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Challenge: Romance After Kids

Snow much love! How traveling has changed since we had kids

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Over 12 years ago during the “we don’t have kids and do what we want when we want” phase, Steve and I took a trip to Big Bear. We stayed in this adorable bed and breakfast. I remember our room had a borderline romantic, 100% cheesy jacuzzi, and the host cooked delicious coddled eggs for breakfast, which, to this day, are the best eggs we’ve ever had.

We carved down the mountain for a few fun-filled days of snowboarding, and a well-timed snowstorm extended our trip for an extra night. That night we trekked into town and discovered a tiny Nepalese restaurant. The only other dinner guests were the other couple from our B&B. We dined together, laughing and chatting and relishing every mouthwatering bite.

Maybe it was the altitude or our fresh love, but these memories are strong and remind us of those romantic, snowed-in, love-hazed days.

Enter March 2022.

The kids convinced us to take a family snowboarding trip to Stratton, Vermont. Tillie (our uber responsible and determined 8-year-old) Google searched cabins in Vermont and found a quintessential log cabin; it was dog-friendly and had an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the snow-covered forest. We headed north. The kids' excitement about their first time snowboarding overshadowed mine and Steve’s nerves about venturing back onto snowboards after so many years. But what we should’ve all been nervous about were the road conditions.

It steadily snowed from the moment we started the engine of our rented two-wheel-drive-cringe-worthy-white minivan. Feeling more soccer mom than snow bunny, I white knuckled the drive across three state lines and eventually relinquished my driving duties to Steve in Vermont. We passed snow plow after snow plow all with inexplicably raised plows. As our anxiety grew, so did the elevation. We trudged up the mountain; at one point the brakes couldn’t catch up with the immediate need to stop, and Steve dodged a Range Rover and a pole and glided gracefully between them, only to have the back wheels spin out and slam into the Range Rover’s right taillight.

Tillie immediately wailed in shock. Luckily, no one was hurt. After quick photos and an exchange of insurance details, we kept calm and carried on.

Less than ten minutes from our cabin sanctuary, the night was fast approaching and our optimism waned. We attempted a steep climb three times. On the third try, a snow plow miraculously had lowered its plow and was plowing the opposite side of the road. After it passed, Steve gingerly made the way to the plowed side and climbed the peak of the road. At our final turn, we lost traction again, pulling a James Bond stunt-worthy 180. An empathetic onlooker threw up a hang loose gesture in awe.
Laughing from relief, we finally arrived at Willis Cemetery Road. An ominous name for an ominous adventure. The unplowed driveway left us no choice but to pull over and hike to the cabin. We grabbed shovels and dug out a makeshift parking spot.
The kids had eaten all our snacks, and the remaining package of English muffins looked more and more like a viable dinner option. Luckily, one restaurant delivered pizza to us, and with full bellies and a deep sense of gratitude and relief we slept in our cozy cabin for the night.

The next two days the kids fearlessly snowboarded down the mountain. With the help of Jeff, our private instructor, we were guided and challenged. By day two we ventured down a blue run. The kids were hooked, and Steve and I felt sore, invigorated, and super proud that we could still snowboard after so many years!


In hindsight we honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing. Every precarious turn (both on the road and the slopes) brought us closer together as a family! Will we check the weather before we leave next time? Maybe. Could we change our name to the Griswolds? Absolutely. Will we be snowboarding again soon? You bet.


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