HAPPY APRIL, EVERYBODY! I can't even believe that we're already FOUR months in to 2017. I always have a hard time deciding whether Winter or Spring is my favorite time of the year. On one hand, I am obsessed with all things that come with the holidays - the weather, the smells, the joy, the love, everything. On the other hand, I always get a bit too excited when I see those spring flowers blooming and the sun starts poking out from behind the clouds. The sun and I are long time friends and I love when she's finally back out to join me in the Spring.
Lucky for me, I got a mix of both over my birthday weekend when my boyfriend surprised me with a getaway to Lake Tahoe. It was honestly one of the most unreal places I've ever been. And how crazy is it that I've been 3 1/2 hours away from this place for the past five years and have never been until now? It's a crime and if you live even remotely close - like in the state of California or Nevada - do yourself a favor and go to Tahoe because it is BEAUTIFUL.
We left on a Friday afternoon, which was actually really convenient and if you are looking for a quick weekend getaway from the Bay Area but still want to feel like you're a million miles away, Tahoe is the place to go. I wasn't driving so my boyfriend might completely disagree, but the drive up there was honestly one of the most beautiful, calming, surreal drives I've ever been on. On a normal day, the drive to South Lake Tahoe is just under 3 1/2 hours from San Francisco. It was snowing once we started getting closer to the summit - like ACTUAL snowflakes - so it added on about an extra hour but I was too busy freaking out about seeing snow fall for the first time in my life, I hardly even noticed.
When we finally made it to our hotel, we decided to venture out for a bit to see what was around us. Across the street was the cutest little collection of family owned shops that carried your typical tourist trinkets and souvenirs. Kind of $$$ but, honestly, what gift shop isn't? They also had a Paint + Sip class that I would have loved to do if we didn't have to be up at 6am the next morning. Another time, another post, hey? We called it a fairly early night due to our early wake up call which was a good idea because who knew snowboarding would take so much out of a person?
Despite our hotel being at the foot of Heavenly, we made our way to Sierra for our lessons in snowboarding, but not before one of THE most amazing breakfasts I've ever had! I'm a sucker for the classic bacon and eggs with hashbrowns while my boyfriend will choose pancakes over everything. This place was TO DIE FOR. Their pancakes were probably some of the most delicious pancakes I've put in my mouth, and maybe it had to do with the fact that they warmed up the bottles of syrup before they gave it to you, but holy. I wish this place existed near us because I'd probably be there every single day. My biggest regret this trip is not getting a picture of our food. So, Red Hut Cafe, if nothing else, you've given us reason to go back.
Now let's talk about Sierra at Tahoe, the place I both loved and feared. We chose Sierra because it had the best deal for lessons, rentals, and lift tickets but it was so worth the 30 minute drive and early wake up call. As someone who has never set foot on a snowboard and can only go straight on a skateboard, I am incredibly thankful for their absolute beginners lesson. Everyone said skiing was easier and that's probably true, but despite me giving up due to a serious sense of anxiety before the lesson ended, I am glad I chose to snowboard. A huge shoutout to James for the basically private lesson he gave us and helping me feel a lot more comfortable than I thought I would. It wasn't easy but I did way more than I thought I would so it was an accomplishment in my book. I definitely want to go back and try snowboarding again, but I don't think I'll be graduating from the bunny slopes anytime soon.
Another huge shoutout to the woman who gave me my birthday beer at 11:30am with no judgement. I couldn't have handled the rest of the morning without it, especially after what felt like breaking my tailbone. We left at about 1pm and even though I wasn't even snowboarding for more than a couple hours, my body was done for. Thank god for the jacuzzi at our hotel because I really thought I wasn't going to make it. I've been dancing for years so you would think my body would be used to it, but i felt muscles aching that I didn't even know existed. Still, if you haven't tried snowboarding, you should. Aching body and all, it was totally worth it.
After a quick trip to the hot tub and a nap, Greg and I found ourselves wandering down toward the lake again, this time venturing further out than we had the night before. As we walked along the lakeshore listening to the waves crashing to my right while Greg made snow angels to my left, it made me realize how lucky I am to live in a place that gives me both ends. I am a beach girl. The sound of waves crashing is just as much my comfort as laying on my dad's couch is. But there is so much beauty and tranquility in the mountains and away from the city that I will never get tired of and something that I am learning to appreciate more as I grow older.
All in all, Lake Tahoe gave me the absolute best birthday I've ever had. I feel so lucky to live where I do and that I get to experience it with my best friend. Thank you Greg for giving me this weekend and capturing everything while I was too busy being mesmerized by the beauty of it all. I was definitely sad to leave Sunday morning but it did make me want to experience Lake Tahoe in the Summer so hopefully we'll be able to get back there for another weekend trip once the temperature picks up. Walking along the shoreline, there's no doubt Summer in Tahoe is anything less than magic as well. There is so much more to Lake Tahoe that I didn't even get to, but hopefully this was enough to inspire you to plan your own trip. A huge thank you to Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort for the hospitality. We had the most amazing time and can't wait to come back!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any skiing or snowboarding horror stories of your own! xx