This one is going to be long. There is just so much to say about our trip, the mountains, the snow, and family. I think I will start with the first couple days here and finish with a second post later.
Our adventure began Thursday morning at 5 am. Yes, I was awake at 5 am and it was not because I was pulling an all nighter. We loaded sleeping kids in the car with the intent of stopping at about 7 (when they woke up) for breakfast. HA! Once again, we underestimated our kids. They were all wide awake as we pulled out of the driveway and #1 and 3 cat-napped briefly on the way. Jorja would not nap. At all. It was not great. We're talking a minimum of 12 hours in a car with a kid high on Gatorade. Every time the cup was emptied, it got chucked at the driver's seat. Thank goodness the kid throws like a girl or we could have been in serious trouble.
The drive was great, we only stopped twice on the first third or so of the trip for breakfast (and potty break) and lunch (also with potty break). I drove into VA and then just over the state line to WV. We were hoping to see snow early in the trip, but finally after driving through Big Walker Mountain Tunnel, we saw our first flurries. It was truly awesome. We had gotten the girls attention just to see the tunnel. Jason called it, though. He said that he had been through there before when it was not snowing going in, but on the other side of the mountain there was snow. The girls were screaming from excitement. Oh, who am I kidding, they scream for any reason, or none at all. This time it was warranted, though.
We found a Starbucks shortly after and froze our little Floridian butts off getting from the van inside to yet again, pee. I savored a white chocolate mocha as Jason drove us up to the worst roads in the continental US. This was NOT my favorite part of the trip. I tried to capture the horror of these tiny little roads I have not-so-affectionately named "Kiss Your Own Arse Trail".
The GPS just showed a squiggly line going up the mountain:
Foggy, wet and curvy:
I was never able to get a good picture of the guard-rails because we were plowing through the roads like bats out of hell, but I might have been a little less concerned about our safety had they not been quite so mangled. It looked like about every 3 turns in the road someone got a little crazy and used a guardrail to keep their pickup on the road. One would think that the state of WV would keep them nice and straight to encourage more people to visit, but I guess when you're all full of moonshine and squirrel, you don't really care how comfy the visitors are. Yes, I went there.
By the time we made it to the resort, it was about 5:30 pm and we were in the throes of a full on blizzard. OK, I exaggerate, but for this Sunshine State girl, 10 degrees, dark and windy is not a lot of fun. Poor kids were all in track suits with ski jackets. It would have taken 3 minutes for full frostbite on their legs, but we had a 50 foot run from the unloading area to the door of our building. Speaking of, this place was nice. Real nice. Think cousin Edie when you read that. We were right behind the bunny slope, and had an awesome view of the slopes. This picture was taken from the back door of the building.
Alright, confession time. And I may never admit this in real life, but I love West Virginia. I actually love snow. Once you are dressed appropriately (read that as "not trying to look cute, but keeping warm") it's really not all that cold and it's so crisp and clean. This trip and Jamaica are probably my top two favorite trips ever. I didn't even wear makeup the whole weekend! Sure, I scared the wildlife, but it was nice not to take that extra 3 minutes out of every day.
I also realized that thirty-something is not the time to re-learn to snowboard. One can easlity suffer minor concussions and whiplash from the inevitable falls that take place when you strap both feet to a board and plummet uncontrollably down a mountain. And this was a big stinkin' mountain! I did, however, try to look as stylish as possible doing it!
And so did Jason (Va-va-va-voom!)
And then there were the girls...Jonah and Jorja took to the snow like little yankees at heart.
Josie was not so sure about it. She was not interested in touching the snow, and within minutes of being out there, had huge crocodile tears streaming down her icy cheeks.
She spent most of her time clinging to Gigi:
Now, to make Snowshoe even cooler, they haul in a huge load of snow to the middle of the village for the kids to play in. There are areas the kids can climb, slide down, and even tunnels.
And when we got done with it, there was one more tunnel/slide.
Jonah went to ski school the first day and of course, the camera battery died after just one picture, but you can see that while they said she was very good at skiing, she was not very good at stopping. She gets it from her mother. Poor kid.