Can we talk about spring break?
The whole concept sounds lovely, right? And I’m sure it is unless you’re traveling with my family to go on a ski vacation. Then it won’t be a break at all. It will be me doing everything I do at home, just in a different location. Why? Because we stay at a condo.
Not just any condo but one with a washer, dryer, dishwasher and — oh goodie — cleaning supplies and a vacuum, thus ensuring I get to cook and clean all while gazing on a snow-capped mountain vista. That’s what’s it all about, right? Chores with a view, because it’s totally different to scrub a toilet if you can get a glimpse of the Sierra Nevada while you’re elbow deep in Pine Sol.
The kitchen is the killjoy of the trip. It’s there staring at you, daring you to waste money on eating out. My husband’s favorite vacation mantra is: “Why eat out when we’ve got a kitchen? Think of all the money we’re saving. This way the condo pays for itself.” Ugh.
Oh sure, I get to ski, and I know I sound like an ungrateful whiner, and I acknowledge that my complaining is annoying, but sorry, I can’t seem to stop myself. Maybe it’s because by March I’m just not that giddy about experiencing more ice, snow and frozen extremities. In fact, that nifty Polar Vortex and this past weekend’s weather was about all the frosty fun I can handle.
Am I wrong that a spring vacation shouldn’t include pulling on long underwear, three pairs of socks and shoving bags of thermal toe warmers into your boots and bra? And bring on the puffy pants and jacket that make me look like I’m trapped in day three of a record-setting water-retaining PMS episode.
Then there’s the excitement of careening down a mountain and hitting what the ski resort calls “isolated icy patches” (but in reality is like hydroplaning on a land mass the size of the Planet Hoth from Star Wars) because the spring thaw has started.
While I’m struggling to stay upright, I’ll see many “Beware of Bears” signs posted all over slopes. Oh yeah, it’s spring, and the bears are rested, ready and ravenous! Bonus: A bear’s nose is super charged. It can be miles away and still get a whiff of my stress sweat and maybe just maybe run over at 35 miles per hour and say, “Howdy, stranger.” This will freak me out so badly that I’ll probably forget about focusing on not falling and wipe out — hard. Like so hard I bounce.
Which is the worst thing that can happen, because it means you have to get up. If you’ve never tried to stand on a slippery, snow-encrusted slope with a vertical drop of 6,000 feet while wearing what amounts to a couple of fiberglass Swiffer Wet Jets strapped to your feet, then you haven’t really lived. Because nothing says FUN like multiple attempts to hoist your body into a standing position using your ski poles — which are basically the size of two car antennas — as your only form of leverage.
God help you if you lose a ski. Seriously, start praying because if you have to walk any distance in ski boots you’re doomed. The robot from “Lost in Space” has more grace and agility than a human being trying to propel themselves in forward motion in ski boots.
Once I’m finally up for good, have run out of curse words and chiseled the frozen tears off my face, I’ll head down the mountain. Because it will be time to make lunch. And I’m sure I’ll have a load, or two, of laundry to do.