Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

July 20, 2011

Lake Tahoe – 2011

Filed under: 2011 Lake Tahoe — dave9169 @ 11:26 pm

Tahoe Highlights:

2011 Tahoe Vacation Recap

We began this year’s vacation by taking a new route – the US395, a beautiful stretch of highway that leads you through rugged, pink desert landscapes that eventually give way to green valleys, bucolic meadows, and a series of mountain passes that provide incredible vistas of the sierras that still had plenty of snow. In terms of time, I friend of ours swore that this was the fastest way to get to Tahoe. Maybe, but not when you keep pulling over to the side of the rode to take pictures. We did a lot of this as it was the first time Cathy and I had ever been on this highway. The kids liked the scenery but didn’t appreciate all the trip-lengthening stopping.

To break up the trip, we stayed in the small town of Bishop. The kids loved the hotel (they always love hotels), because it had a small creek containing ducks — more importantly, baby ducks. The hotel also had a pool and spa, free cookies and drinks at 5:00 PM, and a decent free breakfast as well. The town itself was quaint, with lots of small restaurants. We ate at Amigos Mexican restaurant which was recommended by Lilahs’ swim coach, who actually grew up in Bishop. Not bad. One of the highlights of the town is Erick Schats’s bakery where you can get a wide assortment of breads, pastries, jellies, jams and practically anything else to appease your sweet tooth.

Lake Tahoe Fishing
Every time we go to Lake Tahoe, we try to do something new. This year our new activities were fishing and horseback riding. We tried doing some fishing on our own, but we’re all rookies when it comes to that stuff. While we were at Zephyr Cove, I spotted an old timer (Glen) who ended up really helping us out a lot. He not only gave us pointers on where and how to fish, he also gave us all the requisite supplies we needed — hooks, swivels, weights and bait. He then proceeded to set up our fishing rods the correct way because apparently I hadn’t even nailed that part down. What was nice about Glen is that he did not give me a hard time for my inexperience. Instead he just showed us how to do stuff and made us feel excited about continuing with our fishing expedition regardless of the results. The only warning he gave us was to hold our rod high when reeling it in because it was easy to get your hook caught on a rock in the location we were fishing in. Sure enough, I was the first and only one to get my hook stuck on a rock because I forgot Glen’s warnings.  Luke had no problem listening to Glen’s instructions and avoiding the same fate, but we still didn’t catch any fish.

We then proceeded to stop by Saw Mill pond, a place where only kids are allowed to fish. We spent a good two hours there as the kids kept swearing that they had a bite on their line, only to have the fish get a way moments later. From my vantage point, it looked like their line was bending on several occasions, but I wasn’t sure if it was due to the fish or the algae catching the line at the bottom of the lake. I did not share the algae theory with the kids however, as I figured it was best to keep them excited about the prospect of catching a fish. We didn’t end up catching anything at the pond either, and I’m not sure what I would have done if we had caught something — not like I’m well versed in unhooking a fish from a line — but our spirits weren’t dampened.

Seeing that the kids were still excited about fishing, I decided to sign up for a guided fishing tour. This is where you pay to have a guide take you out on a boat to go fishing with the hope that you’ll catch something. Our guide, Cory, took us to the Boca Resevoir, about 30 minutes outside of Tahoe, where the plan was to do two hours of regular fishing and two hours of fly fishing. All of us ended up catching multiple fish. Luke and Lilah caught approx. 5 fish each — their stories keep changing as they try to embellish their numbers in order to outdo each other — and I caught 3 as I was doing most of the picture taking and filming. Luke caught the most fish the normal way and Lilah caught the most fly fishing. Initially, we were going to simply catch and release all our fish, but then we decided we should at least keep 3 fish so that we could go through the entire process of catching, cleaning and eating the fish. Lilah refused to look at the fish cleaning, but I have it all on video should she change her mind one day. I BBQ’d the fish later the next day and the kids liked the flaky white trout. In the end, it was really a great experience and definitely worth the price.

Here’s a short video of Luke catching his first fish (well, technically his second fish as the first one got away before we could unhook it).
And here’s Lilah catching her first trout too.

Horseback Riding at Zephyr Cover
Back when Cathy was a teenager, her parents took her horseback riding at Zephyr Cove. 30 years later, this place is still in business and she’s the one taking her own kids there (along with her husband, of course). We decided to go on the dinner ride which includes an hour of horseback riding and a BBQ dinner of New York steak hibachi chicken, corn on the cob, beans, salad, drinks, etc. The ride itself meanders through a wood side trail that leads to a bluff where you get some nice panoramas of Lake Tahoe before the trail makes its way back down to camp and the hearty BBQ prepared by the mom of one of the guides. After the dinner you get to cap everything off with s’mores by the campfire. Not a bad way to spend the evening. It also seems that most of the guides have or currently participate in rodeos so you can get all kinds of interesting stories from them about life on the rodeo, including the dozens of bones they have broken and the myriad of ways they have maimed their bodies for the good of the sport. After hearing all this, Luke said there was no way he’d be in a rodeo ;-).

So those were some of the new things we did this year. In addition to the above, we also went to Squaw Valley which still had tons of snow (not enough for skiing but more than enough for snowball fights), the kids went parasailing along with a group of three other kids (who happened to be the kids of the parasailing company’s owner), and we spent some time at Sand Harbor, our favorite beach, among other things. Hard to believe another vacation is over, but the memories from this one should keep us pumped for years to come.

July Highlights:
<li>Lilah has her first sleep over</li>
<li>We watch fireworks</li>
<li>We check out the local street fair</li>
<li>We take our annual vacation to Lake Tahoe – here is a link to all the pictures</li>
<li>The kids attend a week long camp at America’s Teaching Zoo</li>
<li>I race in the inaugural Goleta Beach triathlon</li>
<h3>Kids Cap Off Another Successful School Year at Yamas</h3>
The kids finished off the school year with strong report cards. Lilah got all As and Excellents and Luke did well too, although not as well as Lilah, which Lilah was quick to point out (as always). We decided to take the kids to Yamas, a Japanese restaurant that features Teppan cuisine and plenty of showmanship as the chefs clink the condiment containers together to make music, juggle eggs on the edge of a spatula and turn onions into <a href=”/wp-content/gallery/june-2011/IMG_2134.jpg”>locomotive steam engines</a>. We thought it would be a fun and tasty way to celebrate the kids’ achievements, but, as is the case more and more these days, Lilah had other plans. She insisted that she did not want to go to eat Japanese food, that she didn’t like it, that she just wanted to stay at home and relax, etc. She also said that she would not be going to Yamas and that we should go without her. After a few futile attempts at negotiation, we resorted to the more heavy-handed, “Lilah, you’re going, now get in the car.”

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