Last weekend we drove up to the Dodge Ridge area to spend the weekend with most of my cousins. One family has a place up there, and we crammed fifteen or so of us into for a few nights. I don't ski or snowboard, so I hung out in the (internetless! Phoneless! Cell-phone-receptionless!) cabin with the cousin closest to my age, and we did work and studied and mostly talked, and later went to explore Pinecrest Lake.
It was snowy in parts--deceptive snow; you'd think you had a solid footstep and suddenly you'd be wet and cold up to your knees because you didn't think to bring snow gear because you thought you'd be inside all day. There were tree stumps and spiny-looking rocks everywhere, and it felt like something out of Lord of the Rings.
In places the snow had the texture of crushed glass.
At night, we hung around and played board games (my cousins are Monopoly fiends; more accurately, maybe, they're incredibly competitive, and I am too but I get a pass because they all know I hate Monopoly because we used to play it for hours and hours and hours on end when we'd go on cruises together and get bored on our days at sea) and Spades (which I do not hate, and which makes me super competitive) and read and talked and ate and watched 21 Jump Street (best movie ever).
This one took her first skiing lessons!
And I hung out with this one while her parents and big sisters skiied.
Our last day there it snowed. Really snowed, or at least in my estimation, because I'm from the Bay Area and don't know what snow is.
And then we drove through some really pretty, pastoral landscape on our way back. California never fails to amaze me.
I love most things about living here (except that today I read the average rent for a one-bedroom in SF is 2700/month, which, lol), but one of the best parts is those shared quiet moments of dailiness. Napping on a couch up in the mountains while your cousins yell over landing on a double-hoteled Park Place, watching in awe while your (crossfitting) brother and cousin eat the equivalent of eight In-N-Out burgers between them and call it a normal dinner, standing back to not get splashed as your cousin tries to make you a bridge of ice and rocks to straddle a stream you both know you aren't going to chance because you seem to lack the adventure gene everyone else in your family got, dumb car games you play when you're driving half a day. These things, these little moments--those are what would make it so hard for me to ever leave.