Tag Archives: Lake Tahoe

Life Lessons From A Skiing Legend (or Somehow This Death Hit Me Hard)

I’m not the sort of person who usually gets upset over a celebrity death. Of course I’m sad when it’s someone who I admire or who did something incredible, but I’m not the type of person to visit graves or gets too emotional when the news breaks that someone passed away. It’s not that I don’t care, but I just don’t have the connection that some people have to celebrities that makes them feel like they know them.

But a death changed that this week. He may not be a celebrity to everyone, but Warren Miller was an incredible filmmaker that specialized in movies about skiing. He made over 500 films and had skiing films that came out right before ski season for the last 60 years. I grew up going to these movies with my parents. It was a tradition that we all loved and I have the best memories from going to those movies. For the 50th anniversary film, there was a contest where everyone got a fake ski bib with a number on it when they walked in. If you found someone with the same number, you got a free shirt. And I found the person with mine! It was awesome winning that shirt.

Besides seeing the films each year when they screened near where I grew up, we had a bunch of these movies on VHS (now we have a few on DVD). Whenever we were in Tahoe, it seemed like the entertainment for the evening was to watch a Warren Miller movie. We quote things from them from time to time and we still remember some of the funniest moments from the movies. They were a great combination of amazing skiing and ridiculous moments. They were pretty much the perfect movie to watch when you wanted to watch something on skiing.

When I saw that he passed away this week, I was so sad right away. It’s almost like the end of an era even though I hadn’t seen a Warren Miller movie in probably a decade. But it’s still something that was such a huge part of my childhood and now it seems like it is over. Warren Miller wasn’t actually making the films for the last several years, but I know with him gone they can’t even come close to being what they once were.

So I spent some time searching online for various Warren Miller things. I found some clips on YouTube, checked out the prices for digital versions of his movies (I think I’ll probably get one or two because they are pretty cheap), and read a couple of articles. And one of them was titled “Top 10 Warren Miller Quotes” and I think it hit me why this death seemed so bad.

Even though I hadn’t seen one of his movies in a decade, I’m sure that some of the things that he said are still deep in my subconscious. One of his common quotes that he said was “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do”. That hit me hard because it is so true for so many aspects of life. I’ve told friends how I feel like my 20’s slipped away without me accomplishing anything. And I’m feeling a bit like that with my 30’s as well. I don’t want to keep waiting for next year to do it and then realize that I’m in my 40’s and still in the same place.

There are some good quotes from that page. I love “Don’t take life too seriously, because you can’t come out of it alive”. And of course since his movies had so much comedy in them there are some comedic quotes too like “If your parents didn’t have children, odds are you won’t either” and “They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper…that’s the time to do it”.

I think that some of these quotes were exactly what I needed to hear right now. I’m not necessarily in a rut, but I can feel like one is coming if I don’t change much. And of course whenever someone passes away it’s a reminder that life isn’t for forever and we need to enjoy it while we can. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I can’t go skiing to honor Warren Miller’s legacy, but I can live life to the fullest. I can enjoy the silly and stupid moments of life and make sure that I don’t wait to do things.

And I’ll probably watch some of his movies soon too. Sometimes you just need to have a great laugh at people falling off of a chairlift. Even though this isn’t the original narration with Warren Miller, it still has one of my family’s favorite quotes: “You want your ski? Go get it.”

A Tahoe Weekend (or Let It Snow!)

It had been a while since I was up to Lake Tahoe, so when my parents invited me to come up for a weekend in the fall I was really excited! The fall in Tahoe can be really nice and there is usually some really gorgeous foliage around the mountains to check out.

I was already pretty excited about the trip when my dad gave me a heads up a few days before I left to say that there was actually snow in the forecast! I hadn’t seen snow in several years so even the possibility of it was making me so happy. I tried to pack warm clothes and after work on Saturday I flew to Tahoe to meet up with my parents (and dog).

When we were driving from the Reno airport to Truckee, the fall foliage was already impressing me. The trees were so full of color that my mom pulled over the car so I could get a picture of the Aspen trees on the side of the road.


