Posts Tagged With: Lake Tahoe

Coast to coast and over seas

The trip back to the states included the usual 3 consisting of California, Oklahoma and Florida. In order to catch up quickly I’m going to post some of my favorite photos that Matt and I snagged per state. 

As you can imagine, Oklahoma didn’t necessarily provide the best of landscape shots, but Matt was able to capture some wildlife that can easily be overlooked.

You know these lovely ladies, my cousins Lacie and Lana have made random appearences like Hot with a 92% chance of muggyFamily and treats in Oklahoma and Till next time Oklahoma! Check out these comparisons from a few years ago to now.

Moving on to California! Before Matt met me here, I was honored to attend a dear friends wedding. Now when I say “dear friend”, I mean a woman that has shown me the true definition of unconditional love and support. It makes my heart full of joy to see her so happy. Congrats to Liz and Katie! Ps, best Rockabilly wedding ever and a special thanks to my perfect date, Crystal! (you’ve seen her in Jumbled shinaniguns in California and 32 candles on 32 peddles!) Wedding bells put away and Matt finally arriving, it was time to venture around! Of course we hit my hometown of Folsom, but the highlight was Truckee and Lake Tahoe! Here are some of my favorite pictures he took with the rest shown on his site www.stonesharpimagesphotography.comThe Heavenly ski resort provides a gondola ride for all of their participants as well as non skiers to enjoy the epic view of Lake Tahoe. Shall we? We shall!

The above photo is looking back at the Lake and below is what you’ll see as the slow, smooth moving Gondola glides to the top.

Finishing up my visit to the US, I found myslelf all smiles with good ol’ mom. Although it really has nothing to do with this post I feel the need to list a few of my favorite writings that include moments with her. So if you’ve got the time for random reads, I invite you to visit the pasts posts of our time in Cental America when mom was brave enough to venture abroad with me in Puerto de la Libertad and Wrapping up our time in El Salvador. Or maybe you’d be interested in good cry today? Embrace yourself for Not just a dolphin tour, it seems to be a tear jerker.

Getting back to this post, I mainly just wanted to hit the highlights of music, beaches and friends… the perfect combo!

After soaking up time with family, friends and new acquaintances I flew to South Florida to meet back up with Matt.

Intermission: Turns out I traveled straight through the tornados of Atlanta and was held in the airport for two days. Here’s what the terminals look like at 2am with severe weather outside. After 8 canceled flights, 38 hours of wandering the airport and being 130 on the standby list… I finally made it! Our next flight and final stop is home (for now) being the beautiful island of Barbados! 

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Worst tour guide ever?

Once upon a time I went to Munich Germany to experience the ever so popular festivities of Oktoberfest. Who would of known that this event would introduce two of my now dearest friends, Carina and Florian.

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I’m grateful to say that it would take several posts for me to show you all of the connections we’ve had since 2010, including but not limited to Amsterdam, Greece, Costa Rica, Recklinghausen and another Oktoberfest. With that said, let’s just jump to the exciting news that my amazing German bundles-of-joy finally made a visit to California!

Although I had been traveling as well and only arrived 18 hours prior to them, I had been planning a few adventures to show them just a small variety of what Northern California has to offer. Little did I know, my calendar dates were not in line with well… anything.

Could I really be the worst tour guide ever?!

Worst tour guide ever: Spend 4 years bragging about living next to the grand Folsom Lake, just to have them visit during one of the biggest droughts in history.

Redeem the situation by bringing them to a different body of water known as the American River. Sun, water, smiles… Check!

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Worst tour guide ever: Invite them to a big night on the town during the only holiday weekend in which everyone is out of town.

Redeem yourself by taking them on a Johnny Cash tour (they’re huge fans) from the actual “Folsom Prison” to the tracks in which you used to “hear the train uh comin…”.

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Eventually making it to Reno (where Mr.Cash “shot a man… just to watch him die”).

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Worst tour guide ever: Almost run out of gas on the way to your next stop.

Redeem yourself by making sure to point out the stateline… Twice!

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Worst tour guide ever: Register for a “discount motel” without ever seeing it before.

Redeem yourself by bringing out a camera and spending five extra minutes in the room doing, hmm… I don’t know what to call this one.

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Worst tour guide ever: Describe the perfect beach… just to arrive at a full parking lot and an over populated coastline.

Redeem yourself with a walk through the gorgeous greenery of North Lake Tahoe to a lesser known beach. Classic panoramic views and sandy toes… Check!

