Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two Weeks in Tahoe...

This was the first summer we did not spend in Tahoe in about 5 years, granted the first 3 were when we lived there year-round, but if we were to spend every summer there then we wouldn't be able to visit so many areas only rv-accessible in the summer. This seems to be a recurring dilemma for us, especially with regards to Burning Man. As much as we love to go, when we were working and living in a "sticks and bricks" we would have to use all of our vacation time for Burning Man and not have any other kind of experiences.

All of my family live in California and I just can't go a year without seeing my parents and my kids. Now, granted, I could always fly from wherever we are, which I did do for my mom's birthday, but we both also have a strong desire to get back to Tahoe as often as possible. We were thinking we could also get some doctor and dentist visits in too. So this all created the need for us to travel across the country this summer instead of staying on the east coast with an easier drive to Florida for the winter, like so many of our friends did.
From Echo Summit looking at Lake Tahoe

We finally arrived about 2 weeks after we originally planned to and I knew as soon as we got to Echo Summit on Hwy 50 that a week's stay was not going to be long enough. We immediately planned to extend our stay to 2 weeks.  The last two summers we stayed at the Tahoe Valley Campground, a mile away from our old home. We love the "Y" area and had planned to stay in the same site as in past years. Unfortunately the guy behind us had backed in too far making this impossible so we moved one site over which turned out to be even better!

Home Sweet Home

Our first night back our friends Daniel and Jen, who live in our old house, welcomed us home with a fabulous vegan meal - but they don't just serve you dinner! We started with cocktails and appetizers around the campfire and then slowly moved through the many courses of a fine meal. We felt loved and blessed and knew that we had better pace ourselves because the Tahoe partying had begun in earnest!

my son, Jake
We spent a few hours in our storage unit on Thursday, still attempting to further reduce what we have in there and the fact that our friends Daniel and Jen were having a garage sale on Saturday encouraged us. There are only 4 boxes left in their now that could possibly be recycled but it's looking pretty good. We gave our mattress to my son who was thrilled. It had started to show some wear from standing on it's side for two years and I know a couple more like that will make it not something I'd want to sleep on. Since we're continuing to only be charged for a smaller unit we'll just keep everything there and see where we're at next summer. My son, Jacob, came for dinner and it was great to see and hug him in person!! He has a new full-time job and seems really happy.

Friday I had a work appointment and Friday night we had a happy hour party at our campsite which started at 5pm and the last person left sometime after midnight! There were many happy hours that night! We had a few friends show up that we hadn't expected to see and it was a truly a fabulous evening. Our friends, Ron and Calee, brought two kegs of their home brew, that were delicious that the next morning (after they stayed the night) the neighbors came over for some breakfast brew! Suzanne, who lives in Stateline,NV ended up spending the night and earned herself the special honor of being our first-ever overnight house guest (the RTO relay team last summer doesn't count!). It was a great party but knowing that we had to be up the next morning at 7am for the garage sale made us hasten our way to bed.
Suzanne was our very first overnight house guest!

Pineapple Mimosas - YUM!
Well I made it over to the garage sale closer to 7:30 while Bill stayed in bed for a few more hours. We started the morning with pineapple mimosas - YUM! and continued that way for a few hours with Bill making replenishment champagne and juice runs until we finally just switched to wine mimosas! It was a great way to spend the morning especially with a few extra bucks in our pocket! Around 2pm we shut it down and headed out for an afternoon canoe ride. The house is on a cul-de-sac on the meadow about 200 yards from the Upper Truckee River. From there you can ride down the river about a mile to Lake Tahoe. When we lived here we quite often would hike or snowshoe over to the lake or to Fresh Ketch at the Tahoe Keys Marina for a glass of wine and bowl of soup, but we never, ever had a chance to take a boat or canoe from our home, so this was an extra-special opportunity for us.

