We went to Roundtop for the first time this season. It’s simply the furthest from our house. I was a bit disappointed that Gunbarrel was closed. Ramrod was the only double black diamond slope opened. Nevertheless, the conditions were surprisingly good. I had fun skiing and snowboarding with my family. Xuân finally got to ski with his cousin Hân. We spent 6 hours there. Can’t ask for more on a Sunday. It seems like the season is ending soon. Mother Nature is not giving us any cold days or snow. I am trying to get as much mileage as I can with my Epic pass.

Tết và tuyết

Sáng nay thứ Bảy thức sớm đưa Đạo và Đán qua Germantown, Maryland để tụi nó phụ giúp trang trí Hội Tết Hướng Đạo. Từ Germantown đến Liberty Resort chỉ 50 phút. Tôi chạy qua đó đi trượt tuyết. Hôm nay tuy thứ Bảy nhưng không đông lắm. Tôi snowboard rồi ski từ 8:00 giờ sáng đến 11:00 giờ trưa.

Tôi trở lại Germantown để dự Hội Tết Hướng Đạo cùng Liên Đoàn Hùng Vương. Đến giờ trưa, lúc lấy đồ ăn bỗng nghe tiếng, “Chào Donny”. Tôi nhìn về anh chào lại nhưng tôi không nhận ra anh là ai. Anh cho biết rằng anh thường đọc trang blog này của tôi. Anh từ Minnesota dọn qua Virginia gần một năm.

Tôi rất vui được gặp một người đọc trang blog của mình. Hai anh em trò chuyện với nhau về con cái. Anh cũng đọc được những gì tôi chia sẻ về nỗi lòng làm cha mẹ. Hân hạnh được gặp anh Luân. Hy vọng mình sẽ có cơ hội gặp lại.

Một ngày như thế là đủ niềm vui rồi.

Screw Carving

I have been obsessed with carving with skiing and snowboarding. I spent time on the slopes learning instead of enjoying myself.

Today, I just told myself, “Fuck it. Just have fun.” I went to Liberty and kicked off with snowboarding. Instead of trying to carve, I applied Malcolm Moore’s “Skidding to Carving” technique. I enjoyed riding it much more.

When I switched to skiing, I used the technique that I just learned to keep both my feet in parallel. I tried to roll my knees a bit, but I was not worrying about carving. I sped up a bit more.

Turning With Patience

I was heading to Whitetail and planning on continuing to work on my carving skills on skis, but I decided to take a lesson instead. I signed up for the two-hour group lesson, which cost $88. I couldn’t effort the two-hour private lesson, which would have cost $355.

Before siging up, I made sure they had advanced group lesson available. I didn’t want to be placed in beginner or intermediate level. The lesson coordinator was going to put in a group lesson with intermediate students who were still learning to turn, but I specifically requested carving lesson. They assigned me to an instructor.

She asked me to show her my turns. I tried to carve, but my turns weren’t perfect. I had to fix my inside foot in order to keep my skis paralleled. She made me work on coordinating my feet. The whole lesson was for me to be patience when I initiated my turns. I had to let both skis turn together and not just my outside ski.

Being patience was fine on the green slopes, but a bit nerve-wrecking on the blue slopes as I picked up my speed. She continued to insist that I must be patience and let my skis make the turns. It worked. I could feel my feet making the turns without having to fix my inside foot.

We went on the black trail then the double black slopes. I trusted my skis to do the work for me. Two hours zipped by so fast. We ended the lesson with her giving me some tips on carving after I perfected my parallel turns.

She complimented me on my skiing and encouraged me to become a ski instructor. I would get free training, free Epic pass, and to make money. It sounded great and I would give it some thought.

Before we part way, I handed her a $50 bill. I got a private lesson for not even half a price. I might try this again with a snowboarding lesson.

