Lake Tahoe has been on our list of places to visit for a long time. in July this year, we finally managed to visit the place. We decided to go during the July 4th weekend. We weren’t able to finalize our plans until the last minute. The weekend before the 4th, we booked the hotel and made plans.
We left early on Thursday (July 4th) at 8:30 am to avoid traffic and I should say we got lucky. I packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast in the car. We reached Lake Tahoe by lunch time. After debating for a bit about where to eat, we finally decided on Baja Fresh – a Mexican grill. We love Mexican food and we weren’t disappointed.
After lunch, we started walking towards the lake. The walk was a bit long, but not too bad. Sanjay complained all through the walk and he just did not want to go. Sarath did not complain at all. He was very happy to walk.
We finally reached the lake and it was awesome. There were boats we could rent and both the kids wanted to go on the boat. Luckily, we were able to get one. After the initial safety talk, we were on the lake! We thought it would be a bit cold on the lake, but it was nice and warm. The sun was on us and we had loads of fun. Som drove the boat for a while and then I took over. The kids had a blast.
After the boat ride, we got to know that there would be fireworks over the lake as it was 4th of July (Independence day in the US). The kids wanted to stay, but we were too tired. It would also get kind of cold by sunset and the fireworks wouldn’t start until close to 10pm. So, we convinced the kids not to go to the fireworks. We walked back and checked in to the hotel. The room was a decent one. Small room with two full size beds. If we had booked earlier, we would have got a better one.
We relaxed in the room for a bit and then went out for dinner. There was a big shopping center with lots of restaurants and shops close to our hotel. When we got there, and found out that there was a mini golf course, the kids wanted to play. Mini golf was a lot of fun and by the time we were done with golf, the restaurants around that area had a 45 min wait time. We were all very hungry and decided to eat at SubWay (the kids were super excited about that btw). After dinner we got some ice cream and went to the hotel. We got ready to sleep when we heard the fireworks starting at the lake. We realized that we could see the fireworks from the balcony of our hotel which was super nice. Both the kids were excited about that and they stayed out in the balcony until the fireworks were done.
On Friday we planned to go on the Gondola ride to the top of the mountain. Lake Tahoe is already at an elevation of 6000ft. The Gondola took us up the mountain and there was a stop before we reached the top. There was an observation deck at this point from where we got amazing views of the lake the mountains. It was beautiful. We spent about half an hour here taking pictures. We then took another Gondola to the top of the mountain. At the top, they had many other activities like rock climbing, ropes course, gem stone panning etc.
When we go to places like this, we are never sure about finding good vegetarian food. Also, we usually have to wait for a long time in restaurants. So, I packed tamarind rice and chips. We took a microwave rice cooker, rice and home made tamarind rice mix. I cooked rice and mixed the rice mix and packed in small boxes. As soon as we reached the top, we were hungry. We ate lunch and we explored the area for a while. We wanted to go on a couple of small hikes, but the kids were still tired from the previous day. So, instead they did gemstone panning and we took a chair car to go to even higher. We finally reached 9700 ft.
There was still some snow that high up the mountain. It was sunny and warm and we were standing in the snow clicking pictures. The kids were very excited about it. After spending a good half an hour to 45 min, we came back down the mountain in the Gondola. We then ate some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery and went to the room to relax.
In the evening we went to see some waterfalls around the lake. We did a little bit of hiking, ate dinner and went to bed.
On Saturday, we wanted to drive around the lake and do a few hikes in between. Our first stop was Cascade lake. It was a 0.7 mile hike one way, but was a very strenuous one. We got some amazing views on our way to the falls. It did take us a long time to finish the hike and we were very tired.
After that hike, we got into the car and started driving around the lake. There were many other places where we could have stopped and hiked, but we were hungry and tired. So, we kept driving. There was nothing to eat on the way and it was a while before we hit the next town with something to eat. We finally found a TacoBell. We finished lunch and started driving back. Since part of the lake is in Nevada, we entered the state of Nevada and came back into California. The kids were very excited about this.
Since Carson city was very closeby, Sarath wanted to go and get a picture in front of the Capitol building in Carson city. So, we drove to Carson city and back. The sun was still up by the time we were back in South Lake Tahoe, so we went to the beach for a little bit. It felt nice stretching our legs and walking in the sand. After that, we went to Pizza hut for dinner which took a long time. We came to the room and crashed after a nice warm bath.
The next day we packed up and started driving back home. Since it was the end of the long weekend, it took us a long time to get back home because of the traffic. Overall it was a fun and exciting weekend.