On Thursday, Annabel pulled a note out of her birthday advent calendar that read, “Surprise! You’re going to the snow today!” Her reaction was shock, then excitement.
A lot of you commented on last week’s video that you couldn’t believe my kids had never seen snow. That’s Southern California for you! We live close to mountains that get snow, but thanks to the drought, snow has been very sparse the last few years. But we had a good round of storms a week or so ago, dumping a ton of snow on the mountains around LA. My friend Tara and I had been talking about taking our kids to the closest mountain to let them play, and we decided last Thursday was a great day to go (And yes, we pulled the kids out of school. Life experiences!).
The mountain that we went to (Mt. Pinos for you locals) was absolutely empty when we went, giving us our pick of locations to play at. We ended up driving all the way to the top of the mountain, at an elevation of almost 9,000 feet. Since we live at an elevation of only nine hundred feet, I kept a close watch for symptoms of altitude sickness in the kids (something I suffered from when I was their age), but they all did great. Once we got all of their snow gear on, they were off and running!
I was really surprised by how DEEP the snow was. Tara and I would sink up to our shins with every step. The kids, being lighter, didn’t sink quite so far, but they (mostly) didn’t mind when they inevitably fell. In fact, my kids thought laying in the snow was amazing.
It did get hard for James to climb the hills, so I started having him lay down in our sled and I’d pull him up the hill. Every time I looked back to make sure he was still in the sled, he’d happily call out, “Hi, Mommy!”
The kids did a lot of sledding, but they soon became interested in learning how to build snowmen, throwing snowballs, and moving snow from one area to another.
The kids also thought having a “snow picnic” was the coolest thing ever.
I thought it was the coolest thing literally because my butt just about froze on the snow.
We were in the snow for about two hours before we packed it up. It was the perfect amount of time – everyone got to sled as much as they wanted, throw snow, and build snow forts. No one was too cold (except Tara, who is cold on an 80 degree day), and both of my kids fell asleep before we’d even gone 500 feet down the mountain. Such a fun day with my oldest friend – I love that our kids can make these memories together, just like we did when we were their ages.
Awww! What a great life experience day! Glad everyone had so much fun
What a fun experience for the kids! Especially getting out of school. Those were the best of times for me growing up.
That is so awesome! It’s going to snow here today, I’m already dreading it. lol 80 degrees and sun sounds wonderful to me right now. Of course my daughter cannot wait! Last year her dad got on her sled (and broke it) she still reminds him of “being too heavy for my sled”. lol Luckily Santa brought her a new one this year.
Rita A. says:
This.Is.Awesome! Making memories with your kids and friends is truly the best.
Ohhhhhhhhh, do you know how many people are WISHING right now that they could “go to the snow” for just a few hours, have tons of fun, and then go back to some cozy, So. Cal. weather?!? Meeeeeeeee, for one!!
Freeeeeeezy hugs from (currently 10F) Ohiooooo!!
It’s not 80 degrees here, granted, but the fact that we can be snow free here in Seattle but drive 1 hour (sometimes less in some suburbs and be in the mountains and ski of play in the snow) or go to the beach within minutes, is one of the things I love about living here.
I know, it’s definitely a perk!!! All the fun, none of the shoveling!
Question – do you own all the snow gear or did you borrow it? I’m in Chicago (where it’s about 3 degrees right now) and of course, we own all the boots and hats and mittens…but if you don’t use it all the time, do you still buy it, even as the kids grow? Just totally curious?!
I was wondering the same thing since I get my kids’ snow gear from Goodwill since it’s handy to have should we get snow but we’ve gone a year or two when it hasn’t snowed a flake. Of course, they do go skiing in the mountains with their Opa on occasion too.
A bit of a mix between owning and borrowing. We already owned the warm jackets, and I bought James’ bib last year when it was on clearance for $9. I had to buy Annie’s bib, but I bought black so James can use it in a few years. We borrowed the shoes! And I own my own snow gear, but I am mostly done growing
Wait. When you say “bib” are you referring to their snow pants?
Anita Atwell says:
I’m so glad you were able to come to our mountain for snow play. I live about 12 miles from where you played. It is good you came on a week day for sure. On the week-ends after a snow storm thousands of people come up for snow play and it would have taken you hours to get up there or have been turned back. http://mountainenterprise.com/story/can-snow-play-traffic-chaos-be-fixed-2/
What fun!! And what great moms to plan this awesome day for your kids.
What a wonderful adventure for them.
Being in the PNW and close to mountains (My.Rainier and the Olympic Peninsula), mine are well acquainted with snow. It’s a mixed bag: the eldest loves it, while the younger one haaaaates it. Really. Every pic of him in snow we’ve taken of him this year has him outright crying.
So much fun! And good for you for pulling the kiddos out of school. In 10 years Annie would never remember what she learned that day at school but I’m sure she’ll remember this day. We’re in Seattle and there is TONS of snow in the mountains but my little guy is only 8 months old and I don’t think he’d fully appreciate it yet (meaning we’d probably drive all the way up there and he’d hate it) so we will wait until next year. I can’t imagine kids this age never having seen snow! It’s probably way more fun to experience as an older kid for the first time, we take it for granted here!
Jana L Frerichs says:
That is SO awesome!!!!! I love this post! What a great day of making memories!
Thought I’d pop in and say “Yay for all the Seattle/PNW readers!!!”
But even more so, what a great day you planned and had! Good for you for taking the kids out of school for memory-making times! And if anyone gives you a hard time, just say they had a science day: the science of snow and all it can do, how it can be manipulated,etc. A snow picnic sounds fun!!! I used to take a sprinkle of raw sugar and a drop of vanilla in a bowl of snow for my niece. Yum!
Out of curiosity, what is the advent calendar for? Annie’s birthday? If so, brilliant idea! Did you already tell people about it & I missed it? I’ve been a bit behind with a sick kitty (15 years old…she gave me a fright but was spunky & running about tonight!), + my own chronic pain, other crap. LOL