Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

March 31, 2014

March 2014 – Family Update

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 7:10 pm

March Highlights:

Mountains, Mountains and More Mountains

I think Luke and I have really fallen for this snowboarding thing. In March, we visited the mountains every weekend, with one trip to Mountain High, another trip to Big Bear, and two trips to Mammoth. On two of our trips, Lilah managed to get out of her “lazy weekend fixation” and join us as well. Lilah hadn’t been to Big Bear before, but she really enjoyed it. I took this opportunity to sign her up for a more advanced lesson in the hopes that she will join me on some of the higher mountains during our upcoming spring break trip to Mammoth. I think the lessons definitely helped her because when she was done, she took Luke and me to the top of the mountain. We didn’t select any of the black diamond runs on the way down, but there were still some relatively steep sections to maneuver through and Lilah made it through them just fine. Lilah really seemed to like the view from the top of the mountain and so I followed her up several more times before we called it a day. On the other hand, Luke was not as in love with the heights as Lilah was. He preferred to spend his time in the park area of the resort, perfecting his jumps, hitting the boxes and, his latest favorite, criss-crossing through the half pipe.

It’s funny, after all these years of avoiding snow sports because “they were too expensive, too far, too much hassle, etc.,” I’ve become the guy who must get his “powder fix” in every weekend. Just goes to show you, if you really like something, you find a way to do it and you also find ways to do it economically, which includes taking many day trips to local resorts, buying season passes to keep the average cost of lift tickets down, using your own gear to avoid the cumulative cost (and time wasted) renting equipment, and packing your own snacks. Snow sports have definitely added another dimension to our lives and the learning that goes along with it never stops. I even learned how to put tire chains on my car (all by myself), something you have to be able to do if you want to take advantage of those storms that can make for some treacherous road conditions, but amazing powdery days on the slopes. One note here: I learned how to put on the chains in my driveway and drove around the block to make sure I did it right. The next step in my “learning” will be putting the chains on along the side of the rode when it’s wet and cold outside, only then will I become “a master.” 😉

No Father/Daughter Dance this Year

Our streak of four straight years of attending the YMCA father/daughter dance came to a sniffling, sneezing, and achy halt this year as Lilah got sick just before our big event. She was looking forward to it too because she had gone shopping with mom a few weeks earlier to pick out her new dress.  As a dad, it was interesting to see how her choice in dresses has evolved with age. This year’s version had much less material and looked much more grown up than the garments she had chosen in the past — just another sign that my baby girl is now an adolescent with strong opinions when it comes to fashion. I was also bummed we didn’t get our fun night of dancing together, but at least Lilah was able to use the dress later in the month when she attended an 8th grade dance with her friends.

Lilah looked pretty and more “teen-agy” than ever. She also didn’t seem to mind posing for pictures, but wanted to make sure that I got the shot just right so we took several. One of the things she loved the most was wearing Cathy’s 3-inch heels to the dance. She said she liked wearing the heels and towering over her friends. She is really into being tall these days and is wishing for even more height so she can pass her “momma.”

Other Happenings: First Century Bike Ride and A Visit to My Dad’s Chacra

In the spirit of doing new things, I signed up for the Solvang Century in March. The Solvang Century is not a race so I was not out there trying to break any speed records. That being said, you have to ride 100 miles so you don’t want to go too slow, otherwise you can have a pretty long day. The ride was well organized with five aid stations (referred to as SAG stops) that were perfectly spaced out. Going into the event, my only concern was making sure I paced myself correctly so as not to not bonk with 20 miles left to go. Bonking means that you’ve essentially used up the majority of your sugar reserves and that translates into feeling light headed, hungry, and very weak. If you get to this point, cycling even a few more miles feels like torture. Luckily, I never reached that point. I had what I would consider a very evenly paced race, which was good, because with only 15 miles left to go, I turned it on. I was excited that the finish was relatively close so I pushed the pace and led a pack of cyclists for about five miles before we realized we had gone off course. This error cost us by adding five more miles to our century ride. The hard part here was making the mental adjustment that you now needed to ride uphill for 2.5 miles before getting to the big climb you were supposed to go up before you missed the turn. One of the guys in our group uttered a few “Fs” as we made our way back, but in the end we all made it through and finished our 105-mile ride. Some tips for next time: make sure you put sunscreen on your hands and legs (those parts of my body got a little sunburned), bring some savory food to eat (the body gets really tired of ingesting sugary stuff at all the aid stations), and don’t lead a pack if you don’t know where you’re going ;-).

In addition to all the mountain trips, we also got a chance to visit my dad on an absolutely beautiful afternoon. He showed Luke and Nicholas the mini farm he starts every spring — it is a very small plot of land (like 6 X 15 feet), but in it he grows his tomatoes, cilantro, chilies, and other crops. The entrance to his plot is framed by the “Mi Chacra” wood carved sign which indicates this is his farm. We had a great time hanging out with grampy and grandmy. While picking oranges the kids also made up their own game of orange baseball, which consisted of a game of catch using a large orange instead of a ball. We also took a jaunt to the nearby beach with my sister where we played some more catch, looked for critters in the sand, and enjoyed a bit of sunshine and conversation before heading back to my parents’ house for some dinner. Simple moments, but special times that bring a smile to my face as I conclude this month’s entry.

That’s all for now…more next month!

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