Berkeley sure is a drag when the weather’s wet and gloomy. Switch scenes to Tahoe, where it’s a winter wonderland. Absolutely breathtaking. I guess snow just stirs that child in everyone who loved the holidays.
Last weekend, I went to Tahoe on a three-day, two-night retreat with my business club. We left Friday afternoon, snowboarded all day on Saturday, then returned to Berkeley on Sunday. I want to share a quick recap and highlights from the trip.
We left for Tahoe in the late afternoon. Since this was a members’ retreat, we had about 20 members in addition to Cabinet, so a total of forty kids in a chartered bus.
Moods were high as we departed on our trip. Halfway to Tahoe, we made a quick stop at Safeway, ate $5 footlong sandwiches (masculine sandwiches, according to Ray) at Subway, and watched Kung Fu Hustle for the rest of the drive.
We arrived at our vacation home in the evening. Beautiful. Our house overlooked the lake in the back and was pretty spacious. We settled in, played icebreakers, poker for pushups, and ABA Mafia (turned out pretty epic).
This was the day. A day of action and redemption. Last year’s members’ retreat was my first time snowboarding, and even though I picked it up pretty fast, I was pretty bad and wiped out. A lot. In fact, I did a flip at one point and messed up my back (still messed up to this day).
This time, I was determined to learn the heel-toe (carving), and not fall as much, or as badly. I started off at the bunny slopes, just to get a feel for the board again.
First two trips down were surprisingly smooth. I got my heel-heel down, and I decided to go on more interesting courses, including Hot Wheels and Roundhouse. Went on each twice, ate lunch, then tackled Roundhouse two more times.
By now, I had gotten carving down. Sure, I still fell a lot. But at least it was a lot more graceful and it was because I was challenging myself. I felt pretty good.
Then James, my snowboarding buddy (similar skill level and same courses), suggested that we go to a black diamond course, Summit, with some other ABAers. After some hesitation – this was my second time snowboarding, after all – we decided to do it.
The lift ride up was pretty scary. Just when you thought the the lift was leveling out, it would shoot straight up. As we neared the top, our eyes bugged out.
The top portion looked like a vertical wall. Summit was truly a summit. The view was amazing. We took some goodbye pictures (we weren’t expecting to survive the course), and slowly made our way to the edge.
And we jumped.
I had told myself that I would heel-heel down, which I did. It was tough, but I made it past the first slope with no falls. After that, most of my fear was gone. We slowly but surely made our way to the bottom.
It was hard to describe the feeling when we finished, but it was definitely one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while – the feeling of accomplishment.
We closed the day with one final run on Roundhouse. Except this time, most people had gone home, so we had most of the course to ourselves. It was an absolute blast. I did some serious carving from side to side. Never felt better.
And with that, we were finished for the day. We got back to the vacation home, and I played high stakes poker (loser was called Demon Fart King in Mandarin and had to report to duty whenever addressed – congrats Eric). I also played an epic game of Taboo, boys vs. girls. We pretty much went through all the cards, and the guys won, of course.
A quick breakfast, cleanup, then it was back on the bus to Berkeley. Watched 500 Days of Summer on the way, arrived at Berkeley in the early afternoon. Verdict? Amazingly fun retreat. And I’m officially in love with snowboarding. Hopefully next season I’ll have more chances to go.
Carve with Glen at randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com.