Heavenly Holidays NYE Bash...

Each year, we are drawn to Heavenly Village and its exceptional New Year's Eve extravaganza.

For our 3rd year in a row (and braving 12° temperatures) we celebrated the end of the year with an evening packed with world-class music, fireworks, and the world's only Gondola Ball Drop. The incredible entertainment included an outdoor concert, ice sculpting performances, fire dancers and a really awesome and totally free photo booth.

Fear No Ice blew us away with their showmanship and talent... an always AWESOME show!

There is something magical about fireworks and the fact that Heavenly ends the year with such pageantry impresses us every time.

Our year has ended with unforgettable memories. Here's to 2016... the possibilities are intriguing! I can't wait.

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Echo Lake & Ike and Martin...

Day 3 of snowshoeing was truly the most beautiful with crisp air and clear skies.

Echo Lake (el. 7,539') was completely frozen and spectacular to hike upon.

Yes, Brady and I even snowshoed on the PCT. What fun stuff.
It's really wonderful that our friends enjoy the outdoors and loved the snowy explores as much as we did.
After an exhilarating day we watched the sunset in Zephyr Cove on the dock leading to the Dixie. This is a cool story. Yesterday, while in Genoa, we ran into Ike (half of our favorite duo- Ike & Martin). He let us know that the way fun Pints & Paddles was going to be launched tonight. Eric and Brady had already decided to extend their stay so coming on the cruise was necessary.
This was the best way for us to end Brady and Eric's stay in Tahoe- Rocking to fabulous tunes provided by our favorite group while cruising on the Lake. It really doesn't get much better than that!

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Eagle Point & Genoa, NV...

It was another day starting with an incredible snowshoe hike.

The hike above Eagle Point, through the campground, afforded breathtaking views of Emerald Bay. Since the road is closed due to avalanche precautions, this was the only way to see the Bay.

The evening was to be spent in Nevada's first settlement- Genoa (1851) starting with an explore of its cemetery.
Everyone paused to capture images of the local deer.

No visit is complete without a beverage at the Genoa Bar, Nevada's Oldest Thirst Parlor.

As is with many old-school bars, the decor use to be heavily laden with women's bras. When Raquel Welch visited (many years ago), she was asked to leave hers. She agreed but insisted that all the other bras be taken down -and they were! This photo is hers, the black leopard print hanging on the antlers, though it's so dusty now, we couldn't really tell.
Following tradition, and knowing it wouldn't be right to exclude anyone, the bar takes lingerie "donations" kept in the old safe. In order to peek, the custom is if you open the door to the safe, a donation is required. I donated mine a couple of years ago and Brady was eager to participate in the tradition. Click here to watch her bra removal video.

Having recently read about this Hanging Tree, we had to find it and learn more.
On this tree, early morning Nov. 25, 1897 occurred the blackest episode in the history of Nevada. Adam Uber of Calaveras Co. Cal. was forcefully taken from jail abused and hanged by an angry mob, for the pistol killing of Hans Anderson a local teamster in a Millersville bar room brawl.

Back in October, we came to the grand opening of this really cool space. The Pink House is a new gourmet cheese and charcuterie shop that offers a delectable selection of top quality products, and a menu of sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, and other light fare. Built in 1855 by Judge Daniel Webster Virgin and lovingly restored by the new owner Lois, we ate sumptuous food in a fantastic historical setting.
Then it was home for wine, Scrabble and Brady playing the banjo... great end to a great day!

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Heavenly Village for Star Wars & More

Knowing snow was coming today, we planned some inside fun.

Fear No Ice is a talented group that puts on a fabulous show on New Year's Eve. For the build up to the event, they carve works of art around various parts of the Village.
We watched for awhile but the bitter cold drove us indoors.
The main goal was to see Star Wars in 3D. Chewie here was the only one in costume. He made us all smile and comment.
Since I don't believe in spoilers, I will only say that we all really enjoyed this movie. A snowy day in Tahoe is best spent by watching something so familiar as Star Wars with groovy glasses on and fun friends by your side.
After a delightful dinner with Lee and Margaret at Cold Water Brewery and Grill, we headed home for a cozy night in. Eric spotted this sweet snowman. It made me smile. There were lots of smiles today- fun stuff!

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Snowshoes, Squaw & Streif...

Brady and Eric arrived last night for a four night Sierra Sojourn. What better way to kick off the vacation than by snowshoeing.

Bob and Jenny introduced us to this cool Lookout hike during the summer. It looks amazingly different now blanketed in several feet of snow.

The photos pretty much capture the gorgeousness of our morning!

Next stop was to give Eric a history lesson about the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, held at Squaw Valley. This is one of our favorite places to go to and we wanted to share it with them.
Not only was it decorated for Christmas, ski hosts walked around with trays of fresh, warm chocolate-chip cookies.

Our ultimate reason for coming here was for the Squaw Valley Institute's showing of Streif: One Hell of a RideStreif is considered the Super Bowl of ski racing and many competitors consider a win here more triumphant than an Olympic medal. It is the annual Hahnenkamm race in Kitzb├╝hel, Austria and it is the most notorious and demanding course on the World Cup circuit and the highlight of the race season.
In prior Winter Olympics the athletes were housed in hotels or billeted with local families. Since no such facilities existed in Squaw Valley in 1960, the organizers decided to build the first Olympic Village at the Winter Games. Competitors slept in one of four dormitories and ate together in a dining room. Part of the awesomeness of tonight was the fact that the movie was shown in the actual dining room where athletes from 30 nations ate together for 11 days- making history.
The show began with a performance by Squaw Valley Institute’s own Matt Reardon who wrote the soundtrack for the film. I thought that was pretty dang cool.
For 75 years, the annual Hahnenkamm race in Kitzb├╝hel, Austria, has produced unforgettable triumphs and unspeakable tragedies, a heritage that is full of myths and legends. Nowhere else is skiing celebrated so intensely. This is the most anticipated race of the season and this film follows five elite athletes for a full year leading up to the most important run of their career.  It shares their journey from summer conditioning to early winter training and through the race season.  It is partially narrated by local ski racing celebrity Daron Rahlves (pictured between Brady and me). Rahlves was the winner of the legendary Hahnenkamm Downhill in 2003 and SG in 2004 (the only American in the race's history to do so).
Today was one of those days that was just unbelievable. Great nature hiking with friends, a history lesson in an amazing place and an exhilarating movie watched with its 'stars'. Yes, a pretty cool day indeed.

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