That first day in Tahoe we didn’t do too much. After I flew in, we drove to Truckee, we got some food, and got to my parents’ place; it was getting a bit late. I was pretty tired from getting up early that morning to work and even though I didn’t have a panic attack on the plane it still exhausted me to focus on staying calm. So I spent some time hanging out with my parents and I went to bed pretty early to get ready for the full day we had the next day.

The next morning I woke up to a beautiful view outside.


I was able to convince my dad to join me for some yoga in the morning, and then we all headed off to the unofficial dog park that Tucker loves in Truckee. The dog park is really a road behind the Truckee airport, but since it is gated and no cars can be on there, people let their dogs off leash to play. In the winter it can be a long walk, but when there isn’t snow you can park farther up the road.

Once we parked and started walking, Tucker was in heaven. He was enjoying all of the smells all around and he didn’t care too much that there were no other dogs for him to play with. Of course, as soon as we got back to the car, about 7 dogs and their owners showed up. We let Tucker play with the other dogs for a few minutes before we headed off to our next adventure for the day.

We drove for about 45 minutes to get to Spooner Lake. I’ve done this hike/walk before in the past. It’s a pretty flat road (although there are some uphill bits) and it’s about 2.5 miles around. Usually in the fall the trees are all super bright and yellow, but this time it wasn’t that way. But it was still a really nice day out.


The walk around the lake took a while since Tucker had to be on leash and we had to keep stopping whenever he wanted to smell something exciting that he found. But it was fine that it was a slow walk since it gave us time to enjoy the view. I was also finding myself really out-of-breath quite a bit since I’m not used to the elevation that we were at. I always hate how I feel super out of shape when I’m in Tahoe since I can’t catch my breath as quickly as I can in LA, but I tried to not think about that too much.

After getting around the lake, we headed back toward my parents’ place to get some lunch at their favorite local Italian restaurant (they’ve been going there for almost 10 years but this was my first time there!). While we were eating, we noticed that the weather had changed from being nice and sunny to cloudy and overcast. And as we were finishing up it started to snow! After lunch we drove around and seeing the snow made me so happy!


In the snow, we weren’t going to do a ton of outside stuff so we headed back home and relaxed together. Tucker was pretty calm since he went to the dog park and had the walk around the lake. He wanted to hang out with us while we watched tv and decided to be a bit of a rule-breaker. He knows he can’t sit on the couch, but he can scoot back to the couch and he is so tall that his butt rests on it. I noticed him doing that and he gave me a dirty look when I asked Tucker if he was sitting on the couch.


My last day in Tahoe started with seeing the snow that fell overnight!


Originally, my dad had a couple of projects that he wanted me to help him with at their place. But because of the schedule and other things that happened our projects weren’t possible. But I was inspired by the snow and I told my dad that we should turn an old tree stake in their backyard into a snow stake so they can measure all the snow that falls this season! So my dad and I went outside in the cold with some electrical tape and a marker and we made a pretty impressive custom snow stake.


I helped my parents with a few other small projects and then we went out for a late lunch before they drove me back to the Reno airport so I could fly back home.

It was a quick trip (I was only there for 2 days) and we didn’t do a ton of stuff, but it was still a perfect weekend adventure and I’m so excited for when I get to go to Tahoe again!

Amazing Customer Service (or I Love Sharing Positive Stories On Here!)

I’ve shared some pretty horrible customer service stories on here in the past. I don’t like doing that and I don’t want to turn my blog into a place where I call out companies that treat customers poorly. But when bad customer service truly affects my life (like those times mentioned on the blog did), then I feel like I have to share it.

But I’d much rather celebrate some amazing customer service stories on here and help you all find stores/companies that you should support. Recently, I had 2 great customer service experiences and I wanted to let you all know about them.

First of all was an experience that I had at the Nike Store in Beverly Hills. I went there because I knew that I won the Nike ID Challenge at Orangetheory and I wanted to find out what size Nikes I needed to get (I don’t typically wear Nikes).

I was nervous going into the store for 2 reasons. One was that I’m not completely comfortable going into sporting goods or fitness stores. I still feel judged and I’ve had some experiences with employees not helping me as quickly as they would help other guests. The second reason was I knew that I wasn’t going to be buying anything while I was in the store. I wanted to be upfront with the salesperson so they understood that they wouldn’t make a commission off of me, and that could affect how they treated me.

