First time I went to Tahoe was for Christmas in 2014, a snowstorm hit on Christmas Day and the fancy SUV we had borrowed couldn’t make it up the hill despite the AWD. 🚗 Damn summer tires!!! (Snow is heavy, sticky, and wet in the Sierras = very slippery.)
Story of the trip – we were staying at a friend’s house who had just purchased the property and had scheduled a hot tub to be delivered while we were there. He was in Europe at the time and only one girl at the house was briefed about the hot tub. One snowy morning a team of 3 handsome, fit, young men arrived to install a hot tub. Said girl was still sleeping, no one else knew anything about the hot tub. So we told the guys we were not expecting a hot tub. Indeed, they were cute, but no hot tub for us 🤔 They didn’t give up and waited and waited. Said girl finally woke up, we told her about the 3 young men outside who refuse to leave, and then it all came together. 3 young men and a hot tub were to stay 🛀 Installation went like this – owner did not leave us any ice removal tools or salts, the whole deck was frozen, and we had to scrape the ice off one way or another so they could put the hot tub where it belonged. De-ice deck developing country style = do it any way you can = 3 girls in pajamas taking turns, boiling water in the kitchen, pouring over the ice and then breaking the ice with metal poles. A couple of hours and 3 tired girls later, deck was clear and the 3 young men could finally get to work. We still laugh when we mention that hot tub. Best part of the story was we had to face time the owner from Europe as we didn’t know where he wanted the hot tub but we barely had internet so everyone had to get off their devices for said girl to be able to turn on the video on her phone. The 3 young guys from the hot tub company probably had never had a more ridiculous delivery/installation.❄⛏
Places visited –
Truckee is an old mining town with a very cute main street and an old hotel on the corner that is a must. If for nothing else, then at least for their legendary loaded Bloody Mary 🌿🍅#bloodyforbreakfast
We then visited a couple more small towns on the road back to San Francisco that are part of the original El Dorado route. (Read: they were founded around the gold rush)
The Ritz Carlton is the venue to frequent at Northstar. Don’t miss their apres-ski (or during ⛷) hot toadies around the fire pit.
Favorite terrain – that Northstar peak where they offer free champagne toast at 2pm 🍾 How do we come down advanced terrain afterwards? Slide any way you can. #itsalldownhillfromhere #imaverageonagoodday
Second time I went to Tahoe was for Thanksgiving in 2016, a snowstorm hit on the day I was supposed to leave and my FWD car with winter tires couldn’t make it up OR down the hill.
Story of the trip – I got stuck due to the storm and had to stay an extra day. A local rider helped me out with the car (read: we left the car behind for 12 hours waiting for the snow to melt) and taught me an important life lesson – “when you can’t drive through the storm, go ride it out on the slopes” 🏂 #snowboarding #powderday #forevergrateful #lifesaver
Favorite terrain – those fresh and not groomed black slopes on Mt Rose that seemed SO doable after the traditional Bloody Mary lunch #liquidlunch
Places visited – wine tasting (ok, in our case it looks more like wine drinking) at the Hyatt in Incline Village overlooking Lake Tahoe while a storm was brewing outside!
Third time I went to Tahoe was in May 2017 during their historic winter season to snowboard at Squaw Valley for Memorial Day. #springskiingcapital They still had 15 FEET of snow on top of the mountain, while the lake was prime for summer activities! Read: you can ski in the morning, go paddle board in the afternoon and have drinks and dinner on a outside deck in the evening. Had no car this time and OF COURSE a snow storm didn’t hit. #justmyluck Trip entailed 4 days of non stop riding where the boys would take me to the park for a warm up run 😉 #giraffecanjump I got to experience a taste of Tahoe in summer and I can’t even begin to explain how incredible that place is!
We stayed at the Squaw Valley Lodge and I loved the ski in ski out access, as well as the heated outdoor pool and hot tub right under the tram.
On my last day there I went to take an yoga class at the local studio. Little did I know I was entering an official Wanderlust location 🕉 #happycamper If you are there in July, you must check the Wanderlust Yoga Festival on top of the mountain at High Camp. The views are insane!
