LAKE TAHOE -- Have you ever just stopped and tried to get away from stress?
And talk about stress, knowing I will be the only Lakers fan in Boston for our guys, and then coming home to join Scully & Wooden on live TV and wondering how the censors are going to deal with those two loose cannons.
I get the Lakers through the playoffs, Scully & Wooden off stage without incident, and then I have to go on a family vacation -- the first since the RV mutiny of 2006.
So that's why I'm here in Carson City, Reno and Lake Tahoe, the ideal getaway -- actually turning off my Blackberry for five hours straight, and tell me you could do that.
Tough to shake stress, though, when the first face I see on TV is Kobe Bryant, and the only baseball game on at Red's Old 395 Grill in Carson City is the Dodgers losing again to the Mets.
Here I am on vacation and I am thinking about Andruw Jones and how's he going to lose weight with nothing to do but eat until his knee heals.
I begin the trip with the intent of clearing my mind, meeting with Margaret, a Reno spiritual healer who read my aura. If I can't get folks to read Page 2, it's something.
Margaret says I must not cross my legs or arms, looks at me and closes her eyes. She says she sees "dark blue because you are close to your father," and when I say he's been six feet under for years, she suddenly sees "green," which tells me she has the Celtics resting six feet under.
Have you ever tried sitting for 45 minutes without crossing your legs or arms with a woman sitting directly across from you with her eyes closed -- just knowing if you do cross your legs or arms, she's going to open her eyes? Very stressful.
A massage is next on the schedule at 4, postponed until 5, and finally getting a knock on the door at 5:20, greeting a very nice woman who looks like she carries skiers down the mountain -- two at a time.
She is sweating, explaining she's been given the wrong room, and takes the next 20 minutes to explain how much stress she's under. She asks that I turn on music, so she might relax.
Phil Weidinger, a so-called friend who booked this escape from L.A. trip, puts me in the Peppermill Resort Casino, which by chance is also hosting a golf tournament featuring former Dodgers stiff Scott Erickson, whom I called Mr. Guerrero on Page 2.
Erickson's wife is Lisa Guerrero, a former Fox broadcaster who I noted in a previous column liked to have her picture taken wearing blouses that she had forgotten to button.
Every time I turn the corner in the Peppermill, I expect to bump into Mr. or Mrs. Guerrero, but nothing stressful about that because I'm still waiting to hear back from the concierge to see if Kevin Brown is also staying in the hotel.
It's a good thing the rooms are so nice. If you're going to hide out and avoid people, I highly recommend the Tuscany Tower.
I move on to Lake Tahoe, staying at Twin Pines, a 1920 home that appears as if it were built last year. It was designed by the same woman who did the Hearst Castle, looks across the lake, and is just a magnificent setting. Nothing like Placentia.
The home features a private beach and is 4,000 square feet with a secret bedroom. You could stay in the secret bedroom without the family ever knowing you were there, and tell me this isn't the perfect place to get away.
It's so remote, though, that if you are staying here alone and just caught the coming attractions for "The Strangers," you know at any moment the ax is going to come through the wall.
FYI, when the heat comes on in the middle of the night, it's not someone trying to break in. So relax, and go back to sleep -- knowing that I stayed up all night just to make sure it was the heater coming alive in the next room and not Kevin Brown packing an ax.
Weidinger, meanwhile, working on behalf of golfthehighsierra.com, which books these kind of trips, suggests a round of golf at Edgewood as a stress reducer, failing to mention it will be with him and his older wife -- like spending time with an ax murder would be more nerve-racking.
Airlines are now charging $100 to pack along your clubs, another $100 to take them home. The way things are going, bringing the old bag along to sightsee might be cheaper, but if you think I'm going there, I have enough stress without trying to explain to the old bag when I get home it was just a joke.
So I take a rental set, join Phil and his older wife, and begin the trek around Edgewood, coming to No. 18, looking across the dark blue lake and beyond to a snow-capped Mt. Tallac. And just stop.
If there is a prettier site anywhere, and we're not talking pretty sight here and Salma Hayek, I have yet to see it.
And I don't know, maybe it's the dark blue, but I find myself thinking about my dad -- gone for so many years -- putting the Lakers and everything else on hold for a few moments.