But as soon as I walked into the store, all my fears disappeared. There was a wall of shoes that could be Nike ID customer shoes in front of me.


A saleswoman (whose name I sadly have forgotten) came over to help me right away. I explained that I had won some Nike IDs and needed to find out my size before I collected my prize, and she was really excited to help me. She knew that I wasn’t purchasing anything that day, but she went above and beyond to make sure I found the perfect fit with the shoe that I’m going to be getting.

She even was asking me all about Orangetheory because she thought it was awesome that a fitness studio gave away Nikes. She took my information so she could join me for a workout at some point.

As someone who works in customer service and used to work for commission, I understand the frustration that this saleswoman probably felt but she never let it show. I hope that with me being so laid back and in no rush to try on shoes (so she could help other customers) that I made it a little easier on her.

We haven’t designed our custom Nike ID shoes yet at Orangetheory, but at least now I know exactly what size I need (and how to stretch them out to fit me a bit better).

My second amazing customer service experience that I’ve had recently was with the Hanukkah gift that my mom, my brother, my sister-in-law, and I got for my dad. I found this amazing chair and footstool made out of old skis by doing a search online and as a group we decided to order it for my dad.

I called Green Mountain Ski Furniture to get a bit of clarification on some of the pricing options, but I never heard back. I followed up with an email explaining that I had previously called and left a message and got an email back very quickly from the owner. He apologized for not getting back to me and answered all of my questions to help me complete the order.

He sent me another email as soon as I ordered confirming everything. And when he shipped out the chair, I got 2 emails from the owner. One was the tracking information and the other was a personal email saying how happy he was with how the chair turned out and how he was making sure that the chair would get to my dad before Christmas (even though that didn’t matter it was nice that he made that effort).

The chair got to my parents the day before Christmas and my dad put it together right away. And it looks amazing!


This chair is going to live up in Tahoe and my parents will bring it up there on one of their next few trips to the mountains.

While almost all customer service experiences that I have are good, I feel like these 2 recently have gone above and beyond. So if you live in LA and need anything from Nike, you should definitely go to the store in Beverly Hills. And if you want anything made out of old skis or snowboards, you have to go with Green Mountain Ski Furniture for your gift!

Making The Most Of My Last Day In Tahoe (or Tucker Is A Lake Dog!)

On my last day in Tahoe, I didn’t have to leave for the airport until after dinnertime, so I had a full day to have fun. So for the day, we decided to head to Donner Lake to enjoy some time on the water.

We went to the exact same beach that I went to last summer. But besides bringing the raft with us again, we also brought our 2 kayaks to the lake!

We decided that my mom and Kate would each take a kayak out and my dad, Tucker, and I would go in the raft. Tucker had been in the raft one other time the week before and he did ok then. But this time, he wouldn’t be with both my mom and dad so we were a little unsure of how he would do.

We got my mom and Kate in the kayaks and into the water first. Tucker watched from the shore and yelped a little that my mom was paddling away. He didn’t want to get into the water so he stayed on the very edge of the shore. Then I got into the raft and my dad picked Tucker up and placed him in with me. Then my dad got in and he took over the paddles (he’s way better at it than I am).

The kayaks are pretty easy to maneuver, so my mom and Kate were off and going around the lake. My dad refers to the raft as a bathtub so we paddled away from the shore and pretty much just floated out there.

But I have to say that Tucker seemed to really love it!

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And yes, he’s wearing Dante’s old life vest.

Tucker spent his time in the raft people and dog watching and then just leaning back on either my dad or I and enjoying the sunshine. But his favorite thing to do was to lick the water off of the paddles.


You can tell from that photo how giant his ears are! And you can tell that he’s a bit of a redhead too!

When my dad and I got back to shore, there were a few other families with their dogs near where we set up our stuff. The dogs were jumping in the water and swimming and Tucker was mesmerized by that. We thought that maybe if he watched other dogs swim, he would try it too.