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Worst tour guide ever: Get them really excited about the huge Gondola ride, stand in line, get to the ticket booth and find out it has doubled in price since last time you were there!

Redeem yourself by taking a night walk lit by fireworks and stumble upon what appears to be a huge bike?! Photo time!

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Worst tour guide ever: Take them to a country bar explaining the art of line-dancing and prepare them for tall cowboy hats, only to walk in to an empty bar with a dj playing pop and hip-hop music all night.

Redeeming yourself isn’t as necessary here, because with energetic music and quality people… fun just follows.

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Worst tour guide ever: Drive them to San Francisco not realizing there were a dozen festivals happening which means, extreme traffic and no parking…anywhere!

Redeeming happened with a refreshing walk across the popular Golden Gate Bridge.

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To conclude the possibility of me being the worst tour guide ever, I’ll close with the defense that when you combine genuine people with a true desire for a good time… No tour guide, weather disasters or other unexpected fault can tarnish a beautiful memory. Honored to have been a host and now sad to see them go, I’ll simply look forward to the next glorious time we meet again. Fingers crossed, I’m not the guide.

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I want to recognize several fabulous people that you see in the post above.
Hayden, (who met Florian in Greece and Carina in Amsteredam) thank you for opening your home, loaning your truck and being the best second worst tour guide with me!
Michelle and Nick, (met Carina and Hayden in Costa Rica) your lovely Truckee home and energetic night out in Reno absolutely enhanced our time together, thank you for all of the love!
Nate, (who was in Germany with me, but didn’t get to meet these guys till now) thanks for being so flexible, your hospitality didn’t go unnoticed!
Ian, (who met their friends Denise and Ioni in Argentina) I’m so thankful we got to celebrate your birthday with you this year!
Mike, (met Carina in Amsterdam) so glad you brought another smile to the table.
Crystal, thanks for making time to come out and finally meet the duo I’ve been telling you about. Ps, you doing the worm made the night!

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Jumbled July shenanigans in California

When some think of California they picture the long haired surfers living on a beach or possibly downtown Hollywood being packed with movie stars. Although that does makes up a small portion of this magnificent state, let me welcome you to Northern California and the natural beauty that comes with it!

This trip back was short and sweet, so I’d like to recap multiple visits. Simply click on any link below and viola, you’ll be directed to previous posts that go into detail of those magical destinations!

My hometown of Folsom. Yes, where the prison is from the Johnny Cash song.

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A day in the bay of San Francisco!

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Green + Sand + Blue = Lake Tahoe!

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Downtown in the capital city of Sacramento.

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River rafting (aka “floating”) down the American River.

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Here’s a direct link to last years July celebrations including house boating and a cattle drive parade!

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This July in California I was invited to several small gatherings that allowed me to pack in a variety of adventures.

I’ll start by recapping Yosemite with a few of my favorite photos. If you missed any of the detailed posts about this national park, click here.

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For this 4th of July, I headed back to the houseboat on Lake Oroville to celebrate the day of America’s independence! What do you do while stuck (to be said with sarcasm) on a boat for a few days with great people? Play, eat, swim, nap, drink and play!

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Check it out, my cup is a blog fan!

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20130720-152833.jpgWhen waking up on the final day, my dear friend Crystal and I thought a yoga session was the perfect way to rise with the bright sun!

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After thoroughly enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors, I returned to town to partake in a few backyard events. Considering California broke heat records this year, I’ll start with pool parties and bbq’s!

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Recognize this little red headed doll? That’s my cousin from Oklahoma that I wrote about during the tornado’s last month. Now he gets to see California blue sky, 100 degree weather and play with “Keka’s” friends!

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This lovely couple is at the top of my “I want to be like you when I grown up” list. Maureen (aka Mo) and I have been friends since the days of finger paint, hair scrunchies and snack packs. Ben is her equally incredible husband that makes up the other half of this power duo. Ever wonder how many married couples still express their love through patience, consideration and open communication? Well, meet the Hillel’s and their newest addition (one of my favorite mini buddies) Cora.

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Themed Parties! This one is called “White Trash” or “Redneck”. The Urban dictionary defines this group as uneducated persons that comes from the backwoods with little awareness of the modern world with moral failings. An individual that may or may not be poor, but is monumentally ignorant and quite possibly stupid.
Spam carving contest, arm wrestling and a whipped cream Twinkie hunt leads to duck tape prizes and dancing. Notice the can stacks? It’s a game in which each time you finish a beer, you tape it to the bottom of your “stick”. (Clearly I don’t mine losing that game).

