Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Another Weekend in Mammoth: Skiing in the Storm

You’ve seen some of the pictures from the rather treacherous drive, but now to talk about the actual weekend.

Friday night we got set up in the condo and cooked. I made garlic bread, rancher’s pasta and salad, then we settled in to play a game of Trival Pursuit against Caroline and Paul.

Saturday, we didn’t try hard enough to get to the mountain early ad got there in time for long lines at the ticket booth and even longer lines at the lifts. I’d never seen so many people trying to get on at Canyon before.

We decided to head over to a quieter part of the mountain, so we ended up over at Chair 25, enjoying the nice, long, powdery runs, and trying to stay somewhat sheltered from the wind. It was sunny, but it was cold and blustery and there were quite a few chairs out of commission because of the weather.

That night, our friend Ian came, and we had a dinner of my veggie stew, guacamole and salsa, then played music trivia game Riff (which my parents apparently found at the 99 cent store).

Sunday we woke up to even more snow. Thankfully it wasn’t too windy, and it wasn’t much colder than the day before, so we headed out to the mountain. The lines were a little shorter and some more of the lifts were open, including Cloud 9 Express, which goes to some beautiful runs on the far side of the mountain.

We played in the deep powder and challenging runs on Cloud 9, then headed to the opposite side of the mountain, to chairs 12 and 13, where it was very quiet and peaceful. By the end of the day, the sun had even started to peek out a bit, and we were exhausted from our day.

We went out for a nice dinner at Skadi, where apparently the chef is crazy (it says so on the menu!) but the food is very good. Then we went home to make brownies and compete at movie trivia in Scene It? (Go team popcorn!).

By Monday morning the snow was coming down pretty hard, so we just packed up and headed home — little did we know how long it would be snowing.

You can check out more photos from the weekend in my Facebook album.

Driving Through Dramatic Weather: Road Trip Photos

This past weekend’s trip to Mammoth was incredible. The snow was powdery, we ate lots of good food, and we got to spend some time with friends. The drives up and back, however, were rather trying. On the way up, we had heavy rain and even some snow in Mojave before the clouds parted to reveal some sunny skies. On the way back, it snowed for about three hours of the drive — until we got well below 3,000 feet, then was a mix of wind, rain, a bit of hail, and even an extra dollop of snow in the mountains just outside LA.

Here are a few photos I snapped on my iPhone…

On the way up, after a few hours of rain, the clouds started to blow over. The strange part was that it happened very quickly, and at this point, the sky was half sun, half seriously ominous clouds.

On the way back, it snowed for hours, then rained so hard it felt like we were driving through a car wash. When the clouds finally broke for a bit, the sunshine on the wet road and windshield was very dramatic.

I tried to snap some photos of Joshua trees in the snow, since I’d never seem them covered in powder before, but this one turned out to be my favorite.

I just had to take a photo of the snow on highway 14, just outside of LA and by Escondido Canyon Road. Thankfully it wasn’t coming down at that point.

Livetweeting a Road Trip and a Snowy Weekend Away

This weekend, I decided last minute to join my parents on their trip to Mammoth. Evan was out of town in Washington, DC, and I didn’t have much planned, so Friday afternoon, I packed a back and my parents came to pick me up.

The drive was particularly long. My dad put on a 3-hour “Climate War” radio program. There was a huge backup on the 405 and the 5 — it took us two hours to reach the 14 from my place when it usually takes closer to 30 minutes. And once we were done listing about how the world will devolve into utter anarchy and nuclear winter, the remainder of the drive was filled with a mix of Peter Paul and Mary, Bette Middler and driving 40 miles through a snow storm with chains on.

Well, to pass the time and document the experience, I was on Twitter. Some of the highlights:

Oh man, The Rose is on. Don’t want to admit it but I’m compelled to sing along “some say love…”

Apparently iphone predictive text doesn’t want to hear kum ba ya either. Its first option: kim bad ya

“Five hundred miles, five hundred miles…” now this song is speaking to me

Now this song is baffling: “Stewball was a racehorse… He never drank water, he only drank wine”!?

