I can’t believe today was our last day!

I obviously wanted today to be action filled since it was our last day here in Tahoe. We woke up early (as usual) made some breakfast and headed out for some more paddle boarding. This time everyone came down to the beach and my Aunt Chris and Beron came out on the water as well. It was a beautiful morning and the water was very peaceful. I managed to not fall at all but Ber and my dad took a few spills and Chrissy gave up after her first fall (about 30 seconds in.) Kristen was feeling a bit lazy so she literally sat on her butt and paddled around the whole hour. She took the waterproof disposable camera we bought around with her though so hopefully we’ll get some good action shots from that. My dad and I really love being on there on the paddle boards and its so easy to pick up. We think it’d be fun to do at home on Hoover too!

 After we finished paddle boarding we headed over to Camp Richardson (where we had ridden bikes and horses) and attempted to rent some jet-skis. However, you had to be 18 with a valid drivers licence to drive them and none of us were smart enough to actually bring our ID. SO, we nixed that idea and walked over to the Richardson Cafe for some lunch instead.

This was the same place Kristen had gotten that giant cheeseburger on our bike ride so she was raving about it to everyone as we were walking. My Uncle and Beron both took her advice and ordered the Elevation Burger. My aunt wasn’t very hungry so she got grilled cheese and a small side of jalapeno potato salad.

My dad had the pastrami and swiss on sourdough with spicy mustard. It was really good. Greasy and buttery just like pastrami should be.

 My mom and I decided to get two different sandwiches and then trade halves. I ordered the Tallac Turkey (named after Mt. Tallac of course) and she got The Grove. Mine was turkey, avocado, lettuce, red onion and cranberry jam on a thick roll that was supposed to be ciabatta (but definitely wasn’t.) I really liked it. I know it sounds like a strange combo but I figured avocado is good with anything and the jam with turkey would be something new to try. My mom’s was cuke, tomato, sprouts, avocado, and garlic hummus on a thick wheat slice. It was good but the hummus was really garlic-y so I only had a few bites. My mom really liked it though.

Somehow after these massive sandwiches we still managed to get some ice cream from the Parlor across the street. I decided to go with my favorite classic flavor- Mint Chocolate chip in a waffle cone :)

After lunch we went back to the house and of course everyone wanted to take a nap. I waited until around 4 again and then woke my parents up to do something else. We decided hiking would be a good idea since we were in the mountains and hadn’t actually gone on any trails yet. We drove about 30 minutes up the mountain to D.L. Bliss campground to hike the Rubicon Trail. It was so so so pretty. The trail curved around Emerald Bay, where we had boated the day before, and then curved to look out across the whole lake. There were just too many great sights between the beaches and boats straight down below, the trees and rock formations up above, the mountains and pine groves in the distance and the cool windy view of the trail up ahead. We were short on time so we were only able to go about 2 miles but it was well worth it. We also stopped at Inspiration Point which looks directly down into Emerald Bay and snapped a few pics.

Once we got home from the hike we all showered up and headed out for dinner. My dad had checked online and found this great Italian place called Passarettis. It was very cozy and authentic feeling. As you can see the lighting was dim which was great for setting the mood, but not so great for my picture-taking. Regardless, we knew when we saw the giant booth they were seating us in we’d be happy. :)

I ordered a White Zin to drink and they brought out a really fresh sourdough baguette with butter and oils to start. We started with some appetizers, the sampler platter with calamari (“the best in Tahoe” according to reviews) fried zucchini and mozzarella sticks, and had an order of the deep-fried artichoke hearts. It was all very good, each came with a ranch dip and marinara dip that complemented each one.

   Our meals all came with salad so I went for the traditional ceaser. It had a very good dressing, more cream than anchovy and some big toasted baguette croutons.

For my main course I chose the Fettucine Carbonara. I almost got the Veal Parmagiana but I hadn’t had Carbonara in a while and I figured it’s vaca so go big or go home. Of course it was just as rich and creamy as ever with thick, salty chunks of prosciutto. SO good, but So heavy. It’s a shame I had to get that the last night so I couldn’t save the leftovers for later in the week. But like I said, well worth it.

So here’s to a great trip, great family, great food, and like my sister said when we toasted at dinner, “Here’s to next time, Tahoe at Christmas!”

At least not for another 8 years…

The last time I went horseback riding was here in Tahoe. 8 years ago. I don’t remember really liking it, but apparently I didn’t remember disliking it either. Don’t get me wrong its a cool concept, riding a horse through the trails around a mountain, and the scenery is breathtaking. But I’d prefer to just hike myself.

