Ah, vacation! A week off from… oh no, wait, I don’t get a week off from being mom. But I do get another helper who isn’t staggering in the door after work with little more inspiration for child care than finding something on You Tube. And I get a change of scenery. And when that scenery changes to the pristine blue skies and stunning mountains of Squaw Valley, then I’ll be happy to take a week’s vacation up to Tahoe with my drama-queen preschooler in tow.
I left my running shoes at home on purpose, though I’m not really sure why, other than the fact that bringing more than three pairs of shoes on a week’s vacation to the mountains seemed absurd. In lieu of running, the hubby and I rented 2 bikes and a Burley trailer and pedaled our way along the Truckee River to Tahoe City. I’ll take a moment to mention that I am not a bike-rider, due to a concussion-inducing bike accident I had at the age of 20. So a 16-mile trip (there and back) was a bit more than I’m used to. Suffice it to say that a bike ride across the street would have been more than I’m used to.
My first ‘uh-oh’ moment came about two minutes after our arrival, when I realized that I left my swimsuit at home. So I took advantage of the end-of-summer sales and bought a new one while we were up there. Then I was going to make sure I wore that sucker. My new swimsuit and I were game enough to join the senior set and try the resort’s morning water aerobics class the following morning. It wasn’t too much of a stretch (pun intended) for me, but I amused myself with my comical efforts to get the flotation ‘weights’ under the water without having them shoot up and clock me in the face.
Save the annoying cramp in my lower back (probably due to the fact that I danced at both the restaurant and an energetic party the night before we left, then had to sit in a car for 3 hours the following morning) I was surprisingly not sore from my new workout of Tahoe Triathlon– bike, water aerobics and wandering the shops.
A favorite stop for kid shopping in The Village at Squaw Valley is Mind Play— a shop full of fun for all ages of people with brains. There are books for children, as well as new and old favorites for adults. This place is affectionately dubbed ‘The Ball Store’ by my 3 year-old. She’s added a new one to her repertoire 2 years running. After toning my thighs with biking and daring to bare them in super-short swim trunks (why this feels more revealing than a string bikini, I don’t know– but it does) I pawed through the exotic feminine bits at a lovely shop in King’s Beach called Jai Yen. I chatted up the shop keeper while my husband and daughter tested out the wooden Thai musical instruments and the collapsible hula-hoops.
We came home at the end of the week, doing our best to miss most of the Labor Day holiday traffic (without much luck—it took us an extra hour to get home) refreshed and rejuvenated. My daughter was ready for her first year in school, and eager to get another ball from the ‘ball store.’