Heavenly Holidays New Year's Eve...

After dining at home, we strolled to Heavenly Village for their annual NYE extravaganza!

 We danced to the very talented band Ground Control.

One of my favorite parts of the evening, always, is the ice carving. We were thoroughly impressed by Ice Beat Factory, an exciting multi-media performance art show combining the power and elegance of ice sculpting with energetic music and live visuals.

A 9 PM, the "ball" dropped (a gondola car adorned with lights). Then an amazing fireworks display exploded from atop the parking garage. Wow!
Brady and Eric took the best fireworks selfie!

We then returned home to try our hands at creating a 2017 sparkler image. It didn't quite work out, but it was a fun effort.
(Regarding the Times Square Ball that got stuck) "It's suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt coz that is what new years is all about-getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what would be. So when that ball drops at midnight and it will drop, let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long."
-Hilary Swank's character from the movie New Year's Eve

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Skunk Harbor Hike...

While Steve stayed home to catch up on work, Brady, Eric and I headed to Skunk Harbor for one more day of hiking about in Tahoe.

 Much of the history of Lake Tahoe was shaped by the gold and silver mining rushes of the 1850's. This is also the case with Skunk Harbor, if somewhat indirectly. It was originally purchased by George Newhall as a wedding gift, for his wife Caroline. George's wealth was derived from his fathers fortune earned as an auctioneer during the gold rush and subsequent investment in railroads. The site and buildings were used as a second home or more often a party house by the San Francisco wealthy of the roaring twenties. It was then purchased by George Whittell, another Gold Rush millionaire. Currently, the Forest Service now presides over the site and it is open to the public although the buildings are not.
When we reached the lake shore, this group of New Year revelers were already there. Ken and his friends, have gathered for NYE every year since graduating college and welcomed us into their festivities.

This was an idyllic place to spend the last day of 2016!

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Virginia City & Bowling... What Fun!

We donned our cowboy boots and hats (I mean I did) and headed to Virginia City, NV for a day of history and fun.

No trip to Virginia City is complete without spotting the wild Mustangs running free.
Virginia City is one of those places where we discover something new each time we go.

After lunch, we moseyed into V.C. Brewery & Taphouse. What a cool space with the neatest vibe, full of locals.

The evening ended at Tahoe Bowl with several friends for three wild games of bowling, much laughing and a whole lot of high-fiving! What a fantastic, unforgettable day with old and new friends.
“Life is partly what we make it,
and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”
– Tennessee Williams

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A Hike and Ike & Martin...

A day in Emerald Bay is a phenomenal day. Ending it seeing our favorite Duo made the day truly magical!

Our destination was Eagle Falls. While the quarter mile hike is not a big deal in the Summer, we were all happy we wore cleats, as the stairs were frozen and, at times, quite icy.

And the views were breathtaking.

After going up to Eagle Falls, we went down to Emerald Bay.
I had just said that I hadn't seen any cute snowmen yet this winter. This guy was pretty adorable.

Is this the best picnic spot ever?

We shared Vikingsholm with Eric, making him promise to come back in the Summer and see it in all its glory!
After a delicious dinner at home, we headed to Riva Grill to thoroughly delight in Ike & Martin (note them in the background).
Dessert was Oreo Cookie Beignets and Creme Brulee... Wow!
But the best part of the night was Ike & Martin doing what they do best... making the audience dance in their seats. It had been months since we've seen them and they did not disappoint. Oh man, it is good to be home!

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