South Lake Tahoe, CA
We pulled into Tahoe Valley Campground in South Lake Tahoe early Saturday evening after a loooooong drive from Carlsbad. 9 hours well worth it as after two weeks away from Boat we were SO happy to be back in our home. But let's avoid doing that long of a drive again, yes?
Tahoe was a must on our itinerary for no other reason than we were told we had to go. I had never been. Pete had been twice, once for work and once where his only memories were passing out in a bar and hot tubbing with a bunch of dudes. My questions stopped there. Now, Tahoe is a must because it's incomparable in its 70-degree-evergreen-everblue-lake-paradise filled with hikes, water sports, food, and gambling. It's a pleasant reminder of our PNW home + a little bit more sunshine.
With three weekends and the holiday 4th, we had plenty of days to explore our temporary home. We went east to Stateline, NV and rode the gondola up to Heavenly Mountain to hike the empty ski trails. We went west and hiked Maggie's Peak and Rubicon Trail. We went north to Tahoe City and rented jetskis for a morning. We went even further north to Incline Village and joined a small group for a Catamaran tour along the northern shore. We shopped - I found another gray hoodie and Pete found his absolutely-necessary-can't-live-without-hiking-overshirt. We gambled - I gambled, Pete drank. We mini-golfed - I won. I always win. We went house hunting for any and every available A-Frame. We celebrated Pete's birthday, but unfortunately missed Pitbull. Sorry, babe. We cooked many a taiwanese dish for the 4th, just like our forefathers before us. And we ate EVERYTHING - vietnamese, thai, italian, chinese, hawaiian, japanese, mexican, american - traditional and small plates. Who knew such a small city would have SO much to offer in terms of cuisine? Nothing fancy, but every belly craving was satisfied.
Tahoe was incredible. It was our first taste of small town living where we seriously discussed whether or not we could live here permanently. On one hand - close to a municipal airport, diverse outdoor activities, impressive variety of cuisine, friendly locals, and affordable housing in a style we're both fond of. On the other hand - small airport, no professional sports teams, and winter. We're not picky people, but we have picky requirements that inconveniently change by the day. Yes, exactly what I said. And we've realized we still have no idea what we're looking for in a city we might want to call home. Every place we've been has opened our eyes to opportunities available if we're willing to take a few risks. We love the idea of land - I get my chickens, bees, and veggie garden and Pete can park the 'stream next to his riding mower. But, hey, we'd also like to be within walking distance of a bougie artisanal grocery store and butchery. That's not usually an option (or if it is, please tell me where). We love the idea of small town - a sense of community, trust, and supporting small business. But I get anxiety at the thought of awkward small talk (because I am fumbly when spontaneously acknowledged) and Pete's fond of his privacy. Maybe we need a city with an outdoor amphitheater with regularly scheduled classical music events? Or maybe we need a city with professional sports teams! But no obnoxious fans. Maybe we need mountains? Or maybe we need ocean? Or maybe we’d prefer wide open spaces? Maybe it's a good thing we live in a trailer and move every three weeks...
Things we miss:
Sam misses tacos.
Pete misses the Pacific Ocean.
Dog misses her two Swissy cousins - Maddox and Jagger.
Things we love:
Sam loves walkable Thai food.
Pete loves walkable Starbucks.
Dog loves no longer having to share her humans with Maddox and Jagger.