Goodnight Irene? How’d this make it on? Seems random. Do think they’re telling us to hurry up, get there and get to bed.

So much snow coming at us we’ve got a warp speed effect going on. Ridiculous speed!

We finally arrived after about 8 hours — it normally takes 5. There were many more updates, but you can visit Twitter to read the rest. Sorry about the spelling — I learned that the iPhone predictive text changes things without me realizing a lot, and I’m also apparently sloppy about checking my updates on my phone.

Saturday we went skiing/snowboarding, though the top of the mountain was entirely in a cloud. We only did one run up top before deciding it was too stressful to navigate the white-out, so we spent the rest of the day on the lower half of the mountain, enjoying the deep, new snow. We didn’t stay out too long because it started getting windy and the snow hitting our faces was getting painful, so we headed back in, climbing back up to the condo behind the Austriahof — always a fun little adventure at the end of the day.

That night we went to Nevados for a delicious dinner. The bread was nice and hot, I got a yummy pasta and vegetable dish, and we shared a deconstructed tiramisu in a chocolate cup for dessert. That was the best part. I couldn’t even snap a picture before my dad had started taking it apart.

Today was sunnier, but a lot windier. I didn’t head up to the mountain, and my parents only stayed out for a couple of hours in the morning. Thankfully, the drive home was a lot easier than the drive up, and it only took 5 hours to get back to my place.

I didn’t mean for this to become the all Mammoth all the time blog, but be warned: I’m heading up next weekend, too. I’ll try to post about some other things, too. I promise.

Family Vacation in Mammoth

At the end of December, my family went to Mammoth to go skiing, enjoy the snow and spend some time together.

Dad and Michelle competing in the Partini cup game

Our first night there, a week ago Friday, we went to dinner at the Mogul then went home to play some games. We tried out a new game my sister got called Partini, which was a lot of fun, though some categories were a bit hard — like the one where you had to describe something by what it isn’t, and one where you had to hum two of four songs and have your team guess them within 30 seconds. Other categories were a lot of fun, like the miming/charades one, a competitive ball-and-cup game and a sentence-finishing activity, which led to lots of funny answers to “I like” and “I have” phrases pertaining to the roller.

Mom trying to figure out a Canadian Trivia answer

Then my parents pulled out their new Canadian Trivia game, which they got as a gift. It was basically Trivial Pursuit, Canadian edition, and nobody other than my mom and dad got many questions. I got a few entertainment questions about Avril Lavigne and Michael Buble.

June Lake (turned out pretty well from a moving car and on my iPhone)

Saturday was our first day snowboarding and we decided to check out June Mountain instead of going to Mammoth Mountain, which we knew would be crowded. None of us had ever been to June Mountain before, and it ended up being a nice surprise. The conditions were beautiful, there were no lines and we felt like we had the hill to ourselves. The runs were a bit easy for my liking and it didn’t have the variety Mammoth has, but it still made for a beautiful day of skiing and snowboarding, and the view of June Lake was quite beautiful.

That night, we played Catchphrase, a new family favorite since we played it in Hawaii during the summer. It always ends up with a lot of yelling, though — somehow giving clues louder makes it seem like you’re giving them faster.

Me and Mom at the top of Mammoth Mountain

Sunday we finally went up to Mammoth Mountain. It was one of the most beautiful days I’d ever seen there — warm but not too hot, blue skies, very little wind and great snow. It was only my mom, Danny (my sister’s boyfriend) and me on the hill, and we had a great day, sticking towards the top of the mountain to avoid the crowds and taking lots of beautiful runs. It wasn’t anywhere near as crowded as we expected, and when we took the gondola up to the top, it wasn’t even windy, so we go to take a bunch of photos.

