So things have been pretty busy lately but I was fortunate enough to have a great christmas vacation in Lake Tahoe to give me my much needed break. Diane and I drove up there the Friday before Christmas and arrived Saturday afternoon after a nights stay in ghetto Stockton.
Our family rented a cabin on the lake which was really nice with a great view. Unfortunately though it wasn't really that cold when we got there and there wasn't really that much snow either. Over the first couple of days the snow that was there started melting and I was getting pretty upset since we weren't able to snowboard or do much. But Christmas was fun and that night our Aunt Laurie and her family came in to stay with us and it was great seeing all of them since it had been 3 years since I last saw them. The next day was pretty uneventful but our Uncle David and his family did come in which was nice since it had been even longer since I'd last seen them. I really enjoyed seeing all the family and had a really good time catching up with them.
We did finally get snow on Wednesday as a storm came in and temperatures dropped. They predicted the temperatures would rise again and it'd turn to rain, thankfully they were wrong. That Wednesday Diane and I actually drove about an hour and a half up Northeast from South Lake Tahoe to go cross country skiing at Royal Gorge which just happens to be the largest cross country area in North America. This was the first time for both of us to be on skiis and with no instruction we were given skiis and set out on the trails with only the advice to avoid the hills since we were beginners. Thanks to south park we knew enough to pizza when we wanted to slow down and with that knowledge we had a great time and walked out with only one big fall each on a rather long and large hill that we attempted. While I still don't have much desire to learn how to downhill ski I did really enjoy cross country skiing and would love to do it again. It was very peaceful and beautiful and a great way to see the mountains.
The next day we made the trek out to Mt. Rose about an hour away towards Reno to go snowboarding with Aunt Laurie and her family. However, Diane and I were rather late in leaving the house and by the time we got there they were all out of snowboards and well it wouldn't really have been worth it to go try and find a new place to rent and come back since the ski resort was out by itself. So we had a nice lunch and tried to go sleding but my hands got too cold so we only got two runs in and then just decided to go home.
Friday Diane and I made an effort to get up a little earlier and made our way to Heavenly which was just down the street to take snowboard lessons at close to the top of the mountain. This gave us the chance to ride the gondola as we had been wanting to all week and finally gave us the chance to get out on the mountain. We took a 3 hour snowboarding lesson that really helped refreash everything since it had been 3 years since either of us had done any snowboarding. The lessons were great and I made my first full S turn which I then followed with 2 full S turns in a row. Unfortunately though, after that the lesson ended and by then it was 4 p.m. and the lifts were all stopping so that was it for the snowboarding. We had some Peppermint Paddys then took the gondola back down and ended our day and essentially our stay in Tahoe.
Overall it was a great trip despite the lack of snow and snowboarding time. I would have liked another day or two of snowboarding but am determined to keep up with it this time, especially since I've finally completed some S turns.
We drove all day on Saturday and even made a stop in San Jose to visit the Winchester Mystery House. However, we were a little late and missed the last tour so we were only able to tour the gardens. It was still interesting to see and I look forward to returning one day to take a tour of the inside.
We made it home late and I was so happy to get out of the car after about 12 hours of driving. However we arrived home to a rather sickly Nina (Diane's cat). She had obviously not been eating while we were gone and was so skinny and wouldn't eat or drink. We got up and took her to the vet the next day and were forced to make a difficult decision. We decided not to put her to sleep but to go ahead and hospitalize her. So that was a bad start for New Years eve and as a result decided to stay home to ring in the new year.
I have to say, considering how crappy 2006 has been it didn't shock me too much to have one last little punch at the end there. 2006 has definitely been the worst year ever and I was more than thrilled to say goodbye to it. New Years day we went to Disneyland which I thought suiting to start off the new year at the happiest place on Earth. All I hope is that 2007 turns out better than 2006.
Well that about sums up my holiday season. So to all I say Happy New Year and wish you all the best for 2007!