I don’t know why… but Leroy and I haven’t spent nearly enough time in the Lake Tahoe area. Prior to our most recent visit in April 2018, we had only been there one other time (together.) The last time I was there I was with my sister-in-law Anne. She took me to see Elton John in concert (and it was awesome!) Even the drive up there was beautiful with the rivers and streams full of water from the spring run-off.
There’s an old saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” I won’t argue with that truth, but I will add, “Wherever you go, you’ll run into people you know.” This is especially true traveling with Leroy. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the time-share is right next to a beautiful little Catholic church, Our Lady of Tahoe. We went to mass only to discover friends from Turlock sitting in front of us. (By the way, if you ever get a chance to attend mass at this church, do so. The priest was wonderful and the community very welcoming.)
Later that evening, we realized that other friends were also vacationing nearby. Kenny and Sherry Galas were also staying in the Lake Tahoe area for exactly the same dates. We spent our first full day together exploring the lake, assembling a puzzle (more on that later) and generally just laughing. A lot.
On our trip to Sand Beach Harbor, we were walked the shoreline commenting on the whitecaps and waves generated by the incoming storm. Suddenly, Kenny said he’d jump in the lake for $100. I quickly agreed (admitting that I only had access to about $80, but it was all his if he followed through.) Sherry (Kenny’s wife) told him no, but Leroy was standing behind her, silently encouraging him with a head nod. I didn’t think he was serious at first but then he started taking off (some of) his clothes. He handed Leroy his cellphone, hat, shoes and sweatshirt and ran into the surf while the rest of us stood on the beach in shock.
Kenny dove head first into Lake Tahoe on April 15th when the water temperature was close to 41°. That’s damn cold. Needless to say he didn’t stay in long… and it took him a minute to catch his breath, but he did it. (I told Leroy we need to find smarter friends.)
We went back to our room and dried his clothes while the rest of us started on a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle. (I hadn’t assembled a puzzle in years and we knew this one was going to be a challenge.) Sherry and Leroy didn’t waste any time getting the boarder assembled while Kenny and I observed and encouraged them.
We woke up the next day to a Winter Wonderland. The snowfall overnight covered the entire resort with a beautiful white blanket. Leroy and I spent the entire day watching the snow fall while we stayed snuggly warm, next to the fireplace inside the room. (All of my Utah/Idaho/Washington family members are laughing at me right now.) I haven’t watched snow fall for many, many years. It was a real treat.
We soon welcomed more friends. John and Sandra Toste joined us for the last two nights of our stay. Since this was Sandra’s first visit to Lake Tahoe, we drove around and did a little sightseeing (including the overlook of Emerald Bay.) We also went back to Sand Beach and couldn’t believe the difference in the lake. The angry, churning water was not as smooth as glass. (But just as cold.)
The best part of our time with John and Sandra were the hours and hours of conversation and catching up. John and Leroy reminisced about growing up together and even re-enacted a favorite activity; making homemade Lemon Bars. The boys would do this to compete against Anne and Bernadette Oliveira (now Sierra’s sister-in-law) to see who made the best batch.) We laughed a lot, but I have to say the Lemon Bars were delicious.
We also became obsessed with completing the puzzle. Thank goodness Sandra was so willing to help. (I knew she’d be really good at it.) After dinner on our last night, the boys went to the casino while Sandra and I finished the puzzle.
We haven’t been home a week and I’m already excited to return.