Time: April 16, 2016
Place: Lake Tahoe
Company: Wife and Daughter
Company: Wife and Daughter
Prologue: The only snow experienced in the past winter was in Jan and kiddo didn’t enjoy it too much because of extreme temperature. So we thought we might as well visit Tahoe again since it still had snow and temperature was in 60s. It was my wife & my birthday celebration too, so double fun! We initially planned to make it as a day trip, but then thought it was too hectic for our birthday. So booked a hotel at 4 pm(check-in started at 3 pm!) for the night and started getting ready to go.
Day 0: Left home at about 7:30 pm in car on Friday. This helped avoiding all the traffic surrounding Sacramento. We took cake on our way to cut the next day. Munched some packed dinner on the way itself and took just one pit stop. After 3.5 hrs, we reached South Lake Tahoe. Room at Days Inn was pretty comfortable. But it was chilly!! Retired for the night.
Day 1: After a fairly decent breakfast, we cut the cake, sang the birthday songs to ourselves(!) & headed directly to Gondola at Heavenly, which was our only focus for this trip – since we had never been on it. It was not in action in Oct 2015 when we were here last, and we didn’t know about it when we visited in May 2012 and it didn’t even exist when I visited in 2006 (although I did experience Squaw Valley gondola).
It wasn’t too crowded, so got gondola tickets easily, and hopped on the cable car. It is extremely impressive. The angle at which it ascends is almost breath-taking. The hush of the forest underneath and the expansive view of the lake behind us suddenly makes the jaw drop. After about few minutes, we get to stop at Observation Deck from where we could see the Lake Tahoe in all its beauty. We had access to snow right at the deck, and kiddo started playing with snow. It was bright and sunny, and hence not at all cold. We allowed her to have as much fun as she wanted, and hence we ended up staying just at the deck for over an hour! Then we headed further up in the tram to arrive at a wide expanse of snow where all ski-lifts started for further up ski trails. But this place was sufficient for us.
With white blanket covering all around us, kiddo did a snowman, a snow angel, threw snow at us and we had a gala time altogether. Also had nice hot chocolate and munched some snacks. More snow, more fun time, lotsa pictures. At one point, we sat on patio chairs & just relaxed in the cool breeze. It was a beautiful day to be in the snow on this sunny day!
With that, we finally got down the gondola. It almost took 10 minutes! Then headed to Nikki’s Indian eatery and had sumptuous lunch buffet. Little shopping for some memorabilia and then at 6 pm we headed back home. After a brief stopover to visit a friend’s place at El Dorado Hills, we drove home uneventfully and reached at about 10:30 pm.
Epilogue: It is always great to celebrate birthdays differently, and this one was really special. Wife and I hadn’t done this grand ever before, and to top it off, daughter had fun in the snow too. Looking forward to Anniversary now!!