Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tahoe For The 3rd Time

In July of 1986 Hubby and I left the kids and went to Lake Tahoe with his brother, his wife, sister and her boyfriend. By taking me to Las Vegas, and forcing me to leave the kids, he had created a monster. I had no problem leaving them for a week. Ok, so that part isn't completely true. I'm sure I missed them terribly. In fact, I clearly remember leaving them a little wrapped present to open each morning. I also remember that we called them every single day!

We stayed at the same adorable, little, rustic cabin that we had spent our honeymoon in. This time it was warm and the weather was perfect and I instantly fell in love with Tahoe in the summer.

We had a lot of fun. We went on a cruise that left from Tahoe City and cruised along the north shore. We were able to see many of the beautiful lake front properties. We went horseback riding at Squaw Valley. While you can't see the lake from the valley at Squaw, the valley itself is beautiful. Olympic Village is right there. You can see the old skating rink from the Olympics. If you close your eyes and think about it, you can almost imagine what it must have been like to have all of the athletes from all around the world hanging out in the Village.

Here's a picture of some of us horseback riding at Squaw.

You can barely see me in the front, and that's Hubby in the back.

One night, Hubby and I, drove down to Sparks, Nevada for the evening. My newly-married cousin and her husband lived there. She and I are 19 months apart. When we were kids and young teenagers we were close. We didn't see each other often, but when we did, we got along great. We hadn't seen each other in several years. I had married young and she had moved to Tahoe and then went to college in Nevada. They invited us down one night for a bar-b-que. We reconnected that night and a wonderful friendship was rekindled. We see them every chance we get, especially when we are at the Lake. They come to our neck of the woods often and we email and text all of the time. We are going on a cruise together this fall. I'm so glad that she invited us down on that trip. My favorite cousin and Lake Tahoe.....it doesn't get much better than that.

One of our favorite things to do at Tahoe was to eat at a restaurant in the Boat Works Mall called Hacienda Del Lago. It changed names a few years ago and we haven't tried it since. I think we're afraid that it just won't be the same. All of us went to dinner there one night. We had dinner on the patio, where the view is just gorgeous. We always order Margaritas and stuff ourselves silly with tortilla chips and salsa, to the point of not even needing to eat the dinner when it arrives. I'm sure this trip was no different. See, EVERY vacation we take involves eating too much on at least one occasion.

The Truckee River mouth starts right at Tahoe City where the dam is. A favorite thing to do for many is to go river rafting. Today, you hardly ever see anyone in anything but a commercial raft, but in 1986 many people took there own rafts and inner tubes. The river is pretty lazy. There are generally just a few spots where there are tiny rapids. I had never done anything like this before. I'm not a strong swimmer and even though Hubby kept telling me that this was the laziest river in the world.....well his track record for being honest about "easy" situations didn't make him very credible. The water was fairly high in the river that year, making the river a little more than lazy in some spots. We set off with 4 people in a two-man raft, with one person floating in an inner tube tied to the raft. The sixth person was simply floating down the river with a mask and fins. The water is really cold. We had to keep switching the person in the inner tube because, after a short time in the cold water, that person no longer had any feeling in their rear end. The section of river that you raft on is about 3 miles long. You get out of the raft at The Riverwalk restaurant. The section of river right before the restaurant has the most rapids. We kept getting stuck on rocks and turning ourselves backwards. We were having a great time until we hit a spot where we had too many people in the raft. We were bouncing off of rocks and getting just beat to death. Somehow we ended up with so many holes in the boat that it looked like a flat piece of yellow rubber. My brother-in-law and I were standing in the middle of the river trying not to lose our footing and trying to decide which shore to walk or swim to. The current was moving pretty fast. I remember holding on to his arm and telling him that great bodily harm would come to him if he even thought about letting go of me. The other two people were still on the flat raft trying to ride it to the end. The poor person in the inner tube had long since bailed and was standing on shore laughing hysterically. My other brother-in-law who was just floating continued to just float- fat, dumb and happy. When we regrouped I remember being pretty mad at my Hubby because even though it's beyond funny now, I was scared. The water was only waist deep, but it's hard to keep your footing on slimy river rocks when the current is moving and especially when other rafts are slamming in to you. People had no control of anything and we were pretty much road hazards. When we got back to the cabin, the guys assessed the damage to the raft. 28 patches later the raft was miraculously holding water again. We waited a day or so and went back for more. This trip was uneventful and to this day I love rafting on the Truckee. Some years there isn't very much water and you have to carry your raft over certain spots and other years there is too much water, causing you to have to lay down when you go under a bridge. You never know what each year will bring, but it's always fun. The last time we were at the cabin was in 2004. The boat with the 28 patches was still there!

The week went way too fast, as any week at the Lake does, but I know we were anxious to get home to our babies. We were also anxious to bring them to the Lake so that they could fall in love with it too.

One week at the Lake....gas, food, meals out.....$325.00. Next vacation, January 1987, Brianhead skiing.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Yep, Hacienda is nothing like it used to be. I found the website a few years ago and its all fancy now. They serve duck and stuff like that. I'll never forget our last trip there, though. Remember those shrimp tacos? And, if you want to get technical, your raft did not hold WATER after 28 patches...I think it held AIR. Minor detail.