On Friday I take a stroll around our neighborhood to experience the first real storm we've had all winter. I walk around with my arms outstretched like a pelican and walk head on in to the South-West wind, closing my eyes and pretending I'm flying. It's a good thing there aren't a bunch of other people out on walks of their own. It would have either led me to feeling inhibited or self-conscious (but ideally, neither). When I do have kids, I imagine they will initially think I am cool and then eventually find me extremely embarrassing (but ideally, neither).
I take some pictures and then return home to finish some work, clean the house for company not due for another week and put our bags for Big Bear in the car.
In the evening, Scott and I drive to Anaheim to go to the Ducks game with my cousins. I almost cry three times: at the National Anthem, when listening to Marisa talk about how her new husband supports her and when she spills details about pregnancy (yikes). She has to have crutches because of something the baby is doing to her hip, but is in great spirits. I am impressed.
We wake up on Saturday at 5:30 a.m. to make our way up the mountain before the rest of the winter hungry Californians. Raindrops turn to snowflakes once we reach the mountain. I sleep in the back, play DJ and spill a bunch of sunflower seeds in the gear shifter.
We are headed to Big Bear Lake for The War of Rails, a ski contest our friend Craig Coker puts on for his friends.
He and his girlfriend Michelle, our friend and our best man Jason's sister, give us lift tickets, lunch vouchers and a place to stay. I am convinced it will be nearly impossible to ever tell them how much we appreciate this and their friendship.
Scott and I take some runs on the left side of the mountain where there are a lot less people, then we order drinks and Mexican food at the lodge. It snows those big, soft flakes that stick to your eyelashes. I feel like there is nothing else I'd rather be doing right now. The moodiness of nature reminds me that it's really not that unlike humankind.
In the evening, we have a dinner at a big long table with 28 other people and then go to a Red Bull party at a busy, dark club that has a fog machine and a DJ in love with 90s rap.
We dance in the disco lights until something catches on fire. I am suspicious of the fog machine. When we can't tell the difference between the fog and the smoke, we decide to call it a night. On the walk home, Scott and I build a snowman for the first time together.
In the morning, we sleep until ten and then get breakfast at this cute, healthy bagel house called Amangelas.
We take a few runs on the mountain, but it's a lot more crowded than the day before. After an out of control snowboarder runs in to me, we decide to go get some beers and watch the contest.
Craig is so busy he says he even has to bring his computer into the bathroom with him so he can get work done at all available minutes. It's neat to see that, despite how involved and sometimes stressful the task of running your own contest is, that Craig is enjoying himself because his friends are enjoying themselves. Craig and Michelle's generosity this weekend will influence me for a while.