Half Moon Bay, California November 2012

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A yearly tradition

True friends make the world of difference.  Anything can happen... but only true friends can stand by each other, laugh through it, and still want to continue the yearly tradition!  See why:

So we left Friday evening for the snow.  We were scheduled to leave earlier in the afternoon, after our friends' daughter, Emma,  got out of school.  While MG had the week off, Emma was just beginning her vacation.  It was a bit odd this year with every one's "ski week" being a week off from school to school.  So, that was the plan.  But things went a bit off schedule when poor Nicole's cat, Charlie became ill in the afternoon.  So she had to rush him to the vet... only to find out that she had to put him to sleep.  So it was a very somber event.  She brought Charlie home so her family could say good bye to him.  Her husband, Todd, dug a hole in the backyard and they all went outside and had a service for him.  Her oldest 2 children cried their hearts out... which then of course, made me cry!  My heart broke for them...  My children, on the other hand, were clueless!  Although they knew what had happened, they were not effected by Charlie's passing.  First of all, they hardly knew him - he always hid when they were over for any play dates.  (When I told them what had happened to Charlie, they kept asking, which one is he???)  Second of all, they have never had a pet.  Well, E will tell you that we have pet fish, "and some of them have already died a long time ago!  But we have new ones now... and they will die too."  He merely states the fact for you if you ask about our fish -- so, you see how my children do not understand?!  So, although MG tried to comfort Emma, she still couldn't really empathize.  Maybe one day, when we have our own home and a yard big enough for a dog or a cat... or a pig (that's what E want! yikes!).

I think it was well after 4:00 PM before we loaded the children into the car and headed out... right into traffic!  (Madness, I tell ya!)  What would have taken us 3 to 4 hours took us 6 to 8 hours.  We honestly did not mind it though.  Our children were pretty excited about the trip.  We had stopped half way to have a nice dinner by Vince's work place.  We ate at a place he frequents, as the waitress recognized him when he entered!  "Wow, you have 3 children?" she asked.  She seemed shocked if anything!  Anyway, they were fed and content.  E had a long nap -- even through dinner in my arms!  So he was ready to stay up all night if he had to!  By the time we arrived in Arnold to check in and pick up our keys, we needed to put snow chains on!

It was probably passed 10PM when we got out of the car to put the chains on the tires.  MD and E were fast asleep by this time, MG was struggling to stay awake... She watched us get out in the snow to put on the chains... and struggled to stay awake, but she did.  She stayed awake through the dark as we slowly made our way to the cabin... and then we got lost!  It was so dark.  It was very difficult to read the road signs and the snow was coming down and it was beginning to settle... and then we got stuck.  But the time we finally stopped to ask for directions, it was passed midnight.  We were lucky enough to find a house that had its lights on... and those occupying the cabin were awake!  They gave us directions, Vince merely went to turn the car around... but got stuck.  People, we got stuck in the snow!!!!  The tire was turning, but we were going... no where!  Why?!  Because we had lost our front driver's side chain!  Yes, we managed to lose a chain - without realizing it until now!  So out we went... shoveled snow out of the way... but didn't really make much of a dent!  And out came the same people from their cabin to lend us a hand. They brought out their shovels (and managed to break one while shoveling!) and they dug us out of our mess!  The Varnells literally had to give us one of their chains in order for us to make it back up the road, as we were unable to make it up.  And rather than waiting for us to give them back their chain when we made it up the road, they followed us and were able to make it up the hill without their driver's side snow chain....  And by 1 AM, we made it to our cabin... but just barely!

I crashed as soon as I put the children to sleep... and by morning, the power was out!  We're not sure when, but we did not have electricity all day Saturday and Sunday... by 7PM Sunday the power came back -- to Vince's disappointment.  He was actually enjoying the "going to bed with the sun thing!"  (Although he did not wake up with the sun!  If you know Vince, you know he is NOT a morning person!).  You may wonder how we ate, right?

Like this:
thank goodness for wood burning stoves!  And fortunately, Nicole and I had pre-made our dinners.  Tonight, we had the lasagna I made -- recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman.  It took about an hour to warm it up... but it was nice to have a warm meal!  Then we had brownies for dessert.  I also pre-made that and we warmed it up while we ate dinner.  See, we still were able to have coffee -- we brought along our coffee press!
E enjoying his first real experience in the snow!  The last 2 years he played in the snow... but this year, he really enjoyed it!
 That's how much snow we had!!!
 If they aren't the cutest girls on earth!  :)
 And here they are 3 ago ago:

It was neat to see the snow plow come by and plow the driveways:
 Back inside they battled with their Pokemon cards:
 The next day we witnessed this small snow plow get stuck while plowing our neighbor's driveway... then he called the big guy there and in a few seconds, along with a chain, the little snow plow was pulled out!  It made me wish I owned that big snow plow Friday night!
 The men went to town to buy us another set of snow chains to replace our lost one.  The children and moms played in the snow outside our cabin.  They are trying to build a fort here:
 They collected various sizes of snow balls to help build the fort:
 Dragging it up the road...
 The sled is as big (if not bigger!) than he is!
 When the dads came back home with a successful trip to town, the children all yelled for them to go down the road with them.  They had a blast!!!
 But we quickly went in the cabin, ate lunch and then headed out to the snow park.  With only about 2 hours left before the park closes, we were able to rent some tubes and did a lot of this:
 "That was AWESOME, mom!"  (That's MD all covered up!)
 That's the ramp!
 Vince decided to photograph while going down!  He's with E here:
 Just relaxing between trips up and down the slopes!
 Couldn't be happier!
 Everywhere we went, he had to attempt a snow angel.

Overall, this was an awesome trip!!!!  I hope to get some of Vince's professional photos up here... soon!  Off to edit now.  Looking forward to next year's trip already... along with a few things we need - "just in case"... a tow rope, spare chains, duct tape (in case snow outfits need to be adjusted)... and a plan in case of an emergency!

Special thanks to the Yeh/Bui Family for lending us their snow gears year after year!!!  What will we do if we want to go to the snow together??!!  


  1. Blog hopping today and am your newest follower. I hope that 1 of my blogs interests you too.


    I also do a weekend blog hop, you can link up on tawnasplan.blogspot.com open every Friday-Sunday!

  2. LIfe is never dull! Glad you made it back safely. I'm envious that we weren't there with you! xoxo Amanda

  3. OMG!! That looks fun!! Wish we were there!!

    Happy Tuesday, S!

  4. WOW - what a beautiful family you have. And that snow. I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and we do not see that much snow here. In fact a couple of inches usually shuts down the whole area. LOL! I found you on blog hop- I hope you stop by Grandma's Secrets to Savings at www.grandmassecretstosavings.com

  5. Omg(osh)! Does that look fun! You have such a beautiful family too. I love your family pic in your header. Thanks for joining the blog hop yesterday :)

  6. New follower from the Monday Mom blog hop. Feel free to check out my blog and follow back :)


  7. What great pics. I LOVE the snow ;)

    I'm following from the hop ;)