The owner of the other dog wanted to help us get Tucker to swim, so she kept throwing toys into the lake for him to get. But again, he refused to swim. He got very close, but when he realized that he couldn’t put his foot onto the ground, he backed up. But even without swimming, Tucker had so much fun.


My mom and Kate kayaked back to the shore then and my mom wanted to see if Tucker could kayak with her. So my dad got into the lake with Tucker and got him on the back of the kayak. My mom paddled in the shallow area incase Tucker fell off, but it turns out he has amazing balance and managed to stay on!

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We spent a good few hours at the lake, and eventually it was time to head back to the condo. Kate and I wanted to watch the World Cup game and my mom was going to make a nice early dinner.

Around 6pm, Kate got into her car to make the drive back to the Bay Area and my mom, dad, Tucker, and I got into the car to do a little walking around before I had to get to the Reno airport.

It was a gorgeous evening at Lake Tahoe and I was sad that my vacation was coming to an end.


At about 7pm, we got back into the car for the drive to Reno. Airport security only took me 5 minutes from the time I was dropped off, so I spent a lot of time looking at all the tempting ways I could spend my money in the Reno airport.


I managed to keep all my money in my wallet and just read my book while waiting for my delayed flight home.

I’m so glad that I was able to do this trip to Tahoe this summer. Even though I got to go last summer as well, I haven’t been able to go up as often as I’d like. I talked to my parents about me going up this winter since it’s been a few years since I’ve been up in the snow. Hopefully we can make that happen.

I’ll see my parents again in about 2 months when they come to LA. We are all going to a show at the Hollywood Bowl together. And I’ll see Tucker again at Thanksgiving. There’s a small chance I might be visiting my sister-in-law at the end of the summer when my brother is working out of the country, so I might get to see everyone then as well.

But for now, I’m just grateful that I got to spend a nice long weekend with my family (and chosen family as is the case with Kate).



Long Lake And The Best Caesar Salad In The World (or The First Day Of Adventure In Tahoe)

While this trip to Tahoe was a relaxing trip, we still went on little adventures each day. On our first full day there, we did a little hike (although my parents called it a walk) to Long Lake.

This is a hike I’ve never done before and my parents warned me that the first part of it is extremely steep (going down at the beginning and going up when you are coming back). I figured that I could do it, even though I knew I’d need to take some breaks. Besides my usual hip issues, I also had to deal with being at altitude. This seems to affect me a lot. I’m not sure if that’s a weight related issue or the fact that I never spent too much time in the mountains so I never acclimate to it.

The drive to the start of the hike was a bit off-road, so that was a fun little adventure. Tucker was sitting in the back with Kate and I and he had a few moments where he fell off the seat. He decided to sit on the floor after that.

The first part of the hike was crazy steep and I took at least twice as long as everyone else to get down, but I did it and I didn’t fall. The rest of the hike (which was about a mile) was up and down and there were a lot of rocky sections. I was careful and managed to not lose my footing at all.

I was a little out of breath when we finally make it to the lake, but it was totally worth it!

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We brought a little picnic lunch to enjoy on the rocky beach there so we set up a little area for us and enjoyed the amazing view.

There were some other people there and most of them also had dogs with them, so Tucker was running around greeting everyone and trying to get all the dogs to play with him. We don’t know if Tucker can really swim yet, so my mom got into the lake and tried to make him swim by throwing sticks for him to retrieve.


Tucker got in the water and he did put his face in, but he refused to swim. If a stick went out too far, he would just watch it and hope that it would come back to him.

After spending a nice relaxing time at the lake, it was time for us to do the hike back. For some reason, I got extremely light-headed and my vision started to get blurry as soon as we starting walking again. I have no idea what happened (maybe dehydration?) but I took it slow and it seemed to get a bit better.

After the hike, we spent a little time at the hot tub in the condo complex before getting ready to go out to dinner.

I had requested to go to Cottonwood because it really is one of my favorite restaurants in Tahoe. My family has been going there for as long as I can remember, so it truly is a Tahoe tradition for me.

We enjoyed a nice dinner which included the best caesar salad ever. We get this salad every time and it’s so yummy and garlicky!


And as it says in the Cottonwood menu, the salad is traditionally eaten with your fingers (they are full leaves of lettuce so it’s easy to pick up). I absolutely love it!

