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A Cozy Winter Weekend in North Lake Tahoe

This story begins with a pair of boots.

Well, a pair of boots and a long-standing tradition!

We'll start with the tradition. Each freshman dorm from my alma mater plans a trip to Lake Tahoe in the winter for a weekend of skiing during the days and drinking at high elevation during the nights. It's typically a grand affair, and many groups then turn it into an annual reunion event. 

Weekending in Tahoe, especially in the winter, is also very much a part of the Silicon Valley tech culture: leaving at 2pm on Fridays to beat traffic going up to Tahoe is very common, and sometimes entire teams or smaller startups will even head up there together.

That's kind of the backstory of how we found ourselves up there this weekend: Hanna's friends from her freshman dorm booked a cabin, and two days of hot cocoa and frolicking in the snow and quiet hikes by the lake just sounded too appealing. 

But I also had an ulterior motive.

You see, in December, I kind of went crazy while Christmas shopping. As in, I think my bank account was physically shivering until it finally greeted the morning of December 25th with a sigh of relief thinking I'd give it a rest...

...until Camp Patton posted these darlings at 60% off and I gleefully clicked Purchase, completely ignoring the fact that I live in California in a city where it hovers around 60 degrees 340 days out of the year and 80 degrees the other 25. My bank account gave me a stern talking to and I rolled my eyes saying,

you'll see. They're going to come in handy. 

Immediately, I started planning a trip to Iceland and my bank account was like,


Aaaand, so Tahoe it was.

Please also disregard the fact that I just typed out a full conversation between me and my bank account, it's fine, I swear.
The joke was on me and my boots a little bit though because the forecast deemed it to be a warm and dry weekend. 

Undeterred, I shoved them on anyway and meandered over to wherever there was even a splotch of snow, barely sweating. See, the boots are HELPFUL.

When I wasn't being an idiot, we found ourselves savoring life up in the mountains.

All the fresh air,
and breakfasts at quaint restaurants called The Old Post Office Cafe where WiFi is non-existent and cell phones are not allowed. 
You guys, this place was so good.

Mimosas for $6.50, huge portions of hearty brunch food, and a host who I am still convinced is Luke from Gilmore Girls, 20 years after we last saw him.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the name of this restaurant was actually Hollow Stars," Cassandra agreed. 
After breakfast, we were determined to "go on a hike around the lake."

We dropped a pin, and everything.

But then somehow we ended up over in Nevada, at a brewery playing a kids' game. 

I never knew I'd be such a fan of hiking!
I highly recommend the Apple-Cranberry cider at Alibi Aleworks by the way; it's practically juice! 
After that detour, I promise we did try to find the lake.

But then some of us "really had to pee" and others were "really, really cold" aaaaand before we knew it, we were all cuddled up on twin-sized bunk beds taking a two-hour nap.

Other activities I participated in:

Ultra-competitive rounds of Taboo, coffee & Bailey's on the patio while wrapped in my snuggliest fleece jacket, eating all the junk food I could get my hands on, and hiding in a room with a paperback like a grandma while a heated game of Rage Cage was going on upstairs.  

In addition to dragging my friends out of bed early for a photo shoot in the snow, that is:
Which got real weird, real fast. 
All I wanted were some nice portraits I could frame... 
but instead, once Cassandra rigged up a tripod out of nature... 
It was middle school photos all the way.

Remember that? When you would set the timer on your digital camera for 10 seconds and then strike all sorts of weird poses and use all kinds of moody filters. 
 I'll save the more embarrassing ones for my speeches at their weddings.
All's well that ends wellith a bloodied knee, frozen hands, and jeans soaked through with snow.  
Another successful winter weekend in Tahoe in the books!

With that, we packed up the car, cranked up the aux, and made a beeline for the first Taco Bell drive-thru we could find on our way back home. 

How do you cozy it up in the winter?

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