They had heard about the adventure since Christmas. That’s when my parents put together a series of intricate, crafty clues to help them understand that they each had a ticket to ride an enclosed lift to the top of a mountain in Palm Springs.
And then they asked about it, relentlessly.
When were we going? How high was it? How long would the tram take? What would we do at the top? Would there be snow?
Questions for days. Months, actually. It’s one of the reasons we keep adventures a secret until we’re on our way, or actually upon it.
They got hats and gloves for Christmas as part of the clues, but since we were going in the spring, I thought it would be a long shot if we saw any snow. It would be almost 90 degrees the day we would go up.
But, it’s a bit chillier at more than 8,000 feet. Like, 30 degrees colder. So, snow stuck around.
And that was a gift. As desert babies, they’ve never had a chance to really play in the snow. About a year earlier, we pulled off the highway near Salt Lake City and touched an icy patch of snow, just so they could feel it.
But this was a little different. They got to make snowballs. They got to feel how quickly their hands freeze. They even got to “ski” down a slope, without even trying.
And they got to do it all in shorts, among skyscraper pines that seemed like they didn’t belong in southern California. On top of it, they got to do a little rock climbing, find their own way across a running creek, and build their first itty, bitty snowman.
It was the perfect Christmas adventure. In April. Because Christmas is always better with snow.