I didn’t really get any pictures of the rest of the meal. I was too busy enjoying time with everyone.

After dinner, we just hung out at the condo and watched some tv and read. It was such a perfect first day in Tahoe and it got me ready to have a day on the lake the next day!

A Plane Ride And A Mini Road Trip (or My Adventure To Get To Lake Tahoe)

I got to go see my parents and puppy this past weekend in Lake Tahoe. My parents own a place near Truckee (I went there last summer as well). I grew up going to Tahoe every winter to ski and most summers to hike and enjoy the mountains.

Even though I went to Tahoe last summer, I haven’t gone as often as I’d like. This is because it’s not the closest place for me to go and my parents are pretty busy people. There are times where I have to make sure they set aside a certain weekend for me so they don’t invite friends of theirs up there.

My parents had invited me as well as my friend Kate to come up and she and I both set aside the time in our calendars. I know I’ve said it before, but Kate is like a sister to me, so having her come to Tahoe is more like a family hangout.

As a kid, we pretty much always drove to Tahoe (it’s about 4 hours from where I grew up). I flew a couple of times when I was in high school and couldn’t go on vacation as early as the rest of my family. And since moving to LA, I’ve pretty much only flown up there unless I’m combining a trip to Tahoe to a trip home to the Bay Area.

But for some reason, Southwest (who I pretty much always fly when I’m flying between Northern and Southern CA) stopped doing lots of non-stop flights from LA to Reno. There’s only a couple a day now when there used to be at least 6 or 7 options. And I didn’t want to have to have a layover in Vegas or Utah.

So my parents suggested that I fly into the Bay Area and Kate could come and get me. Then Kate and I could do the drive together (my parents were in Tahoe a few days before we went, so they couldn’t drive me).

That actually worked out pretty well! I got a flight from LA to Oakland and then Kate came to pick me up after she was done with work (which was pretty much the same time that I landed). Then she and I drove for about 3.5 hours to get to Tahoe.

It was a really fun mini road trip. We caught up on each other’s lives (she’s got a new job and she’s living in a new city). We shared crazy stories that have happened lately. We discussed the World Cup (we are both following the games, but she’s following them a bit better than I am).

By the time we got to Tahoe, it was dark so we pretty much just went inside to hang out with my parents and dog (who is more than double the size he was when I saw him in February).

While making my trip take almost 5 hours instead of 1 is a little crazy, it was totally worth it to get some hangout time with such a good friend. Plus, if that’s what I had to do to get to Tahoe, I’m fine with that.

I’ve got some fun pictures from the weekend coming up in my next two posts, so make sure you check those out when I post them!

Happy Birthday Mommy! (or The Past Year In Review)

Today is my mom’s birthday. I know I’ve written a birthday post to her in the past, but I think that since this past year has been quite a year, she deserves a new birthday post to celebrate everything from the past year.

Since my mom’s last birthday she was diagnosed with breast cancer and kicked ass while completing all her treatments. While my mom was going through her treatments, I got to see her a few times.

The first time I saw my mom was after her surgery but before she started chemo. This was on my trip to Tahoe. And during that trip, not only did we hike a lot, my mom took me off-road driving and drove so aggressively that I had a seatbelt bruise for days afterwards!


I also got to see my mom when we all went to Maui for my brother’s wedding. That was a great week filled with lots of adventures.

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After the wedding was when my mom started her chemo treatments, and I have to say that she was able to still be her usual ass kicking self through all of it. I’m still amazed that she still played tennis (and usually won) ever week. She even scheduled chemo around her tennis matches.

Usually, my parents are in Tahoe a lot during the winter (so my dad can fulfill his dream of being a ski bum), but because of the treatment schedule, they didn’t get to go too often. That’s ok since Tahoe had a horrible winter as far as snowfall goes.

Somehow, the universe must have known that my mom was done with all her treatments because there was a good snowfall the other day. So my mom, dad, and Tucker are all up in Tahoe this week celebrating my mom’s birthday.


While thinking back at this past year, I think my family has become much more grateful for the little things. I don’t think we were ever ungrateful people, but we make more of an effort to be grateful now.

