Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Here's part of the 9 bedroom house we stayed in last week with the family. This is the top level which served as the common area while all the bedrooms were located on the two levels below. The house, built on a hillside, overlooked beautiful lake Tahoe straddling the California Nevada border. We were on the Nevada side.

It was a short drive down to the beach and the weather was perfect every day we were there. There was still lots of snow up on the mountains. This is not what one expects in the middle of July but it makes for lovely photography.

We took the Heavenly Valley gondola up the mountain and had some amazing views out over the lake. We ate like pigs over the two week holiday (it's vacation after all) and came back four pounds plumper. This is why you're not seeing the bathing suit shots. The coats we brought for San Francisco came in handy in Tahoe as well. It was in the 30's overnight and crisp low seventy highs during the day. But when you went up high, the temps were more like in the 50's.

Inside every gondola, shenanigans had been played with the no smoking stickers. We thought it was rather clever, as did the shananiganers, evidently.

The streams were all raging due to the unusually deep snow pack that accumulated over the winter. The rocks were literally bleeding water. We spent the days visiting the various attractions, many of them natural, and lots of hiking too. Evenings, all the family members (24!) gathered back at the house for a communal meal and activities. My cousin and I organized this whole thing, so I led each evening's meeting and activity. It bordered on work, but it was fun nonetheless.
I just really liked this shot. This is overlooking Emerald Bay where we hiked down and looked around the "castle" that had been built there. It was more like a big house than a castle, but made for a nice hike. There was also a lovely waterfall nearby. (There always seemed to be a lovely waterfall nearby everywhere we went.)

Another shot I really liked. You know, for a $70 camera, sometimes it can capture some really great pictures. We were lucky too in that it behaved. There was no stupid on/off button not working nonsense during the whole trip. 

Back at the house, more shenanigans. There was the equivalent of toilet papering rooms, and at least one auntie was gotten with the saran wrap on the toilet seat gag. Pee splatter does not make the auntie happy. Snicker. The best gag was the last day. I'll get to that in a moment.

It was really great spending time outdoors in one of the most beautiful places in America. (I still think Havasupai is the number one spot, however.) There's no pics of the casinos, but since you're in Nevada, there they were. I was thrilled to win $90 on a slot on my first foray in, and bummed to lose it on my second time through. Easy come, easy go, but at least I broke even.

We had our traditional mask wearing. You may remember that from two and four years ago. It's always a different mix of family members who participate. 

The last day, we went on an amazing hike that really kicked my butt. I'm still feeling it in my legs today. But the reward was immense. We could see dozens of lakes and waterfalls from the top of Maggies peak. The trail was practically straight up though and we had to traverse some treacherous snow patches as well. 

See? I got bit by several mosquitoes but learned of a neat way to lessen the impact. I'm a mosquito magnet as well as being more reactive to their bite. They can bother me for a week. Well, I learned that if you moisten a bit of tobacco and then put that on with a bandaid over it, it will suck all the muck out and you'll stop itching. It works! Who knew I'd cotton to tobacco again?

I had to screen shot this one from Facebook since we haven't been sent the originals yet. We had family picture day on  the beach. I'm at the very end of the line there. There were a couple toddlers, a pre teen and a teenager on the trip. The rest were adults from their 20's to their 80's. I think we all had a wonderful time. The pre-teen and teenager were pulling lots of pranks so we adults saved one last one for them on the last day. See, they had to do the dishes on the last day so we had time to set it up. Bears had been spotted by family members during the week and we could tell that this had spooked them. So....

Serge got the starring role. It's amazing what you can do with a few condiments and some refried beans. Bear attack! We all feigned horror and calling 911 as Serge groaned and shivered on the ground. It took a good fifteen seconds before the teenager finally shouted, "It's ketchup!" Boy was he sore after that. We all had the last laugh and let that be a lesson to him.

There was all kinds of other stuff that happened, like the talent show night (we sang, cringe), the egg toss, poker games and shanghai. The looking at old movies, the guess the baby picture (with cheaters!) and wonderful dinners every night. (Each sub-clan prepared dinner for the whole house one night.) Now I've been charged with planning the next one in two years - a cruise! That's going to be fun, I just know it.


CoffeeDog said...

Sounds like you had a great time - I am envious, I wish my family did things like that!

Snooze said...

Wow, a very realistic injured Serge! What an amazing vacation. I love the multigenerational aspect.

Mark My Words said...

What a wonderful way to spend a vacation.

It took me a few seconds to get the "no pie" pic, but ya, that's what it looks like.

C'mon, plus 4 pounds is no excuse for not showing swimsuit pics.

Patricia said...

Wow. I'm speechless every time you go because it always looks like such an awesome time. Perfect weather every single day. How often can that be said on vacation? Welcome back.

Cubby said...

How completely wonderful this trip must have been. I loved reading about it.

r said...

Wow. It really looks like you had a great time. All of it. I'm glad you had the chance to get together with such a large chunk of your family.

Love the bear prank.

Tom Falco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GayProf said...

Looks like a great time! The No Pie sign was pretty clever.

Anonymous, too said...

Four pounds is the reason for no bathing suit pics? Or was it that no bathing suits were worn, even when swimming?

And is Georgie still giving you the cold shoulder or has he started talking to you two yet?

irisgirl said...

Could I get adopted into your family for vacations? I love all your choices of destinations, activities and especially all of the pranks, silliness and general family togetherness.


TF said...

From someone in 95 degree Florida, that cool weather looks so inviting.

Fresco said...

Fantastic. I think it's time to cue that Sister Sledge song 'We are family' :-)

Rox said...

I wonder if someone in your clan could adopt me and I could tag along on the next trip? Just a thought! Looks like y'all had an awesome time and I love the shot of the couple on the bench...too sweet!