Places visited –
PlumpJacks was our choice for nightcap cocktails or dessert. Food, drinks, and service are impeccable and it is the only place open late in Squaw.
The Chami (Le Chamois) is the popular apres-ski spot in Squaw and was literally in our backyard. Their slogan is: “The name is French, the food is Italian, the beer is American.”
Sunny Side is a marvelous place on the lake for dinner and cocktails with an outdoor patio and live music.
River Lodge is another cosy, romantic, and authentic place for dinner right next to a roaring river with a delectable selection of game meats and wine pairings.
High Camp offers stunning views of Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe and in spring/summer features Vegas-style pool parties at the pool/hot tub. Yes on the slopes, yes at 8,000 ft, yes outside, yes you can go for a swim at lunch between chairlift rides, and yes we wore swimsuits under our ski gear!
Favorite terrain – Siberia bowl, the border cross course in the park, and the signature Squallywood snake runs.
Story of the trip – my custom board with 80s porn graphics is always a great conversation starter but I’ve often wondered if one day I’ll randomly meet the actor pictured on my board. He’d probably be in his 80s at this point and will mumble: “You got me on your board, Sweetie 😮” Well I didn’t meet THAT actor but I randomly met in the gondola (ok, they call it Funitel at Squaw) two gay males in their 50s who had filmed a short porn movie with their friends and had submitted it to a film festival. Not only it was approved, it is touring the country now with the Hump Fest – a short gay porn film fest for people between 50 and 70 years old… #theheartdoesntage #loveknowsnolimits The name of the movie is “I Am Not Poly But My Boyfriends Are” if anyone is interested in watching 😉
Since I missed visiting Tahoe in 2015 and I didn’t double down in 2017 to cover for the losses, the fourth time I visited Tahoe was in January 2018 when I went 3 times 🙂
We spent the majority of our time at a ski-in-ski-out lodge at Kirkwood (hot tub included) with a short two-day stint on the shore of Lake Tahoe close to Heavenly so I could see those mountain-to-lake views #heavenlyindeed
Story of the trip – My girlfriends in California who are amazing skiers had booked a condo for a weekend to attend an advanced Ladies Ski Clinic. I really wanted to go ride a new mountain and there was space in the condo, so how could I say no to a ski-in ski-out gourmet weekend?! Little did I know they wouldn’t have it any other way but MAKE me do the advanced Ladies Clinic too. (That experience deserves it own blogpost) The girls resorted to extreme measures and said: #NoClinicNoCoffee ☕ Considering they had brought 3 different European espresso makers and fresh ground organic beans from San Francisco, for damn sure I wasn’t having American drip coffee. I have my priorities right after all! #butfirstcoffee
Favorite terrain – the back side of Kirkwood is a playground for adults with fluffy snow, open snowfields, playful gulleys, and wide tree runs. It is also plenty steep. At Heavenly I enjoyed the most the Nevada side of the mountain even though puny snowfall in 2018 had kept the steeps and bowls closed even at the end of January 😦
Places visited –
Historic Kirkwood Inn & Saloon is an authentic, delicious, and sustainable option for dinner. It was built in 1864 by pioneer Zachary Kirkwood and is a California Historic Landmark. When Prohibition took place, the inn had a bar on wheels that they would move across the different county lines that met in the bar depending on which members of law enforcement from certain counties were visiting. #onewaytodoit It is also believed they did this to avoid paying tax collectors their cut of liquor receipts. They also had slot machines hidden in the kitchen. #whynot The Inn was just renovated to its old glory after the heavy snowfall of Winter 2017 that had the roof collapse and the building flood. Kirkwood Resort also runs a shuttle from the village to the inn should you fancy a few glasses of wine with dinner and don’t want to drive your vehicle.
Himmel House is a German Pub at the bottom of the California-side of Heavenly Resort. Their meat specialties and variety of beers are a well deserved treat after a long day of skiing. I had trouble choosing between yoga and apres-ski but eventually sausages won!
That’s all folks 🙂 For this lifetime around at least 🙂