Spend a weekend on the slopes and at the slots with this actor/writer/director.


He wanted to be a novelist, then a poet, then a sportswriter, and, finally, a screenwriter. After writing seven rejected scripts, he might have hung up that occupation, too. But Edward Burns, then working as a production assistant at Entertainment Tonight, got aggressive. He borrowed film equipment and sweet-talked friends and family into starring in his first movie, 1994's The Brothers McMullen. The film, which Burns wrote, directed, starred in, and then had to sell, won acclaim at Sundance, grossed $10 million, and launched Edward Burns as The Next Big Thing. His second film, She's the One, starred Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz. Shortly afterward, Burns was part of an ensemble cast that included Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's WWII epic Saving Private Ryan. As an actor, Burns became a standout, and offscreen was romantically linked first with actress Lauren Holly, later with actress Heather Graham. But he hasn't given up his love of writing and directing. Burns is back at both with two films. He appears this month in 15 Minutes, a big-budget studio thriller in which he plays an arson investigator who teams up with a legendary homicide detective, played by Robert De Niro. In May, he co-stars with Graham and Stanley Tucci in Sidewalks of New York, his fourth film as a writer, director, producer, and star. So where does the actor who does it all go to get away from it all? To Lake Tahoe, a resort on the border of California and Nevada with just about everything - skiing, fishing, gambling, mountain climbing, hiking, and more. Here's a weekend on the slopes and at the slots with Eddie Burns.


FRIDAY
LODGING
"I like to stay at the Plump Jack Squaw Valley Inn. It was originally built for the 1960 Olympics, then renovated in 1995. The hotel has a fairly rustic feel, until you get to the guest rooms, which are very unique in decor, but with all of the modern comforts. The hotel is right next to the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Its restaurant, Plump Jack Cafe, is the sister restaurant to the San Francisco Plump Jack, and is considered by many locals to be the best restaurant in Lake Tahoe."

DINNER
"I like eating at a place called Hoss Hoggs. It's not a fancy place, just great, dependable cheeseburgers and fries. They are famous for their ribs and drinks. One of my favorite drinks there is called the Grape Knee-high. I believe it contains vodka, soda, raspberry, and grape liquors. It's a great gathering place for a group of people. There's a big bonfire pit in the back. I especially like this place because of its casual atmosphere. They also have live music almost every night."

NIGHTLIFE
"After dinner, if I'm not too tired from snowboarding all day, I like to do a little gambling. The Nevada side of Lake Tahoe has all of the casinos: from the Cal Neva Resort, where Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack partied and performed, to Harrah's and Harveys, which has a Hard Rock Cafe just outside the casino. But I recommend Caesar's Tahoe. I like to play craps. Gambling in Tahoe is very different from Las Vegas because it's on a smaller scale. Tahoe's casinos seem much more relaxed and have a casual atmosphere. The crowd seems to be younger. There is some big-name entertainment in Tahoe, like Julio Iglesias - he's big at Caesar's - and Neil Sedaka. The Charlie Daniels Band played on New Year's Eve. If you want to experience the lake at night, Hornblower Cruises offers different types of cruises like sightseeing cruises and dinner-dance cruises."