Happy Monday, y'all! I'm so sorry. I know I have been so MIA the past couple weeks. Life has just been really overwhelming, and I've been stuck in a rut... Don't you hate when that happens? I go through phases sometimes where am just totally unsure of what to do next...and I am 100% in that place. Omar and I are in the midst of making some really big decisions, which I will share with you at another time. But it has just taken a lot of my time and attention. Being a wife, mom, and blogger, I have to be careful to keep my priorities straight. As much as I love blogging, it will never, and SHOULD NEVER take the place of being the wife and mom that God has created me to be.
Since getting away for a weekend totally helps clear the mind, we did exactly that. We packed up the car early Friday morning and drove three hours into the mountains to bask in the golden sunlight at Lake Tahoe. We went with some dear friends who have a son a few months younger than Sami. We all stayed at another friend's beautiful mountain cabin (more like mansion) and ate some of the most delicious food, ever! We saw views that overwhelm the viewer, and enjoyed beaches that have no rival. It was just amazing!
I wanted to share our adventures with you, in hopes that maybe next time your looking for a vacation spot, you may try this one out. Keep in mind, this was a quick weekend trip, so it's not an exhaustive review of all of Lake Tahoe, just some highlights from our time in the Truckee/North Lake Tahoe area.
Omar, who works nights, got home around 6 am and we packed up the car. I had done my packing and showering the night before so all I needed to do was nurse the kiddo and throw on some make up. Our friends grabbed some breakfast for Omar and a coffee for me, and we hit the road.
The second half of the drive was spectacular (the first half was just some uneventful back roads which lead into Sacramento, which honestly isn't all that exciting!) Seriously, there is nothing like ascending a mountain highway. Below and above us were towering Evergreens and the rough, rocky sides of the Sierra Nevada's! Coming into Tahoe we were greeted with beautiful mountain passes, and deep rocky canyons. Some of the peaks were still covered with light snow! Omar had fallen asleep by the time we got here, so I started prodding him to wake up to look out the window. Unfortunately, he was way more interested at gazing at the inside of his eyelids. He did eventually get up and took in the last views before we came into Truckee, the town we were staying in.
We traveled up some small, worn back roads until we reached the little neighborhood where our lodge was located. Once we got inside we quickly unpacked and threw on our swim wear and headed down to Kings Lake, about 20 minutes away from our vacation home. We stopped for lunch at Full Belly Deli and I got a wonderful Kale Caesar Salad and a good sized fruit cup, and Omar got the Dirka Dirka sandwich, which was corned beef, pastrami, pickles, yellow mustard, Swiss cheese and jalapeno coleslaw. The portions were huge! We got Sami a kids egg and cheese burrito and it would have been enough to feed a grown up. My friend KK got a falafel wrap that also looked incredible.
Once we were stuffed to the gills, it was time to hit the lake. I am not particularly a lake, river, or ocean person. And it's not even because I am scared of the water, but mostly because sand is messy and itchy and I don't like it on my skin. I know that's petty, but sitting under my umbrella enjoying the looks and sounds of a beach surrounded by majestic mountains, was perfectly satisfying to me. The beach was not too crowed, and we easily found a place to set up our little relaxation area. Sami loved splashing around in the water! The actual water's temperature was pretty chilly, which should be expected in a mountain lake, but it was totally tolerable. The sand on the other hand was excruciatingly hot! Like, I don't know if I have ever felt sand hot, it was like fire. But the water was a nice contrast.
After we chilled around the lake, we headed up to Tahoe City to walk around and admire an adorable little art fair that was going on near the Tahoe City Marina. We went in and out the cutest little shops (dangerous for a shopaholic like me) beautiful local art galleries, and to a small lake dam. Because we went on a Friday the crowds weren't too bad, but of course it's Lake Tahoe, so it was still bustling!
After we walked around for a couple hours, we got back in the cars and went back towards Kings Beach, but instead of going all the way there we stopped at Carnelian Bay, where we ate dinner at the delicious Gar Woods Grill and Pier Restaurant. Sami was so exhausted he fell asleep on Omar, which he never does, and he was out until the food came.
Gar Woods Restaurant was a bit on the pricey side, but the portions were generous and the food was first rate. The view from the outdoor seating area was spectacular, and the atmosphere was very enjoyable. I ate the Peppered Tenderloin and Blue Cheese Salad with a side of pita bread, and Omar chowed down on the Blackened Chicken Sandwich with a side of fries. Both were fantastic! Sami split the food with us and enjoyed every bite. But he is an easy sell since he'll eat anything.
