This weekend a few of us headed up to Big Bear for some snowboarding lessons and bonding time. Jeri, a woman I used to work with, loves to throw together these get away weekends for us girls. She had also organized the wine tasting event last year. We had a great time. As everyone warned us, we spent a lot of time on our asses. But it was a beautiful weekend. While the rest of SoCal was on storm watch/storm track, we were under an amazingly blue sky, a warm sun, and surrounded by blinding white snow. We drove up Friday night, mistakenly taking CA-18 to the 330 all the way north, instead of heading from the 30 to the 330. This wasn’t such a bad mistake, it was just an old country road that isn’t used very much, and was pretty much empty the whole trip. It was a very empty dark road that helped us to by pass all of the traffic on our way north. Friday night we arrived in Big Bear around 8:30, only three and a half ours after we left Los Angeles. On the way up the mountainside we stopped and put on snow cables to the back tires of Jeri’s truck in about 10 minutes–because we are rockstars. We stayed at the Black Forest Lodge off Big Bear Blvd across the street from a nice sit down restaurant called Old Country Inn, a Mexican Cantina, a TacoBell/Pizza Hut, and a Denny’s (all of which were along the road, not clustered in one area). Our room at the Lodge was actually a cabin-duplex with a fire place, four beds (two queens, one day, and one trundle) and a supreme heater. When we got to the we bought two packages of wood, enjoyed some supreme herbal remedy, changed into appropriate winter clothes, had a shot of Don Julio Tequila and headed across the street to the Mexican Cantina. We prefer Mexican food to celebrate our time together! We were also appropriately hungry and relaxed, so really there is no better way to start your relaxing weekend then with Mexican food and margaritas.
We woke up early on Saturday morning to head to Denny’s and enjoy breakfast before hitting the slopes. We changed our rental packages so that we could take beginner’s lessons, after the mistaken thought that we could take advanced beginner’s lessons. Karla’s been snowboarding since she was 9 (I,for some reason, didn’t even realize that snow boarding had been around for the last 20 years!) and let us know that we were not advanced beginners and that there was no way to fake it. We got our snowboarding boots (which feel much like how i believe astronaut boots would feel…not light weight but oddly structured and affecting of my walk) and our snowboards and made it to our lesson just in time! the first thing the instructor said to us was along the lines of “this is all going to feel weird, and no one gets it the first time. You’ll forget most of what I’m going to tell you” and then told us how to put on our boards, and how to fall properly (don’t land on your wrists, land on one butt cheek, not both, and make yourself small). All of which I promptly forgot once i was on the mountain.
All i can say is that learning to snow board is a surreal experience. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t want to quit but I also had trouble with the gliding sensation of being on the board. I spent alot of time on my ass unable to stand on the board, because every time I tried to stand the board would begin to slide. Karla got some great shots of me looking like a boarder, and there were a few great moments where i really did what i was supposed to do.
Snow boarding really is a hobby that takes practice and time. Its expensive in every way. Its also exhausting to learn. My body is so sore.
We headed off the slopes around 3:30pm. The sun had managed to hide behind the mountain, and the temperature dropped immediately. We headed back to the hotel and had a picnic lunch of cheese/tomato/lettuce sandwiches (in a brown rice wrap for me) and fruit/nuts/trail mix, and a little more liquour. We warmed up with a fire in the fire place, and chilled out with the news and vh1 while we waited for it to get a little later. Around 8:30 we bundled up to head over to the Old Country Inn. The concierge in the lobby had told us that it had an adequate bar. This is where we met Manny and Diego, two long time Big Bear residents (manny was in his 50’s, Diego was 26) with whom we chatted and who bought us shots of tequila. We always manage to meet the most interesting people when we go out on these excursions.
Delores got entirely wasted and was hilarious to watch. We closed down the bar, and made it back across the street by midnight. We attempted to play a game of Uno with Harry Potter Uno Cards, but Delores’s state of intoxication made it entirely too funny to make the game possible. We went to sleep early (for us at least) in order to leave early enough to make it back to LA for Delores to attend a play on Sunday afternoon.
When we woke up this morning after a long night of listening to the storm outside while we slept. The news was filled with news about snow turning to slush, torrential rains around the southland, which scared us in to leaving as soon as possible…which was actually 30 minutes later then we’d actually planned. The traffic down the mountain was non existent, and we made it back to LA in 2 hours. So, going both ways, this little snow storm was really helpful. It was a fabulous weekend. Don’t be fooled by the pictures. I spent a ton of time on my ass, and still didn’t really get it. I was too tired to actually head up the lift to test the bunny slope sufficiently. maybe i was a little scared, but mostly i think i was exhausted. now i’m just sore. i’m resting up, after having cleaned up, for Mass and the gym. I know I need to go and buy an umbrella, so i’ll probably do that before I even make it to Mass.