Monday, February 18, 2008

Yet another school holiday. At least we've all heard of President's Day. Last weekend was extended by Lunar New Year holiday and another just because day tacked on (Professional Development for the teachers officially I think). We took the opportunity to head to the slopes. Pete rented us a huge 4,000 sq. ft. home in Yosemite West - which is geographically located in the middle of Yosemite Nat. Park but on the edge so you can only access it through the park but the homes are physically outside the park (is my understanding). Anyway - it is on the side of the mountain at the base of the turn off for the skiing area in the park - Badger Pass. I love that place. It is the ultimate in mellow mountain especially on weekdays. I can only imagine what Wednesdays must be like (deserted!) . It is rare when you have to wait in line for your lift. Group lessons generally consist of yourself and the teacher. Weekday specials include all rental equipment, lift ticket and *group* lesson for $29 for kids and $39 for adults. I took a lesson last year and again this year and have to say I feel so much more solid on the mountain. So solid in fact that I was able to ski down the mountain (on the easy slope) while videotaping the other skiers! (I was very impressed at myself). The Reiff cousins joined us as did our friends the McGees. All of us had 2 kids and they all know each other well. Maggie and Seamus are buds in preschool now and Ellie, Quincy and Gracie all were best friends in T-K last year. Aidan knows them all of course although they are all younger. Lessons got Quincy, Ellie & Grace all off and able to snow plow their ways down the easy slope and even the easier intermediate slope. Aidan is starting to parallel out of his turns and cousin Phil showed him how to ski backwards. Back at the very large house we had some good meals (each family took a dinner and breakfast) and the kids had fun playing pool and sledding. Phil even managed to find a zipline up the hill from the house. We had had a series of winter storms in January culminating in a 4' drop of snow the weekend before we got there. The weather turned remarkably balmy for our trip so we had the best of 2 worlds - a ton of really nice skiing (and throwing snowballs) and really warm conditions. Lunch in short sleeves. I did see a snowboarder in his trunk undies and no shirt. Yosemite was beautiful as usual and there was still a couple of feet of snow on the ground in the Valley itself.

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