Originally, we had planned this trip with the Larkins. Their kids have never seen snow and we thought it would be so much fun to take all the kids sledding. When they had to back out of the trip to take care of Noah, we were all so disappointed. (THAT’S the understatement of the century). It was so hard to go without them.

But things have a weird way of working out…they canceled their reservations and got their money back. When we got to Tahoe, there was no snow. Plenty of cold, but no snow. I called Amber and told her, “Hey, you guys are missing absolutely nothing but boredom.  If you had come on this trip with us, your kids would still be saying they’ve never seen snow.”

This is what the trees looked like the entire week.

Mark and I struggled to find things for the kids to do all week. Ice skating was a bust (see below post) and when we tried to take them up the mountain to go sledding, we were told there was not enough snow to sled! I practically signed over my paycheck from the Improv to the arcade attendant just to keep the boys happy.

We put enough money in this machine to buy it 3 times over.

Wednesday was windy and freezing, but it was sunny. That tricked us into walking to the Lake.  The boys were so cold their tears almost froze on their little cheeks. The bathrooms were locked up for winter (who would be crazy enough to be here now?) so I had to change poor Zeke’s diaper on a bench outside. I’ve never seen that look on his face before and I hope I never see it again.

Cold sand...AAAHHHHH!!!

Nate kept asking his new friend, the goose, "How are you putting your butt in that cold water?"

I kept asking everyone to make it snow so my boys would have something to do. Every night on stage I would complain that there was no snow.   Well….the last night we were there (The Larkins were scheduled to leave the day before) it started to snow. It snowed all night long. The wind was blowing so hard it was mocking me. It was almost 50 mph! We tried to take Nate and Zeke outside to play in it but we didn’t last 7 minutes.

Nate asked Mark, "Daddy, can you make me a snowball really fast so I can go back inside?"

Zeke and Nate hover near the doors. "Mommy, if you stand here when someone opens the door, you get some warm coming out!"

It snowed the entire night and never stopped. The last tally was over 10 inches! It took us 2 1/2 hours to get down the mountain to the Reno airport. (normally takes 1 hr.)

This is what it looked like as we were leaving!

Our plane was late, so we missed our connection. They put us on a plane to Atlanta then a cheap hotel for 3 hours. Back to the airport to catch a 7am flight the next day. It felt like we were transported into the movie, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. We just wanted to get home. Somewhere in the middle of the trip, Zeke had a melt down. He was just verbalizing how we all felt. When I overheard a woman saying, “Sheesh!  I can’t believe that woman has no control over her child”…it took all my strength and yoga breaths to keep me from calling 911 and saying, “Hello…you need to come help this woman…she’s stuck inside her carry on bag.”

28 hours after we started…we pulled into our driveway still chanting, “There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…”

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One of the best perks of my job is performing in some of the most beautiful places on earth. This week is one of them. Lake Tahoe takes my breath away every time I’ve been here. Granted, it’s altitude accounts for some of my breathlessness.

The view out our hotel window last night.

“Nate…come look out the window! It’s one of the most beautiful sunsets i’ve ever seen!”

“I’ve seen a sunset before, Mommy. I’m watching Darth Maul fight young Obi-Wan Kenobi when he had the braid”.

“Nate, please come look at the sunset…it’s really amazing!”

“No thank you, Mommy.”

“Nate, I’m not asking you…I’m telling you…come look out the window right now!”

“But Mommy…”

“RIGHT NOW! I promise you will like it more than the Darth Maul fight.”

{sighs…fists clenched at sides, Nate looks out window} “OK, I looked and I’m sorry to say that you are very wrong, Mommy…Darth Maul is much better than a sunset.”

I sincerely hope I don’t run into George Lucas anytime soon. I can’t afford the amount of money I’d have to put into the swear jar.

Nate & Mommy time on the ice.

“Mommy, all I ever wanted to do all my life was to ice skate…can we ice skate?”

“Sure, Nate! That’ll be fun. Let’s get dressed and go!”

The entire family went down to the ice rink this morning and stood at the ticket window with our jaws on the ground. It costs $20. each for adults and $15 for kids to skate! It would cost us $70. to fall on our butts for an hour!

“Nate, Daddy and Zeke are just gonna watch us skate.”

“Why?”

“Because we want to eat the rest of the week.”

I’ve only ice skated once before…with Mark at Rockafeller plaza in NYC. That was romantic and fun. Nate whining, “Mommy, I’m falling…I can’t do this…I want to go back to the hotel and watch Star Wars…” was the opposite of romantic and fun.

Nate and Mommy taking a break from falling to pose for a photo.

Why are life “lessons” so expensive?

Tomorrow is sledding down the mountain. Let’s see what we learn for $80.