The perfect ending to a perfect day
By Carla Tavorminaspecial to the actionPicture this: You get up early, rising with the sun, and head to the mountain. It snowed three feet last night, and you are the first on the chair when the lift opens. You ride hard all day, continuously making fresh tracks because you are hard-core and you are willing to work for your lines. You don’t even notice when it is almost 4 p.m. because you are having the time of your life. After your last run, you pack up your gear and head out to your car, smiling that silly, dazed, powder-induced smile. You drive out of the parking lot, and then – agghhh! Traffic is backed up on the main road all the way into town. All right, back up. Traffic? No thank you. Sitting in traffic is for gapers, and you are not a gaper. You are much savvier than that. Instead of sitting in the road-turned-parking lot with all the other people leaving the hill, in hopes of getting to your cabin sometime before midnight, you put your gear away, then traipse on over to the pub. You order a cold pint and a plate of nachos and you bask in the afterglow of another epic day in Tahoe. And by the time you are done there, either the traffic will have dissipated or you will no longer care. Yeah, that sounds like a much better option. That’s how I would do it anyway.The two things that make me happiest are snowboarding and martinis, in that order. Snowboarding is an exquisite combination of adrenaline and solitude, and my favorite way to spend a day. Martinis are a fabulous way to get any party started, whether it is a group of friends or a one-woman party. An ideal day will contain snowboarding first, and then a good martini. Amongst my friends these kinds of days are somewhat of a ritual, and the closest thing that some of us have to a religion. We ride all day, then show up to the restaurant and bar, where sporting a bad hairdo and wearing damp ski pants is the height of fashion. There we re-live our turns over a couple of drinks and appetizers. This, my friends, is the good life. Every ski hill has its favorite gathering place nearby. Squaw Valley has a handful of options in the Village: Two casual places to grab an après-ski beverage and snack are the Fireside Pizza Co. and the new Auld Dubliner Irish pub. If you prefer to ski at Alpine Meadows, the River Ranch Lodge at the base of Alpine Meadows Road is a cozy place to enjoy a cocktail with friends. Over on the East Shore, just down the hill from Mt. Rose Ski Resort and Diamond Peak Ski Resort, in Incline Village is Crosby’s – a favorite gathering spot among skiers and snowboarders, and especially for beer connoisseurs who appreciate the great happy hour specials. Talk about a perfect ending to a perfect day.So, tomorrow we’ll do it all over again – hit the slopes early, and at the end of the day we’ll meet at the top and race down to the bottom. The loser buys the first round. Chances are you’ll be buying my martini. Great après-ski hangoutsFireside Pizza Co.Located in the Village at Squaw Valley530-584-6150Featuring gourmet pizza and great beer with a great outdoor fire pit for gathering.The Auld Dubliner Irish Restaurant and BarAlso in the Village at Squaw Valley530-584-6041Featuring traditional Irish Fare and a tasty selection of beers in a traditional pub setting.The River Ranch LodgeLocated at the bottom of Alpine Meadows Road at Highway 89 south530-583-4264Full bar and restaurant with cocktail lounge featuring a large fireplace. Starting first Wednesday in January, Wild Winter Wednesdays, with $2.50 draft beer and half-price nachos and wings, and a raffle to win skis or snowboard. Proceeds benefit Alpine Meadows Adaptive Ski Program.Crosby’s Grill Pub & CasinoLocated in the Christmas Tree Village in Incline Village775-833-1030Featuring great drink specials and wings for just 30 cents each from 3-6 p.m., seven days a week.
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