Oh well… what a chaos weekend.
Saturday morning we had a big breakfast at Bakers Square and then went shopping for our ski trip. J needed some ski gear and we had to get snow chains for the tires. We went to Sport Chalet in Sacramento where we found pretty much everything and we also got a great deal on ski rentals. The guy who rented out the equipment was Asian and I just mention that, because he told us that he is a professional ski instructor and that he had done heli-skiing and stuff like that. It was kind of surprising for me, because I think as a European I am just not used to seeing Asians ski. It’s funny, because this guy was a 100% American and besides, China and Japan have big ski resorts. However, it’s kind of unusual for me to imagine Asian people on skis.
Anyways, he was really nice and when I told him that I’ve been skiing since the age of 4, he told me that he would get me some really good skis. He kept talking about “volcal” skis… and I was like “What the hell are “volcal” skis?”, but I didn’t say anything and pretended to know exactly what he was talking about. I didn’t want to appear stupid or anything. When he finally returned with the skis, it dawned on me… he had been talking about “VÃ¶lkl” skis, a German company, and he just couldn’t pronounce the name correctly
When we finally were home, we decided to try and put on the snow chains, because we were told that we should definitely try to put them on in dry and light conditions. So I got out the Saturn handbook, only to read that our Saturn can’t take chains. It said that only the small tire size can take chains, and since we have pretty wide tires (that we just got replaced a few months ago), we couldn’t use chains. J called the Saturn Service Center to ask what to do and they told us that normal chains would damage the suspension and that we have to get “spider spikes”. That’s a device that put on your tire like a hub cap and that puts spikes around the half-width of your tire. Unfortunately these things cost over 300 bucks.
So we asked if they rent them out and yes, they do… but it was 5:30 pm already and the Service Center, which is in Fairfield, about an hour away from here, closes at 6:00 p.m. and of course they are not open on Sundays.
Of course, there is no other Service Center closer to Sacramento and we couldn’t find any other place that would sell, let alone rent out “spider spikes”.
I checked the weather conditions and it seemed as if the highways were all snow free – but the problem was that snow chains were required for the last 5 miles from highway 395 to Mammoth.
We really didn’t know what to do, but decided to wait until Sunday morning and check the road conditions again. Unfortunately no change. Even if we could have made it to the Mammoth Exit on highway 395, we still would have needed chains from there and it still would have been a gamble, because we didn’t know if we would make it back to Sacramento.
So I called Michelle and told her that we were really sorry, but couldn’t go to Mammoth with them. I felt really bad about canceling our plans on such short notice, but it really wasn’t our fault. We really didn’t want to spend $300 on these spider spikes, and we couldn’t find a place that would sell them anyways. Who could have guessed that from all the cars in the world we would own the one car that can’t take snow chains?
We eventually decided to go to Lake Tahoe for a few days. The road conditions seemed ok andÂ it hadn’t snowed for over 1,5 weeks, so it was safe to go up there. We decided to go to Heavenly, one of the bigger ski resorts on South Lake Tahoe and about 2 hours from Sacramento.
Since it was a three day weekend and most people would go home on Monday, we decided to go Monday morning. There was no problem finding a room right across from the gondola.
According to the Website you could also get discounted lift tickets at Albertson’s, so we stopped there and picked up two day tickets on our way to Tahoe.
It was kind of foggy and I feared that we would have bad weather up there, but the higher we got in elevation, the nicer the weather became and when we reached South Lake Tahoe it was quite sunny and there was snow everywhere. I think I haven’t realized how close we live to the Sierra Nevada – it looked gorgeous.
We checked into our room, changed clothes and then went to the gondola to get a half-day ticket. And then we were off on J’s first gondola ride ever and to make it even more unforgettable… on the way up we passed another gondola going down where two people were having sex! I am serious. I just couldn’t believe my eyes… J was cracking up and the couple was kind of shocked when they realized that we had seen them. But hey, what were they thinking? They were doing it in a gondola… of course, people can see you!!
When we reached the top, we had a beautiful view…
We started out on an easy slope and I taught J the basics. He did really great, I must say (although he got a little frustrated at times, because he was too impatient )… but he’s a natural!
After about 4 hours, we returned to our hotel room and took a little nap… J almost instantly fell asleep. I think the difference in elevation and the unfamiliar work out really got to him
Later in the evening we went for a nice walk and had dinner at “Applebee’s”. I had BBQ rips *yummy*
Yesterday we got up at 7:30 a.m., checked out of our hotel and then went out for breakfast at Carrows. That’s where I got my first official call on my cell phone from my Dad… he told me that the 01015 is also free for cell phones right now! That’s awesome! Besides, we had a really good reception… I think, T-Mobile seems to have a pretty good coverage!
At 9:30 a.m. were up on the mountain again and the view was gorgeous…
We had a really great day again and Jon really made progress. I was so proud of him. He really learned a lot in 1,5 days! We warmed up on one of the easier slopes and took some longer ones later.
It was so much fun!
In the afternoon, J let me take some more runs on my own and I tried some of the more advanced slopes… which was great! I was so happy to be back in the snow again!!!
At 4:00 p.m. we packed our stuff and drove back to Sacramento. Since it’s really close, we decided that we will go for day trips again in the future…
and today I went back to work. Oh well, that’s just the way it is, but I decided to work today and then take another day off, when my friend Ilka comes to visit.