I'm not generally a big fan of snow and wasn't too upset to have missed the brief flurry in Jerusalem last week. Israel isn't particularly good at dealing with the white stuff and a fall that would be quickly dealt with elsewhere potnetially keeps people at home for several days in Jerusalem. When we arrived in Philadelphia, the snow was beginning to melt away from peoples' front lawns; the roads and pavements had been cleared quickly after the fall. It didn't stop my wife excitedly running out to frolic in the snow - her childlike enthusiasm is a sight to behold!
Yesterday we went one better: we took a rental car up to the North and had a day skiing - my first time on the slopes (other than dry skiing) and the first time my wife had been since her Aliyah 7 1/2 years ago.
A lesson-rental-ski lift package set us back $70 each and it turned out to be well worth it. Our lesson worked out to be just the two of us and Jim, our charming instructor who put us through our paces with humour and patience. We progressed quickly enough that when our time was up we were confident enough to get going on the easier trails by ourselves.
The adrenaline rush was incredible - I found myself caught between enjoying the speed whilst trying to remain completely in control - I was battling with the mountain and managed to stay on my feet for the vast majority of the time. Even when I ended up utilising my padded butt as a brake it was usually accompanied by my laughing at myself. The entire afternoon was spent with a massive smile on my face.
When I think of the US I think of shopping, Broadway and various historic places to visit but not of skiing. Do those of you reading this in New York, Jersey, Pennsylvania etc not take advantage of the mountains which are pretty much on the doorstep? We certainly will be the next time we come in to visit - it's on the top of our list, together with relatives, Target and H&M!