Sunday we had more boating fun with Daniel and Jen, again, on Michelle and Mark's boat. We met Michelle the winter of 2010 when she was here for a ski weekend with Cindy, a good friend of Bill's. She fell in love with Tahoe and started looking at condo's to buy. She and Mark bought a condo in Stateline, NV and Michelle moved to Tahoe permanently with Mark traveling back and forth from his job on the east coast. We kept in touch and spent time together whenever we were in Tahoe. We introduced her to all of our friends, and knowing like likes like, she became one of the gang - it's been so much fun seeing posts on Facebook of Michelle with our friends, all having a blast, making us just a touch bit homesick but that's par for the course...  It was a gorgeous day and we stopped often along our jaunt to chill...we ended up at Sunnyside for Mark's pre-birthday lunch and finally had to leave as the sun was getting low. It was a fantastic day on the lake!!

Michelle and Mark

On our way home with Daniel and Jen we stopped at what used to be one of our favorite restaurant bars to watch the sunset over the lake. It has since changed hands and we wanted to see the place so we stopped just in time to catch the sunset and have a little cocktail. It had been a super long day, actually long 4 days, and we were happy little campers to go home and pass out!
Sunset on the Lake

Tuesday was another work day and later in the afternoon we drove over to Incline Village to celebrate my good friend, Virginia's, birthday. We hung out at the lake a bit and  then went to a fabulous dinner at Le Boule Domain. Virginia moved from the south shore to Incline a few months ago - it's so funny how life changes for all of us. She is in love, incredibly happy  and I am thrilled for her, but I miss her!

a pic from 2011 of Lillian, but one of my favorites
Wednesday I finally got to see my friend and nail tech extraordinaire, Lillian. Sitting in her familiar chair and soaking my tootsies in Liberace's copper bowl, filled with fragrant flowers was oh, so divine  I got a chance to catch up on all the local happenings and to really feel at home...

While I was gone Bill had a visit from the campground assistant manager who let him know that for the money we have paid to stay for the two weeks at the campground we can have a Thousand Trails membership to one of their zones. Included in this is free camping in the zone you purchase for the next 30 days! It sounded too good to be true, but guess what? It wasn't!! All that and we got $70 back from what we had paid to camp there. We added on a few more days in Tahoe and then I quickly went online to book our next three stops at Thousand Trail parks. Our next stop is Idyllwild where I had originally thought we'd stay, then Palm Desert where the TT park is around the corner from my parents and then to Sedona, AZ. We were going to stay in Flagstaff but this is close by and also is close to Prescott which I wanted to see, so it all worked out perfectly!

Thursday Bill and I went over and borrowed Daniel and Jen's canoe and rowed from their house, down the Upper Truckee, out to the lake and all the way over to Camp Richardson to have lunch at the Beacon. Phew -what an effort that turned out to be! Over 6 miles of rowing with a head-wind all the way there and dealing with the wake from all of the boats out there. But it was great fun and having the reward of a nice chilled glass of wine on the deck at the Beacon was delightful.

Friday night our friend Jaz, who now lives in Chico, came home and a bunch of us met over at the Classic Cue for a night of beer and pool. A raucous time ensoued, we had a blast, but the evening ended with someone in the emergency room after a little brawl, god I love TAHOE!!!

Saturday was a day of recovery and we started to clean up a bit for our departure. Sunday we were supposed to go para-sailing with Daniel and Jen, Mark and Michelle, and Suzanne but once we got to the marina it was too windy to go and it was cancelled. We headed over back to Daniel and Jen's house for an afternoon of good friends, good food and all that that entails! Jaz came by on her way out of town and Suzanne came too. Later our friend Steve came by and we ended up in a fierce (ha ha) game of corn-hole before strolling out to the meadow to watch the sun set...the sky was magical from all of the clouds during the day, it was hard to pull ourselves away...

Monday we spent the day doing laundry and a final clean up before going over to the old house with my son, Jake to play pool and have a farewell dinner with our friends. I cannot believe 2 weeks passed so quickly, and would have loved to stay the rest of September BUT....there's always next time.

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