Taking Tahoe by Force

Courtesy of Courtney Force

Courtney Force enjoyed the view from the top of the Sierras whil vacationing in Tahoe.

Every year for Christmas my family heads eight hours north to enjoy the snow at Lake Tahoe. It has been a tradition for years because it is the one time we all can get together as a family and enjoy each other’s company.

It’s hard to make ourselves relax during the year with our hectic schedules, so Christmas is the perfect time to do it. However, getting there is a pretty stressful routine. My dad seems to see it as just a “normal” eight-hour road trip. But, let’s not kid ourselves.

Courtesy of Courtney Force

Brittany and Courtney Force has a hard time finding hill steep enough to go sledding on.

We have to double wrap all of our presents to cover them up so they don’t get ruined in the open-bed Ford Raptor we take as one of the cars on the trip. Keep in mind, there are six of us and a 1-year-old packed for a week in the mountains. Then, add all of our presents.

Dad has the job of loading the luggage and gifts into the cars. It usually takes a while because if anything is out of place or doesn’t fit right, he takes everything out and tries again. We are the epitome of the Griswold Family Christmas! I love my family to death, but I think we try to make every trip as confusing and stressful as possible. That’s how it’s always been, but if nothing else, it’s definitely entertaining.

My sister, Brittany, and I usually get stuck in my parents’ car for the trip. Dad talks business and racing the whole time, but Brittany and I try getting everyone in the Christmas spirit by doing our best Elvis Presley imitations of “Blue Christmas.” And we always stop at Erick Schat’s Bakery for sandwiches and cookies.

It was definitely a white Christmas up in Tahoe. There was snow on every corner and on every rooftop. It was beautiful!

On Christmas Eve, we went to church and came back to have our takeout Chinese food and watch movies by the fire. On Christmas morning, we all made a pancake breakfast and started unwrapping presents under the tree before a traditional turkey dinner.

One day, Brittany and I decided to head outside in the snow and find a hill to sled down. Our backyard didn’t have very many hills, but I tried to make the best out of the situation. I told my dad to be ready with the camera and although he warned me my sled wasn’t going to go anywhere, I tried it anyway. I leaped onto the sled on my knees. The sled stuck into the snow and didn’t move an inch down the small slope, so I, of course, went face. It’s definitely the little things in life that make it the most fun and being out in the freezing cold snow, soaking wet and getting a laugh out of my family, was definitely worth it.

The next day I decided to find some real slopes and hit the mountain with my brother-in-law and co-crew chief on my Funny Car, Daniel Hood. We went boarding, and although I’m not the best, Daniel thought I was good enough to head straight for the top. My least favorite part about snowboarding is the chair lift, maybe I’m just afraid of being that high up. We headed for the highest spot on the mountain with fresh powder and got to see the most amazing view of the lake! We boarded down and made it back in one piece, being very careful since we start the 2013 season in only a month and testing starts back next week!

It was an amazing Christmas vacation with my family, but I’m definitely ready to take my snowboarding adrenaline rush to the race track and get back in my 8,000 HP Funny Car, alongside my dad! I still think the best present this Christmas was finishing off the 2012 season safely and having the time to enjoy the time off with my family and friends.