Todd Borg is Back...

Every year, local author Todd Borg, launches his newest book as a Friends of the Library program.  Tahoe Chase, his 11th in the award-winning Owen McKenna mystery thriller series, was so anticipated that it was standing room only.

TAHOE CHASE is about a young French woman named Simone Bonnaire whose sadistic boyfriend abuses her. Simone's only friend is Cynthia Rorvik, an older woman who provides comfort.

When Cynthia falls from her deck and ends up in a coma, her 92-year-old, former Olympic ski racer husband Joe Rorvik calls Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna and asks him to investigate.

What makes an Owen McKenna book launch so special is that Todd spends time sharing his writing process, answering questions and just entertaining all of us- his numerous fans.

I have said it many times about these books, "they would be ideal guidebooks to Tahoe if there weren't always murders in them".  Tonight was a literary delight and so fun to be a part of.  More Tahoe Magic!!!

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Sonoma & Sunflowers...

After the kids left for work, Steve and I headed home via a different route- SR 12 which took us directly through Sonoma, a town incredibly rich in history.  After a quick stop at the Visitors Center for maps, we became tourists.

The town began in 1823 when missionary Jose Altimira declared it the best site he had seen for a new (and final) mission.  We stood in the Plaza, the largest in California.  Its eight acres and the surrounding street grid were laid out by General Mariano Vallejo in 1836, turning Sonoma from a mission town to a Mexican-style pueblo.  This man deserves a study which we plan to do.  City Hall, behind us, dates back to 1908.
The last home of Vallejo, Sonoma's founder, is Lachryma Montis ("mountain tear"). In 1851-52, the two story, wood frame house was designed and built on the east coast, shipped by sail around Cape Horn and then assembled at the present site.  One of the first pre-fab homes-ever.
This was the location of the Bear Flag Revolt (1846).  U.S. Army Major John C. Frémont arrived in California and began encouraging a rebellion among the Anglo-American settlers. As a result, local residents, assisted by volunteers from among the American settlers and Vaqueros from the many haciendas in the Sacramento River valley, captured the Mexican garrison of Sonoma and raised a homemade flag with a bear and star to symbolize their taking control. The words "California Republic" appeared on the flag (the pattern for our current State flag).
While in Sonoma, Frémont stayed at the Blue Wing Inn (1840).  Additional visitors included future Civil War generals, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Hooker, Major Philip Kearney, and Captains Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman, as well as legendary Joaquin Murrieta (the man Zorro was patterned from).
The Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma,was founded on July 4, 1823 and is the last and most northern of the 21 Franciscan missions along the California Coast.
Most times when we pass the Sunflowers of Dixon, we are in a hurry to go here or there, but today we made time to stop and be amongst them.
Just off Highway 50/80 at exit 69, these acres of glorious, living sunshine are the stuff of Van Gogh paintings and my own personal glee.
"Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It's what sunflowers do."

by Helen Kell
er

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Our Day in San Francisco...

In January, I bought tickets for the Walt Disney Family Museum through travelzoo. Since they are expiring Wednesday,  today was our very last opportunity to visit this amazing monument to a truly incredible man- Walt.

We picked up our working college student, at his apartment, and hit The City by the Bay.
From Mickey Mouse to Snow White, from Mary Poppins to Disneyland, Walt Disney’s artistry and imagination helped define 20th-century America. This Museum brings his legacy to life and invites viewers to find their own creative inspiration in his story.  I had anticipated this visit and was not disappointed.  Walt was an extremely interesting man.
Walt Disney used to bring his children to Griffith Park quite often.  It is believed that these visits were great inspirations to his idea and design of Disneyland.  This bench was one he would sit on while waiting for the carousel ride to end.
When Walt died in 1966, the world wept and after seeing all the tributes made me cry.
Lunch was at Southern Pacific Brewing which owes its name to the Southern Pacific railroad line that ran down Harrison Street in the early 1900s, transporting the products of San Francisco factories and craftspeople to points throughout the West.  A ten thousand square foot warehouse located in what was once the Mission’s industrial heart, the building itself is a testament to the area’s history.  Proprietor and San Francisco native Chris Lawrence has lovingly renovated this one-time machine shop into a bright, expansive bar, restaurant and brewery.  It is so cool to be in old structures with interesting histories that give neighborhoods character and teach us about our past.
And the food was delicious...
Afterward, we spent the afternoon perusing The Goodwill it was a really fun Sunday with the family.

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Garden Tour for History...

The Lake Tahoe Historical Society's yearly fundraiser is it's Garden Tour. Celebrating it's 10th year, the nine most beautiful gardens of the past nine years were showcased.

Steve and I had the opportunity to volunteer at this wonderful, historic home in the Al Tahoe neighborhood.  The owners Bobbi and Bob are incredible hosts.
This flower, Campanula latifolia, was the most asked about by all the gardeners.  It is just one of numerous gorgeous flowers we were surrounded by.
In the early 1920s, this home was the location of Dr. Malcomb Hadden's summer practice.  While gardening, Bobbi found these vintage medical bottles.
 “She was sitting in a garden more beautiful than even
her rampaging imagination could ever have conjured up,
and she was being serenaded by trees."
-Lynn Kurland

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Art in the Morning....

Mom and I are huge fans of  Kit Night.  This wonderful, talented Tahoe woman, is one of 23 artists who opened her private studio for all of us to peek inside.

The Tahoe Art League sponsors this once-a-year event making Betty's timing ideal and the setting was a perfect example of Sierra splendor.

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Thunder Storms and Ice Cream...

The four of us have a history of visiting Camp Richardson together.  So today, we lunched at the Beacon, right on the beach...

Just as we were finishing lunch, the rains came.  A summer storm is one of our favorite things so we enjoyed being in it.
As we sat here, with huge cones in hand, thunder and lightning filled the sky.  It was incredible.
We've established a pretty great routine... lunch out, sightseeing then dinner and movies in.  What fun we're having together.

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Relaxing around the Lake...

It is truly the lazy days of Summer.  Lunch was lakeside at The West Shore Café where the views were stunning and the meals were delicious.

Popcorn, pajamas and movie night in the folks' RV was the ideal conclusion to our summer day.

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Best Campsite in Town...

Steve's Mom and Dad are here for a few days and they have 'booked' into the best spot in town... our front yard.  How fun to have them here.  We spent the afternoon on the front porch, getting caught up.

Dinner on the back deck... simple, family fun.  You have to love summers.

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Our Wildflower Hike...

We met Bob and Jenny at 7 AM to finally hike to see the wildflowers.  We began at Carson Pass (8,600' elevation) for a glorious 5 mile explore to Woods Lake.

We were a week, or two, too late for the full explosion of color, but what remained was reward enough for our efforts.  I love this description, "Lupine, Mules Ear, Indian Paintbrush, and tens of other Sierra species of wildflower bloom in a symphonic profusion of beauty."
When Steve was on a hike with Miles and Tom Celio, he learned that this mark, along paths, is called a blaze.  In older times, a tree would be blazed by hatchet chops- hence the terms trail blazer and blazing a trail.  Cool, right?
The shore of Lake Winnemucca, a large, high-altitude, super-deep, ice-cold, trout-filled lake, was the ideal spot for a pause.
This photo, my best ever of a hummingbird, was the last my camera would take before the battery died.
Since moving to Tahoe, we have been trying to get out in nature more often.  It's fun that Bob and Jenny are encouraging (prodding) us.  We are savoring every moment!

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