New Year, New Appreciations of Home!
Once again, Happy New Year 2018! I halted this linkup back in December because it’s the holidays and work had become busy, therefore I had to take a break away from blogging and concentrate more on the other important tasks, such as gifts for family and friends, work, more coding studies, and, guilty with this one, video games.1 But, 2018 is here, which means new goals, new plans, new beginnings, and new changes. Positive changes.
So, I’m going to pick up from where I left off these last few months with my post-Thanksgiving trip back to the Sierras. That is, in another part of the Sierras. Alright, let’s go!
Tahoe: Border between California & Nevada
What can I say? We Californians love our outdoors. We love our natural habitats that God created for us. We love our beaches, lakes, rivers, mountains, and deserts. And there is nothing else we love even more than the majestic freshwater alpine lake known to us locals as Tahoe.
Tahoe is the largest alpine lake existing in the United States, and when you do run through the net and check out stock photo sites like Pixabay, you can see its glorious majesty, and how, in general, the lake seems so untouched and unpolluted, you can really see your own reflection crystal clear when you look down at its deep waters. Tahoe is also a major tourist attraction along with Yosemite, but distance-wise from Union City, depending on which area of Tahoe you decide to go, it took us a four-hour drive to the South Lake Tahoe area. The resort apartment that my parents booked is located in Nevada in a small town called Zephyr Cove.
Unlike with our Angels Camp/Yosemite trip two months before, we stayed at Tahoe for four days, but the weather and other things got in the way, so we didn’t get to tour as much. Still, I got some shots to share!
Why do you call it just “Tahoe” and not its formal name, Lake Tahoe?
The name “Tahoe” was derived from the word da’aw in the language of the Washoe native American tribe who dwelled in that area several centuries ago. The word da’aw is translated as “lake,” so if you think about it, “Lake Tahoe” sounds really redundant, therefore we locals (both California and Nevada) would just refer to it as “Tahoe.”
Day 01-02: Zephyr Cove, Nevada
We left home on Sunday after Thanksgiving on a mid-morning (around 9:00 a.m.), however, the weather was just pouring non-stop, the traffic was unbearable close to the Sacramento area that we had to take the backroads to skip over the long traffic. We got to our resort apartment at Zephyr Cove around late afternoon, and because we had to deal with the unending rain (and it was unending, it rained all the way from Union City to our destination!), we just flopped ourselves to our beds and couches, slouched to watch some TV, and rest. It was so cold and wet that for sure that some of us might wound up getting sick with the flu one way or the other, we found a really nice Thai restaurant not too far from the resort for dinner.
We also got weather reports that the snow will arrive early in the morning, so now we have a chance to see some snow!
When morning came, we woke up a little late. The parents have to attend a seminar for timeshare holders on that day, so my brother and I pretty much stayed at the apartment and finding ways to get ourselves busy and not get bored. Before the snow melted that morning, I went around the resort area for some nature appreciation and took some photos. California isn’t really well known for snow, as the majority of the state doesn’t have snowy weather unless you live up in the mountains or the Sierra Nevada range or near the borders of the other states that do snow.2 Therefore, for us Bay Areans, just seeing falling snow or just snow on the ground is like a tourist attraction for us.
The parents got back and it was just a few hours the sun sets, so at around 5 p.m., we went to a local restaurant that served really good food, quiet setting, and a really good price. We knew already that we only have two days left for the touring, and that we really need to plan ahead before we miss our chances. Because of the weather that we were somewhat unprepared for, the safest sightseeing event that we can do would be a nice steamboat cruise across the California side of the lake.
And it was a good idea too because the photos I’ve seen from Pixabay, a few I’ve used them as featured images in my past few entries, are all located in that same spot. Therefore, I decided to join in the photographic festivities and then boast to the stock photographers out there: “I’ve been there. I’ve taken shots of them. I feel triumphant!”
Day 03: M.S. Dixie II Motorboat Cruisin’ back to California
… in which we meant, crossing the border back to California via a motor-powered steamboat, the M.S. Dixie II. Highly recommended if you do plan to visit Tahoe, at least, the southern area of the lake.
Despite the bad weather during our first two days, this morning on the third day was surprisingly bright, sunny, and slightly warmer (though the weather is still cold enough to not melt all the snow around the mountains and hills). The cruise was not just a relaxing ride from one end to the next, there was also a narrator (ship captain?) sharing us the history and geological and natural facts about Tahoe.
One of the most famous spots throughout Tahoe is a small coastal area known as Emerald Bay. If you see a little island somewhere, and a hidden mansion in the woods near the shore, you’ve just landed on the California side of the lake that bears the name of Emerald Bay. On the California side of the cruise, we got to see the following:
- Emerald Bay – this small area of the lake is an actual California state regional park. Those staying from the Southwest side of Tahoe can have a chance to explore and experience one of the tourists’ favorite spots of the lake. It’s known for two particular places: Fannette Island and Vikingsholm.
- Fannette Island – When you check out stock photos from various sources about Lake Tahoe, this little (and only existing) island in the lake is one of the most photographed. It’s a tiny little island with a stone structure ruin right on the highest peak known as the “Tea House.”
- Vikingsholm – This was a summer home of a renowned Californian socialite that is now a museum. Because it is a summer home, it only opens in the summer. The house was obviously inspired by the old Scandinavian homes and a lot of the material used to build the house were all imported from the Scandinavian countries (Norway and Sweden, to be exact).
Because we were on a cruise and we were just passing by, we never really got to dock at the shore just to explore both Vikingsholm and Fannette Island. But, to make up for it, I’ve got plenty of shots for you guys to enjoy.
Now all I have to do is upload the best ones and maybe sell them. 😅
After our cruise, we had lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant on the California side of South Lake Tahoe. Knowing that this is a tourist spot, they gotta cater to all the guests, therefore they offer different cuisines of food and not just the local stuff. After that, we stopped by the apartment to drop our stuff, then we went back to the South Lake Tahoe downtown area. The parents stayed at the Nevada side so they can go gamble at the nearest casino resort there. My brother and I trekked to the California side to explore Heavenly Mountain Resort, famous for its high elevated ski slopes and a whole lot more. Famed ’60s singer/celebrity and eventual California congressman, Sonny Bono, died in a skiing accident here back in the late ’90s.
Unfortunately, I was too tired to take more photographs of the ski resort, therefore I don’t have any photos of the resort to share here.
A more famous ski resort in a place called Squaw Valley is located on the Western side of Tahoe. Squaw Valley was also the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics and since then, was (informally) renamed as Olympic Valley. We were too far away to that area, but if we weren’t, for sure we’ll be visiting and take photos of the Olympic rings. So far, this was the only Winter Olympics in history to have been hosted here in California.
Day 04: Going Back Home
Our checkout was early in the morning, therefore we checked out. Meaning, it was also time for us to head back home to the Bay Area and back to reality again. Nevertheless, what we lost from the first day because of the endless rain, we made up for the scenery of photos when we headed back home. I was really exhausted then that I didn’t have the energy to take more photos.
My dad, however, took plenty with his camera. All I had to do was to ask him for his SD card for it. But for this entry, just enjoy what I’ve shared at the mini-Tahoe gallery below. 😊
The Tahoe Gallery by Yours Truly
If you are going to use them as stock photography, please feel free to use them, as long as you give credit to the photographer (me). Keep in mind also that the photos you see in these galleries are not the only photos I’ve taken through the duration of the trip.
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