Breakfast then a hike for the boys...

It is always a good day when you start it with breakfast by the lake...

In the early 1900s, Zephyr Cove Resort was built and has been welcoming visitors to the shores of Lake Tahoe ever since. Today, The Cabins at Zephyr Cove Resort have been restored to retain their original architecture and character, while being beautifully equipped with modern conveniences. Over the decades, this resort has remained one of South Lake Tahoe’s finest, with views of the Lake and our favorite place to camp.
Van Sickle Bi-State Park represents a long held vision and partnership between the states of California and Nevada and a regionally significant recreational opportunity at Lake Tahoe. When the Van Sickle family donated 542 acres,  156 acres on the California side were also acquired to develop the nation’s first bi-state park.
High on Kegan's weekend itinerary was a hike above the lake.
Last month, we went to a fantastic lecture by Roger Rosenberger about the Wildflowers of Tahoe and how to photograph them.  Steve capture this tiny 1/4" wide flower, thus impressing me completely.
The Van Sickle Trail is unique in its location within the Basin’s largest urban area. Within a few minutes’ walk from the casino core, it is possible to enjoy a high-quality natural experience with incredible views of the lake. This strategic location immediately transitions from the dense urban context to a natural setting and a place we plan to explore even more.

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Road trip with the folks...

Exploring around Tahoe is one of our favorite things to do.  This little town called to us.  It is full of history and art.  Wonderful.
Markleeville traces its beginnings to the land claim of Jacob Marklee who established a toll bridge across a tributary of the Carson River in 1861 during the height of the silver mining boom at nearby Silver Mountain City. Marklee hoped to prosper from the freight and supplies headed to the mining camps, but was instead killed in a gunfight in 1863, his killer going free on a plea of self defense.
Lunch was at this darling inn with history.  Zachary Kirkwood pioneered his way to California from Ohio in 1860 and homesteaded three 160 acre parcels for his summer cattle ranching operations. Opened in 1864, the Kirkwood Inn, then called the Kirkwood Station, served as his headquarters and soon became a hostelry, post office, stage depot and today remains one of the best watering holes and eatery in the High Sierra. Built at the intersection of three county lines, Amador, Alpine and El Dorado, it served the Washoe Indians, cattle ranchers and others traveling along the route now known as State Highway 88. Rumor has it that during Prohibition, the bar was on wheels so it could be rolled across the county lines and out of the jurisdiction of the visiting sheriff. And the slot machines were hidden in the kitchen.

The Inn has preserved its rustic charm over the years, both inside and out with the painted wood sign, solid mahogany bar, dim lighting stone fireplace, timber furniture and turn-of-the-century log cabin design.
It's been a visit of "firsts" for all of us.  We love that.  "History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity." -Cicero

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The Folks are Camping in Tahoe...

Wanting to get away to a spectacular location, Steve's mom and dad are camping at Lake Tahoe and we get to play, too.

Even though we live here, being in a campground with all its "smells" is truly magical.
We have been told, by a number of people, that an afternoon at Brooks' Bar & Deck, at the Edgewood Golf Course, was the place to be.  Look at our view!
The big recommendation was for the Fresh Salmon Fish & Chips with spicy tarter dip for $15.  There was enough of this uniquely delicious dish to share!  We'll be back.
The Tahoe magic continues as we discover more fabulous facets of our little town and have the opportunity to share them with others.

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Our Road to Vikingsholm...

As Accessibility Escorts, for the disabled, we are privileged to be able to take an exceptionally beautiful path to Emerald Bay.  Each time we volunteer we are rewarded!

The vests and the California Parks sign on the car just make it that much more special.
In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite. The natural beauty, geology and history of this unique island make it one of the highlights of any visit to the Lake Tahoe area and a truly important part of our summer.

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Raccoon Trouble in Tahoe...

Upon inspecting our home, prior to purchase, there was evidence that a raccoon family had taken up residence under the cabin.  Openings were covered and repairs were made and nothing more was thought of about these cute yet pesky critters... Until four nights ago when we heard some very scary sounds coming from the wall behind our bed.

This is Tahoe.  When one goes out exploring, one never knows "who" you will meet (a bear perhaps).  So off Steve goes and thankfully the intruder was just a raccoon.  This determined guy was in no hurry to leave and Steve had to throw things at him to make him lumber off.

Last night, our raccoon returned and the same "dance" happened all over again.  For us city folks, this is comical and unique and part of the magic of living in the mountains.  We'll see how long that viewpoint lasts!

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AAUW Home Tour

At home in Al Tahoe:  Historic Retreats at the Lake  
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.  The SLT Branch uses the proceeds of this biennial home tour to support the education of local women.

