Picnic at Steve & Cyndi's...

The other day, we all realized none of us had plans for tonight so an invitation was extended to dine at Steve and Cyndi's, along with Mitch and Connie.  We began gathered on the front lawn.  When it was time to move inside for dinner, no one wanted to leave the newly fresh air so an impromptu picnic ensued.  It made for a wonderful summer night memory!

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A Night with 'Twain' at the Ehrman Mansion...

An Evening of Wine & Wisdom, that wisdom being of Mark Twain presented by McAvoy Layne. was an exquisite way to commence the official last weekend of Summer and it was a successful fundraiser for the Sierra State Parks Foundation.

The location for this fête was the fabulous Hellman-Ehrman MansionIn 1897, San Francisco businessman I. W. Hellman began buying property at Sugar Pine Point and by 1913 had acquired nearly 2000 acres. His grand but informal summer home, called Pine Lodge, was completed in 1903 and was considered to be one of the finest in the high Sierra and truly one of the finest places we've had the pleasure at which to party.
After a 'behind the scenes' tour of the 11,000 sq. ft. home, the guests gathered on the veranda for libations, hors d'oeuvres and to mingle with McAvoy Layne/Mark Twain.
For over a quarter of a century, Mr. Layne has transformed himself into the famous humorist as the "Ghost of Mark Twain" to deliver more than 2,000 performances to fascinated audiences in venues worldwide.  We have seen him before and each time I am more impressed with his portrayal.  Tonight, when he spoke of his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, I almost cried.  What a powerful performance.  I was transported to the 1800s.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/26/3937924/mcavoy-layne-keeps-the-spirit.html#storylink=cpy
Mark Twain said, of Tahoe,
"Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor and give him an appetite like an alligator. I do not mean the oldest and driest mummies, of course, but the fresher ones."
But for all of us there tonight, it only took us one evening with Mr. Layne to restore our love of all things Tahoe, Mark Twain included.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/12/3620909/mark-twain-experts-fired-up-over.html#storylink=cpy

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Reggae at Lakeview Commons...

The last concert of the summer series has happened.  There is a certain sadness in that sentence.  Oh but what a concert!  Reggae night is always the most entertaining- people watching wise.

There were two bands with our favorite being Island of Black and White.
  Not only were they talented, but they were polite and enjoyable to speak with and appreciative of being in South Lake Tahoe.  We were totally jammin mon!

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The Great Gatsby Movie Night...

Gatsby and summer seem to go well together, so to continue the theme, we purchased the movie, dusted off our fancy costumes and went to Bob and Jenny's for an evening Jay Gatsby would have approved of (maybe).  The comfort of friends.  Great food.  Fabulous outfits.  An intriguing movie. Spectacular setting.  Can it get any better?

Champagne flowing into martini glasses seemed a nice touch.
Jackie had to miss the Gatsby Tea so we recreated the event, overlooking the Lake.
Jenny, the hostess with the mostest, researched what food would have been served during this era...Crab stuffed mushrooms, prosciutto wrapped asparagus and deviled eggs- scrumptious.
The dessert of Amaretto filled strawberries and bite-sized eclairs was opulent and fitting of such an occasion.
“There was music from my neighbor’s house
through the summer nights.
In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths
among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
 ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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Tahoe's Tuesday Farmers Market...

Every time I venture to a Farmers Market I am overwhelmed by the colors.  Today, not only were the various hues vibrant but the scents of the fruit overpowered the smell of smoke that has been lingering for days.  What a welcome reprieve.

The biggest surprise was the new Simply Manna booth, whose motto is, "Mushrooms are our passion.  Mushrooms are our art.  Mushrooms are our life."  They truly are masterpieces.
Jackie's goal was to purchase some of Javier's melons.  His Toscano Family Farm has an amazing array of produce and allows for some spectacular photographs.

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Mammoth and Devils Postpile...

In an effort to find bluer skies and check something off our "to do" list, Steve and I headed south, destined to be amazed.

After a brief stop in the Village, we boarded the Reds Meadow shuttle.
A visit to the Ranger is always the first thing we like to do to gain knowledge and learn what not to miss.  We were not disappointed we stopped.
Every trek we took on U.S. Route 395 announced Devils Postpile National Monument so it was about time we stopped.  This formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world's finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60 feet high and display an unusual symmetry.  We were mesmerized by these remains of volcanic forces.
The Ranger advised us to take the 'top of the Postpile loop trail'.  We stood on column tops, polished by past glaciers...What unique, geometric beauty.
 There is so much for us to explore, so close to home.  Speaking of Tahoe, when we returned, after our day away, our own blue skies had returned.  What a fascinating day.

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Celebrating the Celio Legacy...

The day on the Ranch was more than most expected with everyone in a festive mood for the 150th anniversary of this historic family.

Celio grand babies wandered around in costume, being super adorable.
A barbecue for 200 was served by Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care volunteers.
Chris Celio made a point of thanking everyone for coming, including our friends, Joanne and Gene.  It was an extra special addition to our lunch.
I thoroughly enjoyed welcoming and helping the guests.  Many took the time to express how much they appreciated the opportunity to travel back in history... if only for a day.

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Celio Ranch 150th Celebration Pre-Tour

This weekend is a truly once-in-a-lifetime event and today I was part of the volunteer peek into how amazing the next two days will be.  For one of the first times, the ranch will be opened to the public as celebration with the Lake Tahoe Historical Society.

I thought Dylan Silver described it well, "The age of the Celio Ranch may be best illustrated in the wood grain of the buildings. For more than a century, the panels of the outbuildings, slaughterhouse and corral have endured Tahoe’s frigid winters and dry, baking summers."
Tom, Miles and Clint Celio are the incredibly interesting Ranch tour guides.
In the past, this property has mostly been closed to the public.  What an honor to be a part of such a history making/celebrating occasion.  We are thoroughly excited about it all!.
Four of the historic buildings will be on the day's tour with each being hosted by a Celio.  This was the slaughterhouse for the expansive cattle operations.
Behind me is the Weigh Station.  A very well used structure where cattle were ushered in to determine their true value.  It was the only scale, of its kind for miles around.
Norm & Ann's cabin is as it was 100 years ago.  To be able to step back in time, to see how life really was in Lake Valley, is the best part of the event, for me.
The history here is so rich and preserved.  I continue to be enamored with it all.  This 150th Celebration with the Celio Family is something I've looked forward to since moving to Tahoe, and after today's glimpse, I know this weekend will be unforgettable and truly a once-in-my-lifetime event.

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