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Making Some Turns

Skiing:  the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk. -Author Unknown

Well the above quote is pretty true but it’s the ‘rapidly heading nowhere’ that is so alluring. My dad came into my room at 6 a.m. and woke me up  and as we drove up to the mountains on the way to Auburn we saw a beautiful sunrise:

We skied Sugar Bowl for the day which is one of my favorite Tahoe resorts. Simply put it’s not too big not too small just a great day mountain. And I believe that this is Donner Lake as seen from the top of Sugar Bowl:

Yes, by Donner I mean that pioneer party that got trapped in these mountains and later resorted to cannibalism. Our day was much less eventful and the morning was great but it got cloudy in the afternoon:

I have to agree with the part about going broke in the quote above. A lift ticket is somewhere between $70-80, lunch is $10-15, and gas and driving are never cheap. Skiing has sadly become an elite sport and with the economy recovering the mountain was not as busy the day after Christmas as I would have expected:

Speaking of Christmas, my mom and I cooked. A great easy and fancy salad I learned to make in France involves pears, walnuts, Roquefort cheese (you can use a strong blue cheese to substitute) and well salad (the French prefer endives):

And you always need the cheese and meat platter. I found some Comte cheese at Trader Joe’s which was good as well as the standard Brie, and we tried a Manchego from Spain which was not overpowering and quite nice.

Wishing everyone a good end to the week and a Happy 2010. I’ll be writing again next year.


Christmas With Palm Trees

Finals are over – after 42 pages of writing, I handed in all of my papers. After a sigh of relief, I grabbed my bags and headed to NYC with Alana for some adventures. We met up with a lot of friends – one of my best friends from high school, Hannah, just moved cross country and is living in Brooklyn. It was nice to have someone else to back me up when we insisted that Californians do not have accents. The City is decked out for Christmas and there is just something about all of the lights that make me happy:

We decided to go with the holiday theme and headed to Bryant Park to go ice skating. The area around the rink was covered in snow and there was a pretty carousel:

The skating was fun (the last time I had gone was in Paris) although the ice got beaten up very quickly. It was a nice New York holiday moment. We went to a cool bar named Swift and I finally tried a chocolate dark stout beer. Honestly it tasted more to me like a coffee flavored beer than a chocolate one, but it was still fun to taste.

Victor drove me to the airport the next day and I took a direct flight home and today I enjoyed mid 50s weather with a lot of sunshine. It was nice. I like the whole winter wonderland, but waking up and not having to wear a ski jacket and gloves is really nice. I hope everyone has a nice holiday season. I’ll be eating lots of Ukrainian food over the next few days and doing some cooking so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Slipping in a Winter Wonderland

Just a quick post to show what I woke up to two days ago. Yes, it’s officially winter. And they need to start salting those side walks because I almost took a spill on the way to class today.

I feel bad for whoever left their bike outside:

I took my last exam today and now the actual finals period starts. Four papers to write and then freedom. Good luck everyone!

That Time of Year

For Thanksgiving I headed to my aunt and uncle’s house in the suburbs of Baltimore. After tons of food, going for a walk in the woods is always nice. I saw these red berries and it made me realize that Christmas is close (well after I get through the next three weeks of work and final paper writing!).

As far as the food update, my aunt and I share a love for pumpkin flavored foods. Trader Joe’s make a delicious pumpkin flavored pancake mix. Too bad pumpkin is really only a seasonal flavor.

The next photo below is a nice reminder of the fact that you can never escape the modern world – even in the woods.

Below is Moose. My aunt and uncle and cousins are the people who feed him. He likes to swim after sticks:

After Baltimore I took a Bolt bus to New York City. I’m going to do a promo for them because for $16 one-way with free wireless it is totally worth it. The holiday decorations are up all over the City. I’ll be flying back to the best coast (the West coast) from NYC so I’ll take some photos of the commercial winter wonderland and post those in the next few weeks. Till then, good luck with everything before the holidays.