Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Full Day in Tahoe

Jill's Journal: Apparently we picked just the right time to come to Tahoe. We’ve had unbelievably beautiful weather, with daytimes sunny and in the low 70s. We briefly contemplated staying a little longer until we saw the weather forecast for next week: the first snow of the season cometh. Highs will drop to 41 degrees, with lows at 25, and SNOW! As exciting as this sounds to the girls, good sense has to prevail. We’re not going too far, but far enough down the mountain to keep from hauling out the winter jackets a little longer.

Madelyn – still with sleepy eyes – woke me up early this morning to tell me she'd lost another tooth! Her top middle tooth has been hanging on by a thread for weeks; I don’t know how she’s had the willpower to leave it alone and keep from pulling it out. It finally gave way. The other top middle one isn’t too far behind. The Tooth Fairy had better be extra sneaky tonight as Madelyn told me she’s going to try to catch her!

We had dinner by the fire this evening as we bid farewell to the wonderful time we’ve had in Tahoe. Every once in a while, we feel our time in a place was just a little too short. In this case, 2 1/2 weeks wasn’t quite enough. But, somehow I have a feeling we’ll be back. Maybe not this year, maybe not the next, but someday. That pristine lake, those pine trees, that fresh mountain air…it’s in Rob’s blood.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tahoe City, CA

Jill's Journal: Emerald Bay was looking particularly resplendent this morning on our way out of South Shore.

That’s Vikingsholm, which we visited earlier this week, down on the beach.

Our destination for the day was Tahoe City, the small town on the North Shore where Rob grew up. He took me and girls along today for a wonderful stroll down memory lane.

A few random Tahoe City shots: the Boatworks…

…the town library’s fireplace, which I imagine would be a perfectly divine spot to curl up in front of with a good book on a cold winter’s day…

…and the 1908 Watson Cabin, the oldest log structure still standing in the north Lake Tahoe area.

The girls love to shop and convinced Rob they absolutely needed sunglasses.

Victoria is a fashionista at heart. I love this picture of her.

Our main goal in Tahoe City was to spend time with Caroline, Rob’s lifelong friend. They “met” as infants and were best friends in high school, eventually even going to the same college in Pomona, California. They’ve kept in touch all this time, even if it was just birthday phone calls for the last several years. Caroline got married last year and is now proud Mom to an 8-year-old, Alicia. While the four grown-ups got to chat for hours, the four girls got to play and play and play.

They clearly hit it off!


Jill's Journal: The girls’ Aunt Wendi, Rob’s sister, sent them a book about science experiments not too long ago. It’s right up Erika’s alley. She has dutifully read the book and picked out a long list of experiments she would like to try. First on the list: slime. The two little girls are way too young for the book, but they happily joined in to make their own batch of slime. What they all plan to do with said slime, I hardly dare ask, but they sure had fun making it. Thanks, Wendi!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay

Jill's Journal: The most famous and most photographed spot on Lake Tahoe is undoubtedly Emerald Bay with its deep green-blue water and the lake’s only island. From the vista point overlooking the beautiful spot, we hiked the one mile down to Emerald Bay’s shores and its one-of-a-kind mansion, Vikingsholm.

In 1929, one woman, the extremely wealthy widow and divorcee Ms. Lora Knight (who helped finance Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic), owned a hefty portion of Emerald Bay. She built a 38-room, ninth-century-inspired Norse fortress-like mansion she named Vikingsholm. The summer home has stunning views of Emerald Bay, including of the little teahouse she built atop Fannette Island. She and her guests occasionally took their afternoon tea in the stone structure.

The tour of Vikingsholm is not long or extensive, but it is so interesting to see “old-style” Tahoe from when the area was a summer playground for the extremely wealthy. Over 90% of the furnishings are original to the home and it truly gives one a glimpse into the “gracious living” of a bygone time.

