Monday, June 6, 2011

The Hangover Too

So what did you do this weekend? Did you get totally loaded at your niece's wedding and make a complete ass out of yourself? Well, consider yourself lucky. I, on the other hand, was apparently the life of the party and will be ducking my relatives until at least Christmas. By that time someone else will surely have dethroned me as idiot king. But for now, I reign supreme.

I did learn a two important things this weekend, however. First, high altitude can significantly increase the effects of alcohol on the human body. In fact, it is estimated that once you get up above a mile in elevation, one drink can have the effect of two or three drinks at sea level. Second, The Ridge at Lake Tahoe in Nevada (the scene of the crime) sits at 7,500 above sea level. You do the math.

I must also admit that I was completely unaware of any timeshare resorts offering wedding services. So when my niece asked me about the nuptial packages offered at The Ridge, I took it as part of my ambassadorial duties to look into it for her. Not only is the Ridge one of the few timeshare resorts in the country offering complete wedding packages, but their Grand View Gardens offers the ceremony, reception and catering for up to 175 people, and of course lodging - all with spectacular views of the Lake Tahoe Mountains and Carson Valley. She went with a lakeside ceremony with her family pastor presiding, flowers for bride and groom, one-hour photography session, wedding cake, indoor reception for 40, and (ugh) an open bar.

The food was delicious. She went with buffet entrees of wild mushroom ravioli, cider glazed pork (with carving station), and filet tips of beef. The sides were twice baked potato (they had me at once baked) and roasted asparagus with garlic, plus tapas, salad bar, bread, and a pasta course. If meat and potatoes is not your cup of tea, they have dinner choices ranging from Southwest barbeque to Carribean. And don't get me started on the desserts. In addition to the cake, they had creme brulee, bananas foster, and something called a chocolate fountain. Do you know about these things? It looks like a three-layer cake with molten Belgian chocolate cascading down in a continuous flow. Guests dip skewers of fruit, lady fingers, and just about anything else you can think to put chocolate on. And if you've lost all your inhibitions, apparently you can just lay under it with your mouth open and let it pour right in.

If you cannot get yourself invited to a wedding at The Ridge, a timeshare rental is an ideal way to enjoy this fantastic resort. Its 11 acres boasts one- and two-bedroom units with fully equipped kitchens, dining areas, gas fireplaces, indoor/outdoor pools, onsite spa, racquetball, tennis and more. Oh, and it has a private eight-person gondola to Heavenly Ski Resort. RedWeek members give this resort 4.5 stars, and I can see why. Looks like you can get a 2-bedroom/2-bathroom unit with a mountain view for about $140/night.

I'll leave you with another little factoid I picked up this weekend. Lake Tahoe's water is 99.9% pure, and so clear that a 10" white dinner plate would be plainly visible at 78 feet below the surface. I am hoping the same holds true for my cummerbund, or I am going to be eating my tuxedo rental deposit, along with a goodly amount of humble pie.

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