2018 Dec 09 | skiing at Heavenly in Lake Tahoe
Waxing my skis.
Although it seems I'm getting more wax on the floor.
Which was a pain to scrape off.
A mini gingerbread house for Ogii.
And our Advent Calendar says to build one, too.
Checking out the road conditions for the drive to Lake Tahoe. The past few weeks you've needed chains on your tires, even on the main highways, but right now you don't.
Double cehcking on another site, and yep, all clear.
Snow on the hills but none on the road.
And we're here.
A nicer welcome sign.
Beautiful mural on this store.
We stayed at the Stardust Lodge because it was directly across the street from the Heavenly gondola, which takes you up the mountain. So no need to drive to the ski resort; just walk across the road.
The casinos seem to be close as well, but looks can be deceiving.
So better check on maps before walking for hours in the freezing cold. Thankfully they're actually really close.
The entrance to the gondola.
Here we go.
In the gondola.
At the end.
An employee pointing out which runs would be best for people.
A little conveyor belt that takes you to the top of the bunny hill.
It's seems like a long ways.
Ogii scootched her way closer.
Uh oh, Ogii didn't turn soon enough.
That's OK; just use reverse.
And back in the other direction.
The lodge is nice.
But expensive. A guy next to me didn't have enough money for the fries, just a burger, so the server gave him some for free and told him to eat them before he got to the register; how nice of her.
Ready for some more skiing. Ogii is staying on the bunny slope; I'm headed up.
The slopes are pretty open.
It's nice not being too crowded.
I don't think I've sver seen a scenic viewpoint at a ski resort before.
But this definitely is one.
Mountains in this direction.
And an advanced skiers only warning sign.
Up higher to the entrance to the lift that takes you to the top of the mountain. There's almost nobody here; they're all farther down.
At the very top.
Some black diamonds.
The border between California and Nevada splits the mountain in half. In fact, skiers will discuss whether they're going to the California or the Nevada side.
A view towards Nevada.
Pretty empty up here.
You can ski back down into the more populated runs. Except you can't see anybody coming down from this run because the sun is right in your eyes.
And there are moguls. I hate moguls.
As did a ton of other people who didn't realize they were there before going down the run. This woman just took her skis off and walked down.
Much more crowded near the bottom.
Ogii brought me some hot chocolate.
Ogii on the gondola ride down.
Looking back up the mountain.
They don't want you bringing your skis into the lobby of the hotel, but they do have these holders outside.
Lots of movies you can borrow.
Our room was nice except the floor was freezing.
A variety of cookies.
It was cold but not too far, so we walked to Harvey's casino.
Playing some slots.
Penny ones, of course.
Harrah's is right across the street.
And has a buffet on the top floor.
With a nice view.
Lots of food.
A carving station.
Lots of meat.
We got a seat right by the window.
Wandering around the casino / building. A giant gingerbread town.
It's obviously a very family-friendly casino.
A Zoltar machine.
A woman and her daughter playing Dance Dance Revolution together.
Some more games.
If you're staying here, you can rent your equipment right here.
There's also a shoe shine station with some rather weird hours.
A singer out near the casino area.
Somebody bought him a drink.
There was a nightcub there called Peek but it didn't open until a bit later, so we walked a block north to the Montbleu casino.
Which had the Opal lounge.
I haven't seen frost on my windshield in a long time.
Good thing I had bought an ice scraper.
I had split the front of my ski the day before, possibly on a rock in the moguls.
And Ogii had a pretty bad bruise on her leg. Plus, it was much colder today than the day before.
So instead of skiing again, we went back to Harvey's to play some poker.
They had a turbo tournament in the morning.
They also had a very surprisingly large number of people who wanted to play. They could have had three tables full but they only had two dealers, so there was a long wait list. Since it was a turbo, though, people got knocked out very quickly, so only one person who wanted to play wasn't able to get in.
I got knocked out before Ogii, so I wandered around the poker room. They had a huge leather mural.
The largest hand-tooled one in the world, in fact.
With bar scene on it.
They also had a lot of gambling-related paintings.
They had a ton of poker tables not being used.
According to this, fifteen. However, they only had two in play right now. I wonder if they ever get many more than that going.
If we played cash for two hours after the tournament, we could get vouchers for an additional 500 chips the next time we played in the tournament. We thought we might come back again, so we decided to play a bit more for that bonus.
It's a good thing we did; I ended up winning enough to pay for our trip, including the hotel, the lift tickets, and Ogii's rentals.
I had wanted to go to the Sage Room steakhouse, but it was closed for renovations. Next time.
We had seen a Thai restaurant on the way into town, but we couldn't remember where it was. Thankfully we saw it, My Thai Cuisine, on the drive home.
It had some great food.
And tons of tapioca pearls in the boba.
One wheel was a little low on air, so we wanted to fill up before the drive home. This one was out of service, but we found another one.
That looks fun, but I think we'll wait until summertime when it's warmer.
Best dining view in the county, but it's on the other side of the highway. Another thing to remember for next time.
This town decorated small trees on the sides of the road.
Lots of people were hauling Christmas trees. Some of them had yellow tags on top; our best guess was you could buy a permit to go out and cut down your own tree from government land. After a bit of Googling, yep, you can, and it only costs $10.
We stopped at an outlet mall on the way home.
This one didn't have any store Ogii liked, though.
That's OK; we'll just drive to this other one.
Which had a Saks Off 5th.
You could pick a card and get a discount for a variety of amounts.
Aw, Nodstrom Rack just closed.
I'm guessing these guys had been skiing as well.