Craig, the charming steed I had the pleasure of riding, wanted nothing to do with me. He had quite an aversion to authority (which I can appreciate as I tend to be the same way) but he had no interest is being on this ride. And he doesn’t really like other horses, so we had to be in the back, meaning I couldn’t hear any of the conversation going on up front. It wasn’t that I was nervous or afraid for my safety, it was that I was bored out of my mind. Craig walked as slow as possible and would stop to grab a mouthful of grass every 10 yards. No amount of rein-pulling or side-kicking would move this horse. If I pulled, he pulled back and snorted at me like a not-so-subtle “screw you, I do what I want.”  In addition to all of Craig’s fun quirks he is infamous for stopping at certain small shrubs along the trail that he likes to scratch his backside on. No one mentioned any of this when I was getting on him, but halfway through the ride when we stopped to take a picture our guide said, “O no one warned you? Yeah Craig’s a brat and he’s infamous for not listening and doing the hoochy hula.” O cool, glad no one told me and put me (someone who hasn’t ridden in 8 years) on a disobedient horse.

Like I said I appreciate his rebellious nature but I don’t want to be the one he’s rebelling against. Despite Craig’s big personality and my own lack of enthusiasm it wasn’t that bad. My legs and butt were sore by the end of the two hours (which comes with the territory) but I’m glad to say I have ridden a horse and through the mountains at that…but I won’t be doing it again anytime soon.

So after we got home we made some lunch and the boys, who went golfing again, had just gotten home as well. Then everyone passed out until I woke them up around four and convinced my dad and Beron to play disc golf with me. We went to a course just down the road from our house called Bijou Park. It’s a really nice 27 hole course that is basically in a prairie at the base of the mountains. We were able to buy some discs there and played 17 holes before heading home.

Once we were back I still felt a bit restless so I ran my 3 mile loop again and had my best run yet. I went faster and farther and still felt really good this morning! Then we had a yummy dinner, steak on the grill and captain crunch chicken (Kristen’s specialty.) I wanted to watch the premiere of Jersey Shore in Italy like everyone else probably did, but I was so exhausted I passed out before ten. O welllllll I got a good nights sleep!

Its been 4 days already?!?!

So today Beron and I woke up at 7am and went out for a run. It was pretty brisk but so nice out. He was not prepared for the 3 mile run I was planning (as I should have known when he came upstairs wearing Vans) but I finished my 3 mile loop again through the hills. That cold air in your chest gets tight and the hills sometimes seem endless but God I felt good afterwards.

Once I got home everyone was up and making breakfast so I decided to make an omelet. I used my favorite combo of avocado, cream cheese, bacon, tomato, and I threw in some peppers and onion. It was de-lish and a perfect start to the day.

Once we had all eaten and packed up, we headed out to the boat dock. We rented a boat and tube for half the day. It was gorgeous out and great for boating. First we went over to Emerald Bay and cruised around. Then after hanging out we made our way around the lake taking turns on the tube. The water was pretty cold but so refreshing and sun quickly warmed us up. We got back around 3:30 so it was just the perfect amount of time on the water.

Once we got back we were all pretty beat so we rested a bit, showered up and headed out to dinner.

We went to a restaurant on the beach called The Beacon. We had eaten there last time we came to Tahoe and wanted to make sure we went back. It was just as great as we remembered. Even with 7 people and no reservation they fit us in within 25 minutes. I know that doesn’t sound that fast, but they have an outdoor patio with music where you can sit at tables and order drinks while your waiting- so you’re not actually waiting to be seated, just to order food.

Anyway, it was Rum-Runner Wednesday so they had very strong rum-runners for only $5. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get a pic of the Rum-Runner, but to be honest it wasn’t that good. It literally tasted like a rum slushy. Once we were actually seated we ordered some appetizers- Spinach Artichoke dip and Coconut Prawns, which were rolled in sweet coconut, deep-fried, and paired with sweet Thai chili aioli & orange horseradish dipping sauce. Both were SO good. The dip was really cheesy (parmesan and mozzarella) and came with crispy buttered bread slices. The Coconut Prawns were even better. We all couldn’t stop taking about them. I don’t even like shrimp usually but these were tender, and sweet, and crispy- and the dipping sauces were both so good. I wish that were an easier dish to find because I’d order all the time!