I’m so grateful for my mom (and dad) for so many reasons. While they don’t completely understand my desire to act, they support it as much as they can. I’m grateful that my parents are willing to pay for me to fly home so I can see them (and Tucker). I know some friends who don’t have that opportunity so they don’t get to see their family very often. I’m also really grateful that my mom is almost as much of a Disneyland nerd as I am, and we are going to try to get my dad to enjoy Disneyland as well when the 3 of us go to celebrate my mom’s birthday/the end of her treatments later this month.

I know that my mom is going to have an awesome birthday today. I’m sure she, my dad, and Tucker are going to go on some sort of adventure in Tahoe. I’ll just have to wait to celebrate with her in a few weeks.

Saying Goodbye To Tahoe (or Going Rafting Before Flying)

On my last day in Tahoe, we decided to drive over to Donner Lake to have some fun in the inflatable raft my parents bought a year or two ago. Donner Lake is significantly closer to our place, plus I’m sure Lake Tahoe would have been packed on a Sunday.

My dad and I got a head start so we could get everything set up. It was pretty empty by the lake when we arrived, so we got a picnic table for all of our stuff before heading back to the car to inflate the raft.

Fortunately, we own an air pump that is powered by the cigarette lighter in my mom’s car (and there is an outlet in the trunk). So it didn’t take too long for the raft to be ready (my dad did most of the work).


Finally, the raft was ready and we headed out of the lake for a little adventure!


On the way out, my dad did the paddling, so I was checking out the sights on the lake. There were a bunch of people paddle boarding right by us, including this lady with her two amazing dogs!


I also had my dad take a quick picture of me because I was in my new bathing suit top and wanted to make sure I posted it on here (it’s not the most flattering photo, but whatever).


We got over to a little cove area and it was my turn to try paddling.


It was tough! I managed to do a little by myself, but then my dad and I decided to work as a team to get back to the beach. When we got back, my mom and dog had gotten there, and they decided to take a turn out on the lake.

First, my dog had to get his life jacket on (which seemed to humiliate him).


He has to wear it because he is not a strong swimmer. And if he fell out of the raft, the life jacket has a handle on the back so it’s easy to rescue him.

My mom and dog got comfortable in the raft and then they were off for a quick spin in front of the beach.


Dante didn’t seem to mind being in the boat too much. He’s done it before, and he’s pretty happy wherever he is as long as my mom is with him. I tried to get some good photos of them while they were out in the lake, but Dante was laying down in the boat most of the time, so you can’t see him. I did get this one shot as they were coming back into the beach area.


After we were all done rafting, we just hung out in the shade and enjoyed the views. My flight back to LA wasn’t until the evening, so we just enjoyed relaxing and hanging out as a family (minus my brother). I’ll get to see my parents again in a few weeks at the wedding, but I hadn’t seen them since Mother’s Day so I was soaking up all the family time I could get.

Before we went to the airport, we had a quick dinner at a burger spot (I forgot to take photos, but it was quite yummy). And then it was off to Reno for me to fly home. Normally at the Reno airport, it’s pretty empty. But for some reason this time, it was horribly crowded. I had to wait about 30 minutes to print a boarding pass and then another 30 minutes going through security. I got to the gate just in time to sit down, catch my breath, and contemplate playing the slot machines right at the gate.


I ended up not playing, but that’s probably a good thing.

It really was an action packed weekend in Tahoe. I’m not sure if I’m going to make it up at all this winter because of my job, but I’m already planning on going back next summer. My dad and I made a list of things we didn’t get to do on this trip that we want to do next year.

I’ve been home for a few days and have been really lazy about unpacking. But I probably should get my butt in gear because in about 2 weeks I fly out again!

Hiking And Off-Roading (or Taking Advantage Of Every Moment Of My Vacation)

Day 2 in Tahoe starting off pretty relaxing. I woke up early (since I’m used to always waking up at 7am) and spent my morning hanging around the condo reading. Once the rest of my family was up, we were out the door for our first adventure of the day.

There is a railroad track right behind the condo. So we have done a lot of walking back there. And if you follow the path next to the tracks long enough, you get to some really cool ponds. So we decided to do a loop around the ponds.

