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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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This is perfect week to be away

Uploaded: Jan 3, 2017
When my wife was teaching at Amador Valley High, this was my favorite Christmas holiday schedule.
Work right up until Christmas and then have the entire week after New Year’s off. Many, many people take time off between Christmas and New Year’s, but most people crank back up in the office or at school come Jan. 2 (it’s Jan. 3 this year—as my journey through a jammed Costco yesterday demonstrated). The road we live on demonstrated that today with early commuters for the first time in 10 days rolling by at 6 a.m.
When we were skiing, we routinely would leave town after Christmas and head for Colorado or Utah and their amazing slopes. On the few years when the vacation schedule matched this year’s, we would be ensured of no lift lines and much less traffic if we were driving up Interstate 70 from my wife’s aunt’s home in Arvada outside of Denver.
For people renting housing, early January almost becomes a shoulder season after the high-priced holiday weeks so bargains abound. A friend and his family are relaxing on the beach in Belize this week enjoying rental rates that are significantly less than the week before.
That’s also true for the ski resorts that now use demand pricing for tickets. It’s a low demand week. Toss in the huge dump of snow in the Sierra Nevada this week, the conditions should be excellent.
There’s almost an interesting difference in the pattern of when people come to the mountains and go back home.
For Colorado, it’s the week leading up to Christmas and then Christmas. Crowds on the slopes steadily lessen as the year winds down. We have skied on New Year’s Day and almost had the mountain to ourselves.
That’s a sharp contrast to the Lake Tahoe area. We have spent a few holiday weeks at South Lake Tahoe and skiing at Sierra at Tahoe (previously Sierra Ski Ranch). Because of the day-trip crowd from Sacramento and even the Bay Area, there’s no day that’s not busy, but the crowds build steadily the closer New Year’s Eve comes.
One year we drove home on New Year’s Eve and were surprised by the almost bumper-to-bumper traffic on Highway 50 heading for the Lake.
So, Pleasanton families and teachers, enjoy the week—many districts did take this week off, but some are going back today.

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