Snow Tubing. It’s not exactly an extreme sport. Well, not unless you’re watching your children plummet down a hill the length of a football field going much faster than you would consider safe after you yourself have zoomed down the same hill moments earlier screaming for your life. But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Gotta live. A scratch-off ticket win from back around the holidays plus a New Year’s Resolution/Motto of “Living for today” had created the perfect set-up. No playing it safe and boring by putting my small winnings into the bank to help pay a bill. No way. “We’re going snow tubing!” I had declared. Then, I checked the height requirements, measured my daughter (the smallest of our family) and determined, “We’re golden,” when she surpassed it by half an inch.
Groundhog’s Day. Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring and we took it as a good omen that this should be our day to hit the slopes. The morning dawned sunny, the wind had died down and we were in full denial of the temperature hovering below the freezing mark. Off we went, to the fabulous winter resort of Bear Creek, PA which I must say having never been to Aspen or Vail, it’s … uh … very similar. (I like to mess with my husband every now and then, so I said, “Oh, this reminds me of
Colorado.” He said something like, “When were you there?” The real answer is never, but I told him, “Oh,
that must have been with that other guy before you.” I like to keep him guessing.)
Gearing Up. We arrived and parked the “swagger wagon” (a.k.a. 2006 Saturn Relay) in the next available spot beside a shiny, new Cadillac Escalade Luxury SUV. I opened the side door to yelps of “Close it! It’s cold!” The mother beside us smiled at me nicely as she assisted her children into their color coordinated ski gear as she herself wore outerwear that flattered her petite figure. We, on the other hand, tumbled out of the van where I pulled Wal-Mart brand snow pants onto my children before struggling into my own snow gear that added easily six to ten inches to the size of my thighs. Of course, no one at the slopes had a look that rivaled my husband’s. You must understand that he’s a rugged outdoorsy type; hunter, fisherman, chop-down-a-tree sort of guy. So, he wore what he usually wears in extreme cold temperatures: his khaki well-worn Carhartt overalls complete with a fleece-lined ear-flap hat. “Alrighty then,” I said seriously reconsidering my decision to go out in public in mismatched, over-sized outerwear. “Let do this.”
Totally Tubular. Okay, so there’s this commercial where the lady is buying rock climbing shoes and ropes and airplane tickets. And then, at the end, she’s standing fearlessly on this little, tiny rock way, way up high. Yeah, that was totally how I looked after the conveyor belt rode us and our “tubes” halfway up the “mountain”. I was standing in a triumphant pose when the girl working the slopes interrupted my revelry by dully saying, “Go.” My husband and I had planned for me to go first in order to retrieve our children at the bottom while he would go last after helping each of them to disembark. “Go,” the girl repeated to me. “Okay, okay,” I said. “It’s not like I’m scared or anything." I pushed off bravely, promptly spun backwards, gained the equivalent of warp speed and screamed my way to the bottom which is where I completed my panic attack with the realization that my children were about to hurtle down the hill next. Naturally, all three of them were delighted by the ride, unfazed and ready to do it again.
The Lodge I do enjoy the ski resort experience, but I’d much rather spend my day inside watching the slopes as I walk around with a hot drink (preferably spiked) while brandishing the lift tag on my jacket like a badge of honor. You know, acting like I’m so going back out there, just taking a break from going so X-Games on the slopes, yep. Needless to say, we lasted an astounding hour and a half and completed about five or six runs before my youngest son demanded we call it quits. He was nearly frozen solid just like Audrey in National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation, (you know, the part when they’re getting their tree), so we decided to go inside, find a fireplace and have lunch. After shedding or more like, ditching, our snow gear back at the van, I must say we looked quite phenomenal as we sashayed through the lodge area with our Tubing Lift tickets hanging off our unzipped jackets revealing classic Nordic themed sweaters. Oh yeah.
Good Times “So how did everyone like snow tubing?” I enthusiastically asked my children as we dug into lunch. I added for good measure, “Mommy could have spent her winnings on a new pair of boots or skinny jeans or a Mani/Pedi, but no, I didn’t. I decided to share it with all of you. So, tell me, how did you like it?” I was holding out my arms ready for the avalanche of love and appreciation. Here’s what I got: “Okay, I guess. A little better than sledding in the backyard.” and “Why couldn't we go snowboarding? That looked so much funner.” and “It was cold. My hands and my fingers and my eyes and my nose and my lips and my chin and and my hair and my ears are still frozen.” Yep, memories were made that day for sure. Gotta live for today. Good times.
If you happened to be, at the very least, mildly amused by this post, then “Tube” (rather than surf- ha, ha!) over to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and check out my first novel, Going Barefoot in Greener Grass. (And don’t forget, Novel #2: Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies is due to be released this coming September.)