It had been forever since I’d been to North Lake Tahoe and I really didn’t have a clue what I was in for, except a full itinerary. What met my daughter and I was absolutely glorious and a couple days of pure rest, relaxation and real-life wonders of health and wellness in the region. Our trip was planned for us and we were ready for the unknown.
We opted for flying because it was just the two of us, although it is a totally driveable nine hours away. We flew into Reno, grabbed a rental car and we were at the Hyatt Regency within an hour; plenty of time to settle into our room with a balcony and rocking chairs overlooking a babbling brook across the street from the beautiful clear waters of the lake. From the moment we arrived the service was top notch, as was the room. After swimming in the beautiful pool, and enjoying the jacuzzi and spa (where my daughter made friends with a family whose grandmother lives in Coronado), we enjoyed a sunset patio meal at Sunnyside Restaurant and Lodge on the lake, just a short drive from our hotel.
We began our first full day with a kayak tour of the lake, not an ordinary kayak, but one that was completely clear. Not only the bottom but the whole boat. The tour was lead by Kelsey Weist, co-owner of Clearly Tahoe. Neither my daughter nor I had ever kayaked before and to experience the first time in a way that we could see to the bottom of the lake was amazing. The tour was tailored to our comfort level and we were put totally at ease as well as having the essentials like water, snacks and sunscreen provided. It was a hit and something we would absolutely do again. The kayaks were custom made for the company from the same materials used for fighter jet windshields. After our excursion, we took some beach time at Sand Harbor and then pool time. A perfect afternoon. We wrapped the day with dinner at Manzanita at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe. The drive was about 30 minutes but well worth it. We drove up to what looked like a mountain palace. My daughter felt like a princess. I couldn’t help but wonder how beautiful it must look when covered in snow. The meal, another home run. I had a perfectly prepared filet mignon and Theresa had, for the second night in a row, a grilled cheese sandwich (isn’t that what all kids order at the Ritz?). It was fun crossing the California/Nevada border to go for lunch or dinner. Back and forth made it seem that much more interesting for my daughter.
Our last day in Tahoe before heading to Reno began with a private yoga class at the Granlibakken, located amongst the trees where we were treated to peace and tranquility by instructor Ashley Aarti. The yoga room, the grounds and the teacher were all in complete alignment with the idea of health and wellness, physically and spiritually. Aarti adapted the class to our level (my daughter having more experience in yoga than I) and we truly connected with the experience. After saying our goodbyes to our new friend we headed off to experience one more Tahoe treat. Squaw Valley.
It is a relatively quick drive to The Village at Squaw Valley. You can visit the Olympic Museum, as Squaw Valley was the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and then you can take the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram for a scenic ride to High Camp. Along with your tram ticket, you can choose to add on a day at the pool located at the top. There is also a restaurant, hiking trails, play equipment and outdoor games. You can make a day of fun at High Camp. The village at the base has shops and restaurants if you prefer to just enjoy the ride up and down. We walked around a bit and then headed down and on to our next stop.
There is currently a military special campout being offered for Labor Day trips to South Lake Tahoe.
Part Two: Reno, Nevada. Prepare to be surprised.