WITH SARAH LIT
Get to Know Sarah
Hi! I’m Sarah, and I live in Northern California with my high school sweetheart turned hubby and our 5 kids. I’m very thankful I get the chance to stay home with our littles and work part-time at home, while my husband Andy does construction. For the most part, we’re a bunch of homebodies (getting out with five kids does take some effort!) but when we do get out, we do it up big. Living in California gives us an advantage; we’ve got the mountains just a few hours in one direction and beaches in another – SO many options for us to have fun and explore together!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT SKIING AS A FAMILY?
We actually don’t do the skiing thing – YET! Since we’ve had at least one tiny babe for the last, um…10 years, ha! we stick to the more low-key activities, like sledding and snowman building. We love that it gets us outside in a fresh, new surrounding. Kids are always happier when they’re outside, and when you’re not used to the snow, it’s basically one of the most exciting things in the world!
We’ve been going up to Tahoe, Nevada, for years, and always stay on the South Shore. We have a lot of families go often as well, and sometimes get lucky enough to meet up in the summer months for softball tournaments, or for cabin trips in the winter. There’s so much to do in South Shore, whether it be hiking, lake days, boating or snow fun – and since it’s near all the casinos there are lots of entertainment options, too!
HOW TO GET THERE
We’re only about a five-hour drive, but to make it more comfortable for everyone we rented a minivan for the trip. It makes such a huge difference when you have space on long drives! Our whole family fit comfortably and we were able to play movies for the kids in the back. A spacious vehicle is worth it for those long drives when everyone’s happy it goes by SO much faster!
WHAT WERE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING AND SEEING?
That’s easy. Since it doesn’t snow where we live, and we haven’t made it to the snow in a couple years, we couldn’t wait for SNOW! And not even any major activity, just seeing the blanket of it on the trees, and covering the mountains around us was magical. The kids were even excited to play in a tiny patch of it – so it was amazing for all of us!
SNOOZE IN STYLE
We found an Airbnb that was perfect for our family. I feel like sometimes you never know with those, but I would highly recommend this lodging if you’re ever in South Lake – especially for families. It was right by the lake (we literally woke up and fed the ducks from our balcony in the mornings with the most gorgeous views!) and it had such a cosy, cabin feel. When you do Airbnbs we’ve learned from experience how essential it is to find one with ample sleeping areas (most importantly when you have teeny tinies!) it can make or break a trip if someone is overly tired, or not able to get their naps (you feel me, mamas?) We lucked out with this one and will definitely be returning.
EAT LIKE A LOCAL
We had grand plans for going out, but as it is when you have littles that dream is hard to make a reality – especially when the kids have been out playing in the snow all day! So we were lucky to find a highly recommended pizza place with the BEST menu, which also delivered. We ended up doing that two out of the three nights! If you’re looking for some good grub and love pizza, Slice of Sierra won’t disappoint you.
WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL ITEMS TO PACK?
It’s so important to have the right gear, especially for little ones! If they’re cold it’s no fun for anyone. I think having good snow boots is essential, and a high-quality bunting suit if you have a tiny one. We chose this red one from Kuling because it’s easy to get on and off, and who wants to fuss with all the bundling for baby. Plus, I’m convinced that babies in snowsuits are one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Adelaide, our 9-month-old, had so much fun experiencing snow for the first time, she was able to sit and touch it (and even eat a little!) without being cold and uncomfortable in her suit. The two jackets we brought from The Perfect Moment and Joules were well insulated, but also light which made it easier for packing. I ended up being SO pleased with all of our snow gear from Alex and Alexa!
With the lake just out back we had fun feeding the ducks together, and then after all our plays, coming back inside for a Christmas movie in front of the fire with hot chocolate. It just doesn’t get any better than that…
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING THAT HAPPENED DURING THE TRIP?
We didn’t really do any big-time sledding during the trip, just some easy runs nearby here and there. So about 30 minutes into our drive home, Andy decided to spontaneously stop by this amazing sledding park for a couple hours. We had all of our snow stuff conveniently packed together into a big garbage bag, so it made changing easy. They had equipment you could rent there, a café, and tons of slopes for the beginners to the more advanced. We all had a BLAST, plus it made for some tired out kids on the ride home!
WHAT DID YOU ENJOY DOING THE MOST?
We had so much fun doing anything snow-related; we built a snowman, did snow angels, had snowball fights, all right on our back porch! With the lake just out back we had fun feeding the ducks together, and then after all our plays, coming back inside for a Christmas movie in front of the fire with hot chocolate. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
ANY TIPS FOR FAMILIES WHO ARE TAKING THEIR LITTLE ONE SKIING OR ON A SNOW ADVENTURE FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Pack extra garbage bags! We were constantly taking our snow gear in and out of the bags whenever we went anywhere to play. I would also make sure everyone’s got good boots, and especially invest in a good quality snowsuit that’s EASY to get on and off if you have a tiny one – it was the best thing watching our 9-month-old, Adelaide, play and become more familiar with it, and not being freezing and uncomfortable. Make sure you are intentional about taking in the beauty of it all, and spending time just BEING together when you’re not on the go, relaxing as a family. Enjoy one another. That’s the whole point of doing these trips, after all!
With thanks to Sarah Lit X