Ok...maybe "summer in Lake Tahoe" isn't quite right --- more like 6 days.....but they were a wonderful 6 days.
What a beautiful spot!!! So much fun, outdoorsy things to do and a peaceful vibe.
We'd been planning for this trip for a while ---- and the information we would get was all over the map. You were either all about South Lake Tahoe or North Lake Tahoe. And the North Lakers didn't seem so hot on the South Lakers. (Since I grew up in VA, I thought that was kind of funny --- North vs. South --- guess its everywhere!)
What we could never get someone to tell us was WHERE DO WE STAY?! Ask anyone about LT and they wistfully talk of summers spent there in their youth, or they talk about how great their Uncles place is up in the mountains or they have met a few families up there for YEARS......all great stories but not helpful when you are a family of four and needing a great recommendation.
We opted for the South side because it would save us about an hour of car travel if we could just drive into South LT after an 8 hour haul from LA. We also knew we were going to need a kitchen ---- our plan was to get on the road early and not return until mid to late afternoon. (Believe it or not, we were on the road by 9:00 am every morning! Woo-hoo to us!)
We LOVED the Marriott Grand Residences. No, it was not cheap, but we ate out 2x the entire trip. Yes, there were some ice cream runs and we did buy some groceries, but it was worth every penny. They have a fabulous pool, hot tubs and great bar service poolside. After a long day, I welcomed a cold beer while the kids played in the pool! The room was very well appointed --- a FULL size kitchen ---- the hotel hosted lots of kid friendly events. We only took advantage of the s'mores, but you could definitely design a day around their activities. (like a cupcake wars that was between guests ---- the place smelled delicious when we got back that afternoon!)
We had a top 5 things to do in LT --- Once of which was Emerald Bay --- one of the most photographed spots in the country! And for good reason ---- it's gorgeous! What we didn't realize is that you have to either hike down to EB or boat in. There's no parking lot or road that allows you to drive down to EB. (none that we found, anyway). As we were driving around EB we saw the sign for Eagle Falls and decided to pop in. It was a small loop with some pretty scenery. The falls weren't too jaw dropping but it was the end of the hot summer.
Almost across the street from the Eagle Falls parking lot is Vikingsholm. Had we realized that we would have kept our parking spot and just walked over. I really wanted to see this amazing, historic home, but sadly, we had to dive by b/c their lot was full and so were the shoulders of the road. We had been well warned ---- the PARKING SUCKS!
So, we drove a bit further on and noticed some cars parking along another shoulder of the road. We followed their lead and hiked down to EB. 2 miles. It didn't disappoint --- the water was blue and glimmering in full sunshine. The beach is rocky so water shoes would have been a great idea. (We didn't bring them).
There was a boat dock which we soon realized was the best way to experience EB. Boaters drive around the bay, they get to check out all the inlets/secret coves and also anchor and swim to the little island which has an old tea house on it that is part of the Vikingsholm.
I thought the island would be pretty sweet to see and explore. So we just gazed at the cool people with their boats. *sigh*. (next time, for sure!)
The kids swam (it was pretty cold here) ---- well, jumped in at the dock and swam FAST to the shore!
William fished and we just relaxed on the little rocky beach.
It was a dreamy spot --- and a great way to introduce ourselves to LT.
Until, we had to hike the 2 miles back up. Starving. And exhausted. With no fish caught.
William took it the hardest and I attribute it to lack of hydration and food. It was ugly and it was a serious test on keeping your cool. I've tried to block it out but I'm pretty sure I heard the signs of an early teenage voice beginning on that slow, hot, hike.
Did I mention the sun was shining full strength and the patches of shade were really sparse? The asphalt road I'd been so grateful to walk down was now giving off 1,000 degree heat and I was wishing SpaceX focused more on human molecules traveling through the air than space travel. I wanted to "beam" us to the top, is what I'm saying.
Anyway, after we hit the cooler waiting for us at the car, everyone was back on track.
We headed back to the hotel and called it a day. Cold drinks, ipad time, pool and hot tub time and were were all happy and ready for our next adventure..........