Well, I can tell you that if the competition was about snow tubing Berkeley just hit the ball right out of the park. Ok, let me start at the beginning.
The drive was about 1 hour to a snow tubing area which we owned for the day. No outsiders, it belonged to all of these wild college kids, advisors and of course two cute kids (mother’s prejudice!) Before we got rolling (literally) we were ushered into the hall with the roaring fire, and the sweet smell of maple syrup. This hall would be the place for our sugar shack experience after tubing.
The weather was yucky at first, a kind of snowy rain, and the snow on the ground was very icy and sllllliiiiiicccckkkk. So we all got our tubes and got on the moving sidewalk that took us uppppppp the hill. My oldest Chris was the first kid down the hill and my youngest Craig soon followed with a couple of students. I got up to the top, decided I had better go down by myself because I was going to scream all the way down, which I did. The students, Michael, Jen and Christina, were already going down hills, did a train with 4 tubes (that was very fun even when they put me in the front) and they even went down in the rafts that held up to 13 students…no I did not try that. There were some students who got tubed. This meant that others layered tubes over their heads and then in some cases gently rolled the person around in the snow until…well I would assume they said stop at some point. Luckily none of us volunteered for that one. My boys stayed out till the very end, I found the fire in the lodge to be just right after many runs down the hill.
The next experience was the sugar shack. All I can say is that you put maple syrup on everything in sight. We started with some vegetables (no syrup for these) and then deep fried bacon, sausages, ham, an egg cake (not sure how to describe it), maple syrup pie, pancakes, and a cake. All very sweet and well just really sweet. The end of the meal was a maple syrup taffy. They heat up the maple syrup and then pull it as they cool it over snow (clean I hope) and then roll it onto a stick like a lollipop. I can tell you that this was an interesting experience that you do it once and that is probably more than enough.
We were entertained by a student from Finland who led us in a song, and then it was time to get rolling. Many napped on the way home, having enjoyed lots of fun and food.
There was rest time and then our team, the team from Singapore and the advisor from Copenhagen were treated to a walk in the underground. Since the weather can be so cold and wet they have built 3 miles of underground shopping. If you are a shopper this is amazing. We walked through quickly without opening our wallets. Then off to a great Italian dinner and back to the hotel for an early night sleep.
The team is organized and ready to go. They have emailed me about their plan for the day, they have slept well and are ready to start the case. So we wish them luck, we keep our bear paws crossed and we wait until tomorrow night to see how we fared.