So, here's a story for you.
The winter blues have hit our household pretty hard, so Joe and I decided it was time for a little weekend getaway. As mentioned many, many times before on this blog, we are road trip people. There is nothing we like more than hitting the road and watching the changing of the scenery-- if even for just a weekend.
Initially, we decided to go to Portland, one of our favorite cities, with 2 of our favorite restaurants. Then, less than a week before leaving, we changed course.
We decided it was time to stir things up. We needed to do something new and fun. So, we decided to go to The Snow.
Now, Joe and I are not snow people. We love being outdoors but neither of us ski or snowboard, or even build snowmen, for that matter. We don't like being cold and wet. We fear driving in icy conditions. We don't have fancy puffy pants.
So, needless to say, this decision was a BIG. DEAL.
We love to hike, so we decided we were going to try snowshoeing. It's long been on our list of things to do, so this was a perfect opportunity. Also, we wanted to go tubing. Neither of us had been on a sled since childhood, and it sounded like a freakin' blast. We were game.
But first, we needed clothes. During a trip to REI, we found new boots for both of us, plus pants, long underwear, gloves, wool socks, and hats. We were finally equipt for the freezing temperatures.
The weather report had said that the skies would be clear but, regardless, Joe was concerned about a freak storm hitting the area and, unfortunately, we did not have chains for the car.
So, we dropped another $150 on those.
And then our dog trainer informed us that Nina's unprotected paws would not be safe on the snow for longer than 20 minutes without putting her at risk for frost bite, so back to REI we went where we purchased a pair of doggie snow boots for almost $100.
We'd heard good things about Suncadia so that's where we booked a room. When I made the reservation, I chatted at length with a nice lady who confirmed that we could, indeed, rent snowshoes there and that the tubing hill was open for use.
With the pet fee, the room rate, and the "resort fee, the accommodations were not cheap, but it seemed like the right place to go with the list of things we wanted to do.
So, off we went! Off to the mountains! And the snow! And the tubing! And the winter sports!
Except, when we got there, there wasn't any snow.
Oh, sure, there was some snow, but not enough to snowshoe or sled. The tubing hill had been closed a few days prior to our arrival, and the grounds around the resort were mostly dry.
One of the issues I have with Suncadia is that you forfeit your ENTIRE stay's fee if you cancel within one week of your trip. We'd made our reservations less than a week ahead of time, so the whole thing was nonrefundable from the beginning. But had we known that there was no snow, we wouldn't have gone. (Apparently, when I made the reservation there was snow, which is why the nice lady never said anything.)
After an overpriced and mediocre dinner, we were feeling pretty bummed out. This was not what we envisioned.
But the next day, we totally rallied.
We discovered a very cool abandoned dairy farm where Nina was able to run free and explore. We took a hike through the woods where there was some actual snow, and it was beautiful and exhilarating. We ordered room service and watched the new James Bond movie. We read and relaxed.
And, by Sunday, we were feeling pretty great.
I thought I'd share some of our vacation pictures here....
Nina with her stick, happy as a clam. (*Note the sunny and DRY weather)
When happy, one must rub one's face in the ground.
And stick out one's tongue
A smiley Joe and Nina, playing in hay bales
Nina looking for cows that, alas, were not there
Joe showing Nina her new snow booties
Putting on the snow booties
Nina not amused by the snow booties
The snow booties didn't last too long before falling off (clearly money well spent) so we had to crack ourselves up by making her wear Joe's hat instead