Sunday, July 10, 2011


I'm sure most of you don't read Thatmom's blog, but if you did, you would know that she tends to get depressed in the summers. As professors, Thatmom and Thatdad had a lightened schedule in the summer. They still taught, but less, and used that opportunity to travel a lot. Since his death, Thatmom gets especially sad as her coworkers and friends take off for the summer. It doesn't seem to matter that we usually travel at the end of May and during the early fall, it's those middle months that bum her out.

So last year I suggested that we plan a trip for the Fourth of July. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure at how we arrived at Tahoe as our destination of choice, but we did.

When traveling with Thatmom and Thatboy, I try to balance their needs. I knew Thatboy was really looking forward to hiking, and Thatmom isn't always the outdoorsy type. So I planned a hike to a specific location I knew Thatmom would enjoy.

Thatmom and I put on our trusty hiking shoes.

How cute are we? I was a little nervous about using these for hiking, since I usually wear actual hiking shoes, but these were so much lighter and easier to pack. And they worked out great - we went for miles and miles without so much as a blister.

Our destination? Emerald Bay.

Specifically, Vikingsholm - Lora Knight's home built to look like a Viking Castle.

I knew Thatmom would like a "castle" built by a widow after her enjoyment of Craigdarroch Castle.

And I was right. Thatmom enjoyed the castle tour, and even Thatboy got into it. I think he went back to look at the living room about three or four times. I have fears he is planning on decorating the new place with similar dragon beams.

And check out this kitchen! Swoonworthy indeed. The cook and assistant cook were the only two members of staff with their own personal bathrooms attached to their room. Having my own room with a private bath, on a house on the lake, with a kitchen like this to cook in? Sign me up.

There was also a beautiful writing room that looked out over the lake. Built without a single nail. Crazy, right?

Pushing our luck as much as we could, we brought Thatmom along with us as we ventured on another trail that went along Eagle Falls waterfall.

I love my artist in action shots.

Because of the extreme heat, the waterfall was especially full. I love being able to see that. Whenever we're in Yosemite the falls are almost measly because it's just not the right time of year. Sometimes that happens with Hawaii too. Full waterfalls are my favorite.

And of course there were ginormous redwoods everywhere. One of the benefits of Northern CA.

Because Thatmom was such a good sport about the hike, Thatboy thought nothing of stopping for her favorite treat afterwards.

It doesn't hurt that Thatboy is a big fan of ice cream too. Thatmom says this was the best ice cream she had on the trip - and we had ice cream every day.

I had arranged a paddle boat cruise on the Lake for us the next morning. Which was mostly a disaster and poorly run.

But it did give us some gorgeous views.

I thought we'd do another hike following the cruise, but Thatboy requested we head to the beach instead. And I am nothing if not accommodating.

The lake is always freezing cold, so I waited out on the beach while Thatboy went for a swim. He swam allllllll the way out to a dock and I watched as he helped others get up. I didn't watch as he jumped off one of the support poles into the water.

Eventually it got so hot on the beach that I couldn't take it anymore and went into the water - past my knees! Thatboy was very impressed since I usually do not go in the water anywhere on the West Coast. It's freaking cold water people. The current comes from the Arctic Circle.

That night, Thatboy and I headed back to the beach around sunset. We got some more views of the lake at night, and tried to catch the fireworks on the opposite shore. We could see them, but they were so tiny. Luckily, we landed back home on July 4, just as the fireworks were starting, so he got to see them in all their glory.

Our last day in Tahoe we took the Gondola up to Heavenly.

There was still snow up on top of the mountain! LOADS of snow to play in. Which was fun because it was over 80 degrees up there, so warm and snowy. How often do you get to play in the snow without a coat or gloves?

Waterfalls, hiking, beach, AND snow? That's Americana.


  1. All the seaqsons rolled into one trip!!!

  2. It looks like you guys had a wonderful trip. I remember a July trip to Montana that included snow. It was really fun to throw snowballs in the middle of summer!

  3. Tahoe is SO beautiful...where did you guys stay? I am so overwhelmed with options when ever I look at going back that it kind of stresses me out.

  4. That sounds like a pretty awesome 4th, and hopefully it'll keep Thatmom's spirits up!

  5. That sounds like such a fun trip!!

  6. It sounds like a wonderful family holiday. Your photos are gorgeous. Have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  7. I want to hike with you in my blue vibrams!