If I had to attribute this to something, I'd list contributing factors as:
- Breathing was a problem. Although my nose was not blocked, upon awakening, it was obvious that I'd been breathing through my mouth while sleeping, which I hate.
- Many times, as I'd fall asleep, I would hear myself start snoring, which would wake me back up.
- The temperature in the room was hard to control. It was cold out, so you'd want it warm. If it was too warm, we'd get stuffy. They had these down comforters on the bed, which always makes me swelter.
- There weren't enough pillows on this bed for my taste.
They had waffles in the breakfast room today, but I didn't have any. I had a bagel, and a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, some orange juice and coffee. Robert joined me for just coffee, as he went to have a full breakfast at a place called Heidi's, which was right next door to our resort.
I got to the gondola at a little after 9:00, and rode it up with a party of three. This is my question: "Why would anyone marinate in perfume for a day on the slopes?"
This party of three consisted of a man, a woman, and a girl. I'm hesitant to say that it was father, mother, and daughter, as the man and woman spoke in Spanish the entire time, and the girl was beautiful, if you go for that sort of thing, and reminded me somewhat of a china doll -- white porcelain skin and jet black hair. As my friend Mary would say, "She don't look Spanish."
I was watching her face a lot, mostly to see if she was understanding what they were saying. The ride is about 20 minutes, and it was well into the 15th minute before they said something on which she actually commented.
She spoke in English, with a very British or Australian accent. They said something in Spanish, she answered in English, they responded in Spanish, and she again responded to them in English.
I'm sure it was the woman, and not the girl, who had on the perfume, as she was dressed to the nines in terms of a ski outfit, and especially her sunglasses. They had black and white rims, and these little black and white leather doohickeys to keep the sun from coming in the sides. I remember thinking, "If Eartha Kitt skied, this is how she'd look."
In an effort to distract myself from Catwoman, I picked apart this sign above the window of the gondola:
|Mid-section deck is accessible on the way upward only.|
Cabins do not stop on the
My feelings about it are either:
- The word "return" is at best superfluous, and at worst, confusing, or
- For parallel construction, if you're going to use "return downward," then it begs for something like "going upward" in the first sentence.
The way in which the sign can become confusing is that you could take the gondola down first (e.g., if you've been skiing on the slopes above it), for a break, and then take it back up to ski some more. In that case, it would actually be a "return upward" trip, which the sign does not address.
Not that anyone has, or will, ask me, but my recommendation is to just delete the word "return" altogether.
I had a great morning of skiing, but it got very cold, very fast. Several people commented on how they'd under-dressed today.
I put on my headband to protect my ears, but one of the lift operators said, "Where's your hat? There are 30-MPH winds up there."
I wanted to ski across the Nevada line, and in that pursuit took the Tamarack lift up a level on the mountain. When I got off that lift, and turned around, I saw the stunning view of Lake Tahoe toward the left and a Nevada valley toward the right. The juxtaposition of these two sights are just breathtaking.
I did some long, long blue runs that burned my thighs, and peaked my abilities. It was fast enough to be exhilarating, but not so fast that I'd probably break something if I fell.
I really pushed myself as I knew that it was going to be too cold to ski all day. On one of the slopes I was on, working my way back toward the California Lodge where I was going to take an hour lunch break, and sit in front of the fireplace, incredulously, it started to snow.
I guess the only thing that was incredulous about it was that it hasn't snowed here for over two weeks, and I'd not heard, or read, of any prediction of snow.
Next, I got on this incredibly slow lift, which was incredibly long, while being incredibly cold. Big mistake.
Still making my way left on the mountain, toward the California Lodge, I came to another area where I had to choose a lift to go up a little ways, in order to make more progress to the left. I got on the high-speed Tamarack Express, and rode with two other guys, I'm guessing in their mid twenties. I sat on the left, the snowboarder sat in the middle, and his friend, a skier, sat on the right.
About halfway up, the snowboarder looks over to his friend's skies, and says, "What year are those skies?"
"They're last year's," he replied.
He then looked over at mine, and said, "Sir? What year are your skies?"
"1991," I said, cringing just a little at the "Sir."
He spared me the usual, "Wow, those are antiques" comment, and went on, "I was just looking at how pointed yours are and how round his are on the ends."
We all exited to the right, and headed down the closest slope. The snowboarder had made the comment, "I've got to get off this mountain. I'm fucking freezing. I am way under-dressed today."
At this point, my fingers were starting to get numb in my gloves, and my feet were cold, so when the gondola turned out to be at the bottom of this slope, I abandoned the idea of the California Lodge and decided to just take the gondola down, and call it a day. This gondola ride was indeed a "return downward" trip for me, so the sign was accurate in this case.
