November 19, 2015

USA DIARIES PART 3: Road trip to Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake

August 6,2015. Early morning on our second day, Ben and Mausy rented an 8-seater mini van for the 3-hour drive to the mountains bordering California and Nevada. The road trip was off to a good start when the rental company upgraded the mini van into a spiffy looking Chevrolet Suburban.

We spent the night in Harrah’s Hotel with views of the mountain and Lake Tahoe. We booked 2 rooms for all 7 of us and each of our suite was huge with 2 king size beds and a seating area with plush couches. We were particularly pleased with the 2-ensuite toilets and bath and a walk in closet in each of our rooms.

It was a day of making dreams happen, like rolling around the grass because back home in the Philippines, you have to keep off them.

For dinner, we had the best buffet in the area, which happened to be at the top floor of our hotel and had our fill of juicy fat steaks. We were prepared for a long wait as the line to get in the glass walled restaurant was occupying the whole floor winding all the way to the elevator doors but we were pleasantly surprised that we only had a little more than half an hour’s wait to get a table. We didn’t mind the wait at all even if it could have taken longer, as the view was spectacular.

August 7, 2015. From the lookout on Emerald Bay and on our way back to Pittsburg the next day, we detoured to find the Fallen Leaf Lake. Our GPS directed us through campgrounds, private owned meadows and homes and one lane wide paved roads thick with tall trees on one side and some turnouts to let cars pass through. The roads were narrow but all we encountered were polite and patient drivers waving us on with a tolerant smile.

We parked in front of a terraced timber shop cottage and picnicked on sweet fresh berries and salty hot chilis on wooden benches. A squirrel came by and patiently waited for fallen scraps looking at us with his unblinking huge glassy eyes. I know it’s a rodent but it’s too damn cute I wanted to pocket it!

This place is one of my favorites from this trip; it’s just too charming and dreamy. Like something out of a scene of a Nicolas Sparks ‘movie! There were parked kayaks and ducks swimming on the lake and umbrellas with lounge chairs set up on the waters edge. We explored the marina and just sat there bundled up in picnic blankets and scarves trying to take all the loveliness in and had such a pleasant time even if it was freezing out. Kim had to fork over $18 for a bonnet because we weren’t dressed appropriately for the cold. It was supposed to be summer!

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