May 19 - June 1, 2002: Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas

Click here for pictures-Day 1
Tom picked us up at 5:30 a.m. and we made our way to the Babb's house.   Our flight from Little Rock to D/FW departed at 7:00 AM.  We boarded our flight for Reno at 9:15.  Arrived in Reno around 10:30 a.m. (Reno Time).  Quick lunch at McDonald's outside of Reno before making the 45-minute drive to Incline Village.  Unpacked our suitcases before heading out for a drive around beautiful Lake Tahoe. We drive the 72-mile route around the lake making several pit stops for pictures including a pretty strenuous hike to Vikingholm Castle at Emerald Bay.  Stopped for dinner in Kings Beach (La Pacintas) before stopping by Safeway for a few groceries.  Ended the night with a few rounds of Sequence.

Click here for pictures-Day 2
We woke up to snow storm Monday morning. There was about 2 inches a snow on the front door of the house in Incline.  Checked on the conditions on the slopes and made the 45 minute drive to Squaw Valley.  Rented our skis and rode the Cable Car to High Camp (rising from 6200 feet to 8200 feet) where we meet 20-30 mph winds and heavy snow fall. They had received 6 inches during the night and expecting at least 6 more throughout the day..  The snow didn't let up the whole time but we were out skiing. We made lots of green and blue runs before coming in for lunch. Headed out after lunch for a few more runs.  Came back down the mountain and headed to the local Starbucks for some hot chocolate.  Headed home to Incline and fixed spaghetti for dinner along with chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. Ended the night with a round of SkipBo

Click here for pictures-Day 3
We covered a lot of ground today through various climates. We made the drive through Truckee and over Donner Pass through wintry conditions. Stopped briefly in Sacramento to get a view of the State Capitol before making our way to Napa and surrounding areas.  We stopped for lunch at Oakville Grocery and had a picnic lunch at Rutherford Winery.  Drover through Sonoma and to the Berzinger Winery and then headed onward to San Francisco.  Checked into the hotel before beginning a long walking tour of San Francisco. We covered lots of ground and saw lots of sights and even stopped for supper in North Beach for an Italian supper

Click here for pictures-Day 4
After checking out of the San Francisco Hilton Towers, we set out to conquer more of Bay City.  We caught the Howell/Mason Trolley car to Fishermen's Wharf.
After exploring the wharf including Pier 39 shops and attractions including the sea lions, we walked through The Cannery and on up to Ghirardelli Square.
Stopped for lunch at In & Out Burger and then rode the trolley up to Lombardi Street where we descended down the Crookedest Street in America.  Caught the bus (trolley line was down - although we waited at the stop for awhile until someone informed us the line was down) back to the hotel and headed back to Incline Village across the Bay Bridge into Oaklawn.  The roads were clear (unlike the day before).  Stopped in historical Truckee for a look in the shops (including the candy store where we bought 1 1/2 pounds of fudge (a piece of all twelve kinds) and for a bite of dinner at OB's.

Click here for pictures-Day 5
After a couple of very busy past few days, we had a nice lazy day around Incline Village.  We slept in late and then drove into town to visit some of the shops and have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant.  Came back to the house and played a few rounds of Skip-Bo before the Babbs packed up.  We drove them back into Reno and drove around the Reno strip before dropping them off at their hotel to catch an early flight back to Little Rock.  Tara & I stopped at Wal-Mart on the way back (can't go to long without visiting a Wal-Mart) and then drove on back to Incline Village.

Click here for pictures-Day 6
We started out early this morning along Hwy. 395 in the direction of Yosemite National Park.  We took the Sonora Pass route into Yosemite reaching elevations as high as 9,624 feet.  We made it to Yosemite in time for a picnic lunch right past the entry point. After lunch, we made the drive toward Yosemite Valley making stops at Bridaveil Fall (620-foot cascade which cooled us with its heavy mist), El Capitan (the largest single exposed granite rock on earth rising 3,593 feet), a view of Half Dome along Merced River, and finally stopping at Yosemite Falls (highest waterfall in North America at  2425 feet).  We took the Tioga Pass out of Yosemite (its first day to open this season since it's closed during the winter season) and saw even more great sights including Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows).  We made a brief stop at Mono Basin (a volcano sight during the Ice Age) before heading on back to Incline Village.

Click here for pictures-Day 7
After a pretty full day yesterday, we decided to take it easy today.  Slept in a little later than usual before getting ready and driving into Tahoe City (about 15 miles from Incline Village) where we walked through the various shops before stopping for lunch at Lakehouse Pizza.  We sat out on the deck overlooking Lake Tahoe.  They are famous for the lake chips as well their pizza.  Just before leaving the restaurant a couple sat down beside us. It was "Tina", the winner of the second Survivor television show, and her husband.
We capped off the evening with a short visit to South Lake Tahoe where we turned $2 into $10 before heading back to Incline Village.