For my entrée I ordered the Macadamia Crusted Scallops which came with garlic mashed potatoes & brocollini topped with a beurre blanc. They were so rich and so good. I’ve had bad scallops so I usually avoid them, but these were amazing. So tender and slightly juicy, and the Macadamia nut coating was sweet and crunchy. The potatoes weren’t so good, a little too oniony and had a weird sour after taste. But, the brocollini was fresh and the beurre blanc was so rich and creamy- very good and dense.

A great meal to end a great day! Cant wait for horseback riding tomorrow!

Tahoe Tuesday

As customary on our (and probably most) family trips, the boys woke up early and went golfing. They have been planning and practicing all summer for their two tee times this week so we (the ladies) have been making plans for when they’re gone.

So today my mom, sis, aunt, and I decided to go on a bike ride. We drove over to Anderson’s Rental to get bikes and then took off on the trail from there.

We rode on about 5.5 miles each way and stopped at most of the attractions along the way. First was Pope Beach where we had a great view of the lake and couldn’t resist dipping our toes in the water!

I had to put this pic in because it’s too funny. You know your short when your taller little sister is taking a picture of you and cuts half your face out haha

Next we rode to the Tallac Historical Site  which included a museum and a huge, century old estate that has been preserved. It was built in the 1890s and  three different families lived there, but the second owners built it up a lot more in the 1920s. It was very cool. We got to see the huge main house, multiple guest homes, and servant quarters (there were about 35 workers.) They even had their own blacksmith workshop so they didn’t have to buy horseshoes, nails, etc. MY favorite part was probably the boathouse which held a tour boat from the 20’s called the Quic-Chikidin (Quit your Kiddin!) Get it? Hah I’m obviously easily amused.

Yeah we couldn’t resist taking a cheesy picture in this old car :)

On the way back to the bike rental we stopped at this old ice cream parlor on the trail where my mom got a scoop of Butter Pecan and my sister went next door to get this huge cheeseburger on Texas Toast. It was really good, juicy, fresh veggies, and (not) surprisingly she killed it. She’s been begging for a burger all week and really wanted to try In-N-Out but there aren’t any close. I’m sure this satisfied her craving though.

After turning in our bikes, we went home and the boys got back right after us so we made a big lunch to share. To start I made myself another fresh spinach salad with feta, red onion, dried cranberries and champagne dressing. Restaurant quality if I do say so myself.Then my mom took some of the leftover bowtie pasta, grilled asparagus, and grilled chicken from last night and threw them into the skillet with some of that new Philly cream cheese pasta cream sauce (Italian Herb flavor) and a jar of Red-pepper pesto mix. It all mixed up perfectly and literally as I type this everyone in the house is passed out in a food coma.

After lunch and a little down time, we ventured out to run some errands. We have been looking for a copy of the book “The Help” but didn’t have any luck. We also stopped at the Stand Up paddle board place to buy some sweatshirts. My sister and I had noticed these super comfy zip-ups when we went the other day and decided we had to have them. They’re cute and made with a really thick cotton. I cant wait to wear it this winter!

Once we got home we saw that our Lou Malnati Chicago style pizzas and Vienna hot dogs had been delivered. My aunt and uncle love to order these and have them shipped from Chicago. They had sent the pizzas to my parents before so we knew they were good and couldn’t wait to dig in! Tonight we made the spinach and the pepperoni. Their really deep dish with a thick layer of sauce and cheese. I love a thin crispy crust, but this dough really is great. I also had another beer from my Pyramid variety pack. This time I tried the Blonde Ale which I think I like the best. Its smooth and fruity and not too heavy.

We also ordered Vienna hot dogs and upon opening them we realized they had sent us some of their Chicago fixin’s too. We thought it would be fun to look up the suggested directions on the website and found they had step-by-step directions for dressing your weiner. First you take the poppy-seed bun, put the dog on it, add some mustard, a scoop of the bright green (literally) relish, some onions, tomatoes, 2 peppers, and a dash of celery salt. Normally I just prefer mustard but this combo was pretty good!

Kristen insisted on taking a picture of me biting into it, so here ya go Kris

Once again we ended the night with some hot tub and a movie. Tomorrow we’re boating so it’s time to rest up!

Tahoe Day 2

This morning we woke up ready to get active! After a yummy cup of illy coffee (or a few, let’s be realistic) and some fresh pancakes, eggs, and ham, we started planning our week. We scheduled a day for boating and horseback riding, then headed out to stand-up paddle board! My dad, sis, and I were all for it, but everyone else passed (crazies) and my mom tagged along to hang out on the beach and take pics.

