Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Utah, I mean North Carolina, Ski Vacation

We've been SO excited about our upcoming trip to Park City, Utah. We were fortunate enough to be asked to join a group from Rich's, Bryan's company, on a sales incentive trip to an amazing resort in Park City. We had Dylan signed up for 2 full days of ski school and Marina in a nice daycare - Bry & I were looking forward to a little skiing and a little down time. However, Mother Nature had different plans in store for us. Note: remember we never tell Dylan about trips, visitors, parties. He gets so excited that he can't sleep. However, we broke our own cardinal rule for this trip because we wanted to get him warmed up to the idea of skiing - show him videos, etc. Let that be a lesson to us...

We were supposed to leave Friday morning at 6:30 from Savannah. Get a call on Thursday at lunch that our flights were cancelled and rebooked for Satruday. After 2 hours of calls with the travel agent and Delta (so thankful to Wendy for helping us coordinate all of that) we were set to leave at 5:30 AM on Saturday. Lots of the other people going on the trip scrambled Thursday evening and found other flights for Friday - some even drove to Orlando to get out! We spent the night at a hotel in Savannah since our flight was ridiculously early. Got everyone in bed at 8:30 given our 3am wakeup call. About 10 minutes after we turned out the lights we get the call that our flights were cancelled AGAIN. Now they have us scheduled on a Sunday afternoon flight, arriving in Utah late Sunday evening, and we were scheduled to return first thing Tuesday morning. So, we decided to skip the trip. We were all packed up for a winter vacation - and Dylan had his heart set on seeing snow - so we planned to drive north. Unsure of where we'd end up, but somewhere with snow. Shouldn't be too hard considering we were having SNOW FLURRIES in Savannah. Crazy, right?

Oh - and for the record, we tried to call Delta for 2 hours Friday night and their phones went straight to a message telling us they weren't taking calls and to call back at a later time or go to delta.com. This same message played on their phones all day Sunday and all day Monday - I finally gave up. Still don't know if they'll do the right thing and refund our tickets or not...

Saturday morning we woke up to snow in Savannah. If you squint you can see the snow on the bushes. I know it may not look like much, but for Savannah this was pure excitement! Dylan was in heaven and we hadn't even begun yet!

Then we headed north. Some good friends, the Keens, told us about Sapphire Valley, NC and said it was about 4 or 5 hours north of Savannah. Seemed good enough to us so we started driving. No hotel reservations, no idea of the weather, no plans. Just driving north.

Somewhere along I-26. D making snow angels. Probably at a janky gas station and my precious son is laying in the gnarly bushes. This is when I just turn my head and pretend to not pay attention to all the germs jumping on him. Instead I just look at that smile. He's beyond excited!

So we began on this journey thinking it would take us about 5 or 6 hours to get to Sapphire Valley. Um, it took us 10 hours. There was a detour which took us way out of the way then we got lost in all the mountainous, curvy roads. The last 3 hours of the drive were BRUTAL! The kids were sick of being in the car, Bryan & I were edgy. We finally arrive in Sapphire Valley and find a "lodge" to stay at. Dylan was scared of it because it didn't look like a normal hotel to him - it was all wood and more like a cabin or an Inn. Definitely not a Hilton with an elevator & indoor swimming pool!

Before even unpacking we found a local restaurant so we could eat, decompress and mommy could have a drink. The kids were out of control at this point and sitting in a restaurant was the LAST think they wanted to do. Oh ... this is when the worst part happens. Waitress comes to our table to take our drink order. IT'S A DRY COUNTY!! This is a mean joke - our posh vacation plans were smashed, we spent 10 days, I mean hours, in the car to arrive in what looked like the middle of no where and you're going to tell me there's not a single glass of wine in the county. ARGH!

Dinner was short, to say the least. We went back to our lodge and unloaded. This was actually the best part so far ... our suite was really nice. Two floors, tons of room for the kids, kitchen, etc. Would've been even better with a stocked liquor cabinet but I'm learning that sometimes I ask for too much! :)

Fun at the cabin!

