9.10.2012

Lake Tahoe Lovin'



It's that time... 
Part 1 of our west coast vacation recap.
The rest of the line up will be: Napa, San Francisco, and ending in Carmel.

I'm so excited to share all about our time in Lake Tahoe with you guys.
 Why? Because it was our favorite stop on our trip. 
Are you surprised? Probably not. 
If you are, then you definitely won't be surprised when you see these pictures that are just pure heaven.

I will say I am kinda bitter that I'm sitting in front of a computer screen right now about to type this recap and I'm not still there smelling the fresh breeze and staring at the most gorgeous blue, clear water and sky I have ever seen in my 27 years of existence. 
I guess that means we have to go back. And soon. 

Let me first start out by saying that doing this recap is not easy. 
It's seriously impossible to convey to all of you how beautiful Lake Tahoe is, unless of course you've been. Just do me a favor and take my word for it that you have to start planning your vacation there right now, kay? 

Looking back, I wish we would have saved it until the end of our trip because we kept comparing the other cities to it, which you just simply cannot do. They are all so different and wonderful in their own ways - which I will get into later. 

We flew into Reno (which is about an hour drive from LT) and the second we got on the road and saw mountains, we were just instantly excited. Being that we live in the flattest state in the U.S, we never see mountains! It was such a nice change. I instantly felt like I was missing out because views such as this just don't happen here....


After countless hours of research on things to do in Lake Tahoe and where to go, talking to my girlfriend Steph (who we stayed with in San Fran-she was an enormous help planning this trip!), and Natasha (from Schue Love), we decided we would head to South Lake Tahoe first. Our lodge that we were staying the night at was in North Lake Tahoe (Kings Beach, in particular), but it was really important to me to see all of the lake! I knew that there were areas we would want to see in the south, and that we had to see all of the lake while visiting.

Wow, we are so happy we did! 

It almost doesn't look real...it's that blue.





South Lake Tahoe is full of the ski resorts, the mountains are incredible, and you get to see the famous Emerald Bay. We stopped at Zephyr Cove first and walked the beach. To this day, I'm pretty sure the only words out of Billy and I's mouth the entire time spent in Lake Tahoe were, "this is unreal", "it's so blue!", or "this is amazing". 

Our next stop was Heavenly Mountain Resort.

{tshirt and denim: Old Navy, scarf: F21}




{you can see the top wayyyy up there!}




{how cute is he carrying my Jo Totes camera bag?}

Heavenly is the largest ski resort on the West coast. 
We parked our car and spent a couple hours in this area..it is absolutely gorgeous. 
Gor-geous. 
It's filled with upscale restaurants and little shops. 
Heavenly has a gondola ride that you can do for $35.00 per person (do it--don't question it, totally worth the money!) that takes you up 10,000 feet for panoramic views of the lake. We are SO glad we did this and we had the most gorgeous day to do it on. The ride has 2 stops that you can get out of the gondola and walk around-definitely get off of it for these stops! Besides, you do not want to miss any of these views, do you?













After our gondola ride, I was on my phone looking up real estate and jobs in South Lake Tahoe, so that we could start planning our move. Kidding. But we had fallen in love!
The views were breathtaking and we are still dreaming about it nightly. 

Later on in the day, we decided to start exploring the area on our own with no real direction. Billy appreciates a good recommendation here and there, but he also likes exploring things on his own to find places we enjoy together, so we just drove around and pulled over at multiple beach areas that looked pretty! This actually worked out really well because you see so much and don't miss anything. 








We were about to do a hike at Fallen Leaf which is highly recommended, but we decided we were just too exhausted from traveling since 4am (that would be why I look swollen and disgusting in most of these pictures-I didn't have a chance to shower!) that we wanted to partake in some alcoholic drinks on the lake instead.  

Enter: Beacon Bar!





{the water? perfectly clear.}

In fact, we decided we wanted to meet a gorgeous blonde bombshell blogger (how many b's can I get?) you may know and love, Natasha (from Schue Love), her husband Ryan, and their precious baby boy Ethan!! Natasha and Ryan live right by where we were (yeah, jealousy doesn't even begin to describe it) and knew of the perfect place to get drinks and sit by the water to hang out. 

