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Home for the holidays? Try something different
By CARY ORDWAY
Ah yes, the holidays. That time of year when the relatives make a bee line for your house so you can feed them, entertain them, regale them with your endless wit and then get them out the door as soon as possible so you can have a pleasant, quiet, relaxing few hours with your immediate family.

It doesn't have to be that way. You can skip all the preliminaries, gather up your family and pretend for one Thanksgiving or Christmas that you're in the Witness Protection program, far from anyplace Uncle LeRoy and Aunt Matilda will ever be able to find you. Gas up your car, blindfold your kids, deactivate all electronic devices and assure the family this will be the best holiday ever. Then drive.

If you're trying to decide exactly where to drive TO, then here are three excellent possibilities:

Sorensen's Resort

It's not often that a resort gets put on a map just as if it were a town, but there it was on our Rand McNally map: Sorensen's, a little berg near the intersection of Highways 89 and 88, deep in the Sierras southeast of Lake Tahoe. There are eight souls, give or take, who call this place home. And on any given holiday, there are another 33 cabins full of people who have come from places like Los Angeles and San Francisco to put some distance between them and the steel, glass and asphalt of everyday life in the big city.

Out here where the mountains are high and the stress is low, Sorensen's Resort the magic of the surrounding wilderness area. In fact, this wilderness is like staying in a national park without the bumper-to-bumper RVs. A network of trails and lakes are just minutes away in any direction, with the Carson mountain range always close at hand, just waiting to provide the perfect backdrop for your next family photo.

During the holidays, there is also snow. Not to scare you, but it WAS in the mountains near Lake Tahoe that the Donner party ate something other than turkey for Thanksgiving. Snow can fall pretty heavy out in these parts which is what makes a stay at Sorensenís all that much more enjoyable. A cozy cabin in the woods with four feet of snow is ideal for a holiday adventure.

Our log cabin at Sorensenís had an incredibly comfortable, fluffy bed that was perfect for a quiet, restful sleep in the woods. After all, that really is the Sorensen's calling card: the "cabin in the woods" experience that just happens to have a few extra amenities -- such as gourmet dining. As you might imagine, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiles are all in abundance around here, so be sure and dress warm.

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