I shared a cabin with one other person, a young, Hispanic kid, with an over-sized snowboard. We didn't say a word to each other the entire 20-minute ride. In fact, at one point, he hid his face behind his snowboard so that we couldn't see each other.
For the first 10 minutes, I did everything to try and make sure my fingertips weren't frostbitten. At first, I took off my gloves, and breathed into my hands.
Then I tried to put each of them up the sleeve of the other hand in my coat, which I finally did, but it was awkward, and there was still cold air hitting them.
Finally, I realized that I could just pull the sleeves of my long johns top down over my hands, which really warmed them up.
I had forgotten to take my phone with me today, so couldn't call for the shuttle to come get me. I decided to hang out for a few minutes to see if it might just happen by.
There was a business nearby, and I thought of asking them if I could pay them to make a local call for me, but figured they probably get that all the time, and it's annoying.
This guy smiled and nodded at me when he walked by, and I took advantage of the connection to ask if he had a cell phone. He didn't.
This rather hunky, cute guy passed me, then backed up, and said, "How was it up there today?"
"Cold," I said, "It's freezing up there, and it's snowing."
"So, you calling it quits for the day?"
"Oh, I don't know. I might go back up later, but probably not," I said.
He looked all around, and even took a step forward to sort of look around the corner toward the ticket agents, and then said, "Are you interested in getting rid of your lift ticket for the rest of the day, man?"
Ah. Spoken like a good multi-level marketer. Try establishing a personal connection with the sucker, before going in for the exploitation. "This is a three-day lift ticket, man, and I need it for tomorrow."
Fortunately, after about 10 minutes, the Lakeland Village shuttle pulled up, and I rode back with "Cynthia," and her cheerful self.
Robert and I had lunch at a local Mexican restaurant that I'd been pointed to when I was here in March. Once again, all but one of the patrons was a local, and Mexican, and the food was just killer. We both had quesadillas.
It's a shame more of the tourists don't know about this place. I'm sure most of them, were over at Chevys (don't get me started about the absence of an apostrophe in the name of this chain), just down the road.
We took a two-hour nap from about 3:00 until 5:00 in an attempt to hopefully stay up later so we're not sleeping for 12 hours, which is probably also a contributing factor to the restlessness.
After that, I worked on my blog entries, and Robert watched "Raising Arizona" on TV.
We tried to find the one gay bar in town, Faces, in the Yellow Pages without success. I purchased 2 hours of Internet time for $4.95, and we found it on the web, and copied down the phone number.
We tried the number to see what their hours were for tonight, and if anything was going on. The number was not a good number.
We hailed the "on-demand" shuttle bus here, that takes you wherever you want to go and picks you up from wherever you are, whenever you call them.
We asked the driver if he knew if Faces was still open, and if he would take us up there to see if it was still open. He said, "No problem."
On the way out of the resort, we picked up a group of about 7 Asians who were on their way to Caesars to gamble. The driver dropped them off first, since our destination was beyond Caesars. We wished them luck as they departed.
Faces was still operating, and we stayed there for about two-and-a-half hours. The bartender was "extending" happy hour, so we got our first two or three drinks at the happy hour price.
Robert and I had some good conversation about Friday on the slopes and what we were both feeling. It was a heartwarming discussion.
After a little while, I noticed that the pinball machine across the room was flashing "two credits." We took advantage of that and played a game.
At one point the pool table became available, and we played a game. While playing, this guy named Peter, from L.A. watched us, and initiated a conversation.
He turned out to be a dork, but not as big a dork as Alexander, who came along after a little while, and wanted to play Robert, the winner of our game.
We told him that we only play "shit pool" (that is, no calling of shots until the shot at the 8-ball); he acted all shocked and disgusted that we would play a game of pool without calling every shot. Like he was way above that, and that his very self-worth depended on how great a pool player he was.
We let him play against Peter instead, and it was beautiful watching both of them play as bad a game of pool as we'd played, if not worse. It was very hard not to inject at some point, "Good thing you're calling every pocket when no shots are going in anyway." But I don't regress.
Last call for the shuttle was at midnight, and at about 11:15, we called them for a pick-up. On the way home we stopped at Harrahs for another group that had called, and it turned out to be that same group of Asians that we'd dropped off at Caesars on the way.
As they got on, the first one said to us, "Have you guys moved all night?"
We laughed, and I said, "Uh-oh, you guys look lighter. Did you leave some money behind?" They laughed and said that they had.
I took some Nyquil, and put on my iPod to fall asleep, and Robert watched a little television until he fell asleep.