More cabin & snow fun ... for Dyl, not so much for Marina!

The next morning we get up & head to the ski resort. They have a "snow tubing" thing that is apparently great for families. It's a 500 foot hill with a 60 foot drop. Not too scary for kids and adults ... but not for BABIES! They assured me they have children Marina's age and size do this all the time. And they told me she had to go down the hill in an intertube by herself. We could hold on to her tube, but she had to be solo. Seriously? Um, ok. I'll give it a whirl ... this is an adventure, right? We get our intertubes, get pulled up the hill on this weird pully-system thingy, get to the top, Bryan puts Marina in her tube and before I could even react he jumped on top of his tube and down the hill they went. He said she looked bewildered the entire time. So Dylan & I quickly jump on our tubes and go down - he loved it. I thought it was OK (have to admit I did get a little scared - they guy sent me down backwards so I couldn't see anything - just the other people being pulled up the hill whizzing by.) I get to the bottom where Bryan, D & Reenie are slowly getting out of the tubes and I plow right into them. Naturally all the people around start cheering as I take out my whole family.

At this point Marina is done. Wants nothing to do with this. So she & I hang out & watch Bryan & Dylan come down one more time. She's refusing to wear a hat or gloves and she's freezing. After that, she & I go to the "lodge" and have coffee & milk. For the next hour & a half. So: $25 per person for 2 hours + Marina & Mommy only going down once = Good sales job by the ticket dude!

After the boys are done tubing we leave the ski resort & head to a place for lunch that serves booze. Yes, I know it's only noon on Sunday, but it's been a long 36 hours. It's about a 2 minute drive from the ski lift & by the time we pull into a parking space Marina is asleep - thwarted again! We go back to our lodge, Marina naps, Dylan & I have a fun lunch at the coffee shop, Bryan relaxes. 2 hours later Marina wakes up and we're off to our next adventure - afternoon in Highlands. It's about 15 minutes away. By the time we get to Highlands Dylan is asleep. So we drive around for 2 hours - me jumping out at the cute shops and everyone else hanging out in the car. We did find a beer & wine store in Highlands. Halleluiah!

We go back to Cashiers (don't think I ever mentioned - that's the town where we're staying) at 5ish. Bryan & I each down a drink & we head over to an Italian restaurant for Valentine's Day dinner. It's one of the only restaurants open in the entire town - there's a snow storm coming on Sunday night/Monday & all the locals seem pretty freaked out. After dinner we're too stuffed to drink anymore. Yes, all that whining I did about no wine and now I can only drink one glass. Serves me right!

Wake up on Monday morning to 3-4 inches of fresh snow. We decide to pack up, head to the ski resort for a lesson for Dylan and then attempt to get down the mountain. Dylan played out in the snow for an hour while we were packing. He was in heaven! Drive to the resort & Marina is asleep when we get there. So Bry & D head to the ski lesson and I hang in the car with Marina. He LOVED his ski lesson. After an hour I finally woke her up because it was killing me to not see him. I made it just in time for his last run down the hill. His smile and pure joy made the previous 48 hours not even matter!! This is exactly what it's all about!

Marina during ski lessons

Dylan & his instructor

Dylan rocks it!

D crashes!

Post ski glow!

Post ski lesson we all played in the snow, built a snowman and had a snowball fight. Nothing better than that! Then we headed home. Only took us about 8 hours to get home. MUCH better than what we'd expected!

All in all it was a fun weekend. We certainly made the best of it and Dylan had a FANTASTIC time just playing in the snow! However, I still feel the need for a do-over trip to Park City...


Vicki said...

I can't believe you were in a dry county. Not cool. But at least Dylan managed to get some fun out of the trip! He's much braver than me - I have never tried skiing and doubt I ever will!

carrie myers jaynes said...

I recently read that it's called a 'trip' when you take the kids and a 'vacation' when you leave them at home. This was definitely a trip!!! A fun trip, but a trip indeed!

Barry said...

Umm... THIS is where the Wow comment was supposed to go.