The first thought that entered my head when my parents told me we’d be going skiing in California was this: Wait, what? You had promised me Disneyland this winter.
One week and lots of tears later, we arrived at the little cottage we were to call home for the next three days at Lake Tahoe, California. I remember how much I loved the drive there. I had gotten over the disappointment of not going to Disneyland by then and was determined to enjoy this experience instead. It was, after all, my first time skiing.
The drive through the hills was beautiful and I still remember my first sight of the lake: breathtaking. A few hours after we reached the cottage, my brother, cousins and I carried a sledge and sleighed down the icy roads nearby. At dusk, we saw a little furry creature and for a few terrifying moments thought it was a baby bear. The others soon realised it was just a large dog, but nobody was going to tell me that until we were all back indoors, my heart pounding with the relief of escaping death.
My mother and I joined ski school the next morning. Though everyone at the class was less than four feet high, it was great fun and by the evening we were skiing like pros…well, almost!
We hit the slopes the next day, and I had a great time! Though I almost poked a little kid’s eye out with my ski pole and forgot to tighten my ski boots (I mean, really!) everything was perfect. I didn’t even fall that much! (Plus everyone is so nice there, someone or the other was always ready to help me up when I did fall)
Side note: My brother was missing for almost an hour before we found out he’d crashed into a low ice wall and damaged his skis.
But it was great fun, the feeling of whooshing down the slopes, the wind in my hair, my frozen hands from every time I had to pick myself up after falling and the joy of waving at my family from the top of the hill: simply amazing.
It snowed that evening, the first time I ever saw snowfall. I remember feeling so very happy. And though I was low-key looking out for that baby bear from earlier, I was pretty grateful that we’d skipped Disneyland for this.