On the way out toward the ponds, there are some pretty awesome boulders that you can walk out onto. During the winter, my dad likes to snowshoe up them (but in the summer they are too steep to hike up).

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We got to the path that led us down to the ponds, and of course I took advantage of another photo op.


We are so lucky to have this in our Tahoe backyard!


It was probably around a mile or so for the entire loop, but there was some elevation change and I was in a high altitude, so I was pretty out of breath at some points.

After getting back to the condo and having some lunch, we decided to go off-roading. A few years ago, my parents got a Jeep to off-road in (they are very adventurous people if you couldn’t tell already!).


We went up a dirt path in the mountains. It was extremely bumpy, but fortunately there are hand holds to hold on to!


When we got to the top, we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe.

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I mean, seriously, it’s so beautiful in the mountains! I really need to make sure I go there more often!

Also while we were at the top, I got a really cute photo of my parents with the dog.


We headed back down the mountain, where at times it seemed like the road was just dropping off into nothing.


Finally, we were back on a paved road (but I really did have so much fun on the dirt roads). We then went over to Northstar, which is the ski resort that I grew up skiing at. There is a Ritz-Carlton hotel on the mountain, and I had never seen it. So we rode the gondola up there and went to the outdoors bar for a snack.


Again with the views! Bars in LA have some awesome views, but nothing like this!

Once we took a look at the menu, we realized it might have been a bit expensive.


$14 for chips and salsa?!?!?! We all decided to have some frozen drinks. My mom had a pina colada, I had a strawberry daiquiri, and my dad had a margarita.


It was the perfect refreshment for the hot mountain sun!

Finally, it was time to head back to the condo. My mom made a nice steak dinner with baked potatoes at the condo, so we had a relaxing evening. We all earned it from the on the go day that we had!

Tomorrow I’ll write about part 3 of my trip!

Hello Tahoe! (or The Start Of My Weekend Getaway!)

As I mentioned before, I spent this past weekend hanging out with my parents (and dog) in Lake Tahoe. I’ve been going to Tahoe since I was a baby to go skiing in the winter and do some hiking in the summer. Several years ago, my parents got a place in Tahoe (we rented a cabin before then), so now there are more chances in a year for me to get up there.

Somehow, with all the craziness of work and life, I hadn’t been to Tahoe in a couple of years. So I was more than excited to make it up there and get some nice outdoors time in.

As soon as I go there on Friday, my parents and I had to do some errands. We had some things to figure out on our family cell phone plan, and since I was listed as the primary account holder, I had to be with my parents when they changed things. So most of the afternoon was spent at the Verizon store doing not so fun stuff.

That evening, we went out for dinner. Since we were technically celebrating my 30th birthday, I got to pick the restaurant. For me, there has only been one place that has been my go-to restaurant in Truckee (the town in Tahoe where we stay): Cottonwood. Honestly, I cannot remember a time when we didn’t go to Cottonwood when we were in Tahoe.

We had to sit inside because there were about a million bees out on their deck, but we sat near the windows so we still got to enjoy the view of historic downtown Truckee (and of course, I forgot to take a picture of the view).

The menu had some great specials, so I decided to get the chicken dish (it sounded relatively healthy).


For a starter, my parents and I split something that we always get every time we go to Cottonwood. The whole leaf Cesar salad.


This is seriously the best thing in the world! It used to say on the menu that it is traditionally eaten with your fingers, so that’s how we eat it (except my mom who goes against tradition by using a knife and fork). This salad is so wonderfully garlicky. I love it! You do smell like garlic for a few days after, but to me, that’s totally worth it!

After we got through most of the salad (it was pretty huge for 3 people), our entrees arrived.


The chicken was delicious and the mashed potatoes were great (although they didn’t seem too garlicky after having the salad).

We didn’t have dessert since we were so full on salad and our entrees, so we headed back to the condo my parents’ own to take Dante (the dog) for a walk.

Near Tahoe there is a fire, and that made the sunset pretty gorgeous.


Although the smell of smoke in the air was pretty strong.

So that was day one of my Tahoe trip. More to come in the next few days including our off-roading adventure and going out on Donner Lake in our inflatable boat!