Last Supper with Friends...

We keep making friends with people and then they leave- hmm. Bill, Kristi and Jannie will be moving to Pacific Grove, one of our favorite places. This was an amazing sendoff feast!

 Is this not a beautiful plate of food?!
Sitting on the deck, dining on sumptuous cuisine and making plans for future visits, it was a sweet way to savor a Saturday. 

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Valhalla Renaissance Faire Day #1

This is my 3rd year of volunteering and Camp Richardson's 22nd year of hosting this day of magic, mayhem and merriment. And what fun it was!

Jan and her clan have been coming here for years. It was fun to hear their stories.

Each year I find a pin that makes me smile... this was today's!

I love the freedom to be whomever you want to be and I delight in the creativeness I discover each time I attend. S'wounds... a great day!

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Measure L 'Tabling'...

I have written about the many firsts I have experienced here in Lake Tahoe. Today was a unique one.

In an effort to help inform the community about the upcoming Measure L (continuing the existing parcel tax to support our library), I stood at the post office, answering questions and mainly getting a bunch of thumbs up! I met some neat people and can truly say this was a first for me.

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Lake Tahoe from the Air

I received this from our friend Tom:

"Steve and Denise, had a clear day flying home from Seattle yesterday. So I waved as I flew by. Did you see me? All the best."

Pretty awesome flyby. 

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Vikingsholm ADA Escorts...

This will be our third year of volunteering with the California Parks Department and nothing says SUMMER quite like being at Vikingsholm Castle, seeing the old gang and sharing the magic of Emerald Bay with someone who would not normally be able to be in and amongst it all.

This is truly one of our favorite spots and there are only two ways to arrive here, one is a pretty steep hike or the other, if you are so lucky, is to come by private boat. For many, those two options are not physically or financially viable, so the California Parks Department offers an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant Escort service.
Oh yes, I am a treehugger. Who wouldn't want to love on this old growth Ponderosa Pine? 
The rest of our evening was spent, fireside, with our across-the-street friends Mike and Janet.

"Because it’s summer and the memories
are just waiting to happen."

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Standup Paddle Race Fans...

We got a call from our friend, Bill, who was about to begin the first Wednesday night Standup Paddle Race Series at Lakeview Commons, and asked if we wanted to come watch him and his daughter, Jannie compete. Heck ya!

We were excited to be spectators for our very first Standup Paddle race.
Sixty-one racers, some from as far away as Hawaii, braved the brisk water for this incredible night on the Lake.

 The course was surprisingly long and competitive.

 Bill and Jannie made a great paddling team!
It's not even June and we found ourselves lakeside, enjoying a beach sunset. Could this be our new Wednesday night tradition? Lake Tahoe continues to surprise us with all its treasures.

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Letterboxing & Rum Runners...

The Tahoe Tallac Historic Site was the location we chose for Karen's first foray into Letterboxing. I don't think she was disappointed.

 We started our day with a picnic.
Snow Plants have finally appeared, adding welcomed color- everywhere.
This Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel was a riot to watch. Whatever he was eating, he hid it from us, which was a hoot to observe.
 Letterboxing was a success!
Steve then met us for Rum Runner Wednesday... a perfect way to end a great day!
Nothing says summer quite like a cold drink, lakeside. Oh man, we have so much to look forward to. Can't wait.

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Black Bean, Corn & Zucchini Enchiladas...

Seven of us gathered here to welcome Steve and Cyndi back from their six months in Mexico. Wanting to continue the fiesta for them, a little longer, I found this delicious, easy dish. ¡Muy delicioso!

    1 teaspoon canola oil
    2 cups diced zucchini
    1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn
    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

    3 cups Enchilada Sauce, divided
    Cooking spray
    8 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
    2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups zucchini and corn; sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in beans.

Spread 1 cup Enchilada Sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/2 cup zucchini mixture down center of 1 tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese, and roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, zucchini mixture, and 14 tablespoons cheese. Spread remaining 2 cups sauce evenly over enchiladas.

Cover with foil; bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

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Gold Panning in Coloma...

No trip to Gold Country would be complete without a trip to the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma.

Poor James Marshall. He finds gold (where his statue points), announces it to the world, gets nothing for it and dies in poverty. Yikes. A cautionary tale, for certain and one we loved learning about.

After learning the history at the museum, and touring the sites, we grabbed our gold panning supplies and headed for fortune-seeking.

While we all gave it a good try, our search didn't 'pan' out but we had fun, none-the-less, and delighted in the coolness of the American River.

The kids turned to fishing and again, we were left without much success.
Our day concluded back at camp with BananaGrams, a barbecue, wine and a weekend recap. It was an idyllic way to end our exploration.

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Gold Country Explore...

We headed South on Highway 49, a region of quaint bed and breakfasts, shops lining historic main streets, award winning wineries, fine restaurants, antique and gift shops, art galleries, golf courses, unlimited recreation and the chance to travel back in time...

First stop was Amador City. This quaint town was founded in 1863. Historically located in a rich gold bearing area in the Motherlode of California. In 1848-1849, an unknown creek was prospected by a wealthy rancher and soldier, named Jose Maria Amador. There were no known settlements until 1851.

We had learned of Pig Turd Alley while listening to Gary Noy's presentation and had to see it in person.

This was the first cemetery, we have visited, that gave an explanation of the life and death of the decedent.
Sutter Creek, the jewel of Amador County and the Gold Country,  is steeped in history, being born of the California Gold Rush and nurtured by the deep rock gold mines of the 19th and 20th centuries.
We came for the 'Trash to Treasures' event. A once-a-year happening where the streets are lined with items for sale... truly something for everyone.
This was an old Shell Gas Station that seemed suspended in time, and junk.
And there was dancing in the streets.
Columbia was our ultimate destination for today. Located in the heart of the California Mother Lode, Columbia State Historic Park is a living gold rush town featuring the largest single collection of existing gold rush-era structures in the state. Visiting Columbia was like traveling back in time to the sights, smells, and sounds of a nineteenth century mining town—merchants dressed in 1850′s attire, a whiff of coal smoke from the blacksmith shop, and the rumble of a stagecoach pulling into town!

We sidled up to the bar for some sarsaparilla.
After touring the town, we visited the history museum and learned more about how Columbia came to be. These unique rocks were the result of hydraulic mining. This stop was well worth the drive through rolling vistas and darling villages.

Home for campsite memories and the day was complete!

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