Sampling The Product...
One of the definite perks of being employed in tourism is that we constantly have to sample our product. In the winter it gets even better… we have the 6” rule! If we get a snowfall of 6 inches or more, we get permission to take a couple of hours in the morning to check out the conditions on the mountain, trails, etc. After our time is up, we return to the office and report on what we have found throughout the Adirondacks. This usually gives me the rare opportunity to do a little exploring on my own, without dragging along my tribe of three. But with the recent snowfall, I put a little twist on the 6” rule.
Planning Our Snow Day
Yesterday morning I woke up with my phone going nuts! Two robot calls from school letting me know that school has been canceled, a text from daycare reminding us to pack snowsuits for the kids, and the most exciting of them all, the text from work: “it’s official - 6 inches” (plus another couple dozen of group chat messages from excited colleagues).
With all this information (all before my first cup of coffee), I had some serious decisions to make. I had a few projects on my desk that needed to be wrapped up, a house full of kids who were psyched to have a snow day, a free pass to skip work for a bit and a driveway full of snow that might challenge any plans I put together. Where do I start? It was time to come up with a plan.
- Step One: Get out of the driveway! If I can get out, I’m golden. I can deal with the snow later.
- Step Two: Figure out what to do with the kids... they were so excited to get outside and play. As a result, the thought of heading off without them didn’t seem right. What good is a snow day if you can’t play in the snow? But, this isn’t my first rodeo… I know very well that taking them out to play would be great until it was time to leave. It would be much easier to drop them off at daycare thinking they had no choice, then to let them play for a little while, only to end it short so I could go to work. I took the easy way out here - I opted to just take them to daycare. But what I didn’t tell them was that I was going to pick them up early to get outside and play.
- Step Three: Get the work off my desk. As I drove to the office, the snow was still coming down hard which meant the conditions were only going to get better! At that point I think I was looking as forward to the afternoon as the kids would have been if I had told them.
- Step Four: Planning our outdoor activities. What is a more classic way to enjoy a snow day than with some good old fashioned sledding? That was easy!
Time For Fun!
At 3:00 pm, I picked up the kids to head up to the Tupper Lake Golf Course. In the winter the course turns into a winter wonderland for outdoor recreation. You can enjoy the free ski & snowshoe trails at The Tupper Lake Groomed Cross County Ski Center which operates out of the course pro-shop. But what we were there for at this particular time was the sledding hill!
The roads were a bit slick and the snow continued to come down steady, but we took our time and got there safely. When we pulled into the large parking area, the boys, ages 12 & 5, immediately grabbed their sleds and ran off to the hill located on the 10th fairway. My 4-year-old daughter and I packed up the rest of the sleds and trudged through the snow to meet up with them.
When we approached the hill, the boys had already made it to the bottom and were on their way back up!
There, we met up with two of my nieces and a friend. Amongst our group we had: snow tubes, saucers, classic sleds, foam sleds and even the "Zipfy" (a sled that was built to replicate sledding down on a shovel). And we took advantage of using all of them at one point or another.
I started taking photos, but that quickly came to a halt! The snow had picked up so much since our drive up that between the cold and the moisture my camera stopped working. But while it was working I was able to catch a few good shots... and not-so-good shots.
Once the camera froze up, I was done blogging for a bit and simply enjoyed having fun with my kids. The next hour and a half was a blur... literally. The snow continued to come down heavily and even more snow pelted us in the face as we slid down the hill over and over again. But it didn't dampen our spirits. Everyone was having a great time! Conditions were perfect - we had received a heavy, packy base overnight which then switched over to a lighter fluffy snow, creating the perfect topcoat for sledding.
In addition to our party of sliders, there was approximately another 20 people at the Golf Course enjoying the snow and the hill. Most of them were in their late teens to early twenties. The hill was large enough to accommodate the younger sliders and allow for the older kids to build jumps to hit with sleds, tubes and even snowboards.
As the sun went down and darkness started to set in, we packed up our sleds and ventured back along the herd path to the vehicle. I was hoping to get the chance to check on the conditions of the cross-country ski trails, but everyone was tired and ready to head home and eat.
On our way home I stopped by one of the local eateries to grab some takeout (I was simply too exhausted to cook at this point). After picking up our food, we made it home safely to find a lovely surprise... the driveway was cleaned out, thanks to my husband! As we ate dinner, the kids recounted every run down the hill and were already busy planning their next snow day.
What's your favorite way to spend a snow day?