Yesterday at Home Depot (stay tuned for a post about my bathroom remodel) I got a thumbs-up for wearing my Life of Lezure t-shirt. (Yes, I have t-shirts. Well, one. A Life of Lezure t-shirt.) And I realized that people like leisure. So I figured I’d write about the most leisurely thing to happen in my life recently: our 4th of July family trip to Tahoe!
The Tahoe area sits in the Sierra Nevada mountains at about 6,000 feet in altitude and is split into North Tahoe and South Tahoe, CA, but the lake itself is located on the state line between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and the largest lake by volume in the U.S. It’s deep—second deepest lake in the U.S.—and comprised of rain and snow melt, making it damn cold. Known for its picturesque surroundings and clear water, it’s also damn beautiful.
I debated writing about our trip because we are not a “cool” family. We don’t hike. We don’t camp. We don’t do extreme sports, like boating. We sit by the pool and eat and drink. Then we go up to our hotel room and nap.
Also, we stayed in a fancy hotel—I’ll call it the Schvitz-Marlton—and I didn’t want to sound braggy. But it’s the truth, and I can’t apologize for who we are.
The Schvitz-Marlton, Lake Tahoe is located next to the Northstar ski resort and has a ski lodge vibe because, well, for the majority of the year it IS a ski lodge. But during summer, it has the Lake Club with a dock and, more importantly, a bar.
We took the Gondola, which we dubbed the Wonkavator, from the Schvitz down to Northstar village. In the village, there’s a small market, a skating rink, a gelato shop, a toy store, and several athletic-wear retailers. (Clearly, I didn’t not shop at those.)
Pro tip: Ritz-Carlton has a program called Ritz Kids that is like summer camp for kids age 4 and older, depending on the property. They do activities with the kids while you do you.
The goal was to drive the 72 miles around Lake Tahoe. It’s beautiful. Pine trees everywhere. Snow-caped mountains, even in summer. Lovely homes. Blue water. Breathtaking, and not just because of the altitude.
I wanted to stop at the Vickingsholm “castle,” but it was too crowded and we are not adventurous enough to park up the winding road and walk. We carried on to Camp Richardson, which has an East Coast campground feel. We even almost rented a paddle boat but decided against it and went for lunch instead.
Pro tip: If parking at Camp Richardson, tell the person at the ticket box if you have small children with you and they’ll let you park closer to the marina.
We left Camp Richardson and continued our drive around the lake. Once you hit the Nevada side, there are casinos. We didn’t pull over.
Once back at the Schvitz, we felt like that was enough venturing out and spent the rest of our stay hanging at the pool. That is, until the last day of the trip when someone pooped and everyone had to immediately evacuate the pool. (!!!)
Normally I’d be bummed, but in the back of my mind I knew that this poop was a blessing because I’d always remember that day at the Schvitz-Marlton in Tahoe. (It’s like that time at my friend’s wedding when I tripped, broke my shoe, and rolled down a dirt hill in a white jumpsuit, laughing at myself as it happened because I’d knew it was going to be a great story one day…)
We ate at the Manzanita restaurant on the property, which turned out to be a winning move because the patio looks out at the yard, allowing the kids play while you drink wine at your most leisurely pace. [Pro tip: expert level]
The next day, we drove back to the Reno airport and boarded our approximately 1-hour flight home, feeling united as a family and accomplished in our non-adventurous goals.