Powder with a View | A Lake Tahoe Winter Getaway

We recently enjoyed a wonderful weekend playing in the snow.  My family and friends in Utah are probably rolling their eyes right now because they are likely dreaming about a wonderful weekend in a snow-less destination.  The grass is always greener, folks!  Or in this case, whiter.

From Lake Tahoe Winter Feb. 2011

It was perfect timing to visit Lake Tahoe since they got a huge snowstorm the day before we arrived.  We’ve been wanting to take a family snow/ski trip and Lake Tahoe was calling our names.  TJ grew up spending Christmases with his family at Lake Tahoe, where he learned to ski.  And while the kids and I have enjoyed many Tahoe summer vacations, like this one, we’ve never been there in the winter before.  It was time.

We met Gram and Grampy at their Meek’s Bay cabin (half-way between North and South Shore on the California side), where we were greeted with a winter wonderland of snow!  We spent the first day playing in the snow and feasting our eyes upon the white-washed views of Lake Tahoe.

(Click on collages to view larger.)

The next two days we hit the slopes at Homewood, one of the more local ski resorts at Lake Tahoe.  Jack and Sophie took ski school and thanks to Gram and Grampy’s babysitting services, TJ and I got to ski together which hasn’t happened in ages.  Like, before we became parents.

Jack has been skiing before in Utah, so he was good to go.  They strapped a GPS unit on his leg and he was up the chair lift with his ski instructor and the other wombats.  He couldn’t get enough.  Even after Day 2 of skiing, he didn’t want to quit. He’s an awesome little skier, check him out!

It was Sophia’s first time on snow skis.  She was a little hesitant so we gave  her a gentle nudge in the form of a $20 bribe.  I know, that’s totally backwards and will not win us any parenting awards.  But when it comes to these quasi-once-in-a-lifetime experiences, a good attitude from this kid is worth 20 bucks.  We did the same thing in Lake Powell when we wanted her to try wakeboarding and it worked like a charm.  Please don’t judge.

Anyhow, Sophia loved it!  She was quite a natural and quickly advanced to the chair lift.  It was so fun when TJ and I encountered Sophia with her ski class, cruising down a run, workin’ the pizza slice like a pro.  Her ski instructor said she was a bit of a speed demon. She was amazing!

I was in awe of these slopes.  I mean, I grew up skiing in Utah, so naturally, I’m a bit of a ski snob.  In fact, I thought the skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland paled in comparison to my first love, the Cottonwood Canyons of the Wasatch Front.  Old flames die hard.  But Tahoe delivered loads of fresh powder and a killer view to boot.  It was unbelievable.

Olivia got her fill of freezing fun too.  She loved her “Snowman Girl.”

Besides falling in love with skiing, the kids became completely obsessed with icicles.  An over-the-top anomaly for these SoCal kids.  They were actually fighting over icicles.  Seriously?  I even caught Jack trying to steal the neighbor’s icicles.

And what’s a Stephens vacation without some construction?  TJ and Grampy constructed a 9-foot diameter igloo against the outdoor fireplace.  To the kids’ delight, we all shimmied our way in there and made s’mores.

Jack even wanted to sleep in the igloo.  Until he found himself inside the cabin and in a warm bath.

So the trip favorites?…

  • Jack, “Skiing.”
  • Sophia, “Skiing.”
  • Olivia, “I love making snowmans.”
  • TJ, “Skiing with Sheena and the kids.”
  • Sheena, “Skiing with TJ again, and watching my kids learn to love to ski.”

Thank you to Gram and Grampy for hosting us.  For cooking and cleaning and playing, not to mention eight hours of snow blowing so we could enter the driveway.

And thank you to Lake Tahoe for giving us a majestic backdrop for some brilliant family bonding.  Until next time, Lake Tahoe, stay awesome!


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