It’s that time of year again! Cold. And argh! I already know what you’re gonna say. “Jaiden, you live in Arizona, you don’t get to complain about the cold!” And… you’re right (laugh) People in the rest of country are trying to shovel 3 feet of snow off their car and get to work with out slippin’ off the road, While all we have to do is put on a jacket, and not turn on the AC. The hottest setting in the shower gets barely not warm enough anymore. That’s probably the most inconvenient part of winter here. So I say bravo, and tip of the hat to all you snow penguins out there Who have to bundle up like that little brother in A Christmas Story just to go out and get your mail But just so you know, this only works if you don’t complain about your summers, alright? Deal. So, growing up in Arizona means I haven’t really experienced “winter” – or any seasons for that matter. Everything’s hot, and then everything dies – that’s our seasons I’ve always wanted to be in a place where all the leaves get really pretty and colorful.. …Before they die. So anyway, our winter is based more on the “holiday seasonal” feeling Personally, my family celebrates Christmas, so instead of thinking of winter as being “snowy” and all that jazz. I think of it as Christmas trees, and pretty lights, and really good smelling candles. Like REALLY good smelling candles. I LOVE candles! (laughs) I like to go into shops like Yankee Candles, or Bath & Body Works, or any type of candle store just to smell all the candles. MMMM And the titles are so sweet-sounding too, like “Warm Vanilla Sugar”, and “Maple Cinnamon Pancake” and “A Thousand Wishes” (laughs) I don’t even know what “a thousand wishes” would smell like, but MAN DOES IT GET ME IN THE JINGLE MOOD! Off-topic: some titles aren’t good. Like one time I went into the shop, and they had a candle called “Man Town” Like, dude, that doesn’t seem like the type of smell that people would want… in a candle. “Hmm, I’m just so stuck between ‘Magical Frosted Forest’, and… ‘Man Town’.” And also, “Mmm, Bacon…” “MMM BACON???” C’mon, candles are supposed to make a room smell good and fresh, not like greasy pig flesh! UGH! By the way I did smell them and was not pleasantly surprised. Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. We’re moving on So if I wanted to have a genuine, white, Christmas-ee Winter experience, I have to travel some place other then where I live, and luckily I have family that lives in snowy places My mom’s side of the family lives up in Canada, and my dad’s sister’s family lives over in South Lake Tahoe. Both places are hardcore snow area’s. I’ll talk about Canada first. It’s been awhile since I visited my Canada family durning winter, which I mean makes sense. I normally visit them durning the summer, because compared to Arizona, their weather during that time is frickin’ perfect But one year, when I was younger we visited them for Christmas. It was the first time I got to play in snow, and I had a blast just running around with my cousins. We even made our first snowman! Well, my first snowman. We didn’t have a top hat, so we used our grandpa’s golf hat, but we forgot about it, and it blew away and we never found it.. Sorry, grandpa I hope you forgive us. Rest in peace… golf hat. Over all, that winter was really great, 10/10, would white Christmas in Canada again. Now let’s talk about South Lake Tahoe. My parent’s really like skiing, and Tahoe is a great place to do that. Like everyone there LOVES winter. Everyone! You’re not allowed to not like it if you live there. My aunt and her friends even do the crazy stuff. Like jump outta helicopters and barrel down snowy mountains and say “gnarly”. Props to them – they’re really cool. So we visit them maybe once every year or two for a couple of days to ski and stuff. I get kinda nervous with skiing, but it’s still really enjoyable. And the more you do it, the more comfortable you get throughout the day. Just do the pizza french fry thing, and you’re good. But I didn’t bring up skiing in Lake Tahoe for no reason here. Most times we visited were really awesome, but one year was… traumatic. I was maybe 10 or so. We were all skiing together, everything was good it was a nice day of pleasant winter fun. Near the end we decided to do one last run before we head back. My dad – y-yes, my dad. I’ve seen a few comments saying “Jaiden, you haven’t talked about you’re dad before, is there some deep depressing story behind that?” No, you’re just looking to much into it. He’s right here. Hi dad. So my dad takes my younger brother Jackson and me to go on one last hill, and while we were waiting in line, I looked up in the mountain and thought: “Uhh, this trail seems a little big compared to the other’s we’ve gone on today.” But being a naive little kid, I didn’t say anything – because I just trusted my dad knew what he was doing. We got to the front and we were waiting for the lift to sweep us up, and I noticed this chalkboard that said: “ADVANCED TRAIL! JUST LOOK AT IT!!!” And that made me go “hmm” even more. “Dad, that chalkboard says advanced-” scwhoop – too late now! We were sitting on the ski lift, and it seemed like it was taking forever to get to the end. Hint: because it was. Our dad ended up accidentally taking us to the very top of the mountain. Like, the runs we were on during the day were beginner and intermediate ones at the base. We went to the very TOP! And yes, to all you ski, snowboard language people. It was labelled a ‘double black diamond’! The iconic graph for trails goes easy, intermediate, expert, you will DIE if you go on here as a child! Well, shoot! I looked down at the hill, and it was almost vertical, downward, death. With a bunch of moguls. Moguls are those intense snow bumps that pros go over. “What in the world did you expect from us?”
Also, turns out the trail is literally called “The Wall.” Beautiful. My dad realised he made a mistake, and was in the middle of trying to figure out what we should do, when suddenly, my brother just starts going. Like he just starts going straight down the mountain! And my dad just starts freaking out and screaming at him, “FALL, FAAALL!!” ‘Cause that’s what you’re supposed to do, just slow down when you’re going that fast – you can’t really do anything else. (laughs) So my dad’s screaming “FALL, FAAALL” at my brother, as he’s going Sonic down this frickin’ mountain. He eventually does, and starts doing this sprawled spinning motion. Like imagine if you took a starfish and frisbeed it. (laugh) I think that’s a good visual representation. He then starts slowing down, and people on the hill go to help him. So you think that’s scary. Imagine what I was thinking during that time! HELLO! I just watched my brother starfish down this mountain, and now it’s literally my turn! Nowhere to go but down! Like what-what? That’s like the ultimate stuck! As I was preparing my last thoughts until imminent disaster, a nice bystander came up to me and said: “Here, we’re gonna get you down from here. Let me help you.” I end up inching down this frickin’ wall of a mountain on my butt in skis, with this stranger helping me. It must’ve looked really weird if you were just skiing by like “What the what, why is there a little girl on this trail?” “And why does she have the look of childhood trauma in her eyes?” Eventually, we got to the bottom, safely. It took a long time. My brother was alright too. My uncle actually caught to him and Jaxen got to stand on his ski’s and pretty much be escorted down. And I remember being really jealous, because I had to tough it out and go down manually, while he pretty much got a free ride. After it all, my parent’s were like “Oh, we’re so sorry, oh my gosh, but – oh, you did so well! We’re so proud you got through it!” But I was really mad. My dad wanted to get us shirts from the gift shop that said: “I survived the WALL” But I was too salty to want anything. So yeah, that was that. (laugh) We were lucky not to have gotten really hurt or anything. Like, I literally thought my brother passed out during his starfish moment – but he’s all good. And also when I was animating the story, I realised the way I presented the guy that helped me kinda sounds like: “Oh my gosh, Jaiden, stranger danger! You could’ve been took!” so I should probably clear up that my dad was like there, so he would’ve seen if the guy just… decided to pick me up and be like “I’m gonna walk away.” Plus, kidnapping a kid on the top of a mountain isn’t the most ideal location to do that… I think? Um, so, yeah he wasn’t the danger of the story, if you were thinking that. Happy Christmahanikwansa.