Sunday, February 27, 2011

Month of YOLO: January, Part 2

After a weekend of adventuring in LA, the obvious California destination for the following weekend was Lake Tahoe. Five teachers, one cabin, lots of fun.

Again, the weekend involved a lot of gastronomical delights, most importantly Fred's Steak. Also not too shabby was the sampler of wines from Trevor's uncle's cellar. I'm not gonna say I can tell the difference between a $100 bottle of wine and a $10 bottle, but the expensive bottles tasted pretty good. One of the best quotes of the weekend: "I just drank an eighteen-dollar bill!"

The original plan to go skiing, but napping was a more attractive activity. Still, we did find the energy to YOLO at Squaw Valley.

This picture is just one in an ongoing series of Maura and me at high elevations:

I used this picture in a warmup on proportional reasoning in class a few weeks ago. The kids were really confused about how four of their math teachers ended up in Squaw Valley (and in a giant chair, no less) together.

For those unfamiliar with Olympic history, Squaw Valley was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics. The memories still remain at the Olympic "museum." 

Of course, Olympic memorabilia calls for Olympic reenactments. First, Kieran savors the gold.

The 1968 Olympics, complete with the confused Australian silver medalist. 

Pulling a Tonya Harding. 

Finally, some views from the top of the mountain

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Month of YOLO: January, Part I

Given that it's almost February, yes, this post is a little behind. But better late than never.

The thing about January is that my school is in "intersession," a time when the students take their electives all day every day and teachers are in meetings. All. Day. Every. Day. I'm not always a huge fan of the meetings and by the end of the month I'm pretty sick of adults and ready to be around kids again. But on the upside, not having to plan for classes everyday means that I have a lot more free time and can live life like an almost normal person. This January I took pretty good advantage of my free weekends with a little YOLO-ing.

Over MLK weekend I went down to LA for quality time with some Umich friends. It was my friend Zach's birthday, so we all went out to some posh Hollywood club to celebrate.

But really the weekend was about eating. My friend Jessica is kind of a foodie and was excited to show off all the places she's discovered since moving to LA this fall. We started on Friday night at a place called A-Frame. It's very trendy--it's run by some popular food truck guy and the theme is "modern picnic." Overall, not the best restaurant I've ever been to, but the food was good. The biggest highlight was their Asian fusion kettle corn (pictured right), basically kettle corn with that seaweed stuff you put on rice. I'll be hitting up my local Asian grocery store to recreate this.

On Sunday morning we headed out for the most amazing brunch I've ever had. It was worth the extremely long wait because the food at Doughboys was mind-blowing. I'm not sure how they decided to top a Belgian waffle with bacon, egg, and cheese, but everyone should do it. My only regret was that there was so much food that we couldn't finish it.

On Sunday night we took a trip out to Santa Monica where one of the highlights was the parking garage. I guess when your city is crowded with way too many cars you begin to innovate how to make driving slightly less miserable. First, I was in awe of the green and red lights on the ceiling of the garage indicating where parking spaces were available, but the most amazing discovery was a kiosk where you typed in your license plate number and it showed you where you'd parked. A little Big Brother? Yes. Contributing to the dumbing-down of America? Probably. Totally useable? Definitely. 

For dinner we went to a Japanese place where the decor was almost enticing as the food. The pictures below are of the sumo-wrestler bathrooms and the phenomenal bacon-wrapped enoki mushroom skewers. Both required seconds.

Overall, a great weekend away.