I went skiing at Tahoe this weekend!
Allie and Ryan Janoch, Paul, Judy, Jon, and I drove out Friday evening. We'd actually planned to go last weekend, but it had been raining all week in Berkeley (which means it was probably snowing in Tahoe) and there was a bit of a blizzard. Mountain passes in a blizzard are no fun, so we opted to put the trip off until this weekend.
I rode with Paul and Judy for the ~3 hour trip. It was mostly uneventful - we stopped at a Whole Foods to grab some dinner, and I took a nap. We had minor navigational difficulties in finding the condo we were staying at on account of the GPS failing to know about the street the condo was on and all of us having difficulty locating it on our phones. Eventually, after a bit of turning about in Nevada, we prevailed in our lodging-locating expedition and unpacked.
The place was nice - two-story, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a snazzy well-furnished kitchen, washer and dryer, a foosball table, a couple couches, and some wooden mats that looked like giant coasters for people to sit cross-legged on.
After we settled in a bit, we took a trip to the local Safeway to get breakfast foods. We wound up with something like $60 of yogurt, fruit, granola, eggs, bread, veggies, and beverages. Paul made Tequila Sunrises, which are surprisingly tasty. Judy sliced some fruit, including a kiwi, which made my mouth tingle in a weird way. Apparently, kiwis contain raphides which enhance the effects of actinidin, which I may be allergic to. Maybe that's why I haven't eaten kiwifruit since I was a small child. We watched the first episode of Firefly, which ended just about the time Jon, Allie, and Ryan arrived. We all went to bed so we could get up at a reasonable hour and hit the slopes in the morning.
I wound up setting the time for the alarm, but failed to switch the alarm to the correct mode, so my 08:30 planned wakeup turned into more of an 09:17 wakeup. I probably needed the sleep anyway.
I ate a fried egg on toast and some yogurt, strawberries, grapes, and banana topped with granola for breakfast. Gotta fuel up for the day!
Allie and Ryan have season passes at Heavenly, so Jon and I got $10 lift ticket discounts for being their guests. Heavenly has fancy RFID cards for their lift tickets that they can scan through your ski jacket. I am totally going to see if my RFID reader can read it later - probably not, but worth finding out. Jon and I rented equipment. I sprung for the performance skis and a helmet. I will never ski without a helmet again, after what happened on my previous ski trip. Ask me about it in person some time, if you haven't heard the story before.
The winds were fierce, and most of the lifts and trails were closed. Those that were open still were somewhat crowded (Saturday is unsurprisingly the busiest day at ski resorts). The snow conditions weren't great - a bit slushy, a bit icy, and in a couple places, winds so strong they'd almost blow you uphill. Most of the runs that were open weren't great, but it was a decent chance to get back into the swing of things, since I think the last time I skied was in 2010. Allie and Ryan decided not to ski - season pass holders can be choosier about when they ski. Ryan also had an ankle injury, so he probably shouldn't have been skiing anyway. Jon and I stuck it out for the rest of the day, though. I wound up a little sunburnt and windburnt on my nose and cheeks.
That night, Allie and Ryan made spaghetti and meatballs and a salad with a vinaigrette dressing and fresh bread (but the yeast was expired and didn't rise very well, and the oven was weird and burnt the bread, so not so much bread) and pineapple. It was delicious.
I played foosball with Ryan. He is a worthy opponent. After our game, we added Judy and Jon to the two sides and played a couple 2v2 matches. The 2v2s were better than the 1v1 - the table was so frictionless that shots could go right through defenders. With a hand on every handle, though, the game felt much more a challenge of skill. It was noisy and the battles were ferocious.
Later, the six of us played Pass The Popcorn, a movie trivia game. Paul knows movies pretty darn well, and won handily.
We watched The Whistleblower which is definitely not a feel-good movie. I made fruit smoothies (the kitchen had a nice blender!) served in a big red wine glass. Classy.
Jon and I discussed how he wants a device with a three-day battery life that we can use for editing text in the wilderness. Nothing really satisfies this need - e-readers have terrible keyboards, and basically nothing else lasts long enough. Pencil and paper come close, but we need our vim, and handwriting everything gets exhausting. Last time I handwrote more than two sentences, my hand started cramping up. I am so much more productive with a good keyboard.
I managed to set the alarm successfully! For future reference, anything short of a puzzlehunt that makes me wake up before 09:00 shall be officially classified as The Enemy.
I made an even bigger breakfast today than on Saturday - a two-egg omelette as the filler for a sandwich on sourdough bread in addition to my fruit-yogurt-granola mix. Mmmm, breakfast.
The skiing was much, much better today. All of the trails were open. Allie, Jon, and I started out on the Nevada side of the mountain, and hit a bunch of glorious trails. Lots of wide trails with good snow. It was a bit colder outside (and we started a bit earlier), so the lifts tended on the cold side in the wind, but I have no complaints! Allie is a speed demon - we let her lead the way (since she knows the trails the best), but she managed to get so far ahead of us that we lost track of where she was and missed switching trails a couple times. I can't blame her - the mountain is great for fast, controlled skiing.
As lunchtime neared, we skied across the border to the lodge on the California side, which was closer to the condo. There was a lot of pole-pushing across flat runs, which was quite exhausting. On the final run, I had a fairly impressive wipeout. I'm not sure if the shaking in my legs that I noticed afterwards was from adrenaline or general fatigue.
We met up with Ryan and Judy and Paul at the lodge for a late lunch. When the weak feeling in my legs didn't go away after eating, I decided that I should probably call it a day before I injure myself, so I returned my rental equipment and got on the road with Paul and Judy. We turned back shortly after leaving when we realized that we hadn't ever refuelled the car (and the gas light illuminated). I'm going to have to remember Paul's excellent technique for turning the car around on a two-lane road when there are a bunch of cars driving fast behind you in your lane of origin, but the lane going the opposite direction is empty and has a shoulder.
I'm home now. I want to watch the rest of Firefly.
Jono | 2012-03-29T22:02:58.532075:"I'm home now. I want to watch the rest of Firefly."
I believe you will not be disappointed :-)
Drew | 2012-03-30T02:26:32.383743Yeah...Paul gave me his set of Firefly DVDs in exchange for the mouse that I gave him, so I wound up churning through the lot on Tuesday. Yes, all of them.
I do still need to find someone with a copy of Serenity, though.
Jono | 2012-03-30T11:30:09.564988Hm, I can't remember if my copy is on my bookshelf here... or in Australia. I'll get back to you on this.
Jono | 2012-04-02T13:47:39.838717Australia
Ah well :-)
Drew | 2012-04-02T13:51:16.747949No worries; Paul also has Serenity and has lent it to me. :)