Monday, January 28, 2008

Snowboarding in Tahoe

Day 1 - Kirkwood Mountain, prepare to meet your maker!

Here are my notes for Day 1:

- Kirkwood is cheaper than Heavenly and far less crowded. However, Heavenly is higher and has a much prettier view. More on that in the next entry.

- If you want to rent cheap, rent from Powderhouse. They have 3 stores around the area. Reserve 48 hours in advance and you get 20% off. I got a freestyle board - Soloman Prospect - with boots and bindings and it only cost me $64 for two days! Skis are just as cheap at only $45.

- Freestyle boards are really fun because they're light and you end up being able to do a lot more tricks and quick turns easier.

- If you're going to go crazy and do tricks, be sure to wear a helmet. I didn't and hit my head pretty hard and had a headache for the
next day.

Review of the first day

- Alice and I went all over the mountain and conquered the blue trails across Kirkwood

- The trails are pretty nice. Some of them are a little crazy and steep. But for the most part the blues were very manageable. This is only my 3rd time snowboarding, by the way.

- The view of Lake Tahoe is beautiful! It was a sunny day, with the sun glistening along the deepest blue [lake water] you'll ever see. Snow capped off the mountains sitting around the lake. The skies were clear with a touch of coulds the way Bob Ross would want it to look...Happy.

- Happy it was. With the crisp air and soft powder hitting my face and trailing behind my snowboard marks, I felt a sense of calm each time looked over to my companion, Alice, who was racing down the slopes with me, weaving between fellow skiers and snowboarders. The best was when we decided to take a break and jump into the puffy powder...sinking in about 1 foot.

- Around mid-day, we were at the bottom of the mountain and to our surprise there was a marching band playing! Trombones, Tubas, drums, symbols, everything. All of the players were decked out in the casual snow gear. It looked like an old navy commercial, actually. A really fly one! But what's nice about Kirkwood, is that at the Main Village area, they have live music playing throughout the day. After the marching band, they had a cover rock band. It was a really great way to be greeted each time we make our way to the bottom of the mountain.

- No better way to end a full day of snowboarding than to chill out in a steaming hot tub with 5 of your friends and a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon Light!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Drive to Tahoe

Apparently the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, is California Traffic Day. Everywhere we drove between San Francisco to Sacramento, there was a traffic jam.

Hour 1 was ok, because everyone was still awake.

It was at around hour 3 when everyone fell asleep (even my passenger side navigator, Anthony!) and I was stuck in traffic that I started to go a little stir crazy. keep in mind, I only had about 4 hours of sleep on a plane the night before. Thank goodness for hunger pains, and Denny's!!!

The last time we took a road trip to Maine (Anthony, Melissa, and I), we were craving Denny's like crazy, but ended up settling for iHOP.

We're at Denny's in Vacaville, CA - home of outlet shopping, fast food places, and Denny's! I ordered the meat lover's skillet (that's pronounced skill-ay...not really). To my surprise, Denny's has done away with the skillet and has just called it the Meat Lover's Breakfast (2 eggs over easy, 2 sausages, 2 slices of bacon, 2 pancakes, hash browns, and ham. Doesn't have that same ring to it. But ok. Anthony threw a curveball at me when he ordered a strawberry sprite.

Denny's serves strawberry sprites! That's Sprite with REAL STRAWBERRIES! And the best part is that you get free refills. There's nothing more delicious than a plate full of Denny's cholesterol and a glass of sprite mixed in with frozen strawberries. Always order your eggs with a raw yoke. Otherwise, the scrambled eggs are made from powder. YUCK! but for $12 how can you go wrong with Denny's. I even saw a few couples on dates there. Interesting choice.

Now with a full stomach, 3 hours of driving behind me, and 4 hours of sleep under my belt. I was ready to head into a food coma. "Kenny, you're driving!" I wasn't looking forward to more traffic either.

I passed out in the car and woke up at our cabin in Lake Tahoe! Apparently there was no more traffic after I relinquished the keys. Awesome.

Anthony, Kenny, Alice, and I pound a Pabst Blue Ribbon and head to sleep. Now we are ready for Tahoe. The next day, we conquer this! Kirkwood Mountain, prepare to meet your maker!

Lake Tahoe. View from Kirkwood Mountain.

Cabins at the Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts (Heavenly, Kirkwood) can run you upwards of $1100+ for a whole weekend. If you drive about 30 - 45 minutes away, cabin prices decrease substantially to around the $600 range. Our cabin came equipped with 3 full beds, 3 twin sized, a fooze ball table, full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, board games galore, and a hot tub! This was a start to a great weekend.

One last thing, sleeping in the same room with people who snore loudly really blows. Kenny and Anthony kept Cynthia, Alice, and I up till 4am. We woke up at 6am the next morning. Do not get in the way of grumpy people!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Alcatraz and In N' Out in San Francisco

Day 1 - In N' Out, Alcatraz, and Tahoe!!!

Anthony and I finally arrive into SFO and go to the car rental place to rent out Standard Sized SUV. We go to the parking lot and pick out our car and lo' and behold quite possibly the most effeminate ghetto cruiser available...Big Powder Blue - our powder blue toyota highlander!

