In April 2017, I took a family trip to Mammoth Mountains in Northern California. It included my two youngest siblings, my parents, our family friends, my aunt and uncle, and Alex. I feel like any long drive is tough to do with kids, but (pro tip): when you have multiple cars driving up, it does help to separate the kids to avoid them egging one another on, prevent them from fighting, and keeping the car a lot calmer.
It was my first time actually being in snow that was soft and fluffy on the ground rather than just frozen solid so I was really excited to spend the 3 days there. After the loooonnngg 9 hour drive, we got settled into a log cabin not too far from the lakes. Our backyard opened up into the mountains and of course, the first thing we all did was throw on our snow gear and climb to the top of the mountain. One thing that I love about travelling with kids is that you can't help but embrace your inner kid- after all, you can't let them have all the fun to themselves. We were all making snow angels, sledding down the hill, throwing snowballs, and chasing each other around this small patch of flat land.
If you've never been in the snow before, pro tip: don't walk too close to trees or large rock. My dad walked back to the cabin by himself and ended up falling into the snow once he passed a boulder. He literally slid into the snow about 6ft, and even though he was fine and able to get out, it could've ended very differently with a broken bone and scratched up face had he been a couple inches closer to the boulder.
After our long day in the car and then in the snow, we came into the house and enjoyed a nice warm dinner, dessert, and drinking coffee and hot chocolate near the fire before heading back out to watch the sunset over the mountain.
The next two days went the exact same way. Playing in the snow all day, every single chance we got, and then coming back to the cabin only when we needed to refuel and stop for potty breaks. The last day before Alex and I had to leave, my dad took us all to the actual Mammoth mountain where people can ski and snowboard. We didn't do either one of those things- because 1. we're broke, and 2. I'm pretty sure all of us would've fallen on our faces and embarrassed ourselves. But we did enjoy walking around, meeting new people, shopping for souvenirs, and watching other people fall on their faces. We attempted to go on the sky tram, but due to high speed winds, they had to shut it down for the rest of the day. Before we left to go back to the cabin, we had the most epic snowball fight and it was a great way to close out our trip. We went back to enjoy our backyard mountain one more time before leaving my family to enjoy the rest of their week-long trip.
Alex and I had to leave after 3 days because we had work and school that we couldn't miss. We almost decided to not go at all, but it was an experience that I knew wouldn't happen again any time soon. One thing that I was hoping would happen was that it would actually snow while we were out playing on the mountainside, but with my bad luck, it started snowing the second we drove down to the bottom of the mountain and we were already on our way home.
One piece of advice that I would give to anyone: If you have the possibility to go on a trip but you can't go for the whole trip, go for as many days as you possibly can. You might not get to experience everything that you want to, but you get to experience enough that you'll leave happy that you went and probably planning on coming back in the future. Sometimes short trips are the best ways to get a break from your everyday routine. And they're short enough to where you won't need a vacation from your vacation.
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Since I was a little girl, writing was always my go- to way of expressing myself and escaping from the rest of the world.