Saturday 26 March
On route to Lake Tahoe we stop off at Roseville crazy golf course at Sunsplash which is a definite hit with Harry although he preferred to pick up the ball when it had gone through the obstacle rather than let us play to the end of a hole. He is only 4 though, we keep reminding ourselves!
Sarah has bought a new snowboard to replace the one she learnt on a few years ago so it must be a bit of a squash in their car on the long drive to South Lake Tahoe which is reached after a drive to over 7000ft and back down to the lake.
Too early for check-in so coffee time in Peet’s before grabbing some food, collecting lodge key and off in the Nevada border direction.
Our property for the week is a rustic wooden property built in about 1930 nestling in pine trees on a road that appears to have many permanent residents in.
The house has been extended, has good amenities, probably too many cooking items, but is short on mugs and were you to take away all the chipped plates, bowls and glasses you would struggle to have enough for all guests. Nevertheless comfortable if very cluttered.
We have downstairs bedroom, which is just as well as the thought of climbing the spiral staircase in the middle of the night was not appealing to either of us. The third bedroom is off the 2nd bedroom so Mel has to walk through Sarah, Ali and Harry’s room to get to her room!
The one downside of the downstairs bedroom is the central heating which is noisy with a large bang when it starts up or turns off.
Sunday 27 March
A day to reconnoiter for us whilst Sarah, Ali & Harry try the skiing. Try to get to TJ Maxx but being Easter Sunday it is closed.
Harry didn’t particularly like the skiing so Sarah & Ali brought him back to us whilst they went off skiing/snowboarding. Harry enjoyed himself around the supermarket and in the backyard.
That, however wasn’t enough for adventure seeking Harry but fortunately we found a “Bessie bike” concession so for an hour or so we had an interesting ride through an area that in the summer would be used as a camp site.
I must admit Mel did most of the peddling as my knee was rather sore – as a result of possibly twisting it just before we left home.
Monday 28 March
Sarah, Ali & Harry are out by 08:30, Harry to ski school whilst Sarah & Ali are off on their own. We are all expecting a call from the ski school for us to collect Harry but no call marerialises, he must be having fun.
Sally, Mel & I set off by road around South Lake Tahoe in a clockwise direction stopping off at several photo points between South Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay before reaching Tahoe City, a sleepy little village. (why do Americans call small places “cities”?)
Stop for lunch at Rosie’s kitchen whilst the snow starts falling. A lovely lunch with some interesting hanging toys and other items at the restaurant.
Not sure much snow is going to fall and as it is settling, decide to head back the same way past many decent houses both lake side and higher up the mountainside. Snow on the trees is somewhat magical.
Harry managed all day at ski-school today and by all accounts enjoyed it but when asked what he did, the reply was “it’s a secret”!
Tuesday 29 March
The three skiers / snowboarders are off early again and we follow shortly to the airport for a short helicopter ride over Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe keys.
The keys are built similarly to canal side properties that you find in Florida.
A wonderful vista on the flight with opportunities to take many photos and a whole new perspective on the whole area, especially the view of the island in the middle of Emerald Bay.
Once down, we return to the lodge and then head off on a drive around the lake in an anti clockwise direction stopping off for some photos on the Nevada side.
Mel then drives the rest of the way round the lake, passing the turn to Incline village a drive that included no less than three roundabouts.
How do Americans find roundabouts? They are a relatively new concept for them, I think but to have three within the space of a couple of miles – scary?
A couple of areas for tobogganing on Friday if Harry is up to it and the snow is still around.
Back in time for a late lunch at the lodge. Again, Harry enjoyed his day at ski school.
Wednesday 30 March
An overnight smattering of snow but the forecast is for higher temperatures so the chances of it staying are virtually non existent. Whilst the three skiers are off early, Mel and I are off snowmobiling. Sal still suffering from the altitude so doesn’t join us.
We arrive early, get kit checked out and we get into our bus at about half ten for a drive up to Hope Valley.
We are split into groups and after a briefing set off up the track, some of which has already lost it’s snow, Mel driving and me pillion.
After about 20 minutes we stop as we and the instructor are the only ones moving.
We wait for about 10 minutes whilst the instructor returns to see what the problem is – it was a blown fuse in another snowmobile.
Off again and we gently climb until we reach a stopping point about 8600 ft high ( we started off at about 6400 ft ).
A few photos taken in the thick snow with an almost hidden road sign showing how deep the snow was.
Time also for Mel to practice being a kid again in the snow with her stars in the snow.
The downward journey now starts and steep it is twisting downwards for some distance before we level out and rejoin the main track we used on the way up.
One unlucky incident was two girls capsizing on a tight bend, actually on the flat, but no harm appeared to be done.
Coach back down and after lunch at home we head out for a supermarket visit before collapsing exhausted.
Thursday 31 March
Harry has done well – off to ski school again today so Sal, Mel & I opt for a cruise on Lake Tahoe on the MS Dixie Queen II, a traditional paddle steamer.
A beautiful day albeit a bit windy but we are able to sit outside on the top deck. Temperatures now up to about 55F as opposed to about 28F On Sunday and Monday – what a contrast.
A good occasional commentary tells us it is the 2nd largest alpine lake ( it is just under 200 sq miles which is slightly smaller than the whole of the Isle of Man where we live ).
We are headed on the flat waters of the lake, to Emerald Bay for a sail around the bay getting up close and personal with the bay’s island, Fanette, and the shoreline castle – Vikingsholm.
The shoreline castle was designed after the architect visited the Nordic countries for inspiration and is now owned by the Californian State Parks.
Back for a late lunch and a final shop for provisions, a meal and bed. Harry, despite his efforts at ski school for four days is not as tired as we had thought he would be. He has thoroughly enjoyed it and hopefully will remember what he has learnt for next year.
Sarah & Ali are tired though and it is early nights all round for them. Mel is still sore from the driving of the snowmobile, Sal is still sore from her fall and I am still suffering with my knee. What a family!
Friday 1 April
Sarah & Ali take Harry up the slopes into the ever decreasing amount of snow to show off what he has learnt in ski-school but he only lasts a couple of hours.
We all then try to go to a disc golf course in a nearby park but nothing to show you can hire disks or where we can do it from, so head into Nevada for a bit of tobogganing.
Harry however was not over impressed with the tobogganing especially as the snow was by now rapidly thawing.
Visit the shops in the Heavenly base area before back to lodge for packing and final dinner.
Saturday 2 April
Last morning and before we return key, discover a wood pecker has taken a liking to our lodge, sadly not a useable picture available.
Meet up at Zephyr beach before a drive anti-clockwise towards Lake Tahoe City, although this time stopping at Cave rock for a photo opportunity and driving slowly through Incline Village, a collection of sumptuous houses all of which would be in the $millions, some of which are lakeside and others road side.
Lunch in Rosie’s café again and we then make our separate ways to the overnight at Dublin via the Truckee turnoff and up to over 7200ft before reaching Dublin at 367 ft. We can breathe normally again.
Dinner in hotel with a few noisy teenage girls enjoying an weekend bonding with their Mums and it’s off to the coast tomorrow after a wonderful week at Lake Tahoe South. An exceptionally beautiful area with the added bonus of the snow earlier in the week.