educator, writer, speaker, devoted family man, amateur philosopher, chess enthusiast, basketball junkie, connoisseur of fine hip hop, and purveyor of wit and wisdom
This past Christmas, lil’ Dr. Brown asked to go snowboarding. Actually, he asked for a snowboarding trip the previous Christmas as well. So a few months ago, I promised him we’ll go as soon as the time was right.
We had a pretty dry and hot winter, and whenever we had the time, the mountain didn’t have the snow. Then it rained a couple weeks ago, and we decided we better go before the season ends. I asked several people about the best spots for beginners to go snowboarding. Someone told me that we must go to Snow Summit because it’s awesome. Someone else said Bear Valley is even better. Someone else said that Mountain High is where the non-professionals go. There was talk of equipment, clothing, snow chains, rental fees, etc. etc. etc. It was all getting to be a bit too much.
Then a friend said to try Snow Valley. It’s close. Real close. It’s set up for true beginners and there are some good deals with packages. So yesterday we left the house at 7:30am and headed to Snow Valley.
Let me tell you…I’ve done some amazing things in my life, and I’ve been to some amazing places. This has got to be the MOST FUN PLACE TO PLAY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Even going at 25 miles per hour through the winding mountain roads, it only took us an hour and 15 minutes to get there from home to parking lot. Not bad. And the weather was beautiful. It’s incredible to think that at our house, in the desert of the Inland Empire, the temperature made it up to 84 degrees. And just over an hour away, we were playing in the snow in 50 degree weather.
This place was nice. I got a package for my son called the Explorers package that was perfect. It included all of his equipment (board, bindings, boots), snowboarding lessons, lunch and snacks, and an all-day lift ticket. For myself, I got a 90-minute group lesson, so while the little one did his thing, I did mine.
After 90 minutes, I got the basics and was snowboarding…really snowboarding down the run. (Granted, it was a beginners run, but still…)
I check on lil Dr. Brown, and his teacher said that he learned so quickly they already made it up and down the mountain twice. He mastered every one of their lessons in about an hour, but since he was signed up for the package from 9:30 to 3pm, he wanted to snowboard with the instructor and just improve his technique. That was fine. I told him that I would check in on him after lunch.
That’s when I went to get something to eat for myself. There’s a restaurant that served the basics (burgers, hot dogs, fries, blah, blah, blah). But right above it on the second floor was a barbecue place called the Smokehouse. Ribs, brisket, links, etc. And next to the Smokehouse was a bar with 3 TVs all tuned to sports. Heaven. I had some kind of spiked hot chocolate drink called the Body Bag while eating a plate of smoked brisket and vegetables. Afterwards, I went to check on my boy. He mastered toe turns, heel turns, and ollies, and said for me to come back. I went back to the lounge, sippin’ whiskey in front of the Lakers game (which they won, by the way.)
I rest a bit, and rejoin the action. Lil’ Dr. Brown says that he wants to snowboard with me now instead of the instructor. We spend the rest of the day, going up and down the mountain like pros. It was awesome.
Here are some pics from the day.