President’s Day Weekend at Liberty

Our whole family arrived at Liberty around 4:30 pm yesterday. I skied with my wife, Xuân, and Vương while Đạo and Đán went on their own. We began on Dipsy Doodle. Although it was a green trial, it seemed to be more dangerous than the blue, black, and double black trails. Experienced and inexperienced skiers and snowboarders just zoomed down. I had to turn around many times to make sure no one would crash into me.

After one run, I decided to take Vương on the blue trail, which would be safer than Dipsy Doodle. We started off on Upper Heavenly. Xuân guided him through the moguls. When we reached Whitney’s Way, however, he was just gunning down. I freaked out trying to keep up with him. Fortunately he didn’t fall. After we met up at the lift, I asked him what happened. He replied, “I couldn’t control my speed, but I remembered you told me to bend my knees.” I was glad he made it. He wanted to do it again, but I didn’t let him. I need to teach him parallel turns and proper stopping techniques.

We didn’t get home until 11:00 pm and went to bed around midnight. No one could wake up this morning, except for me. I left the house around 6:30 am and arrived at Liberty at 8 am. I went to the back side to practice my carve turns. I determined to get it down this season. This tutorial helped.

I switched out to my snowboard for two runs and left at noon. The crowd was picking up when I left. The rental line was long. I was so glad I didn’t have to wait in line for rentals.

Skiing & Snowboarding Checklist

When we go skiing, I am responsible for bringing most of our things. I am getting used to it now, but here’s the checklist:


  • Epic Pass


Protective Gears



  • Water
  • Gatorade
  • Beer
  • Cold cuts
  • Cheese
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Hot sauce

Snack Bag



Skiing With My Kids at Liberty

After snowboarding for several days, I missed skiing. This morning, I left my snowboard at home and only brought my skis. I took Đạo, Đán, and Xuân to Liberty. We arrived at the resort around 8 am—just in time the resort opened. We went to the back side to do runs on the blue and double black slopes. I was amazed that three of my kids just zoomed straight down the double-black slopes without turning.

Three teenage snowboarders saw Xuân went down and one of them said, “Oh my god, that kid just want straight down. How crazy is that?” At another time, an older woman said to me, “They shouldn’t go straight down like that. It’s not safe. They need to turn.” I asked Đán why he snowboarded straight down and he replied, “Lazy has its advantage. I was too lazy to turn.”

I still did short turns on the double-black slopes to control my speed. On the blue slopes, I practiced my carvings. I was getting it now and it felt great. I will spend more time carving on skis.

By 10:30 am, the kids were already hungry. We took a break and had an early lunch. We went back to do a few more runs and left at noon. It was a great day.

Went to Liberty Again

The conditions were decent. Upper Ultra, the double-black-diamond slope, had no moguls. I had more chance to practice my short turns on snowboard. I am still learning to carve harder. I arrived at Liberty at 9:00 am and departed at noon. With not much of a crowd, three hours were good enough workout for me.

Headed to Liberty

I made a trip to Liberty today at noon since it had a few inches of snow. The wet snow, however, made snowboarding a bit tough. I was having a hard time maneuvering around the huge moguls on the double-black diamond slopes, but I had fun. I did about six runs and headed back home. I was trying to carve, but the conditions were a bit rough. Not a bad day at all.

Celebrating Tết on the Slopes

We let our kids cut school today to celebrate Vietnamese New Year. I decide to ring in the Lunar New Year on the slopes. Our whole family plus my mother-in-law headed to Liberty at 7 am. Since it was still a week day, it was not too crowded.

Since the weather was so warm, I had the idea that we would ski in our áo dài. My wife didn’t go for it. She was not comfortable skiing in áo dài. Obviously the teenage boys (Đạo and Đán) were too embarrassed to wear them. Only Xuân and I were up for it. Here’s a clip of me snowboarding in áo dài.

I was able to do two double-black-diamond runs. I wish I had more time because I started to enjoy snowboarding off double-black-diamond slopes. We headed out around 1 pm to get ready for the Lunar New Year eve.

We stopped by Vinh Kee on the way home to have dim sum. It was a great day with the family. I loved it.