Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone that donated to support me in the Polar Plunge. On Saturday, after a huge dump of snow, the sun luckily made a brief appearance for the Plunge at Zephyr Bay in Lake Tahoe. In nothing but some orange spandex pants, I made the dash barefoot through the snow into the icy (5-10 degrees) water … and looking back it was actually kind of fun 🙂
Other than the Polar Plunge, I had a great weekend up in Tahoe. They finally had heaps (a few feet) of snow over the weekend after a very dry winter, so I headed up bright and early Friday morning with a few friends to hit the slopes – we had a great day at Alpine Meadows enjoying the powder. Unfortunately, Jacs couldn’t make it which was sad, but hopefully she’ll be able to get some boarding in soon! That evening I headed over to John and Shirley’s, although unfortunately John was away on business so I missed him. Shirley and I however had a lovely evening of delicious cedar plank salmon, a bottle of wine, and a good chance to catch up.
The next morning, I woke up to the beautiful ‘winter wonderland’ view of the lake after lots of overnight snow… with the slight downside that it meant getting up early to dig out the car and move it so that the driveway could be cleared! Not long after that it was time to head off to the Polar Plunge!
After the Plunge, I headed back to hang out with Shirley for a few hours, but as the weather started to get worse again, decided that it would be better to head over to the house where my friend’s were staying so they weren’t stranded on sunday if the road closed. That evening also happened to be St Patrick’s Day so I ended the day with a fun dinner and lots of Guiness and Irish Whisky in Tahoe City.
Sunday morning we got up to Squaw Valley for first lifts and enjoyed a beautiful morning of waste deep powder before getting on the road for the long drive home. The drive took five hours because of the storm, so I only just got back in time for Scotch Tasting with the Dean, an event on campus that was a tradition that stopped a few years ago and they are restarting. Basically we all got dressed up and got to drink lots of different whiskey while chatting with friends and faculty.
Last weekend, we went up to Napa for Barrel Tasting with Jordan and Chris. It was awesome. Barrel tasting occurs two weekends in the spring, where the wineries let you taste the wine directly from the barrel, before it has aged. It is really cool – the wines can be a bit ‘fresh’ but if you know your stuff, you can buy futures of the wine (i.e. buy it now, to make sure you get some of it later if it is the real good stuff!) Thank you guys so much for inviting us – we had a blast at Calistoga Ranch, all of the wineries (especially Ridge!), and of course hanging out with you guys. We left after Jacs got home from work on Friday night, and when we arrived we went to the gorgeous bar for a night cap.
The next morning we were up bright and early to go for a hike with Q (The Brown’s adorable doggy!) and big breakfast with Jordan’s dad, Anita, and JT and CB. After a quick change, the limo arrived at the Ranch. We were rolling in style for sure! The first stop, Ridge Vineyards had a delicious selection (Jacs was busy tweeting away!) of reds, so we purchased a bottle from their Buchignani vineyard. We decided that would be our name if we were Italian, or Spanish, or whatever 😉 The next stop was Longboard followed by lunch at Bear Republic, which makes one of our favorite IPA’s – Racer 5. After some burgers and some brews we headed for Families – which is essentially four or five wineries that share a central parking lot. It turns into quite the party during barrel tasting, and we actually ran into more of our friends from Haas, and Jacs saw one of her clients. Sadly, it was the end of our tour, but not the end of our fun. The limo picked us up and we headed for home (the Ranch) and polished off another bottle of Champagne on the way – I told you we were rolling in style! That night we made a delicious meal at the house and after a few more glasses of wine we called it a night. It was such a wonderful day! We left the next morning, even though we could have stayed for weeks! Thanks again Chris and Jordan!!!!
In other exciting news, I’ve accepted a summer internship position at Groupon. It should be an exciting role, and will mean that I’ll be in Chicago in June and July – which is meant to be beautiful in the summer. Jacs will also be able to work from her office there for part of the time, so we can explore another city together 🙂
On Wednesday we’re off to England and Paris for Spring Break, followed by a weekend in Santa Barbara for our friend Amy’s wedding. Expect another update from us soon 😉
Ben and Jacs