When most people hear the words “Lake Tahoe”, they think of a clear sky stretching all the way down to distant mountaintops whose blueness and beauty are second only to that of the crystal waters beneath it. They can close their eyes and feel the wind blow through their hair and the grains of fine sand between their toes; the air filled with sounds of laughter and the gentle hum of speedboats off in the distance. With a margarita in one hand, and the other held in the palm of a loved one, they imagine themselves lazily watching the sun set beneath the mountains, painting the endless skies with an orange that a poet could aspire to describe. When I first heard of Lake Tahoe, I was sitting in a bathroom stall playing Pokemon Go when suddenly echoing grunts and flushes were drowned out by the sound of a phone notification. Great! Another distraction! After scolding the fellow in the stall next to me for playing with their phone on the toilet, I realize the notification was actually from my phone. It was for an email, subject line: “Corporate Retreat: Lake Tahoe”. Fancy that, I guess I can catch Pikachu later.
I sure love busses. Nothing gives you the pleasure of the open road like a building on wheels propelled down the highway full of all of the sweaty engineers from work. I, being the sweatiest engineer of them all, opted to take the back seat and appointed myself to be the one to lead the group in songs. We started with "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and joyously counted backwards down to zero in hexadecimal. One engineer, Jake, forgot to stop counting at zero and overflowed to 2^16 bottles of beer. I didn't see him after the bus ride, but I heard he's still counting today.
After nearly five hours of endless singing, the bus driver couldn't take it anymore and pulled over. He insisted that I get out of the bus! How rude! Fortunately, we were at the hotel, so this didn't really mess with my schedule. The first thing I did was go for a walk. At first, I thought Tahoe was just a crowded mess of upper-class snobs living on private estates, but later found that to be only mostly true. There are still a few stretches of land without trespassing signs and other monuments to man's arrogance—you just have to know where to look!
Here's a picture of one of those private estates next to the water. Everyone at Tahoe has their own dock because sharing would be like announcing to the world that your genitals are the smallest.
There were a lot of social gatherings that night, after all, it's a corporate retreat. There was an open bar and music and even some snacks. I was a little too tired to be social, but I remembered the words of my friend April. She says “In the workplace, networking is really important. Some of the people you meet at work you'll know for the rest of your life, and you'll go great places with them. However, in your case, perhaps sleeping your way to the top is the better option.”. She's wise beyond her years, but I feel like every time I try and “sleep my way to the top” I get awakened and receive a stern email. Perhaps it's an art I haven't mastered. Anyhow, I mingled a bit and than ran off down a dark road and got a teensy bit lost.
Since the dawn of time humans have looked up to the sky and asked themselves, “Are we alone in the universe?”. After a while they stopped doing this and started worrying about other things like Facebooks, country music, and dental hygiene. There are only a few of these fools that remain, and I'm proud to say I'm one of them. That's why I like taking pictures at night. You can get a new perspective on things. Did you know that if you are in a really dark place you can see all kinds of stars? Even the Milky Way! I know some of my excited readers think I'm talking about the candy bar, but no, I'm talking about the group of stars they named after the candy bar. You can't usually see Milky Way because in the city it isn't dark enough. You must first get away from all of the man-made light pollution, only then can you really appreciate the light pollution of other planets and stars. Real astronomers HATE light pollution. If they had their way, the sky would be all black with no stars.
What a beautiful day to go parrot sailing! I felt as free as a bird. Or at least as free as a bird could feel if they had to be dragged around a boat. People have asked me what the experience is like. The best way I can describe it is that it's like flying except worse because they don't give you peanuts and there isn't a movie. There's a boat you can look at if you get bored from all of the water and stuff.
The next night it was too cloudy to take pictures of the sky so I took pictures of the ground. Since about 8:00, I had been looking around the beach and asking myself, “Am I alone on this planet?”. Judging by the looks I got, I was not. Deep down, I think I knew that, but sometimes it's good to have a little skepticism. On the left you can see one of those fancy dining rooms where you can't enter without a nice jacket and a distaste for the common man. On the right is where I ate lunch. Except I ate it in the daytime.
The next day, I came back home on the bus. All in all it was a great trip and I truly learned the meaning of the words “Private Beach”. But seriously, the fines weren't too bad. If you get the chance, definitely go to Lake Tahoe. If you don't, I'm sure there are lakes with boats near where you live. Or you could wait until the rainy season and go roll around in your driveway.