What with last week's and (and presumably this week's) manic storm activity, John Vlahides at 71Miles reports that this week is week to play hooky. Reporting that the Sierra Crest is "dumping over ten feet of feather-light snow," why not take a day or three off of work to head up to higher altitudes and frolic in the cold?

Places like "Squaw Valley," "Kirkwood," and "Heavenly" - terms typically overheard from the mouths of questionable patrons at questionable Marina bars - now come alive for skiers, snowboarders, and hot cocoa-by-the-fireplace enthusiasts. Vlahides recommends Sierra-at-Tahoe for snowboarders and Kirkwood for "serious skiers." For a complete rundown of the winter wonderland athletic activity happening just to the northeast of us, go here.

But the best alternative for those of us not so well-versed in the language of skiing and sweating? He suggests:

To make an adventure out of getting to the slopes, consider the bus-and-boat ski shuttle to Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. A bus take you directly to the mountain in the morning; in the afternoon, you ride back across the lake aboard the Tahoe Queen, while sipping cocktails at a giant floating après-ski party with a live band. Note that this adds about three hours to your ski day, but how often do you get to go boating after a day on the snow? [trips start 1/16]

Oh, and for all of you straight-edge goody two shoes afraid of taking some time off, here's how you call in sick. You're welcome.

See you at the bar on the slopes!