I'm typing this up on my lunch break, so how much I'll be able to write is really dependent on how long before officemate returns to his desk.
This past weekend, I went on a trip with my sorority sisters to Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada.
We try to take this trip annually and this time marked our fourth year. Past years we've gone to New Orleans, some-river-in-Texas and Kansas City. So far, we've been blessed to have the same girls be able to attend. It's always a good time getting catch up on what's-been-going-ons for the past year, because really, who uses the phone anymore?
This year was a BIG ONE because our friend Brittany is about to leave for Peru for two years in the Peace Corps. We're planning on Girlfriend Getaway-ing to Peru one of those two years but have no solid plans yet. Another BIG DEAL was that my dear friend Chelsea announced to the group that she was engaged! Chelsea and her fiance James have come to visit me a couple of time in Houston recently and so I'd say I can confidently say that they're now "couple friends" with us. (You know, friends that you can go out with as a couple where no one wants to secretly kill a member of the quad.) I've known Chelsea for several years, and I've seen her entire relationship with James, so it's really cool to get to see them (nothing works here but a cliche) 'take it to the next level' or 'seal the deal' or 'smash the plate' (is that something people say? Opa!).
On the trip, we were able to book two adjoining rooms with a passage way between the two so we could move back and forth as we wanted to. Friday we went into the village and did a little bit of shopping, though there wasn't much shopping to be done...Incline Village isn't super touristy which is nice unless you're looking for a souvenir tee-shirt. Also, since when are all souvenirs Made in China? Doesn't that defeat the point? There was one shop selling locally made crafts, but the woman working at the shop - it was a quilting shop - had a total attitude. She was so rude!
The seven of us were admiring the crafts in her shop and I saw that she made some smaller quilted items. I said, "oh, you should consider quilting dog collars." She balked and said, "I could never do that, I think people who dress there dogs up are disgusting."
Um, well, oops.
I was really irritated because I totally was turned off by this woman but it was the ONLY shop that we could find that sold local stuff. So because of her bad attitude I did not patronize her shop.
Saturday was the day we’d set aside for hiking. Chelsea was just returning from a walking tour of Spain, so she pitched to us that we walk a 8ish mile round-trip hike. All of the girls agreed, though I’m sure that many were suppressing an urge to say, “no” as to not be the only one who would rain on Chelsea’s long-hike parade.
It was a really nice day for a hike, the snow and rains from the previous week were gone as were the clouds from the day before. So we set out on our hike, maps in hand. Along the way we me some British women who tried to rent us property in Austin. Before we knew it, we very clearly not on our intended path. Somewhere around mile seven we stopped for peanut butter sandwiches and hotel-stolen jam. At this point, half of our party split to go home. But four of us braved on – and on – and on. Yea, don’t trust bikers when they say that the lake is “just around the corner.” By that time we had figured out where the hell we were and knew that there would be a pond that would serve as a logical end point to our hike. We made it.
When we got home, my pedometer said that we’d hiked 18 miles…just a small amount off from the original eight that Chelsea said…and 40,000 steps. Later that evening, Sarah Michelle and I went to the consierge to ask about a recommendation for a spa that was cheaper than the one the hotel offered. Yea, classy, right? Well, so we got to talking about our day and about our hike and next thing we knew, one or the women hands us complimentary vouchers for use of the amenities at the hotel spa. So it was only the steam room, sauna, relaxation station and showers that we could use, but that’s more spa than I’ve ever had and yea, it was totally free. Awesome.
There was this group of women in the spa with us, you know, the LOUD, RICH and ANNOYING type? They asked our group which package we had gotten (all which started around $400) and I felt shammmme, shame, shame, shame. The free one. All of the women thought this was quite hilarious, and then, to my surprise, admitted that they snuck in their own champagne so they didn’t have to buy it from the hotel. That was pretty funny.
Sunday’s highlight was a chartered boat ride around Lake Tahoe, just for us girls. It was Beautiful (with an intentional capital B) but, as I told Mom and Dad, was no Alaska. The boat ride was so cool, the weather was so perfect, the tide was so right, the captain was so creepy. That happened. It was his second chartered boat ride of his liffffe, but still, really man? He asked one of our girls if he could shoot a photo of just her on the boat, because her “sailing outfit was so perfect.” It was a short dress.
We got off the boat alive and really no worse for the wear. After all, it is that shit that happens on vacations that we will talk about for years to come. Like that time that they accidentally didn’t have our booking in New Orleans and instead gave use the pent house suite? Or that time the firefighters in the firehouse across from our hotel (same trip) invited us to stay the night. The fire wasn’t the only thing that was smoking, if-you-know-what-I’m-sayin’. I mean they were hot, not that anything was actually on fire.
Anyway…anyway, maybe the oddest thing coming out of the trip was just how many times we were asked if we were visiting for a bachelorette party. No. I guess we’re just that age. I guess it’s not that often you see a group of seven single women traveling together, getting along.
So, I know I’m lucky. And I’m so appreciative I have these women in my life.