my insistence that we stop to buy tire chains on the way up, fussy children and all, I managed to resist that kind of worry.
So I decided to not do much planning. We abandoned our original idea - to go to South Lake Tahoe with friends - and instead struck out for Soda Springs, near Truckee, on our own. We brought a trunk full of snow clothes and boots, borrowed for the kids, our own dug deep out of storage. We brought sleepers and a crib and a bunch of food, and decided to play it by ear whether we would spend the night or not.
Play it by ear -- words I never thought I would utter referring to travel with small children. I felt daring and spontaneous, despite the children fussing away in the backseat.
Once we got up there and saw how gorgeous it was, we decided to stay. Plus, it was already 3 p.m., and it was supposed to snow the next day.
I'm so glad we stayed. Since we stayed at a small (oddly sweltering 85-degree indoors) lodge, we put the kids to bed and then went downstairs and had dinner just the two of us. Radical!
And then the next day, we woke up to snow. Not just the forecast snow showers, but a solid 5 inches of flakes falling all morning long.
Emry took a nap in the lodge while Elan, Mikhail and I sledded just outside.
Emry was not so into the snow. He couldn't move much in the thick snow clothes, he couldn't grab the pinecones he so dearly wanted with mittens on, he couldn't crawl because his knees kept slipping, and he couldn't walk in the snow boots we borrowed, which were probably about 4 sizes too big for his tiny feet.
But he loved hanging out in the lodge, where the under-6 set was well-represented.
Elan loved the snow. And Mikhail and I loved the snow. It felt like such a victory for me that we made it there.