Beacon Bar, as you can see, is right on the water, had a live band in the back playing music, and is known for their rum runners! Let's just say the rum runners are equal parts of delicious and lethal. I was feeling pretty high on life on just my 2nd one. 

We had such a blast hanging out with Natasha and Ryan! I was nervous slash embarrassed to meet up with them at first because I hadn't even showered yet and then I was so excited to see Natasha I was talking about 900 words per minute. She accepted me nonetheless. ;) Natasha is the most gorgeous mommy I've ever laid eyes on (and incredibly sweet) and Ryan is so charming and friendly. Ryan and Billy hit it off so well (no surprise there) that they are actually already planning their next golfing/boating/hunting trip for when we visit again. Natasha and I plan on letting the men have their day while we sip cocktails, sit by the water, shop, and gossip. Or if it's in the winter - then sitting by a fireplace is fine with me. Sounds perfect, right? 



{could they get any cuter? I think not.}

Also, it must be noted that baby Ethan is the cutest, most well behaved baby boy I've ever seen. He is a little angel!! You probably get the point by now, but we loved them and are so thankful that we had the chance to meet them. I feel so blessed to call you a friend, Natasha!

After we said goodbye, we got back in the car and traveled to Emerald Bay. 
Also known as the most gorgeous, beautiful place in the US of A. 
The views you just can't describe, so I will let the pictures do most of the talking here!
Out on the middle of the island, a lady owned a house (you can see it in my pictures if you look closely) and she used to have them come deliver her tea to her house every morning! How funny is that? I wish she knew I want to be her.
We really didn't want to leave Emerald Bay because it was so breathtaking. I would have probably slept right outside here on a trial all night long and been perfectly content (seeing as if we had no bear encounters). 







Once we forced ourselves to leave (I mean, at this point I wasn't sure if I even wanted to go to bed and who cares about showering?), we started heading to North Lake Tahoe. If you are traveling here, make sure you stop in Tahoe City and Kings Beach. Our lodge we stayed at was called Crown's Resort. All of the places in Kings Beach on the lake are very similar - they are little lodge's, but not luxury by any means. Unless you wanted to go to the Ritz or something. We just wanted a place that was clean, on the lake, and had a continental breakfast (duh). It was just enough for us! If you are looking for somewhere to stay that is inexpensive, this is your place. The rooms are outdated, but we barely spent any time in our room, so we didn't care. We really just needed a simple place to sleep. We had a balcony and it had great views! The resort has free kayak rentals and you can rent paddle boards here as well. 





Natasha recommended we eat at a place called Bite (american tapas) for dinner and it was delicious. We got risotto cheese balls to share, Billy got honey baby back ribs, and I got vegetable empanadas. Bite had a nice modern feel to it and the food was great! If we had more time (so this will be for our next trip), we would have also went paddle boarding at Kings Beach. The water was pretty cold though, too. 

To wrap up the longest post in the history of KC&CO, let's all count how many times I used the word blue, gorgeous, or beautiful. We had the most amazing time in Lake Tahoe and it really is the best of both worlds...the summer is filled with so many outdoor lake activities, and the winter you can ski/snowboard here, but it doesn't get extremely cold (I think they said 30 is the lowest it gets). That is perfection in our book! We can't believe how much we did in the time that we were there, truly felt like we saw a big portion of the lake, and absolutely loved every part of it. 

{As a roundup and some suggestions for those traveling there: explore the whole lake (we are partial to the south because there is so much to do, but the north is just as fun, laid back, and nice. You have to see them both and decide what you like best), if it's warm - go paddle boarding or take a boat cruise out on the water, the Heavenly gondola ride, go on a hike (North-Eagle falls, South-Fallen Leaf or Mt. Tallac), Beacon Bar for casual drinks and dinner by the water, eat at Sunnyside and Garwoods!} 


Next stop?

Wine Country.....
(click here to read the post!)

{PS-It's my Mom's birthday today. Happy birthday Mom, I love and miss you everday<3}

xo.


