I’m sitting in a cosy ski lodge, wrapped in a blanket with a big box of tissues by my side and nothing but quietness around me. Outside, the sun is blazing, and somewhere out there, my husband and daughters are having fun in the not very abundant snow. I am luxuriating in a big fat cold, which has threatened to get me over the last couple of weeks and now that the girls are out of school, has finally dug its claws in. But, as I said, the snow is not that amazing for me to ditch the blanket, and I’m enjoying having some time to myself. Snow in Tahoe is amazing, but non-snow… well, we booked this lodge a few months’ back, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have bothered with the trip.
My parents are visiting from Germany, both avid skiers, but took one look at the brownish slopes and decided to take their Jeep Wrangler for a spin round the gorgeous Lake Tahoe countryside instead. I will venture out later, to sit in the sun with a mug of Peets coffee in hand (no Starbucks here, shock horror). For those of you who have never heard of Peets, it’s the original – and according to its followers, the Peetniks – the only true coffee brewer, which originated in Berkeley, California, and was there before Starbucks. In fact, Starbucks’ founders bought their coffee beans directly from Peets during their first year of business. From my understanding and experience over the last two years, you can’t buy your latte from Starbucks one day, and then go to Peets the next. It’s either or. And you stick with it. A lot of people in California feel a strong loyalty to Peets, and will refuse to set foot in Starbucks (although my friends are usually very laid-back about this and never seem to mind). I patronise the two of them, although Starbucks is the clear favourite (F and I are partial to the mermaid logo), and I wouldn’t be so brazen as to taking my personal cup with the Starbucks logo to Peets. Talking about my personal cup, this is what they call it in the shop, when I order my tall non-fat decaf vanilla latte with two shots. It’s all about the personal cup here, everybody has one, demonstrating their eco-consciousness, and willingness to produce less rubbish (ha). In fact, I possess two large reusable personal cups, one is kept in my car for emergencies, and one travels with me in my purse. By purse, I mean of course, handbag. I notice more and more how I’m becoming Americanized. Signs of this are (and I will add to the list):
- I carry my personal cup with me everywhere.
- I use the word “guys” constantly, as in “what are you guys doing?”, “Come on, you guys!”…
- I think wearing a baseball hat is ok for a woman in her late thirties (including bouncy ponytail peeking out the little gap).
- I eat beef.
- I know what these things are: “cilantro”, “tri-tip”, “fanny pack”,”half and half”, “S’mores”
- I say “anyways”, “forward”, and “math” (so much easier than “mathsssss”
- I volunteer left, right and center (!)
Anyways, that will do for now, I’ll add on to the list as I go through my day!