We drove up to tahoe on friday night. TheSL and I had a nice, peaceful drive, not encountering much traffic. Exactly one block before we made it to the cabin, there was this awful screeching sound coming out of the front left wheel. ugh. We parked the car and tried to figure out if there was something stuck there...she thought it sounded like some metal pieces grating together (later, the observant tow truck driver gave us a more reasonable suggestion, that it was a rock scraping against metal). pokey tried to help us find the source of the noise, but we had no luck. I decided to wait until the next day to have it looked at.
The night was relaxing even though i was really worried about what to do about the car. After waking up and sleeping in and waking up again, then procrastinating for a while with theSL, I called up some repair shops and found the only one in South Lake Tahoe that was still open. Woohoo! I borrowed kathay's AAA card and got a tow truck to bring the car over to the shop.
The folks at the shop didn't seem especially concerned about the noise. They took the wheel off and spun the brake rotors around, and found the source of the noise. I'm not sure exactly what the problem was, but re-roughening the surface of the pads did the trick and the brakes are nice and silent again. One thing i really like about being in a place like Tahoe is that people in blue-collar jobs are actually rather intelligent and friendly, unlike the bay area where most service folk just aren't especially helpful. Sometimes a shortage of jobs is a good thing.
While waiting for the brakes to get fixed, i listened to some music on my new iPod (woohoo!) while reading some ESPN magazines. Then i headed back to the cabin and rejoiced at the working status of the car. We had some dinner with everyone then headed to a ski rental shop to pick up skis to head out bright and early to Heavenly the next day.
The next day we woke up bright and early to go to Heavenly. There was about six inches of brand new snow that fell overnight (yay!) that i had to drive through (boo). Plus, on the way to Heavenly, we had to install chains, which is a rather large pain. Anyway, aside from installing the chains (theSL did most of the work there), it was only about a ten minute drive to the slopes, and we rode the gondola up to the bowl where the skiing begins.
Skiing was great; we went on slopes that I usually wouldn't even attempt, including a run through some trees and a lot of fresh snow, the sort where your skis and boots disappear. I managed a face plant while going through that one; it was quite entertaining, although it took me a while to find one of the skis that had been dislodged. I got really tired skiing though (I think the boots did not fit quite right and didn't push my weight far enough forward), and it took me a while to make it down the final narrow windy slope. Nevertheless, it was quite a fun day. I no longer fear the black diamond.
The next morning we slept in late and went to Heidi's for a big breakfast (avocado omelette and french toast) before heading home. We had a peaceful drive home, though it took a while because there was a bunch of holiday traffic. We really liked seeing the mountains in daylight, snowy and non-snowy. We got back to campus and ate at Flomo (yech).