Travel: Tahoe not white Christmas

Winter Break 2011 found T and I in Tahoe for Christmas with my Mom's side of the family. We did this for the first time two years ago and you can check it out here Tahoe Xmas 2009, if you missed it. Two years ago I had my first White Christmas. The snow was so good that T started skiing again after a 20-year break and we ended up spending a lot of time in Tahoe that winter. That was the winter I learned to snowboard. There was a lot of snow that winter.

There wasn't any snow this year and it kind of surprised me. In my head I was thinking we would be skiing all week like a lot of people did two years ago but that didn't happen. Instead we were able to hike and run, ice skate and sit around and read books if we wanted to. It was a completely different holiday.

Three moments stand out in my mind about this Tahoe Christmas:

Happy Hour everyday. The middle sister decided long before we drove up to Tahoe that we would have happy hour every night. She created themed nights that had signature drinks and appetizers. In theory happy hour was supposed to start at 4 or 4:30ish but I remember a day when all the girls were home and we started at 2. Hey, it's happy hour whenever you're thirsty! Nothing screams "snow bunny" minus the snow like happy hour. It was awesome.

Christmas morning.
Because there was no snow, there never seemed to be a time when all ten of us were together for long. I'm not sure if snow makes everyone hunker down or what but this year there were three days when people drove into Reno and were gone the whole day. Needless to say they missed happy hour and, as my mom would call it, "family time". The only time we were all together was Christmas morning.

But Christmas morning was awesome. My cousin made Panattoni French Toast and we all exchanged "stocking stuffers". I loved watching my family open their gifts and I got some great things too!

Another things that stands out in my mind is ice skating and morning runs. The middle sister and I started the morning runs and different days different people went with us. It was cold out (about 17 degrees when we would start) and I tried to layer and wear my snow gloves when we went out. I still felt frozen when we would get back from the 4 mile run / walk. Running hills at altitude is definitely harder than running flats at sea level and I got worked over pretty well. I really need to start doing some hill training when I run in 2012.

A friend of my uncles' arranged for all of us to go ice skating one night on a local pond that had frozen over. The cocktail sister brought hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps. Someone brought a fire pit and electric lights allowed us to skate well into the night. It was awesome!

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