Tahoe Living

Before BlogHer, Darcy and I drove up with the twins to have a good ole fashioned Tahoe Vacation.

Lake Tahoe and I go…way back.

When I was a youngster, back when I had no fear, my dad and I would tear up the Intermediate runs at Heavenly. I was low to the ground and I would beg him to abandon the black diamond runs to try to race me.

Then we began to frequent Tahoe in the summer. Tahoe in the summer is glorious. The weather is nearly perfect each day, free from fog, unlike the Bay Area. The glorious Lake is such a vibrant, specific color that it is both a paint chip and an environmental cause. My auntie Marian used to drive me up to the Lake in her vintage 60s red Porsche. We would stop at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and drink strawberry Daiquiris. (Mine were Virgin.)

When I became college-aged, Tahoe meant something different. My friend would host a party for dozens at her family’s lakeside condo. She was a daredevil, and would drive her family’s vintage wood boat (a vestige of their most prosperous days) into the wake created by the biggest ferry on the North Shore. Once, she drove so hard into a wake that our friends on the pier thought we had sank into the deep. But, we hadn’t.

My college boyfriend was a Skier. A double-diamond running, kick-turning genuine Warren Miller wannabe. Since I had become a summer Tahoe person, my skiing skills were suspect, but I had high hopes. My boyfriend’s friend, a kind instructor, a future Navy Seal, decided to teach me how to ski properly, at top of Squaw Valley’s Mountain Run. He was a little inebriated at the time. In fact, he was wearing the box of a 6-pack on his head.

I was dead sober and very, very scared. I followed his instructions to turn up: and promptly turned straight upwards into a mogul field. Those expert skiers flying down the field were very sore with me. Many curse words were uttered in my direction. Finally, a ski patrolman located me and instructed me to take off my skis and walk down the field.

“Who told you to go this way?” he asked, annoyed and perplexed. I pointed at my friend. “The guy with the 6-pack box on his head?” the ski patrolman asked, with anger.


Since the twins have been born, Lake Tahoe has meant something different. Each summer, we try to visit.

Each year, I am invigorated by the crisp Mountain air, the tall Tahoe Pines, the electric blue Lake.

Tahoe is a part of my soul.

This year, I ran on pristine Alpine trails, I admired the classic style and signs of Kings Beach and I gloried in the knowledge that my children were playing in the meadows where my Mom and I had once built a snowman. My son was looking out from the pier where I once performed daredevil acts. My daughter was learning to swim in a pool where I once swam as if I were a fish.

What I lived in:

Are there places you love to glory in, where you can reclaim your past? Where are they?



Filed under Perfect Moment

11 responses to “Tahoe Living

  1. You all look so happy in the picture! I’m glad you had a good time, and I think going to Tahoe before BlogHer was a great idea although you may need to go back now that it’s over.

    My place is Atlantic Beach in NC, where we vacation every year. I started going there with my father and stepmother when I was 13, and I have so many great memories there.

  2. For me, it’s the Okanagan valley. The desert mountains, the vineyards, the orchards, the lake… the all feed my soul. I miss that place as much as I miss the family and friends who live there. It’s always so hard to leave.

  3. Lovely photos! Tahoe holds special memories for me, too. When the husband and I were dating he took me here to learn to snow board. That night I iced my REALLY bruised knees and butt and vowed to keep all my snow adventures limited to cross country skies and snowshoes 🙂

  4. Beautiful. I love the pictures through the years.

    Maine. We haven’t been there in years, but that’s where we vacationed when I grew up, or at least, spent a week sometimes in the summer and sometimes in the winter visiting my grandmother and aunt. I have a series of pictures of me in front of the Narragansett hotel, through my college and grad student years, into early marriage. My past and I have a conflicted relationship, though … sometimes I don’t feel like I am attached to ANY place at all.

  5. I am so jealous – Lake Tahoe is at the very top of my vacation list! It sounds like it was wonderful! That family photo is terrific!

    I love going to Wisconsin for hiking. I’ve gone there since college and I just love it! And Colorado!

  6. I am going home to California for Thanksgiving, and I fully intend to spend some time in Sonoma County. It is such a magical place by the sea, the redwoods, and the hills. I also have a lot of dearly loved friends in that area, so I can’t wait to glory in their lovely faces!

  7. cw

    Awesome post!! We used to do a lot of caravaning as a family. I loved our holidays to Narooma a small town on the Sapphire Coast in NSW. My best memories are of us traipsing to the beach for the whole day and getting burnt to a crisp covered in zinc cream and sand in our togs, fishing from the nearby lakes and going for BBQs in the nearby hinterland, racing bikes against other kids in the caravan park and spending our holiday money at the trashy gift shops. Now we have molly we can’t wait to replicate those memories!

  8. I love seeing the pix of you. Sigh…

    I got to go to Granlibakken resort on the lake once, for a work meeting. It was FABULOUS.

    So….your takeaway is to beware of advice from people with 6-packs on their heads?

  9. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family. We didn’t vacation much when I was a kid. The one place we went to a few times was cape cod. We would go crabbing, eat lots of seafood and basically relax. Haven’t been there in years, but I remember having the time of my life. Can’t wait to go back and see what triggers memories.

  10. Gorgeous pictures! My place is the Colorado mountains. We went there as a family when I was little, and we occasionally get my immediate family back to the same place. It’s fun to see the same places as an adult!

  11. Beautiful post and pictures.

    I’ve been to Tahoe once (in 2008) and it lives in my memory. It was a trip I never *should* have been able to take, as if Molly had lived, I would have been home caring for her. But Bob and I went in late August that year for a college friends’ wedding and it was just what we needed after all we had been through with our baby girl that year. It was awesome to get away and have some time to ourselves and also to reconnect with old friends who knew before we got married and started trying to build our family. We intend to go back there someday in the not too distant future (a few years down the road) with many of the people we spent time with in 2008 there. So I look forward to that. I am not a downhill skier, so we will likely return again in the summer time.

    As for the places that are a part of my soul, there are a few, but the most significant for me is Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. My maternal grandparents retired there in 1979 and we vacationed there as a family for at least two weeks every summer, sometimes longer, until my grandfather’s death in 1998. At that point my grandmother moved to the midwest to be closer to us and she died in 2000. Since then we try to get back every 3 – 5 years. Last year when we went there, Bob, the kids and I actually were able to rent the villa that my grandparents owned all those years. It was awesome, surreal and bittersweet to live there again for a week. So many memories. My parents, sister and her family would gather with us for dinner most nights at the villa and it was so nostalgic. I have so many memories, like you describe about Tahoe, about HHI, as we refer to it. There will never be another place like it.

    London (where I studied for a semester in college), as well as the two residential summer camps that I spent time at over the years (one mostly as a camper and the other as a staff member) also are very near and dear to my heart.

    Great post Jjraffe! I read this one at the time you posted and somehow never got back to comment. So glad I returned to revisit it and respond.

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