Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lake Tahoe, Reno Trip

Trip started on: August 17th, 2007 (Friday)
Returned home on: August 19th, 2007 (Sunday)
Team:
Thomas, Vinaya, Sony and Amala
Ajith, Nishi, Swetha and Sneha
Vinay Chandran, Supriya and Keerthana
Guest appearances of mothers of Ajith and Thomas

Our last getaway was at Mendocino, more than an year ago; few months after Amala was born. After that trip , the life has become hectic, especially after Vinaya started work. So, this one was overdue, and Ajith took the initiative to reserve the vacation rental and he did that at Lake Tahoe.

The original plan was to explore few things off the beaten tracks in Lake Tahoe and Reno. But, it was ended up as an effective stress relieving trip with few activities and lots of relaxing.

Friday

Ajith and Vinay planned to start early. The vacation rental was located on the North Lake Tahoe area (Tahoe Vista); about 12 miles from Truckee. Vinay took the I-5 route and Ajith took the I-680, I-80 route to cover the approx. 230 miles distance from Bay Area.


View Larger Map

We started at about 5pm and took the I-680; I-80 route. The traffic was not that all that bad for a weekend; we reached the destination at about 9pm. It seems, Vinay and Ajith got stuck in traffic; and it might not be a good idea to start around 3p.m., as it is hard to beat traffic in all the cities en route.

The vacation rental was located at walking distance from the lake, and situated in an urban setting. Very spacious and clean place. The house had a broad-band connection also. Good work Ajith!
Address: 345 Snowflake Ave, Tahoe Vista, California 96148. And I strongly recommend this place if you want to just spend some quality close to the lake and don't plan to do activities like gambling, cruise and ski-lifting there. ( All such commercial facilities are on South Lake Tahoe area.)


The evening programs after getting there were brief. Drank wine and margarita, and
ate the cooked meals brought by Nishi and Supriya. Went to bed at about 2a.m. For some reason, I got up little after 5a.m. and couldn't sleep after that. Spent couple of hours on the laptop coding for new puzha.com project up until the women folks got up and made morning tea.

Saturday

The black-pepper flavored scrambled eggs and bread was good to start the day. We started off to Reno little before noon. The idea was to go there via Carson City where the Nevada State Railroad Museum
could be checked out.

The drive along the north shore of the lake, and through the mountains to Carson City (route 28-US 50-US 395) is very scenic, and thoroughly enjoyed though I was repeating that drive for the n-th time.

The railroad museum is right off Carson St. that cuts through the Carson City (which looks too small as the capital of Nevada state); 2180 S. Carson st. (US 395). The weather was warm and it was windy outside; a taste of the Nevada desert which was very different from the rather cooler climate in Lake Tahoe area. There were couple of engine yards with engines from the mining boom era and even one used by France in WW-II. We did the toy (?) train ride which is complete with signals, track changing, steam engine era horns and even a live ticket checker. However, we wished the lengthy introduction speech of ticket checker before the ride could be avoided; or at least be trimmed down. At the end of the ride, kids even got a chance to blow the horns.

Sony tried to persuade us to go to McDonalds for lunch; but we persisted and ate at IHOP instead.

The trip continued to Reno. The original plan was to visit National Automobile Museum
in Reno before hitting the casinos circuit. But, everybody was tired to browse another museum. So, we decided to spend some time Circus Circus and return to Lake Tahoe and make BBQ for dinner, instead of the usual buffet fare at a casino. Everything was checked off quickly at Circus Circus; the best items I like there this time were the circus act by the little Chinese girls. That was amazing! the rope balancing tricks show by the Russians was also good. Not much luck for Vinaya this time in gambling or game booths; she was distracted by Amala's acts; the latter was really enjoying the bright colors and loud sounds.

We got back in Lake Tahoe quickly by 9pm via I-80. Since BBQ was not planned for dinner, the fish was still in the freezer. So, we had to do thawing also on the grill! We also bought some Tyson wings from the Safeway nearby. The fish and wings came out pretty good. Washed them down with couple of white wines. The Chardonnay was really good.

Sunday

I got up really late at about 10.30; I had to compensate for last night's shortage of sleep. By the time, I got up, Vinay and Ajith were coming back from a morning walk. Their pilot trip to the lake confirmed that there is a beach at walking distance and we can spend the morning there.

All the kids (both small and big) had wonderful time at the beach as you can see from the pictures. Even Amala tried walking all the way from the vacation rental to the beach. It was little cloudy when we got there first. But, as more sun light emerged, the lake looked so picture perfect.









This is the first time I spent time at the north side of the lake. Usually we go to the south side of the lake, where most of the commercial setups like ski-lifts, cruise and casinos are located. During this time of the year, the beaches will be crowed with folks doing BBQs and other family activities. I am now convinced that north side is the location to go during summer, as there is no crowd and scenic beauty of the lake is no less at this side.









The best part of trip for men was yet to come. Earlier we had decided to eat lunch at the vacation rental. But, before returning there from the beach, Ajith spotted a Mexican restaurant El Sancho right across from the beach, and he suggested to drink couple of beers. So, Ajith, Vinay and I stayed as the women and kids headed to vacation rental. We sat outside El Sancho and started drinking glasses of Fat Tire. The weather was warmer there than at the beach; the scenery in front was picture -postcard perfect; and food (chips; salsa; guacamole; sauteed prawns; fish tacos) was delicious. I think, we spent lot of time sitting there enjoying the aforementioned things that rarely come together, and chit-chatting which was interrupted
only by our regular trips to the inside of restaurant to pee or to order more food and beer. The only problem was that the server was a an under-age girl who couldn't refill beer for us; and the cooks volunteered for that task messed up little bit.

We were feeling little bit guilty when we returned to vacation rental and realized that they only had a spartan lunch of eggs and rice.

Ajith, Vinay and I returned to beach to take some extra-ordinary pictures of the lake. We continued our trekking to Safeway to buy few items. On the way, we spotted a hidden (?) beach that could be accessed from the road only through a sandy pathway. (I actually don't think it is a hidden beach; but I am too lazy to do additional research to identify its name; the feeling of visiting a hidden beach far cooler!)

The return trip to Bay Area was started at about 7.30pm. The plan was to eat at a Thai restaurant (Thai Basil) in Sacramento on the way. By the time the team reached Roseville at about 8.45pm, we realized that we cannot make it to that place in time; so the dinner plan was canceled. We got off some exit in Roseville and had pizza and garlic bread at a Pizza Guys.

It was close to mid-night when we reached at our San Jose home.

Please checkout the trip pictures at:
Pictures from the trip; hosted on Flickr

4 comments:

kuttappan said...

Nice trip description. http://www.laketahoerentals.net/ is the website of the house we stayed.

t.k. formerly known as തൊമ്മന്‍ said...

Guys/Gals,
If you have uploaded any photos that are available for public view, please add the links as comments here; and this would work like a landing page for our trip's logs.

Sapna Anu B.George said...

Good one

Jane said...

Hi T.K.,
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Tahoe Vista to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you!
Jane