Tuesday, January 1, 2013


We had big plans to party over Christmas break this year.  With all the distaste I have for law school (which is a lot), I suddenly realized that this is the last year where Greg will have "nothing" for a couple weeks (he went into the firm a couple times over the break, but it's easy for him to work around a schedule there).  So, I thought we should maybe head out to Utah and see some of our lovely friends, as well as enjoy the snow (first time for my kids) and the temple lights.  While my husband, who would have been responsible for much of the driving, had his reservations, he is generally willing to indulge in what I want to do, so he would have gone along with it.  Unfortunately, we were going to have to squeeze things in, because Greg had the week before Christmas and the week of Christmas off, and Charlie didn't get out of school until the week of Christmas, and then had the week after Christmas off, when Greg was going back to school.  So we only had one week where everyone was out of school, which was the week of Christmas.  I put in vacation time at work, but then we ended up closing escrow on one of the hotels we own (seriously, this thing has been put off since August.  I almost died of shock when I found the sale was actually going through), set to close the Friday after Christmas.  Therefore, my vacation was cancelled, and we had exactly two days where everyone was off work and school, and that was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The Utah plan was scrapped, but a friend offered an alternative plan.  Apparently Mt. San Jacinto is just outside Palm Springs, and there is an aerial tram (like the zoo's skyfari, but on steroids) that takes you from the bottom of the mountain up 8500 feet to the top.  There was seven inches of snow on the ground, and best yet, for my husband, there was no driving in the snow to get there.

On our way up.

 The snow was really powdery, and almost impossible to compact into snow balls or a snow man.  So we maybe cheated a tiny bit.  There was a snow person already made that Greg found, and he took it apart and took off the decor, and then our kids roll it together and add the face and arms.  And they were pretty proud.

 The snow was so fun, until the second it was not fun anymore. 
It was really fun, and something to do every year, for sure.  The things I would do differently next time:
1) the tramway station is at the top of a long pathway which is paved, and you go down to get to the snow.  When the kids were tired at the end, we had to haul them back up the pathway.  I would bring my cheap umbrella stroller and leave it at the bottom of the path for getting them back up to the station.
2) Lollipops for the tramway down.  It's like descending in an airplane, and their ears were really hurting them, and they kept saying "but I just can't yawn, mommy!"
3) Actual snow gloves for the adults.  We borrowed stuff for the kids, but didn't worry about ourselves.  We went to college in Utah and we were fine (I had knitted gloves, but not waterproof).  But apparently when we lived in Utah we never had to roll a million snowballs for children, so our hands were COLD.
4) Snow boots, which cinch up.  We borrowed one pair, but it was too small, so next year I will more diligently search out pairs for each child that fit.  It wasn't the hugest deal because I put them in three pair of socks each, but right at the end Felicity was complaining that there was snow in her shoes.
5) They have hot water at the top... and the hot chocolate packets are $3.  No way.  Bring some hot chocolate packets, just for fun.

We really recommend the trip for anyone looking for an easy day trip to the snow.  The tramway prices are a little expensive, but when you think about it, you are saving a lot of money on gas from just going to Palm Springs, plus you save on lodging, if you were going to go stay somewhere.  We brought food up with us, but there are restaurants there (pricey for what you get, as far as I could tell), and in general you can do it on a budget.  It's going to be a Christmas tradition from now on, for sure!


Kirsten said...

Halfway through the first paragraph I was about to get real mad that you came to Utah and didn't see me, but then I finished reading and put the angry eyes away.

We used to go sledding in the mountains east of San Diego (Descanso?) when they had snow, that could be another, closer snow option for you next time you get the urge :)

*HoLLy and AdAm TOwNeR* said...

What a fun new Christmas tradition. I did that once while I still live in CA, but had totally forgotten about it. I like all your recommendations for the kiddos.

Keith Marino said...

That sounds like a great time. Great pictures of the kids. Very Cute.

Melanie said...

So glad you were able to go! Thanks for the words of advice too.

Stacy said...

those little gloves! have you ever?!?!?!