Friday, December 28, 2007
We had been promising the kids since before last Christmas that we would take them to see snow. Last year was apparently unseasonably cold in the southeast and we would have needed to drive REALLY far to see any serious amount of snow. So this year we decided that we would definitely see snow -- no matter what. Web searches of ski resorts seemed favorable for snow just about 4 hours north of Grandma's house, and so the planning began.
Real Christmas was actually second Christmas this year, the first being at Thanksgiving with husbands branch of the family. By asking Santa to come two days early for second Christmas (the real one), we could travel to Grandmas for third Christmas which is always on Christmas day. After all completion of all necessary festivities and visitation with relatives, we would simply drive north in search of snow.
We made hotel reservations near a ski resort in an area called Maggie Valley. We checked the ski report, the live webcams and the reviews. Everything seemed good. A large base of snow existed, snow was falling fairly regularly, and they had snow machines in case mother nature was uncooperative.
And so the drive north began. The pitch increased, the road began to wind, an we all peered out the windows in anticipation. We inched closer to our destination, and searched. We felt the windows, hoping to feel a dip in the temperature. We finally arrived at the base of a steep hill with three sled ramps and a snow machine. Friendly police officers told us that the mountain was closed, but we could come back later. As we hopped out of the car, we noticed that instead of a nip in the air, it was a balmy 60 degrees, and instead of snow, it was spitting a little rain which was starting to melt the fake snow.
Puzzled, we checked into our hotel room and checked the webcam, ski reports and reviews again. They showed snow, they had a live update saying they had experienced an inch of snow last night, adding to the already solid base! It was as if we were reading about some other place as we sat in a warm and toasty town without a hint of snow. We did a session at tube world, the steep hill of fake snow, and waited to drive to the top of the mountain. There was more fake snow at the top of the mountain, enough to make a little snowman and have a snowball fight.
Not exactly a winter wonderland, but at least everyone can now say they have seen snow.