National Lampoon’ Tahoe Vacation
Written by Ashley Kelmore, Posted in Adventures
A whirlwind week of fun with the family.
My trip had a bit of an inauspicious start. I got to the airport on time (after getting up at 4:30 AM), and the plane pushed back early. But we sat. And sat. And sat some more. After about 30 minutes, the captain came on to say that we couldn’t take off because our flight plan wasn’t cleared. He even shut down the engines, which is never a good sign. Then he came back on, sounding really frustrated, and said that the tower couldn’t access flight plans for anyone heading to the Bay Area. Whoops.
It was eventually corrected, and I landed in Oakland about 90 minutes late. We headed to Tahoe, with a couple of quick stops – one at the Jelly Belly Factory (yum!) and one at In-and-Out (yum!).
It was so great to get up to the Lake. I’ve not been there in the summer since before I started my current job, and the four of us haven’t been there in the summer in a decade.
Sunday was a full day of walking around and eating. Seriously. We walked down to the Lake, then went over to Kings Beach for some miniature gold – a family tradition. After checking out the art fair, we played (or, in my case, lost) some money at the slot machines. Then we had a super yummy dinner at The Soule Domain. They even had vegan offerings.
Monday was pool day, followed by dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant with the godparents.
Tuesday was a crazy day. We were supposed to go out on a boat, but it was cancelled. We went down to south shore instead, and took the Heavenly gondolas up about 2,000 feet. Seriously, freaky. It was fine hanging over a nearly vertical mountain face when the gondola was moving, but when we just stopped and hung there? Oh HELL NO. I was not amused. But once we got to the top, it was all worth it. The view was breathtaking.
After traveling up a little further, we came across the zip line – the longest in North America. After sister and I took another ski lift to the very top of the mountain (9,500 feet above sea level, about 3,000 feet above the lake), we were each strapped into a harness dangling from a cable. Then the let us go, and we flew 540 feet over tree tops. It was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling of flying, and it was amazing.
The rest of the week was all about the small town USA fourth of July celebrations. There was a pancake breakfast thrown by the local fire house, a parade (featuring square dancers and boats), a tribute to veterans, and a 1940s USO show. It was so fun, with everyone so into the activities. On the actual 4th of July we walked to the Lake and had dinner at the local hotel, where they were setting aside space on the beach for us to sit. The fireworks were spectacular – and a bit scary when a few went off directly on the barge, lighting it on fire. Whoops.
There were some low points – mostly when we would slip into family bickering mode – but overall it was a really relaxing, wonderful time with the family.