We had a great weekend. Friday night we tried out new neighborhood joint The Burgery Company, which fills a long-standing local need for a burger better - more imaginative - than the diners which dot the mid-Atlantic.
Saturday I slept in, recovering, and we did some errands and then met Mitstifers up at Bear Creek for some night skiing. The weather was warm, the snow was icy, and we had a fun time cruising around. More skiing with them to come, I'm sure.
Sunday we woke up feeling proud to be Americans, so we called some folks about two hours before face-off and hosted an Olympic farewell centered around a fantastic hockey game. Team USA lost, of course, but that was my fault; with about five minutes gone in OT I turned to Jeff and said "gosh, Iginla and Crosby have really been quiet in this game." Whoops! Shouldn't have said that. Regardless, having the US and Canada quasi-tie for 'winning the Olympics' makes me proud to be a North American. Thanks, Vancouver, for a great Games and thanks, Team USA, for 17 days of memories.
Last but not least: Group photo from the top of Heavenly.
Tahoe! Ski trip! We hit Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows (twice), and Heavenly. The snow cooperated for days 2 and 3, during which we hit bowls and trees and long, Lake Tahoe-vista cruisers and bumps. Alpine was probably the favorite; the expert short-cut, Gentian Gully, and Estelle Bowl provided all the steeps we could deal with and some we couldn't. There was about a foot of fresh off the beaten path and that was mostly left in the glades at Heavenly where the sun shined into the trees.
Off the mountain we watched USA hockey and cheered with the whole bar when the empty-netter sealed the deal over Canada. We watched a lot of other Olympics, debated chains for rental tires, and experienced the Biggest Little City in the World in the form of all the ribs we could eat. It's a time of change for this group - there will be two new members of the ski trip extended family by next year's journey - but it's always a blast to get away.
I got back to the Valley in time for Snow-icane-pacolypse-maggedon-of-the-Century-the-3rd and two days at work. Neither seem like they are going to be as dramatic as they are hyped to be.
I'm writing this on a flight from Philly to Vegas (and onward for me) that is chock full of groups headed to Sin City. 'Define "Girlfriend"' says the shirt across the aisle. Two girls in the back are wearing tiaras and veils. It's been an interesting flight, and cloudy besides so no Grand Canyon views.
Below deck are freshly-waxed b3s and a tupperware full of chocolate chip cookies. It's ski trip, for four Lake Tahoe ski days, for my 8th year running. Gram's big trip (visionsofjohanna.blogspot.com for the play-by-play) means it's the Whistler three again this year. Tahoe is a new destination and I'm excited to add three new pins to my collection, including the (incredibly) 40th. This whole tradition is pretty much the definition of charmed living.
Olympic thoughts: America seems to remember that we're a good winter sports nation, too...except for curling. I don't care so much about snow boarding, but nordic, alpine, and speed skating medals have been a treat. Also, Julia Mancuso's last name hasn't been sloganed and she hasn't cried on camera, maybe we should celebrate her two-silvers-so-far output a bit more?
Back at it. Dealing with financial matters which I find myself doing often. Life should be easier. Been finding that watching NBC's version of the Olympics is hardly worth doing; getting the raw feed or the CTV feed while standing in Robson Square spoils a person. NPR has been covering the fence (see bottom of the picture above) with much disdain...what they fail to report is that even sans fence this site is too restricted to allow people access. I think a couple of ideas that I had are gaining traction at work, which is making days go faster. Evenings of Olympics, new second cousins on facebook, and generally trip recovery.
Somewhere in front of me a guy screamed, nearly pleading, "wait up, Wayne!" and I knew I had an Olympic memory to last a lifetime.
We had been watching the opening ceremony in Robson Square and at the end the big screen showed Hudson Bay Company and a building wrapped with the flag and about a hundred thousand people realized the torch was one street over and heading our way fast. In a heartbeat I was running down Georgia Ave towards the waterfront cauldron. Jenelle and Nancy were behind, taking pictures and all in awe of a mighty fireworks display, The Great One, and the Olympic movement.
Nancy - Jenelle's roommate at State - played host and tour guide. Our Olympic experience didn't include any competitions but that was OK; we watched everywhere we went and instead took in the squares, houses, pavilions, sites, (and sights), sounds, tastes, and smells of Vancouver2010. There was poutine and the RCMP Musical Ride, a walk through Nancy's UBC campus, lunch on Granville Island, and thorough exploration of downtown Vancouver. When all was said and done it was a great long weekend that included more action than we could have hoped.
There had been much concern that we'd never make it to Vancouver thanks to 22 inches of the heaviest snow known to man that fell Wednesday, closing the state of PA to everyone who didn't possess a Subaru and some winter driving experience. If the temperature had fallen 10 degrees it might have snowed a fathom, but instead Jenelle got two snow days, I got almost three snow hours, we shoveled the white sludge, and left for points west.
We rang in The Storm of the Century (for the second time this year) Friday night by taking in "Up In the Air" at Emmaus and kicking it at home. Saturday we conquered the elements and went up to Elk for the day. There was no new snow up there, though we persevered and had a good time. Jenelle discovered jumps and I continued to revel in the revolutionary performance of wax+new boots. Late in the afternoon we were in a crowd on Tioga and I looked up to see Jenelle carving hard and fast onto the Spur, blasting out of the throng and down the fall line. At 4:30 I ducked a rope to ski back to the car after one-too-many last runs and we headed to local haunt Chet's Place for some bar food and a round to celebrate the great/breakthrough day that Jenelle had.
Today was blue-sky with snow-blindness around in the Valley, but a cutting wind made it seem much, much colder than it is. I shoveled the six inches of snow from our driveway and let the sealer and the sunshine do the rest. Now: we're in the loft catching up on reading and gearing up for a busy, busy month. Next: chips & salsa, tots, chili, and applesauce during the big game.
Went down to DC this weekend and had ourselves a time. We left Saturday morning and arrived at Constable's in a midday snow storm that left 6-8" on the ground and canceled the afternoon's entertainment. In the evening we went into the city and met up with Doug and Johanna at their new place, then went to hip Zaytinya for Greek/Mediterranean small plates. On Sunday we went to snowy but still historically significant Harper's Ferry, WV, where we saw the AT headquarters, what's left of the armory John Brown raided, and a deer swimming across the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac. Then home to snow-free PA where we hit BCMR for a burger and some wintry vibes before facing the week.
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