By the time we were done with dinner, we were ready to go relax. So we headed back home, showered, put the kiddos to bed, ate some yummy almond flour chocolate chip cookies, drank tea, visited while enjoying the cool mountain air on our balcony, and then headed to bed ourselves.
The kids got us up pretty early the next morning, so after a cup or two of coffee we headed to downtown Truckee to try out this cute little cafe called Marty's for breakfast. Oh boy, was it filling! It's definitely a place to go for yummy, diner style breakfast with a chic but eclectic twist.
We had been debating where to spend the day, and I had asked to go to some scenic overlook, since I was so taken in by the views driving up. We were told about an overlook of Emerald Bay that was supposed to be incredible and headed off in that direction. The drive was about 50 minutes, but it was absolutely beautiful! We even got to see a momma bear and her two cubs along the way, which had been on our wish list. We had prayed that morning that we would see one! God was so good, He let us see three!
When we finally got to the overlook the parking lot was slammed full! There was no place to park anywhere in sight. We ended up driving about a half mile more, and parked on the opposite side of the road. We just dodged the cars while running across the road and ended up being able to see all of Emerald Bay and a part of main Lake Tahoe. A word to the wise, if you are going to come, do this later in the day. A few hours later when we drove back there were way more places to park closer to the actual overlook parking lot.
After we "oooed" and "awwed" at the view we headed up to Angora Lakes. We were told it would be a pretty easy drive, but that was quite far from the truth. We traveled about 10 or 15 miles up a very bumpy, narrow road. It took quite a while to finally get close. We didn't know at the time that we would need to literally hike into the lake area, but we threw our suits on and started walking. What was supposed to be a 10 or 15 min walk to the lake, turned into an hour hike (in flip flops, with a baby stroller, on rocky uphill, sandy terrain.) We had missed a little trail short-cut, but the hike was still quite unexpected! I wasn't too upset or anything, but Omar had eaten some guacamole for breakfast that didn't settle well with him. It wasn't Marty's fault, mind you, we just pinpointed that he doesn't do well with guacamole, period. Phillip, KK's husband, ate the same breakfast and was fine. So hiking with an upset stomach was hardly enjoyable for my hubby.
Nevertheless, after much longer than the assumed 15 minutes, we reached the beautiful Angora Lakes. There are three beautiful bodies of water, hidden in the Evergreens: two small private and one larger public lake, which is where we spent our time. There was the cutest little snack shack (which sold bomb homemade lemonade), and small rent-able cabins, dwarfed by the surrounding mountain peaks! There were some places to climb up and jump off rocks into the deeper parts of the lake. Some were almost 70 feet high, way too high for me.
The snack shack had a place to rent paddle boats and a small gift shop with local items. It was a bit overpriced, but still, very sweet. There were several small parties of young college age men who were playing beer pong and playing loud music, although it was against the rules. All of that was unfortunately unpleasant. It could be worse, but that was something to keep in mind if your planning on hiking into Angoras Lakes. It's not super family friendly, but there still were tons of little kiddos. Also, I heard the Lake was only open until mid September.
Once we hiked back out of the lake area we headed to downtown Truckee for dinner. We had planned to shop the cute stores and explore the art galleries in Truckee, but by this time we were all tired and ready to just eat a relaxing supper and head back to our rental.
We ate at Best Pies Pizzeria and Restaurant and I was the only one who seemed to be impressed with the food. The other three didn't seem too hip on their salads or pizzas, unfortunately. I ordered a gluten-free pizza pie, made with my specifications, while the rest of them got individual slices and salads. They said their food lacked the wow factor and wasn't anything but okay. Nevertheless, my pizza was great, and I thought the flavors and even the crust was very enjoyable.
We spent the rest of the evening letting the kids play out what was left of their energy from sitting in car seats a majority of the day. They showered and then fell asleep. We parents chatted on the back patio laughing about old movies and enjoying the fresh mountain air. It was truly the fellowship that makes the vacation so sweet.
North Lake Tahoe was absolutely fabulous, and it was no surprise that I was not ready to come home Sunday morning. The drive back was beautiful but majorly bittersweet. I savor these times away with my hubby and son! There is nothing like loving on my family.
Below are some more pictures from Saturday, that maybe will inspire you to make a trip out to North Lake Tahoe soon. If you are planning a vacation out this way, feel free to comment below if you have any questions about our trip! It was a blast and I would highly recommend the adventure to anyone! Although not all went according to plan, it was still tons of fun, and I would definitely do it again! God bless y'all! Have a wonderful Tuesday!
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