josh tristan and i spent a most wonderful, relaxing week at lake tahoe. we stayed with friends who live on the south shore in an area called "Tahoe Paradise" and what a paradise it was! every day we walked or hiked to see even more breathtaking views than the day before. i had never been to lake tahoe before, and i know that will definitely go again.
the friends we stayed with, mark and amber have 2 daughters named bailee and morrison. bailee is 8 and morrison is 6. morrison immediately became enamored with tristan and he with her. she called him "baby tristan" and entertained him constantly. it was such a nice break for me, especially since he's been a bit more clingy this past month. he would play with the girls for awhile, then wander around their enormous house until he found either me or josh, then he'd toddle back to the girls to play some more. (for some more great pictures and videos of this trip that actually include people, see tristan's picture blog.)
this mountain is called mt. tallac and is known for the cross in the middle of it that the snow creates. even though it was the beginning of june, the weather was still cool and crisp and the landscape was still quite "spring" looking. tulips and daffodils were still in full bloom, as were the blossoms on many trees. it felt amazing to take such deep breaths of clean mountain air free of city smog. the landscape reminded me so much of whistler, bc that it made me a little homesick.
josh and i decided to frolic a little bit in an open meadow, which the kids waiting in the car thought was amusing.
i doubt i've ever seen a sky quite so blue. these were just some of the trees growing in our friend's front yard. they live only blocks away from national forest land, so just taking a walk down their street was a treat.
winter sports are huge up there as well, so we've already decided that next time we visit will be in the winter. mark and i will hold josh down as we strap a pair of skis on him and then we'll teach him to snowplow :) josh and mark go way back. they were best buds in high school and have remained close for all of these years. it shocked me how quickly tristan became attached to mark. he really never initiates any sort of play with a male other than his own daddy, but he and mark wrestled and played like none other. it was really great to see.
we didn't see any bears, thankfully, but we visited a park that had just recently hosted a birthday party where a bear came out of the woods and helped himself to the birthday cake!
we took over 500 photos, which just goes to show how much our eyes are starved for natural beauty. as i've said before, the area we live in has a beauty all its own, but everything gets to be so brown and bleak looking that i really tend to miss the million shades of green that i grew up around. it was hard for me to believe that we were still in the state of california. this amazing state has so many varied areas, its really quite incredible.
apparently, the folks from rachael ray's tasty travels had just been to this area of tahoe and this restaurant, the burger lounge will be on her show airing june 20th. the burgers were really great, but josh would contest that their garlic fries and strawberry shakes are what they do the best. he couldn't believe his taste buds when he tried his first shake there, and he went back 3 days in a row to sip on some more strawberry goodness. we were also treated to some fabulous home cooked meals from chef amber including rib eye steaks, bbq'd chicken, and a gorgeous full breakfast featuring biscuits and sausage gravy.
our days were pretty low key since we came back to the house in the middle of the day to allow tristan to take a proper nap. it was a great little siesta time for all of us and one day in particular, josh had both morrison and bailee sleeping on top of him while he napped on the couch. in the evenings, after all the kids were asleep, we'd stay up and play card games, listening to music and enjoying drinks.
the flight home yesterday was a little insane since our toddler had been awake since 5am and didn't get a proper nap in. he melted down a few times on our second flight causing my blood pressure to sky rocket as i apologized to anyone who gave us a murderous look. we arrived home at 5pm and, though no pine trees adorned our lawn, nor snow topped mountains looked down upon us, it felt SO good to be back. there truly is no place like home.