Lake Tahoe (1998.01.30)
Late last year my sister Felicia asked us to go in on a ski house for the winter months. This is the first weekend that Rosie and I have been here (the first six weeks of the season having been taken up with planning, executing, and recovering from our wedding). Located in King's Beach, a few hundred feet from the edge of Lake Tahoe, the house is big and cozy. Upstairs there's a pool table and pull-out sofa bed in one room (the upstairs living room), a full bath, and a dorm-style sleeping room with three sets of bunk beds. Two of the bunk beds have queen-sized matresses on the bottom bunk. Downstairs there are two private rooms, another full bath, a kitchen, and another living room, this one with a wood-burning stove. A wooden deck surrounds most of the house. Last night we came up with Felicia and Adam. Adam drove. I paid for gas. This morning, while almost everyone else was "up at 0700 and out by 0800" we slept in, waking at 1030. A pleasure. (Lately I've been spending extra time at work and consequently getting only the absolute minimum of sleep, just enough to get by. Now I'm backing away from the edge and being a bit more gentle with myself.) We went out for breakfast to a nearby restaurant whose name escapes me. A pleasant attitude pervades; where we feasted on the croissant pastrami benedict and the chorizo cheddar omlette. Only the coffee was out of place, with a chicory-like taste. The decorations within are great; false windows with flowers on the inside walls, each table cloth with a different pattern, and good music. After a morning of enjoying this sloth, we headed out to the NorthStar ski resort, about ten minutes away. The parking lot was full but we never spent more than three minutes in line at any lift. The weather was alternately clear and cloudy, but always cold and breezy. Pleasant winter weather. The skiing was delightful: few crowds and well-groomed trails. For someone who's been on skis three days over two seasons, Rose is amazing. We started on a wide run for advanced beginners, but then immediately moved on to a narrower tree-bordered run for intermediate skiers. That's where we spent our half-day of skiing, Rose perfecting her stem christies and me doing some simple ski ballet. (I gave away my Olin Mark IV skis two years ago in Chamonix and haven't had a pair of soft dance skis since. This was the first day I really gave my current skis a chance to do more than vanilla downhills.) All ten of the ski house residents went out to dinner at Grazie, in Tahoe City, twelve miles away. One of several lakefront restaurants, Grazie is known for its Italian food (the house speciality is Osso Buco), steak in sauce béarnaise, and tasty fish (tonight folks had smoked salmon and baked mahi-mahi). The wine was a tasty Strong vinyard Pinot Noir. Now it's the end of my broadcasting day. While some of the others are gambling and drinking at the Cal-Neva casino a few miles away, we've decided to forgo that pleasure this evening and enjoy the quiet of the country.
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