This time of year, things can get a little, hall I say boring if you aren’t careful. It’s easy to succumb to the long hours of darkness and cool temps outside and just stay in. The terms “winter blues” and “cabin fever” are pretty spot-on if you don’t find a way to get through the next couple months.

Last week was rainy. It seemed like the entire week was wet, gray and dreary. My girls and I had planned on going tubing at Holiday Valley on Friday, but when Friday arrived, the rain was still hanging in there. It didn’t exactly subside by the time I was hoping to head there, and I actually called Holiday Valley to make sure the tubing park was open. It was. Decision made—we were going. When we got there, I was sort of surprised to see the parking lot almost empty, except for a few cars parked right up front.

My kids asked, “Is it even open?” I secretly had my doubts, but assured them it was. Why else would these other five cars be here? We went in and sure enough, there was someone behind the counter. We got our tags and headed out to grab our tubes. By this time, the rain had stopped completely. We sat in our tubes, effortlessly riding to the top, and linked up in one of the group lanes. We flew down the hill, mixing our sound effects between laughter and screaming. When the tubes stopped, we got out and headed back to the nonexistent line to go back up. We repeated this at least 20 more times before heading out and grabbing frozen hot chocolates from Tim Horton’s.

Winter in WNY is unpredictable. Sometimes you’ll get buried in snow when you have a long drive. Sometimes the lack of snow might mean your favorite trail isn’t open at the resorts. And sometimes it’ll be raining when you want to go tubing. But, just make the best of it.

Of the times I’ve been to the tubing park with my daughters, last week, on a gloomy evening with questionable weather, when we didn’t even think there was enough snow to go, was the absolute best time we’ve ever had there. Don’t cancel your plans just because something that’s out of your control isn’t working out like you’d expected it to. Get out, give it a shot and make the best of what you CAN do!

– Alicia Dziak, Editor, Ellicottville Times