The girls were so cute on the hike back up to the road, ruthlessly comparing this hike to both the Oregon Trail and the Crater Lake hikes (and still declaring unanimously that the Oregon Trail hike was the most awful thing we’ve ever put them through!). We passed a woman going down who was clearly an avid hiker. Madelyn saw her coming and said, “I need to warn her.” I questioned what she wanted to warn her about, but she was too intent on getting the woman’s attention to answer. She boldly stopped the woman and said, “I need to warn you it’s a very, very, VERY long hike back up.” The woman was clearly amused and so were we!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tahoe Stats

Jill's Journal: Some interesting statistics:

*Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America
*Tahoe is the second-deepest lake in the United States, behind Crater Lake
*Maximum depth is 1,644 feet
*Tahoe covers an area of 195 square miles
*21.3 miles long, 12.2 miles wide
*Natural rim is 6,223 feet
*Tahoe holds enough water to cover the entire state of California in 14 inches
*Tahoe’s water is 99.9% pure
*Two-thirds of Tahoe is in California, one-third in Nevada

And the photo above, where the house in the middle stands in Tahoe City, is the spot Rob where spent the first nearly-18 years of his life. The home his family built and lived in is no longer standing and has been replaced by the new owners, but Rob woke up every morning to a magnificent view of Lake Tahoe. It was a little bittersweet for him last week to see it from a different perspective, here from the water.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apple Hill

Jill's Journal: About an hour outside of South Lake Tahoe in the Sierra foothills is a region called Apple Hill. You won’t find it on a map, but it’s real nonetheless.

Apple Hill is a group of farms that first banded together in 1964 to promote the area and their products. It started small, but now has more than 50 local farms in the growers’ association. They’re mostly apple farms, but there’s also a healthy smattering of wineries and Christmas tree farms, and even a microbrewery. We stopped at six or seven of the farms today.

Of course there’s every sort of apple goodness available that one can imagine. Apple pie was a surprising hit with our girls, as was apple cider. An apple dumping, not so much.

We spent a disproportionate amount of time at a straw maze…the girls absolutely loved it. Several rousing games of hide-and-seek left me with the indelible memory of Rob flinging himself over a wall of straw in a Jason Bourne-like move. But apparently Bourne is no mere mortal, as Rob emerged with a number of scrapes and the girls still found him!

Apples, pumpkins, beanbag tosses, petting zoos, shopping, shopping, and more shopping. What an enjoyable way to spend an early-fall afternoon.

Victoria always takes time to smell the roses.

Apple crates: they’re bigger than you think.

For future reference for the girls - we went to: Grandpa's Cellar(17) for the pie and turnover, then to Apple Ridge Farms(20) for the hay maze and animals (and apple cider). On to the Jack Russel Farm Brewery(36) for Daddy, and Kids Inc.(5), then a quick trip to grab lunch and walk the festival in Placerville to try to find the hangtree (sadly closed). Back to Boa Vista(3) for some fruit shopping and finally High Hill Ranch(1) just to check it out (and give Daddy a flashback from the pond). A fun, full, day in Apple Hill. --R.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Just Another Beautiful Day in Tahoe

Jill's Journal: The weather is spectacular; the scenery at every turn is sensational. No wonder my husband loves it so much here. Due to availability issues, we moved a couple of days ago from Zephyr Cove, Nevada, to South Lake Tahoe, California. It doesn’t seem to matter where one is on “the Lake”…it’s ALL good.

Friday, September 23, 2011

At the Beach…

Jill's Journal: I never thought a lakeshore could truly be a beach until Tahoe. But since the pristine waters of this gorgeous lake are oh-so-chilly, we only intended to have our girls dip their toes in the water and play in the sand on our visit to the beach.

The toe-dipping plan worked at first…

But then Erika got a little braver…

…and soon was submerged up to her chin, clothes and all.

In the blink of an eye, Madelyn, Victoria, and their Daddy joined her. Cold be darned.

As an aside, note the pine cone in the foreground! You don’t see that on the seashore.

Madelyn basked in the sun afterward to warm back up. Doesn’t she look like she could be a future beach bum?