Editor’s Notes: Surviving your first Fourth of July in Tahoe
July 8, 2017
Some weeks ago, there was chatter in the newsroom about those "I survived the winter of 2016-17" T-shirts that were springing up on social media. It would be a lie to say I didn't want one of those suckers (adult large, if you're feeling generous).
Now a couple months removed from the seemingly never-ending snow, an "I survived my first Tahoe Fourth of July" shirt feels more appropriate. It was slightly worrisome when longtime locals (those who had such a luxury) continually started telling me "I'm getting the hell out of here" in the waning weeks of June.
The Hoffman household prepared as if the apocalypse were approaching.
Food in the fridge — check.
Gas in the cars — check.
Beer in the fridge (most important) — check.
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Functioning locks on all the doors and windows — check.
We were ready … minus my girlfriend's aunt and 10-year-old cousin who were making the drive from San Jose on this weekend of all weekends.
Initial plans to stow away in our apartment — out the window.
We were doomed … or so I thought.
Perhaps it was luck, but we didn't encounter beach anarchy. Instead we had a wonderful day at Round Hill surrounded by smiling families and all around pleasant people. I'll never forget when the woman lounging next to us was handed a Rum Runner and said something along the lines of "getting served drinks on the beach, this must be what heaven is like."
If heaven is that good then I need to change my ways.
To be sure things escalated over the holiday. Having been stuck on scanner duty plenty of times in a metropolitan area, I've never heard anything quite like Tuesday. It sounded like a war zone out there, and we all need to tip our caps to the first responders who were out saving lives and dealing with unruly revelers instead of spending time with their loved ones.
On a much more mundane note, I felt the frustration Tuesday when my normal commute was more than tripled. Yet again, the reminder about where I live — an internationally known vacation destination — was necessary. And yet again, my frustration somewhat subsided.
The fact is being mad about all the people in Tahoe is the equivalent of living in Disney World and being upset about that mouse-looking fella loitering outside your castle.
Those of us who have the luxury of taking a vacation don't usually pack our regular routine in our suitcase — we like to play tourist when we're on vacation, as Kenny Curtzwiler noted in a Tahoe Mountain News column this past winter.
That reality comes with living in a beautiful destination, whether it's Tahoe or any other awe-inspiring place. Still, it's troubling to hear that the League's annual Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue July 5 cleanups yielded an even larger amount of garbage this year.
If you're a visitor and have stuck with me this far, know that there are people who live here. And know that said people care about the environment and don't like to see it trashed. While our home is your temporary playground, it is possible to swing from the monkey bars without taking a dump in the sandbox.
A notable example found its way to the condo directly across from mine. They were a bunch of young adults who came up for the holiday. They drank their fair share of booze and listened to some awful music (sorry Lil Wayne, you're terrible). But they didn't litter, they didn't blare their music all hours of the night, and they were friendly. They even went so far as to apologize for all the noise they were making.
"You guys are good, just be safe out there," I told them.
Sure enough they survived, and so did I.
Ryan Hoffman is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at 530-542-8006 or at email@example.com.
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