Monday, November 2, 2009


At this point in my life, I'm lucky enough to go on at least one big trip a year that takes me outside the country. As a result, I hesitate to count anything that doesn't require me crossing an ocean as a significant vacation, but over the summer a friend helped remind me of all the amazing places I had yet to really explore in my own backyard.

One of those trips was to Lake Tahoe back in August. At only about 4 hours from the city (minus any traffic) it makes the perfect weekend road trip. I'm not sure how I'd managed to go so long without visiting- during winter or summer. I was absolutely mesmerized by its beauty. The water shines with that deep, intense blue. The contrast between that and the mountains in the distance takes your breath away. It only gets better at night when you can see thousands upon thousands of stars. I could have literally stared at that expanse for hours, making wish after wish as the shooting stars passed above my head.

Even in the summer, it's hard to run out of things to do there. Boating, bike riding, giant ice cream scoops at Camp Richardson, hiking, live music at the beach, gorgeous sunsets...They've got it all. Some of it isn't cheap (like taking the gondola up to the top of Squaw Valley mountain), but I would still highly recommend it, especially when you have our luck.

We paid $60 to ride the gondola up to the top (absolutely beautiful), where we hiked around for awhile, even making our own trails at times, finally made it back for a late lunch at the cafe at the top of the mountain, and then lounged by the pool all afternoon. What an amazing setting! We decided to take one last dip in the spa before heading out, when we heard a big commotion. Apparently, some misguided child had decided it would be a good idea to go #2 in the pool. Gross! But, on the bright side, as we were walking out, we overheard the lifeguards telling the guests they could ask for refunds at the base of the mountain for their pool passes. We'd been there all day already, but figured it was at least worth a try. After some hassling, the guy finally handed over the refund. We expected to only get back the $12/person that we'd paid for the pool, but at closer inspection, we discovered it was all free!

Later that same evening, we stopped by the casinos (figured that's part of the Tahoe experience, right?) and decided to drop a couple dollars in the slot machine for fun. A few minutes in and we were already getting bored. So, my friend starts betting the max on each turn so we can move on to our next adventure. All of a sudden, the bells start ringing and the money count just keeps going up. He won $300!
The stars must have been aligned for us that weekend...

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