Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last post of the year

We are safely back from skiing at Lake Tahoe--however trite it sounds, skiing in Heavenly was, well, heavenly. The experience there was trifold--the skiing, the company and the blizzard. Let me tell you about each one in turn:

1. Skiing
This was the Diplomat's and mine first time skiing on the West Coast. The snow powder is everything it is cracked up to be. There were very people skiing and the weather the first two days was outstanding. Armed with fat skis, after warming up the first day, we boldly dashed off piste and started skiing among the unsuspecting pine trees. As I darted among the snowy pines, I began to feel particularly smug about myself and at some point yelled from the top of my lungs to the innocent white world and three astonished squirrels, "woo-hoo, I am an awesome skier," at which point I promptly crashed into an offensively small pine tree and fell waist deep in the puffy snow. After I dug myself out (to find out that the Diplomat was actually taking pictures of me--yes, that is me in that picture!), I discovered that I can't find my left ski--that's how deep the snow was. Then the Diplomat immediately followed suit and fell himself in between the pines. After we had all that fun in the snow, we crossed over to Nevada, saw the breathtaking view of the the lake and took some rather hideous pictures of ourselves with his iPhone. Skiing in Tahoe is fabulous!

2. The company.
To imagine the full color of my trip, you need to also immerse yourself in my company for the trip. I went there with the Diplomat, his sister and brother-in-law (and their twin 7-year old daughters), and his brother and wife (and their 8 year old and one year old son), along with Son. All in all, many south Indians and me, which meant one big, merry, loud, tasty, spicy, happy, somewhat conservative, constantly laughing house, filled with incessant children's screaming, crying, running, whining, sniffling, giggling and a whole lot of food scattered on the floors. There was also a hot tub, which I swore I would use and did use. Even after I pleaded with my everyone, no one ventured outside and I spent 25 sad (but hot) minutes alone in there, looking forlornly back into the house where the men played (pretty bad) pool, the women gossiped in front of the TV, and the kids threw everything they could find onto the floor. Fun was had by all nevertheless. Until the blizzard hit and we lost power.

3. The blizzard
On our third day, Heavenly was hit by a massive blizzard over night, which completely buried our rental VW Jetta (nice car!). The Diplomat and his brother in law and his brother spent the next 2 hours digging it out and trying to get it out of the driveway, when all the blasted car wanted to do was slide right back into its original, iced up position. To truly understand what was going down, you need to remember that these were three guys from south India, who have never in their wild lives driven over ice (especially since two of them had lived in California for their entire US-based lives). So, they were pretty clueless on the intricacies of trying to make a car get out of an iced driveway without spinning its wheels madly and creating even more ice in the process. At least they valiantly and fearlessly shoveled snow for 3 hours. Finally, a local cool dude emerged from somewhere, stared at us in amazed disbelief for some time and eventually offered to help. He got into the car, drove madly back and forth, left and right, and managed to get the car out to our mutual cheers in less than 10 minutes. The Diplomat and I then drove gingerly off to the nearest gas station to procure chains. Which, naturally, neither of us had the slightest clue how to install. As luck would have it, the gas station person was Indian (!), and after the Diplomat spoke to him in clandestine Hindi, gave us a massive discount of the chains, and came to install them for us with his bare hands. Chilled to the bone, and looking at the ominous clouds over the mountain, plus it was already close to noon, we called it a day and left Tahoe. We are definitely coming back. In a tank.

There are only one and half hours to the new year here in California, and the East Coast has already greeted 2011. This has been a crazy, much traveled, much moved, much feared and much anticipated year and will be remembered dearly. Two major things did not happen this year and have got to happen in the coming year: we still owe an overpriced apartment in New York City, which needs to be promptly sold, and I am still stuck in adjudications (which is beginning more and more to sound like the 9 circles of hell at this point), and need to get out of there. Ideas, anyone?


  1. I never thought California gets so much snow and I heard that all of them enjoyed skiing . U were the odd one out there which was otherwise a core south Indian flock. Wish you all luck in your clearing the two short term goals in the near term and certainly in a couple of months! U have been endowed with a humorous streak in writing and wish u become an entertaining comedy writer, besides writing on child/spouse care!

  2. Appa, my biggest fan :). Thank you for continued support!