Archive for December, 2010

Winter Vacation 2010

As yet another year draws slowly again to the end and a new one is just around the corner, a well-deserved break is welcomed, accompanied with trips out of town. On this particular break, I visited places, both meaningful to me: Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe. :mrgreen:

My first destination, LA, was my birthplace; I was born in the medical center of UCLA and presided in a nearby suburb, Valencia, until I was six. The previous time I was there, I was eight; now I am thirteen and have changed much, so I was excited to see how much my old friends had changed, too. Seeing how much Danlei, Crystal, Philip, and Anna have changed amazes me; they are in middle school and high school now, and have grown much taller, when we used to be first-grade buddies and three-foot-seven. My old neighborhood was very quiet and lonely on that particular day; very few people were seen. We did hold a conversation with a neighbor; we discovered that not much has changed on Milford Court, a tree was chopped down, a house went for rent, but overall, the same houses, the same cars, very much the same street.

We ventured to Universal Studios Hollywood for a day, but it was slightly disappointing; it was smaller than I had imagined. Nevertheless, the rides were very much fun. Riding a rollercoaster with the Simpsons and flying a dragon with Shrek, there were many memorable moments to be found there. My favorite ride would probably be the tour bus drive; we rode through the sets of classic movies such as Jaws, Psycho, and Jurassic Park. Meeting the Grinch and the denizens of Whoville from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as Spongebob and Patrick in Santa hats running around, Universal Studios was obviously filled to the top with Christmas Spirit.

Returning to Walnut Creek for the weekend, we immediately began making preparations for our next destination: Lake Tahoe. This five-day endeavor embodied over eight hours in the car, two hotels, three ski resorts, and lots of snow-covered fun. I began to lead the family to adventuring on the blue lines.

The three resorts were very different in many ways. Diamond Peak, our first skiing area, featured short and small runs and very long lines, making it less desirable toward its customers. On top of that, a very vicious snowstorm was working its was through the region. Mom and I were lifted to the top to the mountain ridge, and the run was supposed to have beautiful views of the lake. Instead, the fog impaired visibility to the point in which you couldn’t see two feet in front of you, and the snow pelted the face not unlike needles. The more difficult, long trail caused Mom to fall and lose her skis, requiring an extra half-hour to put them back on. Another fall resulted in her sitting on the skis and sliding straight down while screaming.


Mt. Rose was our next resort, but Emily and I only skied there for a very short time; the snowstorm was still raging. Dad took me to the top this time, and a similar visibility impairment ensued. The freshly fallen snow and less people did give a smoother ride, though.

North Star, our finale, was undeniably the best ski experience of our trip. A sunny sky and fresh snow allowed us many rides up and down the mountain. There were many people there; Carl Yu brought many families for a group discount, and I skied with Jenny. We went down a more difficult blue line, called Drifter; its length and slope resembled a never-ending staircase. Dodging trees and bumps, we finally made it through.

This Winter vacation was definitely one of the most far-flung and exciting ones; from meeting old friends to skiing, it was all a big bundle of fun. Our family has progressed in snow-sports a lot, with Emily daring to follow us to the difficult blue lines and the rest of us bravely expanding our horizons. These two weeks are surely something to remember.