In January, we are moving to a condo, also in South Lake, a house-swap for the whole month.
We've been planning this time in Tahoe for a while. So imagine our surprise when we went to Heavenly Valley Ski Resort to buy season passes--and were told we were three days too late. They'd stopped selling season passes. We were stunned. For the amount we wanted to ski, daily passes would cost an arm and a leg.
We asked to see a supervisor, pleading our case that we'd been visiting Heavenly's website for months and had seen no notification. He said sorry, there was nothing he could do, but he gave me the number of his higher-up.
On our way to the car, I said, "Dave, something good is going to come from this."
That's my mantra when things don't go as planned. I used it when our rental house went on the market. I've used it when we are stuck in traffic. I used it when I found out I had a brain tumor.
It's a reminder that whatever is happening isn't the end of the story.
I wasn't sure I believed it in this case, though. Heavenly is owned by Vail Corporation. I don't care what anyone says but corporations are not people.
As soon as we walked out, I left a message on the higher-up's voice mail: I'm a writer. I'll be writing about our time in Tahoe. Friends of ours are coming to visit who'll be buying day passes. It will be good for business. There was no warning about the deadline. Please have some compassion for our situation. Yadda, yadda.
I texted Suzanne, the woman we are housesitting for who's a big skier. She texted me back, "Well, maybe you could get passes at Sierra-at-Tahoe. It's not as close, but I love skiing there."
Sierra-at-Tahoe? Why was that familiar? Oh yes, we'd never skied there but we'd seen our favorite band play there a couple of years ago. The place was charming. I'd love the feel of it. It was small, tucked away, more of a local's resort. We'd been so Heavenly-focused (for the ease of location), we hadn't thought about that. Yet would it be a pain to drive 30 minutes to ski?
We walked around town and popped into the Visitor's Center to browse. I mentioned to the young woman behind the counter that we couldn't get Heavenly passes.
"You should go to Sierra-at-Tahoe!" she enthused, adding that she worked there for eight years and loves it. She whipped out a map of the resort, excitedly talking about her favorite runs.
Seemed like a thumb's up from the universe to me.
I had such a good feeling about Sierra-at-Tahoe that by the time the higher-up called me back, I almost hoped he'd say no.
And sure enough, he checked with his higher-ups, and there was a consensus: They didn't want our business or our money.
Dave went onto the Sierra-at-Tahoe website. Their passes were half the cost of Heavenly's!
And get this: We have good friends who will be skiing at Squaw in January. We were hoping to join them, all the while knowing we'd probably be paying a lot to do so. But our Sierra-at-Tahoe passes include two free days at Squaw!
The drive to Sierra-at Tahoe was easy. We immediately loved skiing there. There's a low-key vibe. And the runs are really, really long. Like over a mile. So fun.
It's funny. With big things--like my brain tumor and losing our house--I really did believe that something good was going to happen. That the journey would be expansive. But with something small, like this ski pass thing, I wasn't so sure. But that what a mantra's for: to interrupt a habitual pattern of thinking that doesn't serve you.
It serves me to believe that life is an adventure. That what's around the corner isn't determined by what's right in front of me. That whatever I face, something good can come.