Gabriel and I couldn't get our groove on today, and conditions were much much icier than two weeks ago. But we found our sweet spot practicing jumps -- he said he was working on "guts" and was pushing himself to try one jump repeatedly, faster every time. This pushed me to try a series of 5 jumps in a row, which included some very jarring landings! I'm ignoring the serious threat to my back, it was just too much fun.
After picking up Katrina and Julian from lessons, Katrina wanted to ski again and again, all happy now. Her good mood didn't last long, she was grumpy and didn't handle setbacks very well, like navigational errors that resulted in me digging her out of ungroomed areas.
Julian's chronic ignoring of instructions really wears on me too, he has to be told numerous times to do the most basic things ("carry your skis out of the lesson area now" "don't throw snow in front of the lodge door" "no, this is the last run, go take your skis off"). I'm sure people who don't know him think I'm really awful, because I go right up to him and repeat sternly, "NOW YOU MUST GO DO WHAT I SAID."
In fairness, I'm thrilled to say that Gabriel is only an asset now: he unloaded all our skis from the ski rack today!
But I did manage to get a few photos that makes it look like the whole day was a peachy blast, without the intense workload of nanny, valet, waitress and shepherd. (What would it be like to just ski and have fun, without all the surrounding struggle?)
The trip home was marred by some black ice in a shady curve on a windy downhill road. I felt the car slip, and thought nothing of it, that happens, just ride it out, but it started to slip back and forth. Since I was in a curve, I had to continue steering, and somehow the car got into what felt like a massive fishtail. It was awful, the rear end swinging around uncontrollably as it rocked so much it felt like we would roll (in reality I'm sure it was far from it), and picked up speed into the opposing lane. But in a flash, the car grabbed, and swung around in a spectacular 180, side-swiping a snowbank in my lane, facing the other way. I've never been in a fishtail like that in a car (motorcycles yes), and it was a horrible feeling, but as soon as the rocking stopped and the sliding started, it was clear we were headed for a safe landing and I just let it finish. A Jeep with two guys stopped and flagged traffic while I pulled back onto the road and drove home slowly, shaken terribly. Eeps. There wasn't even that much ice on the road, but I have new respect for it.
The kids took it all well, and after a few passing comments like "that was scary Mom!" they were right back to harassing each other as usual. After popcorn and hot chocolate at home, they headed outside for hours of snow play, which I actually joined them for, for quite some time! There are some huge boulders here them to play on, which are great fun to climb and jump off of (I got photos but I'm too tired now). The snow is sort-of walkable, but it's easy to sink in thigh-deep. What fun it would be to have snowshoes and actually hike up here.
I'm definitely counting on a better day tomorrow!