I took my son and three of his friends to a local ski area to do some holiday snowboarding. Two mistakes. One, it was New Years Eve day and two; one of the boys has never been to a mountain with snow before. Normally I would not be so stupid to attempt this outing under those conditions, but my son received new snowboarding equipment for Christmas and his hounding was worse than my puppy’s. It took us over two hours to get to the ski resort, it could have been shorter but I got lost. I do not own a Garmin nor a Tom-Tom, I rely on Mapquest. Mapquest has served me well in Major cities, but I have come to find out it is useless in remote rural areas that don’t display street signs. You are better off using the methodology of our fore fathers; stop and ask directions. Oh wait, that’s right, Fathers don’t stop and ask for directions and, as I witnessed, neither do their sons. The mountain we were trying to locate is a man made snow resort settled somewhere in between two hills way down at the bottom of the Poconos. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. When my mother gave birth to her four children we were all breach wearing K2 skis. Growing up, our after school sport was fighting the chair lift line at Snoqualmie Pass. If we ever got lost anywhere in Seattle we just looked up and Mt. Rainier would point the way home. So when we moved to a small farm area in the southeast corner of Pennsylvania just above Delaware, I thought we would see a Plethora of white frosted peaks as we drove north. Nope. Never happened. I drove for hours and never saw snow. I saw more snow in the neighborhood I left behind just hours ago. I can never recall driving downhill to a ski resort. Needless to say being the only female in the car and the driver, I asked for directions. I flagged a guy at a stop light in some small town and asked for route 145. He kindly offered for us to “follow him. he’ll take us there.” I was thrilled until the boys in the back seat started in with Ted Bundy jokes.
We did end up at the ski area intact. I was not prepared for the next thing to come, it hit like a ton of bricks and made my hair stand on end and nearly caused me to return home. The Crowds. Acres of designer clad skiers and snowboarders. In my day we just had skiers. Now the generation of “Boardheads” have taken over the slopes in outfits that cost more than my car. Two of the boys with me had their own stuff and the other two had to rent. I calculated the time for all this to transpire from onset to actual lift off and these boys will be back in the car and on the road home before they finish one run. I tried to expedite as much as possible but I ran out of cash to bribe the people ahead of me. I did manage to cut short a few areas and get the boys geared up and on to the gist of the trip. Meanwhile back at the bar….that’s where I stayed. To keep warm of course. I sat there nursing a Bloody Mary while I studied for my nursing entrance exams. After a few hours I meandered over to the common area to get a larger table so the boys could sit and eat lunch comfortably. Right. Comfortably. To get a table in this cafeteria was like catching a cab during rush hour in Manhattan or getting a parking space at Target during the Holidays. I felt like a vulture as I watched and waited for a family to finish. I actually found myself bussing their trays in order to gain access to their table. The bad part was that once I got possession of this table and chairs, I was now the prey. It seemed that people thought just because I was sitting alone at a table for four I should relinquish my unused chairs. Like flies on my dogs doo-doo these snow people came and grabbed what they felt was rightfully theirs to sit upon. Apparently if your sitting solo that also makes you honorary storage person. Two burly men in racing togs stared at me, placed their baggage under my table and dashed out without a word. For all I know it could have been a bomb or contraband or worse yet, an abandoned puppy. I had teens walk over and start utilizing my table as closet space for their ROXY headbands. I had one woman come over and interrupt my studying while listening to my Ipod. She nudged my shoulder and asked”if she could use my I phone because her son lost theirs” and “you can only locate another I phone via another Iphone…” Right. I yanked the plugs out of my ears and gave her a look that would melt snow . Then, with a calm Clint Eastwood tone I informed her I had an Ipod TOUCH. She backed away in haste like she inhaled a bad smell.
I just realized where I’m taking my puppy to get socialized…….yeah, the slopes. He will bark and snap and growl at everyone passing by. He will tear apart every snow cap and ski bag left in a two foot radius. He will jump on tables and chew french fries until they become mashed potatoes. He will knock over hot cups of coffee onto dormant Ipods and cell phones. He will grab every goggle and run to bury it in the bunny hill. Yeah..just let those vultures try and take my chairs now. Maybe he’ll leave a little present on the seat. Oh Happy Holidays….