Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lake Tahoe with the Millers

I have been wanting to go to Lake Tahoe for the longest time because I have always heard about how beautiful it is and I love camping.  So when our beekeeping friends started talking about fitting in a camping trip before they headed to North Dakota for the summer, we decided Tahoe was the perfect spot since it was a reasonable distance for both our families.  Paul and I took and pitched our tent but ended up sleeping in Jason and Ginny's trailer because there was plenty of room and it was like a big fun slumber party (and we didn't have to deal with an uncomfortable air mattress or the colder temperatures).  So I guess it was more "glamping" (glamorous camping) than real roughing it.  This picture is of our fun little group in front of our campsite and the Miller's trailer.

It is crazy that when we first met the Miller's that their oldest son Ollie was not even 18 months old and now their third child (a girl!) is on her way.  We hate that they moved a few hours away but we love that we still get together like this. 

Tahoe did not disappoint.  It is a stunningly beautiful lake with crystal clear water that is so pure that apparently you can see objects with perfect clarity up to 67 feet deep.  It was THE place to vacation for the Hollywood set in the 50's and 60's I guess.  This was Emerald Bay.

On our first day there (we all drove in on Thursday night, so this was Friday), we had a big pancake breakfast with sausage and eggs and fruit, then hung out on a little beach by our campsite for a while.  Around lunch time, we headed out on a drive to a place called Inspiration Point, which overlooks Emerald Bay.  We had a picnic lunch there while Clara slept in the car since she had fallen asleep on the drive. 

Then we went on to another spot to do a hike at Eagle Falls. 

That is where Max (Jason & Ginny's youngest who is about 8 months older than Clara) fell asleep.  Jason carried him for the entire hike because they forgot their baby carrier back at the trailer. 

It wasn't a very long hike but it was pretty decent hiking up granite staircases and paths strewn with rocks, which is typical for the Sierras.  And the weather was absolutely perfect even though we were a little early in the camping season and there was a lot of snow up in the mountains still. 

The sun was really strong so you can't tell very well from this picture but this was a bridge over the waterfall and Paul and Clara were looking down at it with a little trepidation. 

One of the many perks about traveling with friends is that you can trade off camera duty so we got a few pictures of all three of us together when Ginny took the camera from me.  We know from experience that it is easy to get sunburns at these higher moutain elevations so we all kept our hats on.  Thank goodness Clara likes wearing hats.

We even asked a stranger to take another group photo of all of us when we got to the top of a vista point that looked out over the lake with beautiful views.

What you can't quite tell from these pictures is that the rocks just dropped away in sheer cliffs a few feet from where we were standing, creating a gorgeous rushing water sound.  It was pretty cool being at the top of the waterfall and looking out over Emerald Bay.

When we got back to camp we built a fire and cooked tinfoil dinners (they turned out SO delicious - the best ones I have ever had) and then roasted marshmallows for s'mores.  Clara LOVED her marshmallow but she was really upset about the requisite bath in the trailer shower afterwards to get the sticky out of her hair. 

Paul and the boys enjoying s'mores.  Seriously, I ate way too many but I LOVE those things and it is only a couple times a year that we go camping so why not indulge, right? 

Ginny and I were a little worried about how the kids would do going to bed at the same time in the trailer but they were all awesome all three nights were were there.  Clara and Max were hanging out after bathtime looking at some app on Ginny's phone and it was so cute that I was so glad I had the camera right on me to capture it.  Ginny and I have decided that arranged marriages might not be so bad after all and we may or may not have made some plans for these two. 

On Saturday morning we went back to the beach by our camp.  It wasn't cold but it wasn't super warm either and the lake water was certainly chilly.  But the kids loved having their pants rolled up anyway so they could go wading. 

Unfortunately, Clara did NOT want to listen to constant reminders not to go in too far.  She would creep just a little bit farther then just a little more until one of us would go pull her back in when she would ignore our commands to not go in so far.  This was her "don't tell me what to do face" that she made just before she went for a polar bear swim.  We think she just lost her balance, but in just one second she fell face first and was completely soaked (in all of about 6 inches of water).  Jason was only a few feet away though so he scooped her up really quickly and I was there one second later (since obviously we were all really close by as Clara hadn't been very good about not going in too far anyway and we had suspicions that this sort of thing just might happen eventually to her or one of the two boys). 

This is after her little morning dip.  I think she did it on purpose to prove that I should have put her in her swimming suit like she had asked repeatedly on our way down to the lake that morning. 

We stripped her and wrapped her in a warm, dry sweatshirt and I carried her back to camp to change clothes.  Honestly, I think she thought it was an adventure because the whole thing totally didn't phase her a bit other than that she had goosebumps by the time we got to the trailer and I was able to dry her off completely.  I seriously need to get her signed up for swimming lessons because I am so paranoid about water accidents and this did nothing to help that paranoia, even though it wasn't a big deal and she was never in any danger since we were right there with her.

Once we got back to the beach she wasn't allowed to take her shoes off at all to go in the water.  There have to be consequences, you know.  Instead she sat on the sand with daddy.

Paul still made it fun by teaching the kids how to skip rocks.  Paul is an awesome rock-skipper.  I am always impressed by how good he is at it and the little boys and Clara especially thought it was cool.

After a lunch of roasted hot dogs, we drove to Tallac Historical Park to see some of the cabins built in the late 1800's and early 1900's by the wealthy to use as summer homes.  It was beautiful and very interesting and it felt like we were stepping back in time to the 1920's through much of it aside from the fact that it was right on the lake and we could hear motorboats every now and then.  Mostly we just wandered here and then found Pope Beach - a beautiful beach with incredibly soft sand for a mountain lake - where we hung out and skipped more rocks and had rock throwing competitions for distance and accuracy (trying to hit a buoy in the lake).  Clara stayed well away from the water so we think she learned her lesson that morning.

After Tallac we came back to the campsite and had pizza and salad that we had picked up from Round Table.  Clara showed off her mad swinging skills by hanging from this rod on the trailer.

Then we went on one last hike up to a water tower above our campground (the Zephyr Cove Resort, for future reference).  Jason and Ginny were goofing off here but really it was a steep climb.

We found this great pile of rocks to climb on for some final pictures as the sun was setting out over the lake.

It was only too bad we hadn't thought to bring the tripod so I wasn't in the pictures.  But it is such a fun group shot.  We miss these guys and wished we could get together like this more often.

After the kids were in bed us adults hung out around the campfire playing Password and just chatting until we were all too tired to stay up any longer.  It was a great way to kick off the summer season and we are really looking forward to going camping again soon!


  1. How fun! It looks gorgeous there. I actually like camping, but I think Charlie hates it... Hmm... We should try it sometime. Anyway, I can't believe how big and grown up Clara is looking. The polar bear swim made me chuckle a little. Glad she was okay. And I love your hat.

  2. Such a great trip! We are lucky to have friends like you guys who enjoy the same things we do and are always up for an adventure. Thanks for planning all the fun things we did. Btw, I stole a bunch of these pictures, I hope that is ok.


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