One of my favorite runs at Mammoth — Dry Creek

I felt comfortable on my snowboard, though it had been about two years since I’d been boarding, and I can’t wait until Evan and I head up again in a few weeks.

Check out more photos in my Facebook Album and Danny’s Facebook Albums, Mammoth Part 1 and Mammoth Part 2.

Climbing the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Snow on the Eiffel TowerAfter our lovely long walk to our hotel, we dropped off our bags and headed to the Eiffel tower, which was only a few blocks away. We had to wait in line for a while, and decided to take the stairs up to the second floor then the elevator up to the top, since the line was shorter to do it that way.

It was a bit cold and windy, but once we started our climb, we got warm quite quickly. We stopped on the first floor to take a look at the vistas and check out the touristy attractions up there. The biggest surprise was that the outer ring of the observation deck was covered in snow and people were snowshoeing for some sort of special exhibit. We didn’t put on snowshoes, but we did walk through the snow almost the whole way around.

Getting up to the second floor seemed to take even longer. And I just found out that in total, we climbed 1,652 stairs. And we took them back down again, too. By the time we reached the second level, it was dusk and the city’s lights were starting to come on.

Eiffel TowerThe views were even better than from the first floor, though the smaller area was more crowded, and we spent a lot of time taking photos.

From there, we took the elevator up to the top of the tower, which was a bit of a scary ride, though the views were wonderful. We were squished like sardines in a little elevator, and Evan and I managed to be against the windowed walls, so we had some quite breathtaking views. It was quite a sizable ride.

Once up top, it was fully dark and the tower’s strobe lights were turned on, which were really dizzying when we were on the outdoor observation deck. We took even more photos — of us, the views, the lights… you can see them all on Evan’s photo site.

We took the elevator back down to the second floor and walked down the 1,652 steps we came up, stopping along the way to take even more photos. And on our way back to the hotel, we stopped in the Champs de Mars park to take even more photos.

We found that you also have an amazing view from across the Seine at the Trocadero, and stopped later on for even more photos, and had a midnight drink outside on the heated patio of a cafe behind the Trocadero which had wonderful views, too.

Eiffel Tower

Snow, Brunch and a Movie I Didn’t Quite Understand

Yesterday, I woke up to a neat surprise–snow falling in big white flakes, landing in the courtyard. It seems like winter has finally arrived in Budapest.

Evan and I decided to brave the snow and head out to the Kempinski for brunch. We took the subway–nice and easy since the stop is about a block away and it took us right to the hotel–and settled in for a nice leisurely brunch buffet. We had champagne, croissants, eggs, pasta, meats (well, Evan had those, not me), cheeses, and best of all, we got to create our own little crepes! Of course, we were absolutely stuffed by the end of our meal.

After that, we decided to catch a movie at MOM Park. There were a few English titles, and we settled on Rendition. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that a good portion of the film is in Arabic and while it was technically playing in English, all the subtitles were in Hungarian. We missed a lot in the translation.

Though most of the shops in MOM Park were closed by the time we got out of the movie, the Match grocery store was still open and it turned out to be one of the biggest, best stocked supermarkets we’ve found in Budapest so far. We picked up a few items and went to find our tram back home.

Somehow, all of this brought us to about 9 p.m. I know, I don’t know where the time goes, either. And later on, we went to Vespa for drinks with some friends. Vespa was a bit of a surprise. I’ve walked by it many times and never felt compelled to go in–the kitschy theme, harsh neon lights and touristy location just didn’t seem appealing. And walking up to it last night, I was worried–it looked completely empty. Little did I know that there’s a basement bar, dance floor and lounge. It was cozy, with vaulted brick ceilings and plenty of spots to sit, and the kitsch factor was a lot more fun in the low light, with a DJ booth that looked like a bright red Vespa hood ornament and other fun memorabilia surrounding the bar. There weren’t many other groups at the bar, especially downstairs, but then again, it was a Sunday night.