Days before California, along with much of the United States, was locked down and nearly everything was closed and cancelled due to the rapid outbreak and spread of COVID-19, I took Vivian to Snow Valley Mountain Resort in our local SoCal mountains for a day of skiing. She loves skiing so much and did so well her last two days on the slopes and I wanted to continue to build on that. We were having a wet March near the coast, which translates to a snowy March in the mountains, and so it was a good time to go (I did not yet know how restricted movement and life would become in the days and weeks (please not months!) ahead).
I signed Vivian up for a morning ski lesson at the resort’s Children’s Learning Center. Growing up, my parents always put us in morning ski lessons and then skied with us in the afternoon and I wanted to do that with her on this day. We think it’s very important for her to take a lesson every time she goes skiing so that she continues to improve. Also, I am not a ski instructor; I’m a mom. Trying to do both just leads to frustration for everyone. So, she went off to ski school and I spent the morning skiing by myself. Unfortunately for me, on this day, the clouds were very low and viability was, at times, only a few feet. Also, only three chairlifts (1, 6, and 13) and a handful of runs on the lower part of the mountain were open. It was perfect for Viv, but I got bored pretty quickly skiing by myself. Plus, I could hardly see where I was going and did not have any sense of what was where on the mountain since it was my first time skiing there. Anyways…Vivian…ski school: They put her in a group with two or three other little kids. I told them that she had just been skiing in the Sierras and was quickly gaining skills. Still, when I went to check in on her after a few solitary runs of my own, she was still on the small magic carpet right outside the ski school. It was so obvious that she did not belong in the same class with the other newbies. Thankfully, the instructors saw this also and so, for the remaining two hours of her class, she got a private lesson from a wonderful and experienced ski instructor. He took her all over the mountain – on both green and blue runs – and, by the end of her lesson, he was very impressed with and proud of her (as was I!). She was doing a great job turning and even starting to do some hockey stops. And her confidence was high. I was, once again, thrilled for her.
After her lesson, we ate lunch in the lodge, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon skiing together. She continued to do awesome and I was giddy with excitement over her progress. She could get on the chairlift, get off the chairlift, ski down the hill, and get back in line to reboard the chairlift without me helping her at all. I laughed as she zoomed off the chairlift and took off down the hill. She skied the entire mountain that was open – she definitely wasn’t just confined to the bunny hill. I had so much fun with her – it was definitely a special day.
All of the ski resorts are shut down now and so I doubt we’ll get in anymore days on the slopes this season. I’m already looking forward to many more days skiing together next season, though!