spring break 2009: lake tahoe, california.


When you are a college Spring Break-er, you have your pick of vacation spots, and Spring Break 2009 was no exception.  After an incredible winter break at home with high school friends, we were reminded how much we lied each other, and decided to take a break from the college scene and get together for a trip to our wonderfully accommodating friend’s family’s vacation home in Truckee, California, located at the North end of the beautiful Lake Tahoe.

Although I first picture Spring Break on the beach, the trip to the mountains was simply perfect. In Houston, Texas, we don’t have anything remotely close to ski terrain, much less snow or massive mountains surrounding a beautiful lake, so we were in for a treat escaping the heat, breathing fresh, unpolluted air and taking in the unbeatable scenery. Good times optional, but not included. Except with this crew, good times are always included.

We all boarded a night flight to Sacramento, California, where we received two rental cars: a Ford Excursion and Chevy Tahoe. Clearly we had lots of people and lots of stuff. From Sacramento, we made the 1.5-2 hr drive to the house. However, we definitely stopped for so some of us could have our first taste of In-N-Out. It was good, but as a Texas gal, I still gotta say that Whataburger serves up Texas burgers and that’s how I like them. Once we arrived and fought past the snow build up, we called beds, and hit the hay so we could hit the slopes the next morning.

During the trip, we skied both Northstar and Squaw Valley, which was host to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games and thus overpriced. I preferred Northstar due to the views of the lake, less crowds, and more clearly cut slopes, but I’m no expert skiier. If you are totally mediocre on the slopes, then feel free to take my advice. Further reading shows that 50% of the 177 runss in Squaw Valley are blacks, which may also be a hint of why I didn’t fancy their skiing.

The rest of the trip was filled with big meals, including a steak and baked potato dinner, countless rounds of charades, catching up, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, bar hopping, sledding, shopping, and snowball fights. One day, a ton of snow kept us off the slopes and mostly inside, but it was a perfect day for our thighs and knees to rest up for a full next day on the mountain. All-in-all it was a simple trip to the mountains that was perfect.

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When we arrived at the house, the lower entrance and steps were blocked with snow, so we had to hop to the upper balcony to enter.

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First day on the slopes.

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the girls

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Lake Tahoe view from a slope at Northstar

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Because we were sophomores in college and thought ‘Tall Boys’ were about as cool as it got.

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Here, I learned what an outdoor fridge is. Alternatively, in Texas, we can fry eggs on concrete.

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Feel the rhythm, feel the ride, get on up, it’s bobsled time!

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An all-time favorite photo of some of my besties, best referred to as The Thread.

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Green beers at the mountain lodge for St. Patty’s Day

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Squaw Valley from the chair lift

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Squaw Valley

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Shushu and I were ski partners since we typically like the same stuff. Our friends fooled us into going to the top of the mountain with them where it was all blacks. You can’t tell here, but we were EXTREMELY displeased.

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the whole Lake Tahoe crew

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Champ #1

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Champ #2

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Champ #3

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Champ #4

Notice: I appear in none of the previous 4. Photographing is a much better job for me.

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Stephanie and me, we look way happier than we probably are when on skies.

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Shushu and I repping UT while the Aggies and Sooners hate and Porter throws the middle finger. Classic, really.

On this trip, I thought it’d be a good time to try out snowboarding with zero instruction. I switched my skies with Katie’s snowboard mid-run. Maybe not the best of ideas. I’ll stick to skiing in the future. Or sitting in a cozy ski lodge sipping drinks with the gals. Whichever.

Barrett did the same, except he took it a step further and tried to grind a rail.

Before this trip, I had not played charades in ages, but it turned out to be the most fun night time activity ever. Everyone got super creative and way into their parts. (Last video, I promise).

Have you skied the Lake Tahoe area?

  • http://confuzzledom.wordpress.com bevchen

    It looks beautiful! Great photos.
    Nothing wrong with a throwback post ;-) I will need to do several to complete my 30 German Towns Before 30 challenge – they only count if I blog them!

    Confession time: I managed to live in Austria for nearly 11 months without ever learning to ski!

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      I have so many bucket list items I haven’t blogged yet either – weird how blogs sort of hold us accountable. And seriously, that trip was the last time I enjoyed skiing because since then it literally scares me senseless – so these days I’d say you aren’t missing out on anything! But 4 years ago I’d say OMG GO LEARN NOW!

  • helenesula

    this is gorgeous! I have only been skiing twice and not in a place as pretty as this. I love the outdoor fridge and the fact that you quoted cool runnings. I find everytime I read your posts we should be real life friends.

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      Breckenridge is still my favorite place to ski, but Lake Tahoe is so worth going and I REALLY want to go in the summer. Cool Runnings is one of my favorite quotables. And one day, we will be real life friends. It’s on my bucket list and needs to be checked off sooner rather than later.

  • Stephanie

    Oh my gosh OBSESSED with this post! Brought back so many memories! Loveee the videos haha

  • http://www.peppermintsandpixiedust.blogspot.com Maria

    Ooh, I love the idea of going anywhere but a beach for Spring Break. I think we’re looking into going to St. Louis for spring break this year, and I cannot wait. xo, Maria

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      I totally get you because I’m not so much a beach person (which I actually hate to admit because people can’t fathom it). St. Louis sounds like a blast, I’ve never been!

  • Shushu

    I just had the biggest grin on my face while reading this. My coworkers probably think I’m crazy! I loved this trip!

  • http://www.seehaysnap.blogspot.com Hayley

    love tahoe so much and luckily it’s practically in my backyard! :) love the snow cooler!

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      lucky, lucky gal you are!

  • http://itsalyx.com Alyx Garner (@adodds)

    Ummm this looks gorgeous! I have never been skiing, but I would love to go someday! And Lake Tahoe is definitely on my list.

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      Ah what you must go skiing! Mainly because I feel like you would be really good at it AND you aren’t so far from places to ski (people drive from Houston to Colorado so you’ve gotta be closer :P )

  • http://courtneytenz.wordpress.com Milly

    We just got back from Lake Tahoe…. nowhere in the US can compare beauty-wise (or snow wise). But I’d have to advise to not even bother going there during Christmas. The entire Bay Area invades and the place loses its cool local vibe. It’s funny, too, that you mention Northstar being cheaper, since they and Squaw both raised their lift prices to over $100 during the Xmas week. Ridiculous, considering the Italian Alps aren’t even at $50 yet (35 Euros). Anyway, glad you enjoyed yourself. Definitely one of my favorite places.

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      Ah ya these popular spots are always a mess during the holidays. Which place did you ski? Just Squaw? We thought Squaw was insanely expensive thena nd that was 4 years ago!!

  • http://landofcandycanes.blogspot.com Katrin

    Oh wow, I love all that snow on the stairs. :)
    I have been skiing once in Austria and I think I am not very talented but it was a lot of fun!

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      Ha then we would make GREAT ski partners because I am certainly not talented either :)

  • http://dwellable.com jane

    Hi there!
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Northstar to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you!

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      Sure you’re welcome to share!

      • janedwellable

        Awesome! Shoot me an email and I’ll tell you more.