45 comments :

  1. Good lawd, if I didn't genuinely adore you I would absolutely despise you after this post. I want to go there now - seriously beautiful. I'm not even sure how I'm going to handle the Napa post.

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  2. Great post!

    We visit Tahoe a couple times a year, it is a wonderful spot!

    Tahoe is so pretty!

    I never new about that bar, thanks for sharing!

    My favorite things are the gondola and Emerald cove!

    Can't wait to see your Napa pics!


    =)

    Brooke

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  3. Beautiful. I'm jealous. Next time I just wanna go with you and the hubs, that should be fine. I can entertain myself. : )

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  4. Great pics babe, cant wait to retire and travel in an RV across the country lol.

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  5. Where the heck do I start? AMAZING. BEAUTIFUL. I WANT TO GO NOW! Also, I want your SCARF!!! [You so don't look "swollen" my love!]

    You and Natasha are adorable! I'm so glad the two of you got to meet!! I will have to bookmark this post because you gave so many awesome recommendations and things to do! I can't get over those pictures of Emerald Bay. It just doesn't even look real - SO pretty!!!! Can't wait for MORE!!! xo

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  6. Beautiful! Have to add this to my "to visit" list! I have a friend living there right now and she is moving back very soon. So sad I didn't get to visit her while she was there. Great post for some ideas for when I do go in the future. Can't wait to see what you thought of wine country b/c I LOVE it there!

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  7. You know how you said you can't even describe the place?! Well, I can't even describe how amazing THESE PHOTOS are soooo I can't imagine actually being there. What a gorgeous slice of heaven, seriously!! And I love that you met the Schue fam, I think they are just the cutest!!! :)

    Looking forward to allll your posts from vacay. And now I'm going to call my travel agent ;)

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  8. YAY! Can't wait for the end of the month now. HAHAHAHA :) I may or may not have my outfits already picked... accessories and everything. (I'm ridiculous.)

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  9. Love.... every single bit of this!! MUST GO!

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  10. GORGEOUS photos!! I definitely have to convince my guy that we NEED to vacation here at some point. No if's and's or but's about it!

    Glad you guys had fun - thanks for sharing!

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  11. I am drooling over these pics!! I think I have a new description for the color blue. Omgee. And so stinkin fun that you met Natasha!!

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  12. My parents have a house on West Shore in Tahoe and I LOVE it and miss going often now that we live in Seattle. They used to drag me up there every other weekend when we were little and I HATED it. I can't believe I ever felt like that because Tahoe is so amazing. Looks like you guys had a chance to do just about everything!!

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  13. Very cool Katie! I guess I didn't realize how unique Lake Tahoe is? It looks like Colorado with the mountains but then it has a beach, AND it doesn't get super cold! I'm sold :) So glad you and Natasha got to meet up, how fun! Can't wait for the rest of your trip!!

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  14. Beautiful photos! That water is amazing!!!!

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  15. You definitely need to go back in the winter! Its so cool to see the feet and feet of snow, but also the desert on the other side of the lake! I'm dying to go back during the summer now after seeing your pictures!

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  16. These pictures are amazing! This whole entire post just solely made me add Lake Tahoe to my list of places I MUST VISIT! I can't wait to see the rest! :)

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  17. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! It's so awesome that you can see the snow capped mountains while having fun on the lake too! Absolutely beautiful! Fwding this to my fiance so he can see that Lake Tahoe is a must on our list! I can't wait to see the rest of y'alls trip!

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  18. "Jealous" does not even BEGIN to describe it...the pictures are so unbelievably amazing. Definitely moving LT up to the top of my "places to go" list! Can't wait for the rest of your recaps! xo

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  19. Loved reading your recap! And to us Californians, it gets cold in the winter! ;)

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  20. I love love love Lake Tahoe!! My husband and I honeymooned there and went back this year in May after a brief visit to San Francisco. So glad y'all had a great time!!

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  21. You sure do know how to make a girl jealous!! I want this vacation! I think I said this before but I love Lake Tahoe! I've been twice in the snow season but never in the summer. I want to go!! I love Heavenly, we stayed right outside of there last time at a diamond resort. Gorgeous pictures! Glad you had a good time!

