If you're saying "my god, Google has a pool, that's insane, I can't believe that company" you should probably stop reading now.
Google Snow Jam 2005 at Lake Tahoe
Google bought us all two-day ski holidays. Like, "all". As in probably a thousand people plus. Everyone at the Mountain View location - and we're not just talking programmers here either. Everyone. I believe they ended up booking a significant fraction of Lake Tahoe, to the point where one out of about every five people I saw was wearing a Google Snow Jam hat, and I personally never got around to wearing mine.
So that included a hotel room, shared with up to 3 other people, with a total of two beds, although some people didn't show up and the staff could often provide a spare bed. (Both of which happened in my room.) It included an activity - I personally chose Beginning Skiing. I learned many things, including how to go straight, how to turn, and how to fall over. I failed to learn how to slow down, how to stop, how to turn in the *right direction*, and how to *not* fall over.
Other options included more advanced skiing, snowboarding, more advanced snowboarding, and I can't remember what else.
That night there was a party. A Party. Remember that "thousand people plus" thing?
So they had five tents set up, each one themed differently. The big one was Live Music And Dancing and had things like sushi (a hell of a lot of sushi) and roast beef and chickenkebabs with peanut sauce. Then there was the Texas Tent (with LOUD COUNTRY MUSIC) and the Caribbean Tent and the 50s Nightclub Tent and the Sleazy Nightclub Tent (seriously, they had cage dancers. Plural.) all with reasonably appropriate food choices. All different, of course. (I ended up picking up some ribs from the Texas Tent and a pear/blue cheese tart from the 50s Nightclub Tent.)
I only stayed there for about an hour before heading to what we were told would be the game room, but it turned out to be a bar that was totally unsuited, so we just invaded the hotel lobby. I've got a few suggestions for Apples to Apples variations, but that's for a future post. In any case we basically filled the lobby. Probably 50+ people. I'd meant to play other stuff, but we were having so much fun with the variations that I didn't.
After that I went to bed and got up the next day for snowmobiling. Which was *also* fun, and stressed all the muscles that I hadn't stressed falling over in skiing. (Damn you, lack of power steering! Damn you!) The snowmobiling, unfortunately, wasn't free, but I decided I may as well do it since I was there already.
Total cost to me:
$125 for snowmobiling
$3 for bagel with cream cheese
$1 to tip the bartender for my beer
$0 for the trip there
$0 for the trip back
$0 for the hotel room
$0 for beginner ski lessons
$0 for equipment rentals
$0 for dinner
$0 for breakfast
$0 for the beer at dinner, and I still had one drink ticket left over
And now I'm home.
Anyone want me to submit their resume? :P