What a weekend! Jules had to make a visit to his San Francisco branch so we decided to make a stop at Lake Tahoe on the way! I had never been, and Jules had only been once, so really it was a no brainer! We were all so excited just to get away from real life for a bit. This was the perfect destination! Back at home the smoke from all the fires was starting to settle in, really bad and fresh air was such a relief. Smelling the pine trees and feeling the crisp fall mountain air was beautiful. I was definitely in my happy place!
Rewind a bit to the morning we planned to leave, Friday, and let’s go over the utter chaos that was until we hit Reno… We have been road tripping it since Jules and I met, 8 years ago! We have always loved just hopping in the car and driving! When we lived in Washington we were always driving to another new adventure, and with both of our families not living near, we were making trips to visit often. Jax took his first 8+ hour trip when he was just a couple of weeks old. So needless to say, we have this road trip thing down. Well for some reason this trip, and the only trip thus far, turned out to be a bit of a mess to start out! We ended up sleeping in a bit, we usually like to leave around 6 or 7 am. That was okay though, we all needed the extra rest. As we rolled out around 10 am, we started on our 8 hour drive to Lake Tahoe. Out of all the driving we have done, neither of us had been down this particular path. We put our destination into the GPS and went on our way.
Thirty minutes later we realized we were 8 miles passed our first exit… um how did that happen. The GPS was far to quiet or our conversation was far to entertaining… either way we had to back track! Okay, that’s okay. We got this. No big deal. Now we are on the right exit, and headed the right way. Wait! Weren’t we supposed to turn there??? I think so but that road/exit is closed! Detour. Seriously. Now we had to turn around, again, and follow the detour. The signs were few and far between, and a little unclear so we started to use Waze. If you haven’t ever used that app, you should. Waze knows all! It was telling us to make lots of turns onto side roads and places we were unfamiliar with and guess what! We missed another turn. Are you kidding me! We made a U-turn and were on our way! Somehow we made it to the main highway and were headed in the right direction, what felt like 7 hours later… After what felt like 10 more (potty) stops, we finally made it to Reno, and then 5 more (potty) stops and we were in South Lake Tahoe!
We didn’t know exactly where to stay, but we ended up booking a room at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, and we were not disappointed. The property was beautiful, and located just outside of the Heavenly Village. They offered Valet Parking as well as open parking that was easily accessible! This allowed us to park and walk to any entertainment or restaurants we needed! There was yummy breakfast and a pool (which we never ended up using)! We ended up staying in a King Suite and it was the perfect size for the four of us to stay comfortably! As much as we loved the Hotel, we didn’t spend much time there! When we arrived Friday night, we immediately dropped our bags off at the room and headed out to find some dinner!
Fire & Ice is located right in the Heavenly Village at the base of Heavenly Mountain. Fire & Ice is a Mongolian BBQ style restaurant. You pick all of your ingredients, they had everything from veggies, to meat, to noodles, and all the seafood you could think of. Top it off with your selection of sauce and then they cook the food on a giant grill! The food was great, and they even had hot dogs and buns for the kids! This was a huge selling point for us. The environment was fun and we would definitely eat there again. After dinner we headed down Stateline Rd and ended up at the Landing Resort where we watched the sun set over the lake! So beautiful! Then back to the hotel for a good nights sleep so we were ready for a full day on Saturday!
Saturday morning we had our breakfast and headed out to check out some beaches! Our first stop was Baldwin Beach. It still felt a bit chilly outside so we planned on just taking a nice walk along the beach. Jax and Mia had other plans! We were able to get a parking spot outside of the beach that was free, otherwise it was $8 cash only. We walked a little way, about a half mile, and got the beach! It was beautiful! There were hardly and people there. You could rent paddle boards and kayaks if you wanted and there were nice picnic tables spread out along the beach. As soon as we found a table, Jax and Mia immediately started stripping down! Wait I didn’t bring your suits! They didn’t care. They were jumping in, in there undies. I quickly ran back to the car and we changed into some swimming suits! It was so relaxing just watching the kids swim and play in the best sand! Lunch time rolled around and we packed up and headed back to the Heavenly Village.
Base Camp Pizza was on our list and we are so glad it was! They seriously have some of the best pizza I have ever had! I’m not kidding! The place was packed but we only had to wait about 10 minutes or so. We sat under the covered patio while we listened to a local musician and watched all the people passing by. It was the perfect mountain setting. After lunch we headed to the Gondola!
We were all pretty excited to ride the Gondola up Heavenly Mountain. The weather could not have been more perfect and the views were breathtaking! We paid for our tickets, kids 4 and under are free, and loaded up! Jax and Mia loved every second of our ride up the Mountain. If you are in South Lake Tahoe, you have to take the Gondola ride!! You won’t regret it! Just as you hit the top of the mountain you can get off and check out the beautiful views of the lake. I have never seen anything like it! We walked around and checked it out, and then we loaded back up and went even higher up the mountain! We stopped at our final destination at the beautiful Tamarack Lodge. There were ropes courses, zip lining, and all sorts of other activities you could do. The lodge itself was so beautiful. We took a little break for restrooms and drinks and then we headed back down the mountain. The whole experience was so relaxing and the perfect midday activity!
We were down from the mountain top and off to explore another beach! This time we headed out to Sand Harbor Beach. This beach was on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe near Incline Village. Parking was $10 but the beach had so much space for us to find a spot and jump right in! The water was crystal blue and the views all around us were amazing! We swam for quite a while and enjoyed every bit of it! The water was way to cold for me, I know I’m a bit of a chicken, but the kids and Jules had no problem jumping in! The sun was starting to go down so we headed back to the Heavenly Village. Instead of dinner, we hit up the local Ridley’s right in the Village, and loaded up on snacks and drinks! Mia was asleep before we even got to the hotel and the rest of us were exhausted!
Up the next morning we checked out and took the most beautiful drive up to Emerald Bay State Park. We stopped at the Inspiration view point and got some great pictures! The kids loved checking out the telescopes they had at the view points, and it was so nice to take in all the beauty of the mountains and the lake before all the crowds got there! We did a little shopping and then we were on the road again! Off to San Francisco we went! Stay tuned for a recap of our week in the beautiful city of San Francisco!
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