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  22. OMG just loved feeling like we were right back at the Beacon...sipping rum runners and taking in the lake! Still can't get over how much I instantly loved you and same with Ryan to Billy! ;) Love the pictures you got and SO glad you had a blast! Tahoe Trip Part II planning starting now!! xo

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  23. Your photos are amazing! Now I may have to add this as one of my places I HAVE to visit. And, a happy birthday to your mom. :)

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  24. I want to go there!!! It is absolutely breathtaking. I think I can speak for every other blogger out there and say that is where we will all want to plan our next vacay. Or at least add it to our bucket list of places to go. Just gorgeous!

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  25. Ahhh I loved this post! You guys had perfect weather, and I'm so glad you loved it here! Being from Michigan, it's still so surreal to me that I live in Lake Tahoe...I definitely feel blessed :) It looks like you guys had an amazing time here and you definitely hit all the high points for sure! Your pictures are gorgeous and I'm so glad you did the gondola ride because it's the best way to see the lake! You need to come back in the winter or spring though because the mountains are even more incredible when there is snow on them!! Also, so glad you got to meet up with Natasha, she is the best. She has just been the sweetest friend to me since moving out to Tahoe, and her and Ryan and Ethan are just the cutest little fam...can't wait to see the pics from the rest of your trip!! I'm trying to convince Cam to drive out to Napa this weekend so I'm particularly looking forward to that post! xoxo

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  26. So glad you had fun! Hopefully next time you are in town I will be there too. I'm getting the itch to book a flight there now. I haven't been to my cabin in over a year!! :(

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  27. I want to crawl into this post and live there. You're so right, all I could think about while reading this post was UNREAL! BLUE! GORGEOUS! I need to plan my trip there now!

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  28. You are so right, it IS impossible to convey how beautiful Tahoe is. I am fortunate enough to live only an 1&1/2 away but don't seem to make it there enough! You are encouraging me to go!

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  29. SO jealous you got to meet Natasha!! She is one of my favorite bloggers!! Baby E is TOO adorable!! GREAT family picture!!

    Also, SO jealous of your vacay recap so far!! Is that place REAL?!! haha Those pics are gorgeous!!

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  30. I totally laughed when you said "it doesn't get extremely cold (I think they said 30 is the lowest it gets). " Pretty sure that's freezing ass cold in my book! In Sacramento it usually only gets down to the low 50s in the winter. I would never survive in Ohio.

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  31. What a fabulous trip. All your outfits are amazing. Happy birthday to your Mom - hugs.

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  32. These pictures are unreal! Looks like the most amazing vaca ever! I need to go to Lake Tahoe... now.

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  33. what an awesome trip! the pics look amazing

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  34. I love Lake Tahoe! I skied Heavenly last yr and it was amazzzzzing! The area is so pretty and the lake is gorgeous!

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  35. omg we are going to LT in the winter, can't wait my sister tells me it's beautiful. You should visit Yosemite! It is so beautiful it doesn't look real! Thanks for visiting our state!

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  36. I love your photos! Lake Tahoe & Emerald Bay are gorgeous!

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  37. Omg I hate you for this post. But not really! It looks amazing! I wish I could be there right now. ahh

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  38. You may have just sold me on our next vacay.... these pictures are gorgeous! Also, I want to steal that outfit. You are gorgeous!

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  39. I've been anxiously anticipating your recap of your trip! I followed along on instagram and was loving it the whole time! I'm doing travel nursing and I'm located in Northern CA right now. About 2 hours from San Fran and 1.5 from Lake Tahoe. I've been to both but didn't really know where to go or what to do so I can.not.wait to see what all y'all did on your trip!!

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  40. Girl! I am dying that I live in SO Cal and havent made my way there! I am so talking to the man tmw to figure out some plans to get there!! so gorgeous!

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  41. Your trip looks so beautiful and I'm so happy you loved Tahoe. Such a wonderful place :) The pictures with the Schue family are adorable. They are the greatest!

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  42. Pure beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just playing catch up & reading your posts about your trip.

    So happy that you guys had such a blast!!

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  43. Hi Katie,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Kings Beach 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

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  44. This is a beautiful area and you captured it very well with your photos.

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