We went to a family owned place about 5 minutes from our house called South Tahoe Stand-Up Paddle. It’s family owned and operated, costs only $35 dollars an hour, and is a great workout. They drove us down to a public beach, gave a quick instructional and sent us off on our own. It was really easy to pick up and so fun. The backdrop of the mountains was breathtaking, the sun kept us warm, and the water was a little cold but so refreshing. I could easily do that everyone morning. Tahoe just makes it so easy to be active, I feel like I can’t get enough. They were probably generous and let us stay out about 90 minutes but it felt even longer. We’re already planning to go back Friday morning!

When we got home from paddle boarding we had some lunch (fresh spinach salads) and showered up to go shopping. I picked up a new pair of sunglasses and yet another pair of earrings.

Once we got home we started cooking dinner, everyone pitched in and it was a big success. We made bow-tie pasta with grilled chicken. We intended to use a pre packaged bruschetta mix for our sauce but we couldn’t find any, even at the gourmet grocer, so we made our own. We simmered some roasted tomatoes, sweet onions, garlic, and some balsamic vinaigrette on the stove then spread it on top of our chicken and pasta. It as great and everyone loved it. We also grilled some asparagus and cut up some roasted garlic bread.

I also tried a Pyramid Hefeweizen which was decent. The clove flavor was nice but there really wasn’t any banana. It was a smooth wheat beer and everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

After a short run I ended the night with a dip in the hot tub and a new episode of Weeds!

First Day in Lake Tahoe!

Well after typing a nice 700 word entry, WordPress decided to sign me out and not save my draft. So now I’m starting all over and since I’m lazy I’m going to make this brief(er). I am in South Lake Tahoe for a family vacation with my parents, sister, Aunt Chris, Uncle Mark, and cousin Beron.

It is beautiful! Mountains in the background, no humidity, lots of trees and the air smells fresh like pine. It really is so gorgeous and we have rented a huge/beautiful house to live in for the week.

 

It was kind of a terrible day of traveling to get here mostly because I was so sleep deprived from last week. Despite sucking down as much espresso as possible, I still passed out on the Phoenix airport floor. Once we finally landed in Reno we hit the slots right off the plane (they’re everywhere) and then got our sweet Chevy Traverse rental car to drive the 90 minutes up to our house on Heavenly Mountain.

After settling in we ordered the biggest pizza I’ve ever seen and had a few drinks in our hot tub before crashing for the night.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at  The Driftwood Cafe in Heavenly Village. We found it on Yelp and it was exactly what we wanted. Fresh food, big menu, and great service.

I ordered the make-your-own omelet with egg white, bacon, parm, green peppers, and 2 slices of avocado. My side was a little fruit cup with scooped out melon balls. I also had some really good sourdough bread. We all thought we were putting butter and jelly on our toast but at the very end my mom realized the butter was hidden on the other side of the table and we had actually all been eating mayonnaise with our jelly. So that was weird. My dad and uncle thought it was hilarious and renamed it “butt-naise.” Mature, I know.

I just made everyone snap a pic of their meals.

My dad also had an omelet

Mom had a really good fried egg sandwhich

My aunt had egg whites & toast

Sis had a veggie breakfast burrito with guac

Ber had the pancakes that actually came with hash browns sandwiched between

and Mark ordered the Ranchos del Driftwood with a black bean chicken chili sauce that he said was “Muy delicioso.”

After breakfast we grocery shopped and I convinced my mom to get a can of illy coffee which everyone loves.

Then we went to an art fair and a flea market. Theres a lot of western, Native American influence here and the art fair was a lot of dreamcatchers, jewelry (I got a cute pair of turquoise earrings) as well as tapestries and natural stones.

This picture is a man who looked like he was living out of a truck complete with a tv and satellite dish. There was also a guy selling stuff in the flea market and when I picked up a glass he said, “If you like it, its $7, if not $10 and if you have any weed to trade you’ll get a long way with me.” O Tahoe, how I love you.

Later I ran on the hills around our house. It kicked my butt but felt great and even to my surprise I managed 3 miles!

We ended he night at the movies while our parents went to the casino. They didn’t win anything (so we wont be moving here anytime soon.) But, we saw “Crazy, Stupid, Love” which was so cute and sweet.

All in all, it was a great day and I’m excited for today!