“That’s gnarly dude”

“What the heck does gnarly mean guys?”

I was brushing up on my snowboarding vocabulary.

Tahoe this year has been awesome.

But let’s face it. Anyone who tells you that Tahoe is “close” is a liar.  At the least, a 4 hour drive.  Most of the time, a 6 hour drive.  That, to me, is far.

However, when you’re playing tunes (“Story Of My Life!” Sorry, Andrew – we had to play that at least once) and singing loudly, learning to play “Threes,” or catching up, on well, everything, then you’re bound to have a good, entertaining time.  And that’s just the car ride.  Okay, catching Zzzzs is acceptable too.

It IS possible to drive a Mini Cooper to Tahoe. Go Mini!


  • Box Ski/Snowboard trip was a blast. Met some great Boxers – how did I not know these folks before?  That and you get to sleep in 3 different places in one night if you choose to go to bed before 2 am.


Box Ski / Snowboard trip
Box Ski / Snowboard trip
  • Andrew driving Phil’s car. because. well. yeah.
  • The pantry filled with pizzas….stuff 3 chairs in there and it makes a good conversation place.
  • Sushi with friends who “met on the track.”  Not the running track.  But the racing track.  Not gonna lie.  Vanessa and Yang are pretty cool.
  • Watching all of Johnny Tsunami to give us inspiration. Yuuppp.  Mike must have tried 11 times to get that thing to work.
  • Falling. Flat. On. Your. Face.
  • Kevin’s wipe out. And Drew filming the whole thing. And then passing him.
  • Annnnd, more wipe outs. When I went up with Sue, we had how many falls?
  • Todd and I talking about life.  Like all the time.
  • Losing your board…um, twice. And then skiers and boarders clapping.  Oh wait, was I their entertainment for that couple of minutes?  Yeah.
  • Of course, learning how to be a better boarder – thank you Kev, Todd and Nick for your patience, and for always waiting for me at the bottom of the slope.
  • Frozen?!  I think so.  Building a snowman still has to happen.
  • Nick taking up Captain Jack Sparrow.  And can’t forget the pants.  Oh, the pants.  We filmed that 🙂
Captain Jack
Captain Jack

I grew up a skier – was put in ski school at about age 3.  That place where they teach you to ski and afterwards you go inside, eat delicious snacks and watch episodes of “The Magic School Bus.”  Yeah, that place, in my mind, was awesome.  Though, I once ventured ahead of my ski school group and a snowboarder did a jump and pretty much landed on my head.  Thankfully I have a hard head (that happened, once a kickball, another time a basketball…this is why I tend to play sports that don’t involve massive things that could potentially hit you).  Anyway, the boarder (about 30-40ish in age) was a super nice guy and though he pretty much landed on me (I was like 7 years old?) I ended up giving him stitches with the way my skis went up.  I still remember seeing him in the medical bed after they inspected me.  (I now wear a helmet).  He was nice and said, “Good thing you have a hard head!”  But I felt bad because he was the one getting stitched up.

My parents and I would always go to Stowe, Vermont and eventually my friend Katie and I went with them once per year.  It became tradition.  Us twins (though we looked nothing alike…haha) off skiing in the mountains.  We were young enough where we would tell everyone and anyone we were twins (our birthdays are one day apart), we would yell “Nice fall!!” to anyone who had a crash landing, and we would sing on the chairlifts.  And then, we got lost.  Just one time that is.  But lost enough where my parents got worried and soon our names were written on every single lift.  “Nicole and Katie, go to The Den!!” Katie and I had gone down a double black diamond and made a wrong turn somewhere or another.  But everything turned out a-okay in the end 🙂

Katie kept it up (and now she lives in Colorado, one of the best places to ski!  Aww…can’t wait to visit next season!).  I on the other hand started going about once every other year and got tired of it.  Okay, truth be told, I HATED the boots.  So I logically switched to the next closest snow sport that had comfortable shoes and decided to rent a board with my uncle Harold and we took snowboard lessons.  I only went still, once every other year.  So…at the beginning of this season, I pretty much was still a beginner.  Boarded about 6 years of my life but had only been on the slopes about a total of 5 days.  Whoops.  Like a language, if you don’t practice, well, you get the picture.  So I was only going on green circles.  That get’s boring.

And then this season happened.  Though I wasn’t one of those people who went every weekend, I went enough (7 days) to get comfortable going on blues, and a couple of blacks.  It was awesome.  The views though, totally beat New England.  The snow – it was okay.  Not super icy, but nothing like Meribel, France was when we skied there for a week and we were practically buried in snow.  Can’t beat the views there either, I have to say.

View from Heavenly
View from Heavenly
Hey Mike!
Hey Mike!

But one of the best parts of Tahoe this year was hiking up “99 steps.”  It was Nick’s idea…and was brilliant.  You take the chairlift up, take off your board and skis and go for a hike.  But seriously, 99 steps?  Yeah right.  I was out of breath.  But we did it.  We made it.  And at 9,758 feet it was a great view – totally worth it.

99 Steps
99 Steps


'Cause I'm on top of the world, 'ay
‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay


I already can’t wait for next season.  We bought the Epic Local Pass (with trip insurance, because ya never know if you’re going to get injured…where’s the wood?!).  So a trip to Colorado is going to happen.  🙂  Or maybe 2 trips.  Because skiing and boarding with one of my closest friends and her fam would be pretty sweet too.

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