We went hyphy and ghostriding in it on Day 4.

So we meet up the girls, Cynthia and Alice and head straight to our first activity of the day. In N' Out! Anthony and I got a Double Double Animal Style with Fries and a Shake. A Double Double is a double cheese burger with special sauce, onions, and pickles. Awesome!

Full and bloated, we're ready to take on our first challenge - THE ROCK (Alcatraz)!!!

For $20, you take the ferry to Alcatraz from the Wharf. And you get an audio tour of Alcatraz which gives you a brief but in depth history of the prison as well as descriptions of the accommodations within the prison. It also includes recorded testimonies from the inmates themselves. Alcatraz had a library, art class, and some of the best food in the prison system. It was home to some of the craziest criminals in US History - The Birdman, Machine Gun Kelly, Al Capone.

The ferry ride over is smooth, brisk, and gives you a great view of both bridges - Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. If you don't have any desire to see the prison, at least take a ride on the ferry.

We headed back to pick up our friend, Kenny. And off we were with an iPod full of songs, 4 hours of sleep on a plane, and about 4 hours of driving from SF to Tahoe ahead of me!

Pictures from Alcatraz:

San Francisco/Tahoe Airport Story

Anthony and I stay up all night watching
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and In Living Color because our flight is at 7:30am. We have to leave the house by 5:50am and get to the airport by 6:30am.

As I'm doing some last minute work before I leave, I decide to take a look at my flight reservation to make sure that I didn't miss anything...

It's 5:30am now.

Open up my folded 8.5" x 11" piece of white paper.

Flight #: VA 238
Departs: 7:00am
Arrives: 10:40am


Departs: 7:00am

Welcome to the sh-t show! I quickly showered. Woke up everyone in the house.

5:50am out of shower and ready to go. Packed and everything.

Airport is 30 minutes away driving fast with some traffic!

Dad gets into the driver's seat.

Me: you want me to drive? I drive faster.
Dad: No...just get in.
Me: ugh...fine.

He crawls out of the driveway and slowly makes his way to the highway, driving at a paltry law abiding speed limit of 55 mph. It's 6:00am. We're barely 5 minutes on the road.

Dad: So...what time is your flight anyway?
Me: an hour! Can you drive faster?
Dad: hour? ha...No, I don't like driving fast.
Me: WTF??? I told you to let me drive.
Dad: Hey,
that's your fault for looking at the wrong time. idiot...

Dad = genius!!!

Luckily there was no traffic. We got there at 6:17am!!! Mad dash to the terminal to check in and everything. We literally just made it.

So we're all checked in and everything. Now I need to use the bathroom. After following the signs around the airport, the signs lead me to a wall...literally, the bathroom sign points to a WALL! WTF?

I ask the guy where the bathroom is. Guy says, "oh...yeah, this sign is wrong. it's all of the way on the other side." JFK airport = Genius!!!

Now I'm on the security line and I meet this girl who's going to Colombia to visit an orphanage. Should have gotten her number...Me = Genius!!!

We finally get on the plane with literally 5 - 10 minutes to spare. And lo' and behold behind me on the airplane is Angel's friend Allison! Talk about coincident!

Anyway, that's my crazy story.

FYI, Virgin America flights are pretty nice. Hours of entertainment including OnDemand Movies and TV Shows, Live TV Channels, Music Channels, even foreign TV like TVB and HK Soap Operas. Awesome. No food and only 1 round of drinks though. So eat and drink before you fly. Or you're going to have to buy it on the plane.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tahoe or Bust

We're in Tahoe right now. And the scene couldn't be more beautiful. Yesterday we gave a toast and I ultimately said 8 words, "Good friends. Good times. Great memories. Great trip."

Today we went to Kirkwood. Tomorrow we go to Heavenly.

I totally have to update on our trip to the airport. And in keeping with Brian fashion, it was yes another race to catch our flight. It's always something...

But updates to re-cap:

In n' Out burgers!!!
Our drive to Tahoe
Denny's - have you ever had a strawberry sprite? DELICIOUS!!!

More later.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Going snowboarding in California...Tahoe!

I'm going to California with a bunch of my friends for snowboarding at Lake Tahoe. I'm pretty excited about this. Will try to update on a daily basis. If anything check is the Peas and Nuts gang is updating on anything.

I'm sure we'll have some similar pictures. Hopefully the place we're staying at has internet.

I will be posting up the Maine stuff when I get back. 12:15am just posted stuff on his trip to Aruba. Check it out.

Hope everything had a great holiday and new year celebration! Mine was a little ridiculous to say the least. Fun times in NYC.

Shout out to my buddy on Travbuddy, Sylvie, and Lovelylori. Lori, I hope you're having fun in the UK. Hope you're updating your blog! Sylvie, looking forward to telling you about snowboarding.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas in 2007!!! Below is the e-card.

This Christmas, I am thankful for Music, Christmas Decorations, Holiday Spirit, Family and Friends, Great Times, and Everyday.

Thank you for being a part of my life and making this all happen.

God Bless,

“A truly rich life sometimes means nothing more than a series of great relationships, and the experiences that you gain from those relationships.”