Why we base an entire gathering celebrating this with costumes, games and prizes? I’m still trying to figure it out myself…

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Moving on to a more “classy”” portion of my trip was visiting one of my favorite restaurants.

Sushi! For the sake of the fans out there, I’m going to share Mikunis and its enormous growth in popularity over the past 20 years. When I used to come here as a little girl, there were a few chairs in front of the chef and a couple tables that crowded a small dining area. With quality food and the dedication from the owner Taro, it has now expanded to a well known and award winning hotspot. Their menu website is also worth checking out if you’re in the need of growling stomach and a salivating mouth.

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The large wheel is for the “grown-ups” to spin on their birthday. Prizes range from a bag if rice up to $100 gift card! I’ve spun this wheel every year since my 9th birthday and now have a collection of mugs, t-shirts and chopsticks. This summer, I was thrilled to watch Cora spin on her first birthday… Special.

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Hungry yet?

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I’ve done an abundance of hair to replenish some travel funds and I did the annual dig through my storage unit to repack for future weather changes. I’ve gotten to hug old friends and make some new ones. Now I’m off to Florida to love on my dear mother!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my life? Well, I do.

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Water fun In NorCal

As I travel abroad people always ask “Do you ever get home sick?” or “What do you miss the most?”. Although the lakes are beautiful, the rivers are fun and the sushi is top notch… it’s the faces and laughter of my incredible friends that tug at my hometown strings.
A HUGE thanks to all of the super heroes that have always provided unconditional encouragement. The support I was shown when deciding to depart was felt beyond words. This includes but is not limited to friends, family, clients, gymnasts, staff at 24 hour, my dentist, the local grocery store clerks and the beautifully energized woman from Elliot’s Natural Foods!

I plan on posting a bit more about California before I go, but for now here are some quick pics showing some fun in the sun. We’re so lucky to have this all in our backyard!

Lake Tahoe is a well known city that has it all. Biking, hiking, snowboarding, skiing, gambling, shopping, ice-skating, swimming, golfing, disc golfing, gondola rides, snow mobiling, boating (pause here for another breath) live music, festivals, famous events, scrumptious restaurants, themed hotels, traditional cabins and… oh ya there’s a lake… A big one! If you want a scenic drive, take the 72 mile road that circles this beautiful body of water.

I snagged a couple of pictures off of the Internet to give you an idea of this breath taking place. If there was a way I could get you to smell the air here, you would experience the perfect combination of crisp pine and fresh water over rocks.
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Fall time colors
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Winter on the mountain
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I love the snow cap mountains with the crystal clear water, gorgeous!
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Night shot of the city.
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We decided to head to the Nevada side and park our towels at Zephyr Cove. A beach providing sand volleyball, a bar/restaurant, vibrant views and an abundance of happy people.
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…but of course!
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A little pyramid to start the afternoon off. This group was so entertaining to watch!
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We met new friends that were here from Michigan… Check out these smiles.
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A little fun with strangers (who ended up being an extremely nice group of quality gentlemen).
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These are the magical girls that sang (blasting Jack Johnson) their way up to Tahoe with me… Road trip! The glowing one in the middle is Michelle, a high energy ball of fun that has a natural ability to spread that huge smile to those around her. The other stunning girl is Stephani, the total package of confidence, strength, beauty and grace. These two fine females are excellent examples for girls everywhere.
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Here are some shots from the drive. Pretend you can hear three girls singing in the first pic… Classic!
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City of Folsom. Yes, where the prison is located that Johnny Cash sang about in the ever so famous song “Folsom Prison”.

Folsom Lake boat launch. (I’ll have to post more later)
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At Riverbank Marina on the Sacramento River, there is a floating restaurant. Take a look!   http://www.crawdadsrivercantina.com . This bright Saturday was accompanied by a Dj and two live percussionist.
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My friend Kimmy went all out and ordered a bucket or crawdads! This is served with a hand towel and bib.
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Floating down the American River! You usually have to clarify when discussing the invite, “Want to go rafting?”. This can range from fighting the white water rapids to laying out on a floating device with music, food, drinks with a solid number of other people.

This sign made me smile.
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The docking point where you load in and depart.
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The peace before the crowd.
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Mid River float there’s a small island which is a perfect breaking point to hop off the raft and stretch out. This also tends to be where several people feel the need to launch rockets of water at every passing group.
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Not the best photo, but I wanted to share the action shot that I accidentally captured.
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This was an incredible show of team work and determination to deflate the tube. I personally like the look on his face in the first picture.
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…and the calm during sunset.
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