To live will be an awfully big adventureJ.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
One of the best pieces of advice another traveler gave to me, was wherever you go, make sure you do something you have never done or cannot do where you live.
When you live in Florida, anything with snow falls under that advice.
On a snowboarding trip a couple of years ago, I finally got to do something that I have always wanted to do, have never done, and could not do in Florida.
I went snow tubing.
It was over breakfast the second morning, that both my friend and I realized the one thing both of us lack from our childhood is that we both had never slid down the snow on an inner tube. But in our defense, I live in Florida, and she resides in Hawaii, so snow is not a regular thing.
With our trip at the end of ski season, most of the tubing places were closed, and we were convinced we would have to go to Walmart and buy one so that we could finally do it. So that morning, while we were planning out the whole adventure, including how to convince our snowboard instructor that we needed to go down the mountain at least once on an inner tube.
Overhearing our plans, the inn keeper stepped in and informed us that there was a snow park a couple of miles down the road, where you could go tubing. And it was still open!
One call to the center convinced us that we could have this adventure without dragging our poor snowboarding instructor along.
After the lesson, we raced about 17 minutes down the road to the Frisco Adventure Park. It is a dirt bike park during the summer, but during the winter, it is a snow park with different attractions, including a ski hill for really little kids and a tubing hill.
Six lanes of ups and downs, twist and turning tubing hill.
After sitting through the safety video with a bunch of penguins teaching us about tubing safety, we exited a yurt and grabbed our tubes. We got up to the hill to only realize; we were the only adults there.
Yep, we were the only adults surrounded by kids ranging from age 5 to 12—most of them looking at us as if we had lost it.
Did we give up on our dreams of tubing?
We grabbed those tubes, sat down and pushed off, and went sliding down the slopes, laughing all the way.
Then we did it over and over again. Sliding and racing, probably doing everything we weren’t supposed to do in an attempt to reclaim a part of our childhood. Why should kids have all the fun?
And the best part is that after 40 minutes, the rest of the kids got bored and went searching for their electronics, leaving us with the whole “mountain” to ourselves.
One of the guides asked me once, before pushing me off, what I was doing up here (aka, aren’t you a little old to be doing this). I looked down the hill, “Tubing, because would you believe it that you can’t go snow tubing in Florida.”
That earned me some respect before he pushed me off.
On our last turn, we decided to race. I figured I had this one in the bag because I was a lot heavier than she was.
Not paying attention to the safety video paid off because she won (cheated). This is still one of our biggest debates. She claims she was using her brains, knowing I would have won because I am heavier. I stick to the claim that she wasn’t following the safety penguins’ instructions.
Let’s call it what it is; it is cheating.
At the end of our hour, our faces were flushed, and our sides hurt from laughing so hard, and thankfully I had remembered to wear my butt pads that day because my butt would have been a little more bruised.
So yes, we might have been the only adult on the hill that day. For every person who wished they could do something but had been afraid to do it because they felt like they had grown out of it, just do it. And for all those who regretted not acting on something, I offer this piece of advice, just do it. We took back a little of our childhood. And proved you are never too old to have fun.
Plus, tubing is fun.