Click here for pictures-Day 8
We slept in late this morning before heading out for an afternoon hike.  We decided to to hike from Diamond Peak to Snowflake Lodge.  It was a 1.3 mile hike to mid-mountain Snowflake Lodge overlooking Lake Tahoe.  Parts of the hike included a 700 foot vertical rise and intersected with a variety of ski runs and chairlifts.  Once we made it to the top, there was a sundeck with one of the most spectacular sights of Lake Tahoe. We made the 1.3 mile journey back was a lot easier getting down than going up.

Click here for pictures-Day 9
The Brocks arrived in Reno around 10:30 this morning and we were there to meet them at the airport. We made a brief stop along the Virginia Street to get a picture in front of the Reno sign before heading to Incline Village. We made a picture stop upon seeing Lake Tahoe.  Dropped off their luggage at the house and then made the 72-mile drive around Lake Tahoe with stops at Kings Beach, Truckee River near Tahoe City, Emerald Bay, Vickingholm Castle (we toured the inside of the 38-room castle on this trip), Eagle Falls.  Made the entire loop and returned to Kings Beach for supper at Toni's Cafe and then a brief stop to look at the wooden bears. Tara wanted to buy one for the house but they averaged a couple of thousand dollars so she passed

Click here for pictures-Day 10
We started off the day with a big breakfast at the Ponderosa Ranch (television set for Bonanza).  We rode the wagon to the top of mountain where we were  served flapjacks, sausage, eggs along with hot chocolate, oj, and coffee.  After breakfast we walked down the mountain to the old western town to look around the shops and artifacts plus a tour of the Cartwright House.  We took a antique family photo to cap off the day.
Next, we drove to Carson City - Nevada's State Capitol - touring the Capital Building as well as stopping by the Governor's Mansion and looking at other historical sights.
Afterwards, we drove on to Virginia City -- a former mining town where prospectors were turned into instant millionaires. Mark Twain was the newspaper editor here for a couple of years.   We took a wagon tour around town to see the former mansions and mining sites.
Finished off the day with a lasagna meal bac

Click here for pictures-Day 11
We started the morning by stopping at Stateline Road to stop a few pictures at the border of Nevada and California.  The first town as your cross into California is Brockway, California so we took some pictures there as well.
Next, we traveled across Brockway Summit to Truckee, California.  We drove around part of Donner Lake and stopped at the Donner State Park named after the famous Donner party.  We visited the shops along historic Truckee and took the Brocks by the fudge shop we visited the week before.  We all made some purchases before heading onto Squaw Valley.  We visited the shops there and watched the cable car ascend the mountain.  There was a lot less snow this week compared to when we skied there the week before.
Drove onto Tahoe City and boarded the "Tahoe Gal" for a 3 1/2 hour cruise across Lake Tahoe.  The captain pointed out numerous facts and points of interest along the way to Emerald Cove where we had another viewing of Lora Knight's Vickingholm Castle.   We could also see her tea house on Fanette Island.   We stopped in the shops before finishing the night with supper at Austin's in Incline Village.

Click here for pictures-Day 12
We put in a full day today...starting out early to make the drive to the Napa Valley area.  We stopped by the Robert Mondavi Winery for a tour of the vineyards and their wine making facilities.  Next, we stopped by Oakville Grocery to pick up lunch for a picnic at the Rutherford Winery picnic grounds.  We made a quick stop in Yountville to look in their shops.
Next, we traveled to Muir Woods to walk through some of the ancient redwoods.  We then drove through the Sausolito community across from San Francisco.  Afterwards, we made a brief stop at Fort Baker to snap some pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline.  Checked into our hotel before walking down to Pier 39 to grab some dinner and view the sea lions.
We finished the night with a boat ride out to Alcratraz and a great tour of the former federal prisio

Click here for pictures-Day 13
We began the day by meeting our Jeep tour guide at our hotel. He chauffeured us on an excellent three hour tour around San Francisco. Some of the sites that we saw included the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Palace of Fine Arts, Little Italy, Presidio, Fort Baker, Chrissy Field, and many, many more sites. We drove down the crookedest street (Lombard) and the steepest street (33% grade) in San Francisco.
After the tour, we were dropped off at Ghirardelli Square. We ate a few chocolate samples then walked by the Cannery on our way to check out of the hotel. We grabbed some lunch (Pizza!) and boarded the Powell-Hyde cable car. Got off at Union Square and walked through Chinatown. We had planned on riding a trolley up three blocks to the Fairmont Hotel, but we decided to walk instead (oh, what we will do to save money). The three blocks were some of the steepest city blocks we have ever climbed. Tommye believes that those were the steepest blocks in the city! After catching our breath at the Fairmont, we caught the Powell-Mason cable car back to Fisherman’s Wharf.
At the Wharf, we saw the U.S.S. Pampanito from WWII and the U.S.S Jeremiah O’Brien, a Liberty ship. From there, we tied up loose ends at Pier 39 and headed to pick up our car and luggage. An hour and a half later, we were still trying to get to the Oakland Bay bridge (Rush hour!). Once we got to the bridge, the traffic calmed down and it was smooth sailing back to Incline Village for one last night in Tahoe before heading home.

Click here for pictures-Day 14
Heading home today!

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