Steve and I have explored this pioneer settlement on the south shore of Lake Tahoe many times, always hoping for a peek inside the amazing cabins we admired along our trek.  Today, we finally had our wishes granted with the tour of eight spectacular and historic homes.
As an AAUW member, I had the honor of being the hostess in Ken and Sue's early 1940's cabin, along with Barb and Patty (Sue is the gal on my right).
Sue was so sweet.  She had coffee and chocolate for all who came and being that this was cabin #6 and the day had a chill to it, her hospitality was very welcomed.
Even Steve took her up on her offer of coffee on the porch swing.
Part of the fun of being on the tour is learning the stories the homes are harboring.  This 3' long hanging trout, at Sue and Ken's, showed up two years after they moved in.  The cabin is on Trout Creek Avenue and the previous owners always thought the porch needed a trout.  When they found one in San Francisco, the bought it and gave it as a gift.  Sweet!
Another home on the tour had an incredibly interesting collection of signs.
While the interiors of the cabins were the highlight of the tour, this home's yard was so welcoming.  We sat and lingered here, regrouping.
I can almost hear the laughter and stories being told at this table under the pines.
There were so many fantastic elements of this extremely successful day:  the quality of people who took the tour with their compliments and "Wows"; the AAUW members who manned the homes with knowledge and a welcoming spirit; and the selfless homeowners who allowed us to explore their spectacular cabins.  The day concluded at Picchetti Winery for a fabulous feast and a great deal of "What a great event!"

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Photography, Italian & New Friends...

Our società italiana met at the fabulous Dirk Yuricich Photography Gallery for a pictorial journey through, not only Italy, but a world shown vibrantly and interestingly by Dirk's talent. 

Photographer Garry Winogrand said, " If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up."  This seems to exemplify Dirk's images as well.  My favorite, Siena's Piazza del Campo, is captured in the reflection of a glass of Birra Moretti.  So unique and perfect for that space.

We all gathered in this special gallery and enjoyed great company, delicious wines and tasty Italian treats.  The Sicilian Sesame Cookies, made by our Sicilian Jennifer, were addictive.  Everything about the evening was delightful.  We are content!

Tante briciole di felicità... fanno un paniere di gioia
Italian to English Translation:
Crumbs of happiness... make a loaf of contentment.

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Ski Run Boulevard Farmers Market

With views of the Lake and Heavenly, shopping doesn't get better than this!

I fell in love with the Cheddar Cauliflower when my gardener friend, Chef Tom, prepared one for me.  Aptly named for its bright, cheddar orange-yellow color, this newcomer boasts of 25 times more beta carotene than regular cauliflower. Similar in taste to regular cauliflower with a more creamy texture, it is delicious raw or cooked. For plates designed to look like an artist’s palate, it intensifies to vibrant citrus-orange when lightly steamed!

Visually showy and creatively compelling, Purple of Sicily has plump, tightly compacted, brilliant purple heads. This coveted Italian heirloom weighs in at two to three pounds with a sweet flavor but sadly, turns green once cooked
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If we wouldn't have just eaten, this is where we would have dined.  This Mobile Wood Fired Pizza Oven is an amazing culinary stop on the Farmers Market shopping path.  Kris and Kelly make a unique selection of pizzas.  We sampled the "Tahoe":  kale, mushrooms, pinenuts, cheeses and lemon zest.  Buon appetito!
There is something for everyone at this Farmers Market.  Here's Steve with Kora the Art Car. Kora is an '84 VW Jetta painted with a classic green chalkboard finish. She’s actually a National Art Project and visitors can draw on her chalkboard surfaces, tires, windows... basically everywhere! It's out-of-the-box, vibrantly colorful fun for everyone.
 This entire afternoon was vibrantly colorful fun for everyone!  I love summer in Tahoe!

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Steve's handiwork creates an office...

There are two major issues one has to face when one downsizes to a small 1936 cabin (which as been added onto over the decades):  1.  a unique floor plan and 2. limited storage.  This room, towards the back of the house, seemed perfect for an office.
Steve got motivated to do something because he quickly tired of our dining room table looking like this!
Book shelves and a work space were desperately needed.
This simple space, made of pine and love, is perfect for me.  Hidden from the rest of the house, it will be our library, office and retreat!
“  … organizing is not a destination; it is the gateway to your higher goal…

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The Summer Solstice at the new Lakeview Commons...A Perfect Day!

By definition, the summer solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet's semi-axis in a given hemisphere is most inclined towards the star that it orbits.  However, here in Tahoe, Summer Solstice means a huge fête at the beach that exceeded all expectations!
A short stroll from our cabin is El Dorado Beach, an idyllic spot to be and where you will find us a great deal of the time!
For the last several years, the El Dorado Beach Expansion project has been in the works and today was the dedication of the Lakeview Commons, achieving the ultimate marriage of conservation, recreation, and education, all at one site.  Besides the aesthetic improvements, the terraced seating and new vegetation will help with erosion control, which is all about the clarity of Lake Tahoe.
The Washoe have always maintained its ancestral home at the lake to be a gathering and meeting place so I felt it was pretty special that they had a presence here today.
After official speeches and well deserved back patting, the band, aptly named "Jump Start" got the true beach party started.  The stage, at the shore's edge had all in the amphitheater dancing.  This stage will be here with a concert every Thursday night, during the summer, so you know where you will find Steve and me!  It was AMAZING.
This guy, with his floating cooler, had the best seat in the house.  He was in the lake, directly behind the stage for the duration of the concert.  Incredibly fun!
I have never seen a more dog friendly place as South Lake Tahoe and this motorcycling pooch in helmet, goggles and safety harness was adorable.
"People have been celebrating the solstice with drums and dance since ancient times".  We were drawn to the beats.  There was something extremely magical about this component of the day.  I can't explain it. 
When it was time to leave, I danced home for as long as I could still hear the drum beats.  Steve and I marveled at how truly wonderful our new hometown is and how fortunate we feel to be a part of it. 

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