The Travels of a Culture Vulture, Weekend Warrior

Hello Winter Wonderland

It’s finally December & officially Christmas season. I’ve finally recovered from my Thanksgiving food coma, and so I thought I should share some moments from my little winter wonderland in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

As you may know, I’m not a fan of the cold but I do find the snow to be truly beautiful and magical. When it looks this beautiful outside, you almost forget that your face is about to freeze completely off. It ranged from 10-20 degrees F throughout the day.

The lake even froze over around the more shallow edges, and my friends braved the cold to walk onto the lake the first day we arrived. The ice was pretty solid but I had a deep fear about falling through the ice and having a Titanic-like death experience. However, we were able to make it past the docks and slightly past the boating speed signs. If this isn’t the face of a daredevil, I honestly don’t know what is.

I made Filipino adobo the first night and we had a lovely time eating, drinking, gossiping, and playing games together. They wanted to go to the Casinos so we toured around the city at night time and all lost a little bit of money. I really don’t enjoy gambling, so you can imagine my disappointment when I lost $5.00 playing a penny slot with puppies on it. I could have bought an In & Out cheeseburger and fries with that! Peer pressure man.

The next day, we went to the Heavenly Resort to snowboard. It was honestly so beautiful, I could cry. However, 80% of the mountain was still closed and there were literally only 3 runs I could do as a seasoned beginner. I actually have all my own snowboard gear now and didn’t have to rent which was awesome, but it was my first time using my new board and it was super slippery. I’m so glad Jackie came along to do the easy runs with me, otherwise I would have held the boys back–there was no way in hell I would go down the blue runs and make it out alive. We had fun anyway, making snow angels and coasting through the bunny slopes.

 

My friends also built a snowman the first day and it lasted the entire weekend since it was so cold outside. I avoided the cold and instead sang the entire soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen inside a little too many times. (Just kidding, there’s no such thing as singing Frozen too many times.) I did go outside for a bit to participate in a snowball fight and then pretended like I had made a contribution to the creation of this snowman by taking pictures with him before heading back home.

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This photo perfectly describes us.

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TBT, Weekend Warrior

TBT |Snapshots of Mt. Rose Snowboarding

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At the start of the year, my friends and I reunited in Reno for a quick weekend getaway in the snow. Most of us hit the slopes at Mt. Rose, and I tried snowboarding for the second time in my life. Unfortunately, whatever skills I may have picked up when I tried snowboarding for the first time as a 10 year old, did not translate the second time around. I was essentially falling–no, face-planting is more accurate of a term–down the mountain. At one point, I flew up and landed on my chest…it was not a pretty site. It was funny though to be failing so hard so many times with all of my closest friends watching. But with each fall on that first run, my determination to just make it down alive (in one piece) grew stronger. And with each fall, the more I laughed at how terrible I was doing–it was better than crying about it. By the time I made it down, I was exhausted and felt so defeated. The score: Mountain-1 Kristin-0.

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After that first run, I took a long break. I didn’t want to repeat the horrible experience again and I didn’t want my friends to have to keep waiting for me every time I literally fell behind. But I thought that I should give it another try 1) because I’m not a quitter and 2) the snowboarding gear and lift tickets were effing expensive. The second time around was still pretty bad, but it was better and my body was starting to figure out how to navigate and more importantly, stop without falling so hard on my ass. That being said, my greatest fear wasn’t falling, it was getting on and off the damn ski lift. I’m terrified of heights and I hate being in confined (inescapable) situations, but I wasn’t about to climb up the mountain on foot so I just had to deal with it. On my last run, my friends convinced me to go with them to a higher peak, which required taking two ski lifts. To be honest, that final run was my redemption and I’m so glad that I tried it. I actually made it down with only a few minor falls and most of my run was spent balancing upright like a boss. Plus, it was less crowded on that side of the mountain so it kind of felt like it was just reserved for us. With the sun setting as we reached the bottom on the mountain, it was a peaceful conclusion to a difficult yet exhilarating experience.

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