Yes. While most people who decided to travel during the holidays hopped on the first flight to get away from the cold city, this story is about a family that squeezed thirteen people and four days worth of luggage into two cars to drive four hours…just to get to an even colder and icier destination.
Welcome to the annual He and Zeng family snowboarding-trip experience!
I slept through most of the four hour drive, knowing from experience that sleep is the only way to make long-distance trips feel faster. (Let me tell you, when traveling to see relative means fifteen-hour-long flights, being able to sleep for eight hours straight is a blessing.) We rented a beautiful country-style Airbnb house with a cozy living space where we spent the next few nights dueling through card games, poker, and Catan.
We’ve been snowboarding for the last three years, but this is the fourth year we’ve made a trip like this and the first year up in Maine. Usually we drive to New Hampshire, but Maine was offering steeper slopes that we just couldn’t turn down. This year, we signed our lives away to Sugarloaf in Rangeley. (Snowboarding is safe, I promise. Just real hard on the butt.) We enjoyed some snowfall on the first day but the wind began to pick up the next few days, so we stayed lower on the mountain for the last days were were there.
Snowboarding is the purpose of the trips, but I mostly enjoy the nights we spend together as family in our temporary home. We used to rent the same place in New Hampshire every year, so it almost felt like we were staying in our expensive, winter cottage up in the mountains. This year, although we were at a new location, it didn’t feel too foreign because of the people we were with. We did the same things we did every year: hot chocolate waiting for us when we got home, big feasts cooked by my mom and uncle, calling dibs on who gets to shower first, movies next to the fireplace, and board games late at night even though we had to get up early the next day.
It can be hard sometimes to find a balance between work and play, but this break has long been needed.
To me or anyone reading this during a finals week in the future, it’s been a long semester, but you have to pull through! It will be worth it in the end!
Until next time,
Caitlin Zeng '20