Saturday, February 27, 2010

A 12 Year Old Trip a Year Overdue

I had to take the Swatch off Josh tonight before he jumped into the bath. He’s been wearing the silly thing since I sat in bed typing last night. Last night I posted that he’d climbed up on the bed and began digging through my jewelry box on the dresser next to the bed. He found one of my Swatches, slid it up his arm, said, "This isn't cool or awesome," and walked off with it. Tonight I got him to admit that it was both Cool and Awesome but he rolled his eyes when he said it. I didn’t know three year olds could do that but he’s got four older siblings making sure he doesn’t miss a thing.

It’s been a really long day. Michael Jr. and I were up at 4:45 a.m. so we could hit the road by 5:15 a.m.

I should probably back up a little. A few years ago I told the kids that when they turned 12 they could do a trip with me like they do with their dad when they’re eight. The trip would be shorter and within the Pacific Northwest but that still gave them some latitude. Michael’s 13 and it never quite happened. This year he asked if he could go skiing.

I have very fond memories of skiing while I was in middle school and high school. Especially in high school it was fun when I was old enough to go with just my friends. But that was years ago. I haven’t hit the slopes since 1988. Could I teach Michael Jr.? It sounded time consuming, expensive, and likely to erupt into World War III. In short, it didn’t sound like a whole lot of fun.

I decided to ask Danae what she thought. She’s a ski instructor at White Pass and she told me about the EZ 123 program. For $119 we could get 3 ski rentals, 3 lessons, and 3 lift tickets for three days during the season. That’s perfect! I never had lessons so I had no idea how that works but if someone else could be responsible for showing him the ropes (literally) I was more than happy to sign on.

I wasn’t so sure this would be a great day to head up. It was supposed to be rainy and it was also the White Pass Winter Carnival weekend. Sounded crowded. Still, there aren’t so many weekends left in the season so we planned on it anyway. To get there by 7:45 a.m. and beat the rental shop rush, we left at the crack of dawn.

With Spudnuts and hot chocolates in hand (thanks Michael!) we headed out in the fog. When we were able to drive to higher elevations I could see the moon. I’d never seen it so huge and so beautiful. As we drove we listened to the radio and it was kind of interesting because I usually have a car full of kids on road trips and although I quiz them about the music, I don’t think they make out the words very clearly because they’re kids and they’re loud. This time it was just Michael Jr. and I and his responses to the songs were funny. When Air Supply came on singing “All Out of Love”, I didn’t change the station because it always cracks me up and makes me think of Vicki and Nav. Anything Air Supply reminds me of them and our college years. Anyway, Michael Jr. asked if he was hearing two dudes sing this song. Why yes, those are two guys. He thought they were singing to each other. *sighs* Later the song “Into the Night” by Benny Mardones came on and Michael hears:

“She's just sixteen years old

Leave her alone, they say,

Separated by fools

Who don't know what love is yet.”

“That guy has problems.” Sure enough, I know lyrics from a zillion songs and sing them out loud when I hear them but honestly, I rarely really think about the words much unless I feel like I can relate to them on some level. Not so much with this song. That guy really did have problems!

Well anyway, we made it up the mountain with time to spare and it was beautiful! No rain, only a few snowflakes before the sun really burst through. And the castle! There was a beautiful ice castle sitting behind the lodge, built for the Winter Carnival. By 8 a.m. we found ourselves at the head of a very long line at the rental shop. We filled out some paper work, got the equipment, went out to pay for the package, and then waited. The earliest lesson was at 10 a.m. and he left me in the lodge to head out. I was sort of proud that he was willing go over without me. He’s 13 but you know, it’s new stuff.

I should have brought some yarn and needles to knit a hat or something. I had way more time to kill than I’d figured on. He really didn’t need me at all. He took the lesson, came in for lunch, and then went back out to practice a little more before we left. We’ll probably stay longer next time but this was enough for today.

What a great day! He had a lot of fun and can’t wait to go again next weekend. And remember, I didn’t have to teach him! Now I'm wondering if it's like riding a bike? Should I give it a go before the season ends?

P.S. I made the mistake of looking up “Bakeries in Yakima” on my phone while I was waiting in the lodge this morning and found Essensia Artisan Bakery. We obviously had to stop by. I wish we’d had time to call Erika to come indulge with us! Had to get back before Costco closed but I tell you what, next time I’ll be back early enough for their almond croissants!


  1. They still make Swatches??? Looks like you are having a great time on the slopes.

  2. Sounds like a fun day! I have to admit that I have never been skiing before. The boys just told me (last week) that they would like to take snowboarding lessons - nice timing right??? Oh well, maybe next season.


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